RIO introduces new Elite Scandi Launch

Has RIO built a better Scandi head?
RIO Scandi Launch
Photo: Farbank Enterprises.

Perhaps more than any other subcategory of the fly fishing universe, the world of Spey and two-hand casting seems to be under constant evolution. Rod makers are consistently building not just improved but wholly new two-hand offerings and linemakers, at a similar clip, are developing new tapers, heads, tips, and line systems to help anglers make the most of their double-handed weapon of choice. One of the newest introductions in the two-hand world is RIO’s brand-new Elite Scandi Launch.

The new “Launch” is the result of RIO’s effort to, in their words, “build a better Scandi head.” But what makes a better Scandi head? According to RIO, at least, a better Scandi head is one that is both easier to cast and one that delivers flies more delicately than its predecessors.

To accomplish the first of those two criteria, RIO developed a brand new Scandi taper which focuses on concentrating mass to the rear of the head. If you’re at all familiar with Scandi heads, you likely already know that concentrating mass in the back half of the head is a design staple. But RIO seems to have doubled down, concentrating even more mass to the rear of the head, which the Idaho-based linemaker says transfers more weight into the D-loop, making it easier to load — and thus cast — two-handed rods.

Even though the new Launch heads have a larger tip diameter — which aids in turning over larger flies and weighted leaders — than traditional Scandi heads, RIO says it delivers flies more gracefully thanks to a more graduated, gentler taper.

RIO Scandi Launch
Photo: Farbank Enterprises.

The new Scandi Launch heads, like all of RIO's Elite lines, are built on RIO's Connect Core and features its SlickCast technology as well as front and back welded loops.

The new series includes heads ranging from 320 grains (which will no doubt be of interest to single-hand Spey casters as well) up to 670 grains. Available immediately from authorized RIO dealers. MSRP $64.99.