RIO announced yesterday three additions to its lineup for the Skagit segment of the spey world. Included is an all new floating head, which RIO is calling the Skagit Max. The Skagit Max will be available in both standard and short versions, with the short version intended for use with shorter (sub 13') spey rods and switch rods. Joining the two new Skagit Max lines is another new head called the iShort, which -- while not dubbed the iFlight Short -- is presumably a version of RIO's existing iFlight intermediate Skagit head intended for use with shorter spey and switch rods.
RIO is highlighting its ConnectCore technology as the driving force behind the new lines. In their press release, RIO notes that their "unique ConnectCore results in a fly line with only about six percent stretch as opposed to the standard 28-32 percent stretch. This ultra-low stretch makes a line much more dynamic to spey cast with helping anglers gain distance through more instinctive timing and better loading. It also enhances sensitivity to detect subtle takes, avoid snags when fishing deep and allows for fast, efficient hook sets."
The Skagit Max is described by RIO as a "easy-casting, ultra-powerful head that is ideal for casting big flies and heavy sink tips. The weight distribution deeply loads rods for long, powerful casts while the subtle taper design generates smooth, efficient loops." It is available in 25 grain increments starting at 425 grains and ending at 750 grains. Length varies between 22 and 25 feet. It is teal and features a hot orange rear loop to help determine front from back.
The Skagit Max Short features the same design, coloration and features as the Skagit Max, only with sizing appropriate for shorter rods. Grain weights range from 200 to 625, again in 25 grain increments. Lengths range from 17 to 20 feet.
The new RIO Skagit iShort is an intermediate head which features a short floating back section. The back section is pale orange and transitions into a clear intermediate front section. The goal of the intermediate front section is to help anglers get the fly down faster for getting below tough surface currents and to help produce deeper swings. The iShort is available from 350 grains to 575 grains in 25 grain increments. Length varies between 18 feet and 21 feet.
All three new RIO lines are available immediately.