As fishermen, we don't spend a lot of time talking about apps. There are, however, quite a bevy of apps out there made specifically for anglers. Unfortunately, most of them aren't particularly useful. But there are a select few that can be assets whether you're on the water, in the field, or on your couch planning next outing. RIO has recently released a fly line selector app which strives to demystify the process of selecting a fly line for a given rod or application, and it seems destined to join that smaller crowd of fishing apps -- the useful ones.
Let's face it, while not always the case, choosing a fly line can be perplexing. And, every time it seems like the industry is starting to simplify choices on the fly line front, things take a turn for the more complicated. The process can be especially troublesome for those that don't spend their time poring over product SKUs and keeping tabs on each fly line company's new releases and R&D efforts -- in other words: most fly fishers.
To help simplify the process, RIO has introduced its fly line selector app, which it has made available on iOS (iPhone/iPad/etc) and Android devices. While the app is no doubt a smart stroke of marketing on RIO's part, it is more than just a glorified catalog. It is also considerably more nuanced than RIO's line selector feature on its web site.
The app walks you through an in-depth questionnaire which touches on virtually all of the variables important to selecting a fly line. Fly rod model (based on a rod model database that includes offerings from 11 different rod manufacturers), water temperature, target species, saltwater/freshwater, environment (river, lake, ocean, etc), line density, fishing style, fly size, experience level and more are all taken into account. Once the app adds up your answers, it makes recommendations on what RIO lines best suit your needs.
The app is free download and to use. While this should should come as no surprise, given that the ultimate goal of the app is obviously to get fly fishermen into a new RIO line, the app is definitely a useful tool for navigating your way through the labyrinth of fly line choices out there. It's also pretty fun to use. Your smartphone definitely offers up worse ways to kill time on the subway.