“That line is going to hold you back,” I insisted last week to an angler who let me cast his permit rod. I am generally not one to criticize someone else’s gear, but in this case, I knew his general saltwater line from [censored company] would be an obstacle to success on the flats.
I have learned about obstacles to permit success the hard way. Before fly fishing for permit, my understanding of the pursuit was largely centered around the image of casting 90 feet in the wind to a tailing permit on a shallow flat. In fact, this isn’t the game at all. Because of this misunderstanding of what the permit game is all about, I didn’t pay too much attention to my guide friend when he told me to practice quick casts to 30 and 40 feet before a trip to the Florida Keys a while back. To my surprise, it turned out that while I needed to be ready to cast 90 feet in the wind, every shot I had at permit were just off the bow of the boat, and every second of delay cut the probability of success significantly.
Permit on the fly is a difficult pursuit. This is not news. But when you travel by air, land, and sea to spend up to hours on the flats for one shot at a permit, gear is the last obstacle you want to deal with. With that, line matters, and the RIO Permit line is perfect for the needs of permit anglers.
The line is tapered to allow delicate presentations at distance but not at the expense of needing to load quickly at short distances. For the review, the 9 weight line was paired with a 9 weight Sage SALT rod, and the pairing was perfect. Most permit anglers will be using faster (and stiffer) rods like the SALT, and the need to feel the line load at short distances is imperative. At 20-30 feet, the line could be felt loading the rod, and the line did not exhibit the negative characteristics of a heavy-headed line at longer distances (when a delicate presentation is likely critical).
In other design benefits, RIO boasts that the line, “… is built on a medium-stiff core and has a hard, tropical coating that prevents the line from wilting in the heat and helps keep the loop shape on long casts. In addition, the line features AgentX and Extreme Slickness technologies that allow it to slide through the guides effortlessly.”
While eager to try the line, I’d decided that I would axe it immediately if it didn’t jive with my needs. An April trip to Ascension Bay for permit is in the sights, and conducting a line inventory is on the pre-trip itinerary. However, the new RIO permit line will certainly be making the trip and will even be on more than one spool. In short, the line is perfect for pursuing permit.
The RIO permit line is available in line weights 8 – 10 at $89.95.
– Tim Harden
Disclosure: RIO Products is in a professional relationship with the Fly Fishing Guide Directory, LLC and the Venturing Angler. Though potentially benefiting from this relationship, we do not post what we do not believe to be true. To read more, click here.