Review: Hands on with the Rio Single Hand Spey Line

Last updated on January 10th, 2024.

Leonard Schoenberger

I’m a big fan of spey casts with two handed rods. Now I got my first single handed fly line. I love it and here is why.

I got into salmon fishing a few years ago and have since been addicted to spey casting with big 15ft rods. The ease with which you can cast heavy shooting heads and large salmon flies has fascinated me right from the beginning. Ever since I have particularly looked forward to my yearly week of salmon fishing in Norway. Simply because of the way of fishing.

Fishing back home

My home waters are mostly not quite as wide as Norwegian salmon rivers. Still I have always longed for a similar way of presenting the fly. Sure, shorter two handed (switch) rods can be set up just like a bigger salmon rod. But my favorite rod to fish for brown and rainbow trout is my Hardy Zenith Sintrix 9’6 #6. I have always longed for a setup that allowed me to make spey casts but also gave me the opportunity for an overhead cast.

Rio InTouch Single Handed Spey
The Rio Single Hand Spey line on a Vosseler DC3 reel

A few weeks ago I was searching the web for options. I read quite a bit about the OPST concept which I haven’t tried yet but find quite interesting. I finally ended up on Rio’s website. There I discovered the Rio InTouch Single Handed Spey line. After watching an episode of Simon Gawesworth on this very line I was convinced an ordered the line as a #6.

Specs of the Rio Intouch Single Handed Spey Line

It arrived today and I immediately went to work and gave it a try. I rigged my old but sturdy Vosseler DC3 reel with the new line. The Rio Intouch Single Handed Spey comes in a nice subdued color combination of peach and camo. Here are the specs for the #6 I chose:

Rio Single Hand Spey line:

Full Head Weight 230gr (14.9gm)

Head Length 33ft (10.1m)

Total Length 90ft (27.4m)

The loops on both ends of the line make the setup easy. I started with a few roll casts and could feel the heavy head right away. At this point already I could tell the line was begging for more. Next up were some spey casts. They immediately showed me the potential of the line and created a bright smile on my face. The rear weight distribution makes loading the rod very easy. You basically don’t need any space behind you. Hence it is a great choice for rivers where you want to cover some distance but have bushes behind you.

Casting the Rio Single Hand Spey

I played around a bit with casts into the wind. Even though I am not a world-class caster I managed to get quite a bit of line out. Then I turned around and cast with the wind in my back. The combination of the rod and the line felt like a rocket.

What really struck me was the way the line performed when I lifted it into the air for an overhead cast. The power it generates can really be compared to two handed spey rods. The Rio Intouch Single Handed Spey creates this feeling where you can feel the energy of your cast all the way into your reel.

Rio Single Hand Spey Line
The Rio Fly Line: InTouch Single Handed Spey with a Hardy Zenith Sintrix rod

I am already convinced to have found my new favorite set up for bigger rivers. It is perfect to fish for larger trout with heavier streamers. Just a bit like salmon fishing…




Frequently Asked Questions: Rio Single Hand Spey Line

Can I use the Rio Elite Single-Handed Spey fly line on different single-handed rod weights?

Yes, the Rio Elite Single-Handed Spey fly line is available in various line weights to match different single-handed rod weights. You can choose the line weight that matches your rod’s specifications and your fishing preferences.

What is the advantage of using the Rio Elite Single-Handed Spey fly line over traditional fly lines for single-handed rods?

The Rio Elite Single-Handed Spey fly line is specifically designed for single-handed rods but incorporates features inspired by Spey casting techniques. It offers enhanced roll casting and mending capabilities, allowing for longer, more efficient casts and precise control of the line on the water.

Is this fly line suitable for both freshwater and saltwater fly fishing?

The Rio Elite Single-Handed Spey fly line is primarily designed for freshwater applications, such as rivers and streams. While it can be used in certain saltwater environments, it may not be the optimal choice for aggressive saltwater species or harsh saltwater conditions.

Can I use shooting heads or tips with this fly line for added versatility?

Yes, you can use shooting heads or tips with the Rio Elite Single-Handed Spey fly line to adapt it for specific fishing situations. Adding tips or heads allows you to customize your setup for various water conditions and target species.

What casting techniques are best suited for the Rio Elite Single-Handed Spey fly line?

This fly line is designed to excel in roll casting and mending, making it ideal for situations where precise control and longer casts are needed. It’s particularly well-suited for nymphing, swinging streamers, and fishing in scenarios where traditional casting may be challenging.

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