When I started fly fishing I didn't start with brand new gear. I started with an older but fully functional Fenwick rod and a couple of old reels with hand-me-down fly lines of semi-known origin and questionable quality. I soon tired though and got myself a brand new line. It came with a magazine subscription but was a high end product from a well known American manufacturer and it became my favorite fly line. That was no surprise really. It was a $70 piece of gear and I had quickly learned the value of a good fly line – the fishing (or at least the casting part of it) was suddenly so much better.
So when I got the chance to try out the new fly line – the Rio Avid Trout, I jumped at it! I own a couple of Rio lines already (the line mentioned above is not one of them) and was really curious to learn more about this new product.
(Picture above: Rainbow trout caught 45 minutes into my first outing with the Rio Avid.)
Rio offers the Avid in WF, DT, intermediate and sinktip. The WF and DT are called "Avid Trout". The Avid Trout WF comes in weights ranging from WF3F to WF8F. The Avid is designed it to be half a size heavier than the AFTM (weight) rating which has its benefits. I have fished a Rio Avid Trout WF6F for this review which in reality is a WF6.5F to be totally correct. The line also features a head that is a bit shorter than the "norm". In real life fishing the additional weight and the shorter head makes it easier for you and me to load the rod without having a lot of line in the air, which is a good thing for casting in cramped spots.
This is a an allround fly fishing line made to work in a lot of different situations and it does a very good job of it! The coating is very slick and the line shoots very well and (as a fishing buddy and me experienced last weekend at a nearby lake) it's cut nicely through the wind – not something you can say about all fly lines.
I have also been taking the Avid Trout through its paces on streaming water. My fishing buddies and I were happy to find that it roll casts and switch casts very well, a much needed feature on waters where trees and and other unforgiving parts of nature makes a back cast hard to do. I also found out that the Avid flyline has a high breaking strength. I did this inadvertently after having got the line stuck between some rocks in place with really fast current. It took a lot of hard pulling to get it loose but the line held up nicely. 🙂
(Picture above: Playi…sorry, Testing the Avid on the club lake.)
All in all I think this is a very good fly line (the only feature I would like to add is a separate color for the head – this makes roll- and switch casts easier). Or as a fishing buddy told me after having spent a couple of hours fishing it: "That's a helluva nice line at that price!". Yes, the price (msrp) is just $54.95, while Rio's premium lines (Rio Gold and Grand for example) will set you back $74.95. If you are looking for a really good allround line at a reasonable price I think you should consider the Rio Avid.
Oh yeah, I just mentioned the more expensive Rio Grand. Looking at the lines profiles for the Grand and the Avid, they seem very similar. The Avid may not have all the bells and whistles that the Grand has but there are similarities. Just sayin'.
On a separate note: When I had started reviewing this fly line I called the distributor for Sweden to ask about the suggested price in the local currency, the Swedish Krona. I was surprised to learn that the distributor had decided not to bring the Avid to Sweden during 2011. Since I think it's a really good piece of gear I really hope they change their mind for 2012.