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Stuff That Works: Rio Tropical Clouser Fly Line

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May 24, 2010

Stuff That Works: Rio Tropical Clouser Fly Line

By Kirk Deeter

We spend a lot of time talking about rods and casting performance.  But last week in the Bahamas reminded me that the line you use is critically important to the total casting equation.  It makes no sense if you have a fancy rod, only to string it up with a shabby fly line.  In fact, the right line can add 10 feet or more to an old rod.  You do the math... add $25 to a fly line purchase, or drop a few bills extra for a fast-action casting stick? Point is, you wouldn't shoot cheap arrows with a supercharged bow, and you wouldn't 
put bad gas in a sports car.  Trust me... a little extra focus on fly line selection can enhance your season.

Whenever you need to turn over heavy flies and contend with wind, choosing the right taper is important.  For my money, the Clouser Taper from Rio Products hits the sweet spot at 50 feet (or longer).  I like the "Tropical" taper, which is less malleable, even for lake fishing for pike and other cold water species.  It loads well, shoots far, and yet doesn't splash down with a slap on the water.  It costs $75, and is worth it.

I also appreciate the way the line roll casts... the tip for great roll casting is to drag your line with a low rod tip, building resistance and load on the water surface... then lift the rod tip, and snap the roll cast forward.  Don't drop that rod tip at the end, snap it, and look through your thumbnail at the target.  Try that with your trout or bass rod, and you'll see the difference.

Deeter

Comments (8)

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from buckhunter wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

A 40'6" head length? You could probably cast the line through a brick wall. I bet it'll work great for big bass flies also.

I have very limited salt water experience. What was your leader set up and for how deep of water?

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from kirkdeeter wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

Yeah... she goes when you get the cast grooved... really shoots. We were set up with 9-foot fluoro at 10# test, casting in anything from 4 feet to 1 foot deep. But we were using big bugs with lead eyes, and that's what made the line valuable. I have a killer casting tip from a Bahamian guide ready for later this week... and the lessons definitely apply to bass, pike, trout, whatever.

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from countitandone wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

Hey Deeter, it' time I change my ways it seems, not wanting to part with big money for fly line.

So, you did well at South Andros? Warm weather and windy, no doubt? Watched a TV program filmed at Crooked Island, Bahamas this morning, featuring Nice Price the golf HOFer. His guide said most of his clients crush the Gotcha or Crazy Charlie Salt Water Fly in a hand full of the sand from the flats they're standing in. The water is ankle deep. Apparently the bonefish are quick to pick up on the suntan lotion or whatever the angler had touched within the last hour. I wouldn't know...someday.

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from hi_tail wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

Amen, don't skimp on terminal tackle. Point well made-

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

Parting with so much cash for new line is hard when the line on the reel appears to be just fine. What really shows the value is casting fresh properly tapered line right after casting the old line. Seems fly shops would openly encourage customers to bring in their gear and let them cast demo lines.

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from abmcp13 wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

Will this line work for Steelheading during the winter runs, when it's below freezing?

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from kirkdeeter wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

I would not go with the Tropical Clouser for steelhead, rather the cold weather version of the same taper.

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from abmcp13 wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

Thanks for your input Deeter!

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from hi_tail wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

Amen, don't skimp on terminal tackle. Point well made-

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

A 40'6" head length? You could probably cast the line through a brick wall. I bet it'll work great for big bass flies also.

I have very limited salt water experience. What was your leader set up and for how deep of water?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from kirkdeeter wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

Yeah... she goes when you get the cast grooved... really shoots. We were set up with 9-foot fluoro at 10# test, casting in anything from 4 feet to 1 foot deep. But we were using big bugs with lead eyes, and that's what made the line valuable. I have a killer casting tip from a Bahamian guide ready for later this week... and the lessons definitely apply to bass, pike, trout, whatever.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from countitandone wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

Hey Deeter, it' time I change my ways it seems, not wanting to part with big money for fly line.

So, you did well at South Andros? Warm weather and windy, no doubt? Watched a TV program filmed at Crooked Island, Bahamas this morning, featuring Nice Price the golf HOFer. His guide said most of his clients crush the Gotcha or Crazy Charlie Salt Water Fly in a hand full of the sand from the flats they're standing in. The water is ankle deep. Apparently the bonefish are quick to pick up on the suntan lotion or whatever the angler had touched within the last hour. I wouldn't know...someday.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

Parting with so much cash for new line is hard when the line on the reel appears to be just fine. What really shows the value is casting fresh properly tapered line right after casting the old line. Seems fly shops would openly encourage customers to bring in their gear and let them cast demo lines.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from abmcp13 wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

Will this line work for Steelheading during the winter runs, when it's below freezing?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from kirkdeeter wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

I would not go with the Tropical Clouser for steelhead, rather the cold weather version of the same taper.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from abmcp13 wrote 3 years 47 weeks ago

Thanks for your input Deeter!

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