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Email a Friend Purchasing spey/switch lines
By AmericanFly Staff

Click photos to enlarge Purchasing spey/switch lines

What you will need on your reel - For starters you will need a reel rigged for success. RIO and the staff from American Fly Fishing Co. compiled these thoughtful recommendations. Here's what you need:

1. Rio Connect Core or RIO GripShooter shooting Line attached to backing.

2. RIO Skagit Max, RIO Max Short or RIO Scandi Body spey head looped to shooting line.

3. RIO MOW tips or RIO VersiLeaders with multiple sink rates looped to spey head.

4. An Appropriate Leader.

With these systems, each two-handed rod fly fisher will be primed for any spey situation they would encounter and only have one reel!


This is the line between the Backing and the Spey Head. It is much thinner than a typical floating line, which allows the head to pull it out easily for greater distance when casting.

RIO’s ConnectCore Shooting Line –The ultra-low stretch core technology produces high-energy “shootability” combined with low memory for clearing casts and optimal strike detection on the “swing”. The easy-grip front coating and large welded Hi-Vis front-loop make this the easiest line to handle while casting and when changing out your Spey Head. It costs a little more but it is worth twice the price!

RIO GripShooter Shooting Line -GripShooter shooting lines are your best choice for making your longest casts. They feature a strong single strand “flat” monofilament material for maximum shootability and distance. The front 14’ of the line incorporates a standard fly line coating for easy grip control during the cast (and cold conditions) and has an integrated front loop for easy Spey Head change outs.


RIO Skagit Max Head - Skagit Max Spey Heads are the ultimate design in Skagit style lines for maximum power, efficiency, and effortless casts. The taper design makes rod loading and cast delivery easier than ever and the ConnectCore technology delivers low-stretch casting energy, strike detection, and rod feel. The short and powerful head taper packs a big punch and easily lifts out heavy tips and large flies with supreme ease. Use with RIO’s Mow Tips.

RIO Scandi Body Head - The Scandi Body is a 23’, easy-to-cast spey head which combines the power of a Skagit design with the smooth finesse of a scandi style head. These comfortably handle MOW Tips or VersiLeaders and are fabulous on switch rods and shorter spey rods. With RIO Connect Core technology for high-energy casts, easy rod feel, and low-stretch strike detection. Features an orange back-end welded loop for easy and correct rigging.

RIO Max Short Head - Max Short’s are very short (17’-20’) and powerful Skagit style spey heads that make it easy to cast heavy tips and large flies in tight quarters. They work best on switch rods and shorter spey rods under 13’ and are a favorite for smaller rivers where room is limited and heavy tips and / or flies are desired. With RIO ConnectCore for superior casting power, rod feel, and strike detection.


The Tip attaches to the end of the Head and is crucial in determining the depth your fly will swing through a run. Tips come in a variety of sink rates, from full floating to sinking at 8-9 inches per second. The length of most tips will be between 10' and 15'.

M.O.W. Tips-These tips are very unique because they blend both floating and sinking portions together into one tip, most of which are 10' long, giving the angler precise mending control of the depth and speed of the their swing. They come in the following dimensions:

1. 10ft floating tip,
2. 7.5 ft of floating line seamlessly integrated into 2.5 ft of sinking tip,
3. 5 ft of floating line seamlessly integrated into 5 ft of sinking tip
4. 2.5 ft of floating line seamlessly integrated into 7.5 ft of sinking tip
5. 10ft level sinking tip.

M.O.W. Tips should be used with Skagit Max and Max Short spey heads and can be used with Scandi Body heads. They come in 3 separate weights:
1. Light (T-8) for spey heads of 475 grains and less,
2. Medium (T-11) for spey heads between 475 and 575 grains, and
3. Heavy (T-14) for spey heads of 575 grains or more.

VersiLeaders – These 10’ coated monofilament tips match-up perfectly with all Scandi style heads including the RIO Scandi Body. They are lighter and “less chunky” than MOW tips and make for smooth, fun casting with lighter flies. Available in six densities:
1. Floating,
2. Intermediate (1.5 ips.),
3. Type III (2.6 ips.), Type IV (3.9 ips.),
4. Type VI (5.6 ips.) and
5. Type VII (7.0 ips.)


The leader is straightforward, for sinking tips about 4' of tippet tied to the end of the sink tip will do the trick. Depending on the size of fish being pursued, Ox-3x tippet is all that is typically necessary and when in doubt error on the side of heavier rather than lighter. When using a floating tip, a 9' leader will typically work great.

Correct Lines for Spey and Switch Rods in grains

Sage Spey Rods Skagit Max & Max Short Scandi Body
Method 6126-4 450 #9
Method 7126-4 550 #10
Method 8126-4 600 #11
Method 9140-4 600 -
Method 10150-4 700 -
VXP 5120-4 400 #6/7
VXP 6129-4 475 #9
VXP 7133-4 525 #10
VXP 8136-4 575 #11
ONE 5126-4 375 #7/8
ONE 6126-4 425 #8
ONE 7126-4 525 #10
ONE 7136-4 550 #10
ONE 7136-6 550 #10
ONE 8126-4 575 #11
ONE 8136-4 575 #11
ONE 9140-4 650 -
ONE 9140-6 675 -
ONE 10130-4 725 -
ONE 10150-4 750 -

Sage Switch Rods Skagit Max & Max Short Scandi Body
Method 6119-4 375 #7
Method 7119-4 450 #8
Method 8119-4 525 #9
Method 9119-4 575 #10
ONE Switch 4116-4 275 #4
ONE Switch 5116-4 325 #5
ONE Switch 6116-4 375 #6
ONE Switch 7116-4 450 #7
ONE Switch 8116-4 525 #8

Redington Spey Rods Skagit Max & Max Short Scandi Body
Prospector 6126-4 450 #8/9
Prospector 7130-4 525 #9
Prospector 8136-4 600 #10
Dually 6126-4 425 #8
Dually 7130-4 525 #10
Dually 8136-4 575 #11

Redington Switch Rods Skagit Max & Max Short Scandi Body
Prospector 4109-4 275 #4
Prospector 5110-4 325 #5
Prospector 6110-4 375 #7
Prospector 7113-4 425 #8
Prospector 8119-4 525 #9
Dually 4109-4 275 #4
Dually 5110-4 325 #5
Dually 6110-4 375 #6
Dually 7113-4 425 #8
Dually 8119-4 500 #9

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