Rio InTouch Xtreme Indicator Line: Product Review

The InTouch Xtreme Indicator fly line from Rio is our go to specialty line when we know chucking a bobber is going to be the plan for the day. This line definitely has applications in its smaller sizes for trout both with and without an indicator. You can just use the hi-vis tip with lighter nymphs and forego the bulky indicator all together. For us though, this is a Steelhead line. I like to use the InTouch Xtreme Indicator line on my 10′ 8wt Echo Ion rod. This rod, along with an Allen Kraken reel in size 3, is my workhorse salmon and steelhead rig. And when indicators are on the menu, I make sure to change over to this line.

Here is the description from Rio’s website:

    The InTouch Xtreme Indicator line has been designed to be a very effective tool for anglers that fish nymphs and indicators out of a boat. The short head has a powerful front taper that casts indicator rigs with ease, and loads up with a single cast. Built with RIO’s ultra-low stretch ConnectCore Technology, the line allows for intuitively better cast timing, easier line lifts and sharp, precise mends. Lack of stretch also means faster reaction time when setting the hook.

  • Short, easy casting head to easily throw large indicators and flies
  • Ultra-low core stretch for maximum performance
  • Unique three-color SureFire system ensures unprecedented accuracy control

One the Water w/ InTouch Xtreme Indicator Fly Line

There is not a lot to say about this specialty line that it’s description doesn’t cover. This isn’t a general purpose fly line that claims to be great at everything. Those reviews have a lot of in’s and out’s, and people’s preferences play a large role in why they like one general purpose line or another. The InTouch Xtreme Indicator line from Rio only claims to be good at one thing, so the review is pretty straight forward. It either indicator fishes well, or it doesn’t. I have to say that it does. If you are new to indicator nymphing you may not appreciate how well this line mends, particularly at distance. If you are like me, and you started with indicators on your general purpose fly line, or even worse, a dry fly fly line, then you will immediately notice the difference.

I like to compare new fly lines to my favorite all purpose fly line, the Wulff Ambush. The Ambush line isn’t a great dry fly line, but I like it in almost every other situation where I use a floating line. The Ambush line is great at turning over big bugs, and at roll casting, two of the things that I find to be important when indicator fishing. You need to be able to turn over weight (indicators, shot, multiple flies) and you need to minimize back casting when you are nymphing with an indicator. The Rio Intouch Xtreme Indicator line does very well in both these categories. The head may not be quite as powerful as the Ambush line, but the extra length helps lay out a double nymph rig really well both overhead and roll casting.

The area that the InTouch Xtreme Indicator line really excels, especially over the Ambush line from Wulff is when you need to focus on your mending. If you are like me you do most of your fishing while you are wading, or you are parking your boat and fishing a specific run or pool. Basically, any situation where you aren’t drifting along in a boat at the same pace as the indicator. Typically in these everyday scenarios we need to mend our line to keep a drag free drift. And as we all know, the fish aren’t always on the inside seem just barely downstream from us. We need to be able to hit the far seem and keep the drift going as long as possible downstream. This “hero” drift can be tricky, especially for new to intermediate anglers. Knowing how and when to mend, and in what direction takes a long time to master, and it can be inspiring to watch someone who knows what they are doing carefully pick apart a run with a beautiful drag free drift. It can also be frustrating to watch this person catch fish after fish while you are struggling with technique.

Now, I can’t say that the InTouch Xtreme Indicator line is going to automatically turn you into a seasoned vet at presenting nymph’s to trout and steehead. But I can say with some certainty that it will likely shave off some of the learning curve. And I can definitely say it will perform better for you than a line not specifically made for indicator nymphing.

Again this is a fairly straight forward review. The InTouch Xtreme Indicator line from Rio is designed to do one thing, and it does it very well. If you spend a lot of your time drifting nymph’s with or without indicators, then we think you should give this line a try.

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