As fly anglers, we are beyond fortunate to have access to a plethora of outstanding products these days. It doesn't really matter what's in your wallet—there's cool stuff for every angler and budget. While they're not the more versatile, I'm a big fan of certain types of niche products. Although a few of these offerings may not offer up a huge performance advantage, some definitely can. RIO's WF5F Bonefish line is a great example of one of these specialized items that I've come to adore over the last year.
I first purchased this line just before summer of 2015. Unlike this summer, I was able to travel a few times and decided to head out to Arizona to visit friends and investigate some of the urban canals and ponds that hold fish like bass, panfish, and scads of carp. My first trip out was in June, and (obviously) it was HOT. I came armed with a 5-weight Sage ONE rod, Abel Super 4N reel, and a WF5F fly line from I-forget-who. Despite it being over 100 degrees everyday I was there, the fishing was pretty good. Grass and koi carp both came to hand, and I blew a few opportunities on common carp and a couple of nice largemouth. While the fishing was a hoot, casting my fly line was a real chore. The problem? The extreme heat took its toll and made the line sticky—a nightmare to cast!
Before my trip I thought I'd save the money and just make do with my standard trout fly line. That was a terrible decision. When I decided to swing through Arizona again several weeks later in early August, I knew I had to return with a line that was made for the job. I grabbed a box of RIO's Bonefish line in the hard-to-find WF5F size. This 100-foot line is made for tropical conditions and features a medium-stiff core and firm coating that stays castable in extreme heat, along with AgentX and Extreme Slickness technologies. Other notable features are a 49'6" head length, welded loops on each end, and sand/blue color scheme.
How did this line perform under the scorching Arizona sun? The difference over a standard fly line was night and day. The line stayed castable, manageable, and increased my success. From short shots to distant ones, the WF5F RIO Bonefish line was and continues to be a joy to use for carp, snook, and tilapia fishing. This line was well worth the money and I intend to use it on many more light-duty pursuits when the extreme heat is on.
Unfortunately, it appears RIO is now only making this line starting in a WF6F size. However, they still show a WF5F option in their Bonefish Quickshooter series. Touting the same features, it is constructed with a shorter 35'6" head to excel at quick casts. Carrying the same price of $89.95, this might be worth a closer look if you can't locate any leftover WF5F "standard" Bonefish lines anywhere. Tropical-style fly lines in this line weight are not the norm, but this is certainly one of those ultra-cool niche products that can offer up an enormous advantage!
Looking for RIO Bonefish fly lines?
Try Trouts Fly Fishing