Rio Tippet Review

Rio makes the best known tippet in the fly fishing market. They have dominated the tippet game for years now, and for good reason. Rio tippet is strong, dependable, and consistent. Fly anglers all over the world trust Rio for their tippet needs.

Rio tippet certainly isn’t the cheapest, but it is one of the best. This article will go over types of Rio tippet, how they are priced, and how they perform. It is good to have a tippet collection for different applications. Trout tippet varies greatly from saltwater tippet, etc, etc.

Hopefully this will guide you in your tippet selection, so you can be better prepared when you’re on the water. Tippet is one of our main connections to the fish, so it’s important that we don’t skimp on it.

Rio Fluoroflex Strong Tippet

The original Fluoroflex tippet was a staple for years. The purple spools could be seen on rivers all over the world. Rio recently introduced the “strong” version, which gives you more strength while keeping the tippet diameter the same. This took lots of research, but now it has replaced the original Fluoroflex.

This stuff is pricey. It costs $17.99 per spool and you only get 30 yards. That is on the upper end of the price spectrum for fluorocarbon tippet. It is more expensive (per foot) than TroutHunter Fluoro, Orvis Mirage fluoro, and Umpqua Deceiver X fluoro. Many anglers may choose these other brands due to Rio’s price increase.

Although Fluoroflex Strong costs a lot, it is very reliable and it has incredible knot strength. Fly anglers continue to use this stuff, despite the price. I have never seen a bad batch or had any issues with it. It doesn’t go bad over time like nylon tippet does.

The original Fluoroflex from Rio was $14.99 a spool. I wish they wouldn’t have bumped the price so much – but it is what it is.

For trout anglers looking for a high quality, premium fluorocarbon tippet, Rio’s Fluoroflex Strong is a great choice. They now offer it in half sizes (like TroutHunter does), which is a great addition. 4.5x and 5.5x come in really handy in certain situations.

Rio Powerflex Tippet

This is a great budget option for trout anglers. When fluorocarbon isn’t necessary, you can get away with nylon tippet. It isn’t invisible like fluorocarbon is, but a lot of trout won’t care. Rivers that don’t get as much pressure means that the trout aren’t as educated. This is often when nylon tippet comes in handy. Nylon tippet is also great for dry fly fishing, because it doesn’t sink.

Powerflex tippet costs $5.49 per spool, and you get 30 yards. That is a great bargain in my opinion, and it is priced so most anglers can afford it.

The strength is top notch, and the quality is consistent as well. It is made with the same exacting standards as their Fluoroflex tippet, but in a nylon version.

If you like fishing small streams and less pressured rivers, nylon tippet is the way to go. Rio’s Powerflex is some of the best stuff out there, so I would recommend getting a couple spools. If you don’t have to fish Fluorocarbon, then there is no reason to spend the extra money.

Rio Powerflex Plus Tippet

This is a stronger version of the original Powerflex tippet. Rio claims that it is “The strongest nylon tippet material ever made”. It is definitely good stuff, but i’m not sure if it’s the strongest of all time.

These spools cost $11.99, but you get 50 yards instead of 30 yards. A 50 yard spool can last quite a while, so I think its a decent bargain. This tippet is available in 0x through 7x, which covers pretty much all trout fishing scenarios.

This is a popular tippet, but I think anglers would be better off buying Fluoroflex Strong. $12 is a bit much for nylon tippet, and I think spending the extra $6 is worth it – to get into a fluorocarbon tippet.

For dry fly anglers who only fish nylon, the Powerflex Plus is a decent choice, but I don’t personally buy it for my own fishing. They recently raised the price even more, which decreased my interest.

Rio Fluoroflex Saltwater Tippet

The Fluoroflex saltwater tippet comes in heavier sizes, and it’s a stiffer material than their trout fluorocarbon. This tippet is best for saltwater anglers who are after big game species. The stiffer fluorocarbon is more abrasion resistant, which is necessary for saltwater fly fishing.

There are many different sizes and prices of this tippet. It starts at $12.99 for an 8 lb spool, and goes up to $39.99 for a 100 lb spool. This covers most saltwater species, from bonefish to tuna!

I really enjoy using this tippet for my streamer fishing here in Colorado. I use the 20 lb for trout fishing and the 35 lb for pike fishing. The stiffer tippet really turns over streamers well, and it holds up for longer periods of time.

The Fluoroflex saltwater tippet is a worthy contender for any salt fisherman. I haven’t found a tippet that is better for saltwater applications. It is expensive, but well worth it.

Rio Wire Bite Tippet

This is the gold standard for pike fly fishing. It also works well for other toothy fish like barracudas. The cool thing about Wire Bite is that you can tie knots with it. It is extremely strong stuff, but it still allows you to tie a clinch or a loop knot to your fly. This is due to the nylon coating.

It is hard to find a good wire tippet that is also supple. Rio has done it with Wire Bite, and it’s been in their lineup for a long time. For anglers targeting toothy critters, Wire Bite is a must have.

The big downside is the cost. Wire Bite goes for $19.99 a spool, and you only get 15 feet of wire. This makes it over $1 a foot! If you use it wisely, it can last for awhile – but it’s still extremely expensive. For anglers looking to buy a spool, I recommend you use it sparingly and don’t waste any. This is pretty easy, because wire can hold up for a long time.

It is available in 20 lb, 30 lb, and 40 lb strengths – depending on which species you’re going for.

Conclusion

There is no doubt that Rio makes some great tippet. I have trusted it for years, even though I’ve experimented with other tippet brands.

They have definitely raised their prices quite a bit, just like most fly fishing brands have. I still think it’s a good value given the quality of the product.

No matter what type of fly fishing you do, Rio has a tippet that will work well. They have designed a solid line of tippets that can accommodate any fly angler.