Rio Perception In Touch Fly Line Review (Hands-on Tried & Tested)

Our hands-on review of the Rio Perception In Touch Fly Line from a pro guide who has fished it for many years.

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This Rio Perception InTouch Fly line review is an honest, field-tested review with countless days of use and experience to back it up.

As an avid fly fisher for over 30 years and a professional guide in SW Montana for the last 15, I’ve seen my share of lines put to the test. I’ve cast more lines than I can remember and I’ve got to witness my clients casting them too.

This gives me a unique opportunity to not only feel the cast myself but to see how well they work for others, from seasoned casters to brand-new anglers.

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Photo of the Rio Perception Intouch Fly Line on top of table

Why Trust My Rio Perception In Touch Fly Line Review?

This Rio Perception InTouch Fly line review has come after nearly two years of casting this line. Many different streams and rivers have touched this line and it has most definitely been put to the test.

Photo of a trout on my hands

You’ll only find honest, true reviews here. I’m not paid to give a glowing review, only honest assessments and feedback, the good and the bad.

What’s In The Box?

The Rio Percetpion InTouch line has been recently remarketed as simply the Rio Perception. The old black box has been changed to the blue box, which is part of Rio’s Premier series of lines.

The same rising rainbow trout image is used on the new blue box as was on the old black. The technology Rio labels “InTouch” is also still a part of the line’s makeup although the verbiage has been removed from the packaging.

The Line

For this review, I’ve paired my 5wt Winston with the 5wt Rio Perception line.

The Rio Perception comes in only one color option at this time….green/Camo. Appearance-wise, it’s an attractive color.

Photo of the Rio Perception Fly Line

The soft sheen of the line and the actual feel of the line both suggest that the PVC coating is hard enough to repel dirt and debris but soft enough to remain pliable, even in cold conditions.

The Camo section is the running line section of the line. The term camo is a bit misleading, however, as there is no color patterning to the line. It’s simply a camo green that seems like it will blend in with the natural surroundings quite well.

The green section is the tip/belly line section and I would describe it as a hi-viz, “highlighter” green. This will definitely help fishermen and women be able to easily locate the line on the water. Locating and tracking your flies or indicator through the drift should be a cinch.

For a more advanced angler, this color combination seems transposed. One might prefer the camo section to be the belly/tip section as to blend in better without spooking wary fish. Finding and tracking the tip, indicator, or flies isn’t such an issue to a seasoned fisher.

The Spool

Across the board, fly line spools are all quite similar as well. Rio’s label is easy to read and comes with a small sticker/label stating the fly line name and weight.

This sticker is very handy as it can be placed on your reel, spool, reel case, etc. to remind you of which line you’re dealing with. As someone who has an arsenal of lines, reels, and different spools for those reels, this sticker can be very handy.

Rio’s spools do come apart if you wish to take your line off but keep it wound or prefer to have it off the spool to line your reel.

There is a pinhole in the center, of course, to slide the spool on a spooler machine or to use a pen/pencil at home to allow the spool to spin as you line your reel.

*Tip – when lining your reel at home, after you’ve tied the backing onto the rear fly line loop, toss the spool into a bowl or bucket of water. The spool will spin catch-free and easily as you reel, no pen/pencil is needed!

Rio Perception In Touch Fly Line Review Features & Specs

In my review of the Rio Perception InTouch Fly Line, the main objectives were build quality, weight, texture, profile, technology, castability/accuracy, and warranty. Here’s what I found:

Build Quality

Rio is known for making high-quality fly fishing lines and has been for decades. With newcomers coming and going, Rio continues its reign as one of the top contenders in the category.

The look and feel of the line in hand, even before spooling it onto the fly reel, suggested that this line would last. It’s finish coating is just shiny and firm enough to suggest it will repel dirt and stains, and keep floating for lots and lots of uses.

The PVC coating is a little softer and more pliable than other comparable companies too. To me, this suggests that the line will maintain its flexibility for an extended period, even in cold weather and very cold water.

This is important because I’ve had some harder lines work well in the summer sun but, come wintertime, the PVC coating resists flexing and actually begins to crack.

Weight

  • Rio Perception lines are available in 3 to 8 weights in float versions only.
  • Rio does not list total line weights, only head weights. My 5wt line has a total head weight of 11.2 grams. The 3 weight comes in at 8.7 grams, and the 8 weight stands at 18.8 grams to help give you an idea.

Texture

Rio Perception lines are smooth textured lines. This lineup does not add texture to the PVC coating. The PVC coating and finish themselves, however, feel supple and appropriately pliable.

Profile

The Rio Perception lineup is made for smaller rivers, lakes, and streams. Therefore it has a shortened head so that you don’t need to have too much line out of the rod tip before it will load.

This is great news for those who spend time on small, wooded creeks and works well for medium-sized rivers as well.

The 3-weight line is an 80-foot line. All others are the standard 90 feet in length. There are two front tapers at 5′ and 3′ in length respectively, followed by a 22′ head and a 6′ back taper.

Technology

InTouch – As mentioned before, Rio has dropped this terminology from the packaging but the technology still remains. InTouch greatly reduces line stretch and results in a higher hookup ratio. Less stretch = more sensitivity = faster reaction time = more hookups.

The downside of less stretch is that this line does require one to be more deliberate in the cast. InTouch doesn’t tolerate sloppy casting.

Slick Cast – Slick Cast is Rio’s proprietary coating to reduce friction with fly rod guides and water.

MaxFloat Tip – A Rio Proprietary coating on the tip/loop of the line to help it float better without having to add mass/increase diameter. Rio claims MaxFloat helps the tip float twice as high as other line tips.

Castability/Accuracy

I mentioned the InTouch technology coming into the casting equation. The decreased stretch of the overall line does help with faster reactions and fewer missed sets, but it also plays a part in castability.

Photo of a trout on the net

I’ve been casting fly rods for decades so I was able to try different casts to see different results. While other lines can get away with less-than-perfect loops and timing, it seems the Rio Perception wants you to be on your game. Correct timing in your cast stroke will be important with this line.

The Shorter head and belly really do allow for quick loading of the rod, however. It’s nice to know you don’t need a ton of line out of your rod tip to make crisp casts, especially when you have some ponderosas and willows right behind you.

One should note that, despite needing nearly impeccable cast stroke timing, placement of the flies seemed to be a breeze. Employing good form will result in pretty good accuracy.

Floatation

Tip floatation with Rio, in my experience, is great at first but over time, can be a bit of an issue. The MaxFloat tip coating really does help but, of course, this will wear off with use.

If you’re using heavier lines, the tip will obviously begin to penetrate the surface tension a little quicker too. I did find, however, that using mono leaders and tippets (vs fluoro) did keep the line tip afloat longer. Small to medium dry fly fishing and nymphing with an indicator were perfect for this line.

Remember, regular cleaning will keep the PVC coating in better shape longer and keep the line riding higher longer.

Warranty

Rio has a 1-year warranty on their fly lines across the board.

Rio Perception In Touch Fly Line Review: My Personal Thoughts

Pros

  • The shortened belly/head really does load the rod better in tight areas. 40 foot back casts be damned, you won’t need much length to make good shots. However, you can still make some good, quick, distance shots with this line too.
  • Roll casting was a breeze. I would think this is also due to the shorter head. More of the line’s weight is concentrated in a shorter area of the line. It seemed to allow for great roll casts.
  • The line’s overall texture and finish seem to work well for a lot of temperature ranges, even bitter cold weather
  • InTouch’s low-stretch core seems to help you miss fewer takes.

Cons

  • For more advanced anglers, the color scheme seems to be in reverse. I would prefer to have a brighter green running line and a “camo” belly and tip section to fish a more stealthy presentation. I don’t need help finding my flies or a small indicator in the drift.
  • You can’t be sloppy on your casts. Timing is important or you won’t get the full benefit of the line.
  • In hot weather, I feel that Rio’s coatings and PVC can almost feel too soft.

FAQs About Rio Perception In Touch Fly Line

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding Rio and the Perception fly lines:

Where is Rio made?

Rio lines are made in the USA. They are based in Idaho Falls, Idaho.

How long do fly lines last?

This answer varies greatly. Fly lines are not forever purchases. For those who only fish a few times per year, fly lines may last for years. For those who fish often and for professional guides whose gear is used daily, a person may go through one, two, or multiple lines in a year.

How do I keep my line floating higher?

Cleaning and care are important. Don’t step on your line and clean it with a specified line cleaner to keep it in tip-top shape.

Why would I need the Perception line?

Rio’s Perception line is small-water-specific. Its shorter head/belly length means you don’t have to have a ton of line out to make a cast. Standard lines will need more length out of the reel and the rod tip to ensure the weighted belly/head portion of the line is useable for the cast. More line in smaller water especially with lots of brush or timber isn’t good.

Luckily the perception line can handle medium-sized water too. For larger water, you may want to go with another standard line.

What is the most versatile fly line weight?

A 5wt rod and line combo is the most versatile. But there are times when a lighter or heavier weight will be more advantageous.

Should I break in my new fly line?

Yes. It’s a great idea to spool your line onto your reel and then break it in. You can pull off a few feet at a time and stretch it with your hands.

You can also put on an old leader, tie the leader to something sable, and walk back until all the fly line is off the reel (to the backing). You’ll want to hold the reel from spinning or crank the drag, point the rod at the leader (no tension/bend on the rod itself), and stretch the line a bit.

This will decrease the line’s unwanted “memory” and help straighten the coils from being on the spool and in the box.

Conclusion

All in all, my Rio Perception In Touch Fly Line Review has reminded me why it’s earned a spot in my personal arsenal. Rio’s half-size-heavy policy and their added proprietary technologies continue to perform and impress.

Shop The Rio Perception In Touch Fly Line

View the Rio Perception In Touch Fly Line and compare prices on AMAZON.

Photo of the Rio Perception Intouch Fly Line on top of table

While this isn’t a one-size-fits-all type of line, it’s a tool that most fly fishermen and women can add to the lineup to make situational fishing a bit easier to manage. Most of us do fish small lakes, ponds, and streams at least from time to time. This line will shine in those situations.

This line isn’t considered Rio’s top-tier. At $100 however, it gives you almost all the tech, bells, and whistles of Rio’s higher-end lines but in a slightly more wallet-friendly way. And just because it’s not my favorite performer in hot weather/warmer water situations, it really excels in all other temps and loads well for closer shots…especially with light-to-mid-size dries and nymph setups.

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Born and raised in Billings, MT, Nic was blessed to be brought up in an outdoor-minded family. Fishing and hunting were a part of his familial culture. Blame it on my Aquarius birth or some divine design but, from as early as he can remember, he had to be near or in the water. Guiding since the early 2000s, Nic has thousands of hours of fly fishing and guiding experience and has helped hundreds of people get into the sport of fly fishing, or better their skills as anglers.

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