This article may not be all that exciting for many of you, but some of you will shout for joy! Finally somebody took the time, and a lot of time, to fully explain why and what the RIO MOW Tip system is, does, means, and why you should be using it. If there is any confusion, please add comments and I'll improve or answer them.
What is a RIO MOW Tip?
When it comes to setting up spey gear we see more confusion over this little piece of gear than almost all others combined. Hopefully this article will make clear sense of these lines and give you enough education to make some wise purchases and hopefully hook a few extra fish.
What is a RIO MOW Tip?
RIO MOW Tips are a hybrid 10' tip that can be part floating and part sinking. If you want to fish deep then you'll get 10' of full sinking material. If you want to fish shallow, you'll also use a 10' tip but only 2.5' will sink and 7.5' will float. A bit deeper and you'll fish 5' sinking combined with 5' floating.
The diagram below shows the 4 various tips. They range from full 10' of floating to full 10' of sinking with a few combos at 2.5' increments.
*this is a picture of a common MOW tip. The total length is 10' and in this example 2.5' is sink tip, 7.5' is floating.
Why Use a RIO MOW Tip?
This system allows you to track, control, and fish your fly accurately. It was born out of necessity for precise spey fishing. The casters that invented the idea wanted to know pretty exactly where their fly was and this system utilizing a floating head with a short sink tip allowed them to reach over the top of boulders, ledges, logs, and know precisely where their fly was in order to control its speed and drift. Prior to the invention of MOW tips, many anglers used much longer sink tips, often 15', that would sink slowly. While these certainly have their place, RIO MOW tips have become very common and practically standard for casters using Skagit lines.
What do the Numbers T-8, T-11, T-14, and T-17 mean?
RIO MOW Tips essentially "complete" a Skagit line. Without the added mass of the RIO MOW Tip your Skagit head will not cast properly. The term "T-11" for instance refers to the # of grains per inch in that sink tip. T-11 for 10' = 110 Grains. T-14 at 14 grains per inch = 140 grains. All MOW tips whether floating, part sinking, or full sinking will weight either 8, 11, 14, or 17 grains per inch.
Why is this important? Because now ALL your tips will weigh the same and they'll cast the same! Your floating tip should cast pretty much the same as your floating tip. It's a great system once you understand it. Now you just need to figure out whether your line needs T-8, T-11, T-14, or T-17.
How to Choose a RIO MOW Tip
In an attempt to make this simple, RIO categorizes their sink tips like this. when purchasing tips you'll simply refer to the corresponding chart here.
Determine whether your rod needs Light, Medium, Heavy, or Extra Heavy tips.
Determine if you want traditional RIO MOW Tips or Intermediate iMOW Tips.
Traditional RIO MOW Tips have floating/sinking combos and iMOW Tips have sinking/intermediate sections. The iMOW system makes a smoother transition between a floating Skagit head and your fly, or if you are using an Intermediate Sinking Head you MUST use iMOW.
Most anglers are using floating Skagit heads and prefer standard MOW tips so that they have great control.
Choosing which tips to purchase.
If you are starting from scratch then I strongly recommend that you buy the entire kit. These are a great investment for any switch or spey rod owner and in order to take full advantage of the investment you made in the hardware, you must have the corresponding sink tips.
What tips are ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL?
Ok, so you don't want to spring for the whole kit. I suggest you look towards accumulating 4-6 RIO MOW Tips eventually but for now most anglers can survive with a full sink tip and a 5' floating/5' sinking.
Click Below to Purchase Tips