I have the Burkie 8139 as well, and am throwing the Airflo Skagit 9/10, along w/ Airflo's floating running line (smaller of the two diameters). Love the combination. Others who are throwing the same head on this rod prefer the 8/9, and it may be more in line w/ the prefered grains for the 8139. Particularly w/ the heavy sink tips like 12' of T-16. I hope to try the 8/9 at a clave this year, see if I like the fewer grains better or not... That said, I'm generally using 15' Type 3, 6, and 8 tips at 119 grains each (kyped from a rio windcutter 7/8/9 tips line), and love the combination. Feel it covers all my situations and fishing needs relative to tips.
I haven't cast Rio's skagit. Something that concerned me tho, was the "cheater" that is used to dial in the length. Fished the Rio windcutter tips line prior to the skagit, and didn't like the multiple loop connections associated with that line. the hing effect was a PIA, and I felt took away from casting effectiveness. But that may just be me...
The other think I like about Airflo's, running line wears out, easy to replace, or cut and re-loop. Suppose you could do that to the Rio, by making it a seperate head if the running line ever wore out...
Rio now makes Skagit heads without the integrated running line, which makes them much more useful, in my opinion. One reel with running line and multiple heads and you're set for Skagit with several rods.
Rios have basically no front taper, so turn over very hard, allowing easier casts with heavier tips and larger flies. With lighter tips and medium sized flies, they are, in my opinion, fairly clunky. Airflos have more of a front taper, so cast better and fly longer, but don't handle the big heavy stuff as well. Both do the job well, but there is a tradeoff between smooth casting and carrying a heavy load.
I think the cheaters are a sham, to get you to buy more junk. Plus the loops are a bit disconcerting. That being said I fish a Rio 550 and I'm very happy with it. I just passed on the 60$ pack of cheaters or whatever.
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