Rio Skagit Trout Max VS OPST Commando Head

Both of these heads are created to fill the "Trout Spey" market. This post is to describe some of the characteristics of the heads and how to pick one to use depending on your fishing situation.

The OPST in the picture is at 250gr at 13.5' (different grain weight head varies in length) and the Rio is at 225gr at 11' (all of their heads are at 11'). I used both of these heads on my 6wt converted fly rod.

Since these heads are compact and heavy, you would want to use the appropriate running line for them to cast properly. I use the OPST 35LB Lazer running with both of them.

Presentation- The OPST provided a smoother presentation with the longer head length.
Loading the rod- The Rio definitely loaded the rod faster with the shorter compact head.
Spey Casting - Casting these shorter heads, compact strokes are necessary. You would want to slow down your cast because pulling the anchor out of the water can happen easily. The OPST performs better with spey casting.
Overhead casting with both hands - Overhead casts are amazing on these two lines. But the Rio does overhead cast better in tighter quarters.

Pick the OPST if - you want a smoother presentation and spey cast more often than overhead cast.
Pick the Rio if - you want to quickly pick up your big heavy fly and launch it with very limited back room.


  1. Thank you for this comparison.
    I was looking for a way to fish tight to the bank with brush right in back of me.
    You point out that the Rio Trout Max would be better for this scenario.

    I like to "Czech nymph", but sometimes there is a nice run that is too broad to cast with my Rio European Nymph line (essentially running line so as not to have any line sag out the tip of the rod).
    I look forward to experimenting putting the Rio Skagit Trout Max head at the end my nymphing line, and fishing that run with an indicator. (With just a loop to loop connection that would be faster than changing lines to a Rio Switch Chucker like I do now.)
    And when I leave that broad run, it would be simple to remove the Rio Skagit Trout Max to go back to Czech nymphing.

    1. Apologize for missing your comment and being extremely late to respond. How did the line ended up working for you?


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