RIO Turns 30

August 4, 2020 By: Spencer Durrant

Fly line, leader and tippet company, RIO Products, proudly announces its 30th anniversary. RIO was “born” on July 27th, 1990 and started its fly fishing business in Blackfoot, ID. Founders Jim & Kitty Vincent named the company “RIO” after the Rio Colorado in Costa Rica where they ran a tarpon camp.

RIO’s beginning was innovative, evolving to a simple product selection of hand tied leaders, waterproof labels, and a fly line spooling/storage system. With the company started, Jim & Kitty decided to concentrate on fly fishing terminal tackle and expanded into knotless tapered leaders and spools of tippet. In 1992, Jim designed the WindCutter and Accelerator specialty Spey lines. In 1997, RIO moved to Idaho Falls and started to manufacture its own fly lines, with the first purpose-designed Spey line, the WindCutter, becoming a popular cult hit around the world.  

Under the entrepreneurial guidance of lifelong “fly fishing bum” Jim, with Kitty’s marketing expertise, RIO continued to advance its product offerings and increase its market share with niche, specialty-focused fly line tapers that anglers found performed better than the generic fly line tapers of the day. RIO grew from an “upstart” challenger brand to become the leading fly line, leader and tippet company in the world.

In November 2005, Jim & Kitty sold RIO to the owners of renowned fly fishing brands Sage and Redington, and with this acquisition, Far Bank Enterprises was created. From that day, RIO has continued to grow and expand its product selection with award-winning fly lines, leaders and tippet materials, and in 2019 RIO continued its “Make The Connection” theme, by adding a wide range of high quality flies – both popular patterns, and unique, custom flies designed by the internal RIO team.

RIO’s 30th birthday year saw the introduction of the R&D team’s finest creation with SlickCast – the slickest, most durable coating on the market, producing the least amount of friction ever measured on a fly line. With developments like this, RIO is sure to be going strong for another 30+ years.