Jun 3, 2015

The Genius of RIO’s Skagit MOW and iMOW Tips

Originally brought forth by the “3 Speyketeers” as I call them, Mike McCune/Scott O’Donnell and Ed Ward (Hence the name MOW…McCune-O’Donnell-Ward). The MOW System is nothing short of brilliant!


Available in Light (T-8 format 7.0 ips), Medium (T-11, 8.0 ips), Heavy (T-14 format @9.0 ips) and Extra Heavy (T-17, 10.0 ips) .

Each MOW Family (Series) has 6 “Family Members” consisting of the following:
                10’ Floating Tip
10’ Sinking Tip
12.5” Sinking Tip
THEN….the 3 MOW’s…..7.5 x 2.5 (7.5 Floating integrated into 2.5 of given make up say medium as an example in T-11). 2nd MOW is a 5 x 5 (5’ of Floating integrated into 5’ on sinking).MOW #3 is a 2.5 x 7.5 (2.5 of Floating Integrated into 7.5 of sinking).

MOW Tip Kits
There are two ways to get these 6 family members, either individually or in a MOW Kit (Say, a MOW Medium Kit as an example).


Practical Usages as prescribed below….

10’ Floating Tip : The MOW system is built for use with Skagit Style Spey Lines . Regardless of Skagit “Type” (RIO formula’s include Skagit Max Short, Skagit Max & Skagit Max Long) the MOW’s are formulated to play in the Skagit line theater. The 10’ Floating Tip is a quick way to “Ala Carte” your Skagit Line into a Full Floating use line.

10’ and 12.5’ Sink Tips: Available throughout the MOW Range (Light/Medium/Heavy/EX Heavy), these practical length sink tips play incredibly well with a wide range of Spey and switch rods making them a wonderful addition to the standard “Traditional” 15’ sink tips (Intermediate/Type 3, 6 and Type 8). These 2 sink tips will provide the Angler with sink rates from 7.0 ips (Light T-8) all the way to 10.0 ips (EX Heavy T-17)that will cover a wide range of use from Alaskan Kings to Tierra Del Fuego Sea Run Browns as well as the full gamut of Steelhead application.

The 3 True MOW’s

Here is where the absolute Genius of the MOW boys shines brightest !  Given that any “Cut” sink tip under 9’ is likely going to basically become a boomerang/tumbler within the cast that will prove to be ugly at best and ultra frustrating at worst. The “Integration Format” that McCune/Scotty O and Ed brought to the table from their “Chop Shop” artistry days providing the stability/cast-ability of a 10’ common denominator in overall length coupled with the desirable “Baby Tips” making for one of the all time great innovations.

7.5 x 2.5 (2.5 being the Sinking Portion): True “Rock Garden/Tail Out Probe Tool”. One could think of a 15’ Type 3 in this instance but the beauty of the MOW idea/format is that the mere 2.5 sinking portion is simply unrivaled when it comes to sliding around and thru such haunts. The traditional 15’ sink tip or even the 10’ and 12.5” MOW Sink Tip family members are all prone to “Swing Drag Thru” often catching/hanging up and killing any real chance at a follow and/or GRAB.

5 x5 (5’ Floating with 5’ Sinking):  Again, another Rock Garden probe but long enough to provide quick drop for given slots particularly in ledge rock environments found in many Steelhead streams. The 5 x 5  MOW Heavy (T-14 Format) is a great one for such a task where the angler needs a quick drop into a slot where he’ll need to engage quickly in order to be in that zone/slot target area. Lots of Pacific Northwest watersheds feature just such places making the 5 x 5 MOW a handy tool.

2.5 x 7.5 (7.5 being the sinking portion): My personal favorite in both the standard MOW as well as IMOW (See Below). This “Baby Tip” if you will has tons of application for a host of fisheries most certainly including the trout game. Given water depth and speed considerations often play perfectly into the hands of the 2.5 x 7.5 MOW quite often in the MOW Medium (T-11) format. Incredibly versatile sliding thru the boulders and swinging “All The way In” giving both “The Long Followers and The Down Below You” Critters time and opportunity to run down or run into your swung offering.

iMOW Family

The innovation of the Intermediate style Skagit Heads necessitated the invention of the iMOW in order to accommodate MOW usage with such an Intermediate format head (Substituting Integrated Intermediate VS Floating as found in the original MOW format), this is the obvious use of an iMOW but certainly not limited to an iFlight/IMAX format line. I personally love the iMOW’s, as a general MOW use tool as they can, and do have their place covering a host of angling waters particularly where you know going in, that the bottom format is relatively clean but needing “Less” of a given sink tip. iMOW’s come in LIGHT/Medium and Heavy. Kits have 6 family members with the previously mentioned 10’ floating Tip subbed out for a 10’ Intermediate tip.

iMOW Family:
                10’ Intermediate Tip
10’ Sink Tip
12.5” Sinking Tip
       The 3 iMOW’s
7.5 x 2.5 (7.5 is intermediate integrated to 2.5 of given sink tip say iMOW Heavy T-14 as an example)
5 x 5 IMOW
2.5 x 7.5 IMOW

Al in all, the MOW Families have a lot to offer the Spey and Switch Rod enthusiast. I can tell you with absolute confidence that every angler out there has/knows places that are “Made To Order” for MOW use, in particular the 3 True MOW tips. The Spey community owes a lot to the genius of the “3 Speyketeers “ Mike Mc Cune, Scott O’Donnell and Ed Ward.




George Cook
Anglers Rendezvous
Northwest Representative
Sage, Rio, Redington




"Fly Fish the World with Us"


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