New gear: RIO Kahuna LT strike indicator

Nymphing with indicators can be a pretty base sort of fly fishing—your cast is sometimes more of a heave rather than a truly clean delivery, and sometimes, because of the way indicators add wind drag, casts don’t always land where you want them to.

Thanks to RIO, though, that awkward nymph cast might be a thing of the past. The new Kahuna LT strike indicator slides onto your tippet and catches on the taper of your leader—it’s not looped on or tied on, and it doesn’t randomly slide up or down after a few casts. What’s best, though, as RIO’s Chris Walker explains, the slide-on indicator, which is essentially a hollow tube of floating fly line, allows you to make an actual fly cast.

That’s right … no more “chuck and duck” with a heavy nymph—just cast like you normally would.

The Kahuna LT comes in two sizes, thick and thin. The “thick” version is made from the same material uses to make its fly lines, but it’s got a hollow core and can float over bigger nymphs or weighted nymphs without sinking. The “thin” version is similar, but smaller in diameter, and is made to drift non-weighted or smaller nymphs.

The indicator comes in a variety of colors, and the white version can be altered with a simple magic marker to match the water conditions. This is particularly helpful on crystal-clear spring creeks and tailwaters that hold finicky, easily-spooked fish. Each pack contains a foot and a half of the material, and you can break off the desired amount from each strand. It also comes with a wire “threader” that will help you slide the indicator on to fine tippet.

But wait. That’s not all. The indicator, according to the folks at RIO, can also be used when swinging soft-hackle flies and even streamers. Sometimes the little “ticks” we miss on the swing are hard to detect—with th Kahuna LT indicator over your tippet, you can see more movement and likely catch more fish.

I’m anxious to give this material a shot, and we’ll let you know how it performs.

— Chris Hunt

By Chris Hunt.