I1 dynein, or dynein f, is a highly conserved inner arm isoform that plays a key role in the regulation of flagellar motility. To understand how the IC138 IC/LC subcomplex modulates I1 activity, we characterized the molecular lesions and motility phenotypes of several bop5 alleles. bop5-3, bop5-4, and bop5-5 are null alleles, whereas bop5-6 is an intron mutation that reduces IC138 expression. I1 dynein assembles into the axoneme, but the IC138 IC/LC subcomplex is missing. bop5 strains, like other I1 mutants, swim forward with reduced swimming velocities and display an impaired reversal response during photoshock. Unlike mutants lacking the entire I1 dynein, however, bop5 strains exhibit normal phototaxis. bop5 defects are rescued by transformation with the wild-type IC138 gene. Analysis of flagellar waveforms reveals that loss of the IC138 subcomplex reduces shear amplitude, sliding velocities, and the speed of bend propagation in vivo, consistent with the reduction in microtubule sliding velocities observed in vitro. The results indicate that the IC138 IC/LC subcomplex is necessary to generate an efficient waveform for optimal motility, but it is not essential for phototaxis. These findings have significant implications for the mechanisms by which IC/LC complexes regulate dynein motor activity independent of effects on cargo binding or complex stability.