New generation sinking lines

Discussion in 'Stillwater' started by troutpocket, Jul 12, 2011.

  1. troutpocket

    troutpocket Active Member

    Over the past couple seasons I’ve picked up a couple of lines that have made my time on the water more productive and am wondering if anyone else has come to the same conclusion.

    It started several years back when I came to the realization that I don’t like clear lines. I’ve tried the Cortland Clear Camo, Rio Aqualux, Airflo slow intermediate, and the Orvis Sly lines with equal results; they don’t cast well in cold weather. And I do most of my stillwater trouting when it’s cold. Yes, I stretch them (and all my other lines, too) but I don’t care for how they handle. I found an old-school Cortland Intermediate (sky blue) that I liked much better and fished it for a year or so but got to thinking that there had to be some innovations in sinking lines since the 90’s.

    Two years ago I bought a Rio Outbound Hover 5 weight on the recommendation of a fly shop that guides on the trophy stillwaters of central Oregon. Friggin’ fantastic line! If you like to do the Rickards thing with intermediate lines, give this one a try. The shooting head taper practically casts itself and it is the slowest sinking intermediate I’ve found. This one gets it done in the top 6'.

    This spring I called the shop back to thank them for their help with my quest and ask what they fish for a fast sink in lakes. They asked me if I’m a caster or a troller. I don’t do much trolling so their recommendation was the Sharkskin Streamer Express 150 gr. It’s a type 5 sinking head mated to an intermediate running line. The first several feet of the running line are a nice fat diameter that makes handling much nicer than most super-fine diameter fast sinkers. I fished it in a few lakes this spring where I like to work my buggers and dragon nymphs down in the 15-30’ range with outstanding results. This line zips out, gets down, and handles much nicer than my 10 year old uniform sink type 6.

    I don’t mean to be a commercial here. I’m mainly just excited that there is a great alternative to that damn clear camo :)
  2. Brian Thomas

    Brian Thomas Active Member

    I`m not a fan of the clear lines either , nor uniform sinking lines . I think they sink too fast , especially the Rio Aqualux . The blue Cortland was the best I`ve used , closely followed by a snot-green Airflo . I`m on the prowl for a fast sinker in a five weight , I`ll take a look at the Sharkskin .
  3. Drifter

    Drifter Active Member

    Good info
  4. Go Fish

    Go Fish Language, its a virus

    I'm one of the oddballs that likes the
    Clear Camo and uniform sink lines. Sure they
    both have issues but they are easily fixed.
    I do look forward to trying these new lines when
    it comes time to buy something else but being
    cheap I'll wait until what I have wears out.

    But the Rio sounds tempting!

  5. Topstoy

    Topstoy Member

    A few years back Rickards reccomended to me the Cortland Camo and I have loved it. It has made a difference for me. Yet I haven't fished much in the real cold weather as I am more of a fair weather fisher. I am thinking of another sinking line, I might check this out. Thanks!
  6. Jeff Dodd

    Jeff Dodd Active Member

    yes, good information TP. Thanks for sharing.
  7. jessejames

    jessejames Flyslinger

    Wulff Triangle taper in blue green. It is less than a 1" per second sink. I would say it is a hover. Soft supple and casts like a dream.
    I think it comes in 4-7 weight.
  8. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

    I like the cortland clear camo. It is the only cortland line that I've had any good luck with. I have not tried the SA Sharkskin Streamer Express, but I'm intrigued. I have been fishing the clear camo and another full sinking line on my 5wt in lakes and thanks to Ford Fenders I'm getting to like that sinking presentation method.
  9. Rob Ast

    Rob Ast Active Member

    I recently got a 5wt Rio deepsix line for deep chironomid work and trolling deeper spots. However when I got it out to the lake I was amazed at how well it cast, and now find myself primarily fishing it in a cast-and-retrieve fashion.
  10. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

    Ditto. Although I do most of my lake fishing in warmer conditions (wet side lowland lakes), this info is good to know.
    I had cut my old 6 wt Airflo slow clear-intermediate with my trolling motor prop, luckily at about 12 feet from the tip, so I put it back together with a loop 2 loop connection. Then the running line of my old 6 wt Airflo multi-tip went caput (coating finally cracked and peeled in places after getting stepped on, dragged over logs and rocks, etc), so I am going to try the heavier sink tips off the end of the old clear intermediate, just to see how it works.
    Only problem is that I always seem to use my newer 6 wt Cortland Clear Camo, or my type 3, and put off trying out the mongrelized combo until later.
  11. troutpocket

    troutpocket Active Member

    I realize that the root of my complaints leads back to when and where I prefer to fish; early and late season when temps don't typically get above freezing until the sun has been on the water for a while. It's no good to drive 10 hours to eastern ID or SW MT and have to fight your equipment during the prime fishing hours before sunrise or after sunset!
  12. Islander

    Islander Steve

    That's "pig hunting" time. Great info on the the lines. I'll have to check them out.
  13. IveofIone

    IveofIone Active Member

    Steve, a new line might help you with those golden carp at Blue Lake!

  14. I like my new integrated shooting head (Ambush) floater so well, I'm going to pick up an intermediate sinker; probably the Rio Outbound Short Coldwater.
  15. JMitchell

    JMitchell Active Member


    I"m guessing this was the Stillwater flyshop in Sunriver, OR. I have been in there a couple times over the last few years and they gave me the same info on the Sharkskin 150. If it was this shop, those guys are super helpful and know their stillwaters.

  16. troutpocket

    troutpocket Active Member

  17. Islander

    Islander Steve

    I need all the help I can get!! I'm hoping for an extended Fall trip. So I'll be spending a few days at Blue for sure.
  18. JMitchell

    JMitchell Active Member

    Which sink rate on the hover did you buy? I'm assuming the 1.0 ips. Before you mentioned this, I had never heard of it. I really am a fan of the clear camo, but it does not do well in cooler weather as you say.

  19. troutpocket

    troutpocket Active Member

    Yes, the 1.0 ips sink rate. Color is glacial . . .kind of a blue/grey.
  20. Nick Clayton

    Nick Clayton Active Member

    Great info. Thanks for sharing.

    Curious, what issue do you find with the clear lines in the colder temps? I picked up a Rio clear 5 wt intermediate a couple months ago to use in the local lakes. I find that it casts EXTREMELY well on my Z Axis 590, but I have yet to take it out in any cold temps. The fly shop that sold it to me went on and on about the technology and how it doesn't stand out in the water and etc... but basically I was just in search of an all around intermediate line and went with it. The technology and all that was interesting, but all I really care about is that it casts like a dream and presents my fly well.