Sinking line selection

Discussion in 'Stillwater' started by IveofIone, Sep 23, 2009.

  1. IveofIone Active Member

    Posts: 2,947
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    Ratings: +884 / 0
    I have met a couple of fly fishing noobs lately and the conversation always seems to get around to line selection for lake fishing. Because I mostly fish alone, I don't get much input on what everybody else is doing. I have my own ideas of course but I don't necessarily want to burden a noobie with my possibly eccentric opinions. And since I have over a dozen lines for lake fishing and use them all it is hard to give specific advice.

    Let's assume that everybody has at least a floating line but what are your top 3 preferences after that? I would like to see if your opinions mesh with mine or where we differ.

    Thanks, Ive
  2. Sean Beauchamp Teepee Creatchin'

    Posts: 2,067
    Shoreline, WA, U.S.
    Ratings: +369 / 1
    intermediate shooting head with floating running line (i have an outbound). turns over big streamers really well. it isnt stealthy but neither are large articulated flies.

    type III or IV. really versatile. great for trolling and searching around the lake and good for casting and stripping from 4-8 foot deep. deeper if you waait and strip slow or troll. really great for ripping flies around at mach speed yet still staying 3 feet down.

    type VII. love that line. allows you to strip quickly and maintain depth. its possible to strip the living crap outta your fly and still be down 10+' all the way back to your boat. if you troll it or fish slow you can hit 20+ feet. no one does that and they are missing out.

    standard intermediates are also pretty clutch in certain applications and i would make that #4 on the list. damsels and scuds when there is wind namely. its also stealthier in shallow, clear water where spooky fish are cruising. outperforms a floater when fishing subsurface in that scenario IMO
  3. Trout Master Active Member

    I use a floater rio trout something or other. A cortland clear intermediate, a rio type VI, and a SA type III sink tip.
  4. Islander Steve

    Posts: 2,144
    Langley, Wa..
    Ratings: +163 / 5
    Clear Intermediate, integrated sink tip type III, and a full sink.

    I also have multi-tip lines for my 5wt and 6wt. They have a floater, intermediate, Type III, and type V tips. If I think I will be changing a lot (new water, changing weather, etc.) I'll bring the multi-tips. It's much easier to swap tips than spools in the pontoon boat.
  5. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,267
    Kitsap Peninsula
    Ratings: +1,233 / 9
    cortland clear camo intermediate. Type III and in some instances a Type VI if wherever I'm fishing is known to be very deep. Three spools (float, Int, III normally) covers all that I know how to do right now. I do have multi-tip lines like Steve mentioned, but have not yet used them in stillwater. I prefer to change spools I guess. Maybe I'll try the tips instead.
  6. CoastalCutt Member

    Posts: 547
    North Bend, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    If I had ONE line other than afloater, it would be a clear intermediate such as the RIO Aqualux. You can let it sink, troll it slow, troll it fast, its depth is pretty much governed by your retrieve and or actions.

    Another line that are very valuable are full sinkers, such as RIO's Deep 7 like Sean stated.
    Those two plus a floater will cover almost any stillwater situation I can think of in WA you may encounter.
  7. sportsman Active Member

    Posts: 743
    Kirkland, wa., 98034.
    Ratings: +48 / 0
    I got to the point that it took longer to get all my rods and lines together than I spent fishing...so I pared it down to 4 lines, 2 rods[a 4 and 5 weight], 2 reels and 2 extra spools: 1. SA GPX 2. Rio Aqualux 3. Rio type 3. 4 Rio Deep 6....this line is money...got it in a 4 weight, casts great and will get you into fish 40' or deeper!
  8. Krystoff Member

    Posts: 236
    Woodinville, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I have a WF5F and a clearish intermediate sinking line that I bought from WFF. Since I don't own any other lines those would be my top 2.

    Next I would like to get an actual sinking line, maybe a type 4 or 5. If I got anything bigger I would have to alter my retrieve as I don't think I strip fast enough. I am sure trolling around in my slow tube a 4 or 5 will keep me pretty deep.
  9. Jay Burman Experienced Ne'r do well and Layabout.

    Posts: 298
    Snoqualmie, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +10 / 0
    I use mostly a type 4 sinking line and sometimes (especially during the Damsel hatch) I will use my clear type 1. Sink tip lines line don't seem to work as well for still water; a full sink works better and I'm not sure why. Also, when I use any sinking line I have more success using unweighted flies (no bead or cone heads). I think the presentation is more natural. Those are just my thoughts. I could be wrong.
  10. TD Active Member

    Posts: 735
    North End
    Ratings: +112 / 0
    Floating Line
    Type 6 Full Sink
    Type 6 Sink Tip
  11. Chris Reagan Member

    Posts: 89
    kenmore wa
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I also only have two sub surface lines, an orvis clear intermediate and a fast sink tip for my floater. This is my first season with the clear int. and I'm definitely getting into more fish with it.
  12. Sean Beauchamp Teepee Creatchin'

    Posts: 2,067
    Shoreline, WA, U.S.
    Ratings: +369 / 1
    i fish stillwaters a lot. and just dont understand the sink tip idea. just doesnt make sense to me and doesnt fit my style of fishing.

    casting to cover and stripping back keeping flies >1-3' below the surface. makes sense i guess. crawling nymphs to the surface? ok.

    but i just dont see it being more efficient than a full sink. a full sink stays down (speed of retrieve and line density relative) throughout the retrieve fishing at depth back to the boat where indecisive fish eat. fish a sink tip the same way and it will want to climb to the surface.

    whats the difference between a type VI tip and a type III full sink? it seems they will fish the same depth but the full sink is gonna fish all the way back, keep a straighter line between rod tip and fly (no hinge effect) and cast better.

    for the sake of debate sink tippers. what say you? :beer2:

    to each his own. in fly fishing there is never a right answer (unless the question is brown or bow). just curious if there is something i'm missing.
  13. TD Active Member

    Posts: 735
    North End
    Ratings: +112 / 0
    Hey Sean - Good question. I also have a type 3 full sink. I like the faster sinking rate on my sink tip because it seems to stay down at depth better when I'm trolling a lake. I troll quite a bit with my sons because they are just learning to cast. I also like the fact that when I'm helping them out I can let the line sit idle for several minutes and it rarely will end up on the bottom.

    I originally got the sink tip to fish lakes and rivers because I didn't have extra money to spend on more lines, spools, backing etc.. Last year I picked up the type 3 and haven't really done well with it. This may because I've used the sink tip and full sink line for 10 years or more so I'm more comfortable with them and fish them better.
  14. Stonefish Triploid and Humpy Hater

    Posts: 3,769
    Pipers Creek
    Ratings: +1,163 / 1
    Rio Aqualux Intermediate
    SA Type III Full Sink
    SA Type VI Full Sink

    10' Type II or III Sink Tip if I don't need the Type VI full sinker at a particular lake.

    Sean.
    I find the type VI full sinker great for vertical chironomid fishing. I like how fast it gets down versus a type III.
    I started using the VI after an old guy just put on a clinic for me about 20 years ago at Dry Falls.
  15. sportsman Active Member

    Posts: 743
    Kirkland, wa., 98034.
    Ratings: +48 / 0
    Sean, you've got my vote! I switched to full sinks a few years ago and hook-ups went way up. Make sure you get 'Density Compensated' lines and a lot of those 'hits' will be fish to hand! I was a big SA fan[still love the GPX"s], but the fairly new RIO Lake series of lines are awesome. They seem to sink a little faster than the SA lines, but shoot much better....just my 2 cents!
  16. Islander Steve

    Posts: 2,144
    Langley, Wa..
    Ratings: +163 / 5
    Whether I use a sink-tip or a full sink usually depends on the water depth or how I want to present my fly. Both have their purpose. The sink-tip is great in shallow lakes (ie. Lone) in that you can have a lot of line out (cover more water) and not snag the bottom as much. I use mine as somewhat of a shooting head also. Treat the floating part as your running line, it will throw my Pass Lake streamers nicely. If you want to contol depth close in or just get it down and fish it deep, then the full sink wins out. It is also a quick "poor man's chironomid set up" as Stonefish noted. That's why I carry both.
  17. gator7354 Member

    Posts: 42
    Greenacres, WA
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    Clear Intermediate
    Type III
    Rio Deep 7

    My clear Intermediate and Deep 7 see the bulk of the time on my reel. The only time I use the Deep 7 is fishing leeches and chronomids/bloodworms, but that's at least 50% of my fishing. My Intermediate is the one line I would not want to be without. My Type III line at times acquires a lot of dust, but I still want it in my vest.
    Good question Ive.
  18. Gorgefly Member

    Posts: 465
    Washougal, Wa.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Cortland Clear Camo Intermediate
    Airflo sixth sense type III full sink
    " " type 7 full sink
    ...and of course a floater
  19. IveofIone Active Member

    Posts: 2,947
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    Ratings: +884 / 0
    Much of this dovetails with what I have been doing. The Cortland Clear Camo Intermediate has been my go-to lake line for years followed closely by a Type VI full sink. Between those I have a variety of III's IV's and various sink tips but their use has never become as clearly defined as the intermediate and the VI. I need to modernize some of my lines and have heard some good suggestions here. I also have a better idea of what to tell the noobs.

    But I have a question about the vari-tip lines and their loop-to-loop connection. Since most are in the neighborhood of 12', doesn't retrieving that connection when landing a fish pose some problems? I often have difficulty just bringing the fly line to leader connection through the tip top smoothly even though I make precise nail knot connections and smooth them over with glue.

    One thing I am relatively certain of though is that I catch more fish using floro than regular mono tippet material. I have waited several years to say that unequivocally but by now there is little doubt.

    Thanks for all your input.

    Ive
  20. Go Fish Language, its a virus

    Posts: 1,259
    Rheomode, Wa.
    Ratings: +72 / 0
    I have been fishing the Clear Camo for
    over 10 years. It has been my go-to
    lake line. I'll even use it in deeper lakes
    (like Dry Falls or Cady) with a long line weighted
    dropper. It's not a true intermediate line
    because it will continue to sink if you are
    not moving very fast which allows your fly
    to be at the correct depth for a longer
    period of time.

    Dave