Thoughts - sink tip for floating line

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Brian White, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. Brian White Recovering Bugmeister/Troutlandish?

    A few months ago I found myself fishing the Blackfoot and getting frustrated because I was having to tie on the heaviest streamer possible and add a bunch o' split just to try to get it down where I wanted it. Hey if I want to try to throw my weight around and get ignored I can just do that at home! :)

    I want to start using a sinking tip, but don't want to swap out spools for another line - my preference is just to use some kind of loop to loop connection sinking tip that I can just add to the end of my floating line when circumstances dictate.

    Anyone have any suggestions? My day-to-day 6 wt line is floating GPX WF. As additional data-point, I plan to use primarily in bigger rivers but more bank-pounding than deep dredging (though the Blackfoot and other area water occasionally calls for that too).


    Have always just fished my streamers on a floating line but feel like I need to change (aka brian)
  2. pcknshvl Member

    Posts: 555
    Ratings: +4 / 0
    Airflo (and probably others) makes sinking polyleaders for trout in various lengths and sink rates. I cast a 10' super fast sink polyleader and conehead zuddlers or zoo cougars with no trouble on a 5wt 9' rod with a Rio Gold floating line.

    The other option is to get a new, multi-tip line. I like the Rio Versi-tip (which I have for my 8wt) and like it fine. There's a long, recent thread here somewhere on the multi-tip lines.

  3. Old Man Just an Old Man

    Posts: 21,535
    Dillon, Mt
    Ratings: +1,626 / 0
    I use a Sink tip line . I believe that it is a 6wt and it is a 333. I use this line on the Beaverhead. But I also use a long leader with my floating line.
  4. Richard Olmstead BigDog

    Posts: 2,479
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +782 / 0
    I have a few loop to loop sink tips that are/were marketed by Cortland, I believe. The one I use most is 10' and type VI, so it sinks pretty fast. If you are trying to get real deep in a big river, this sort of solution may not work. The big advantage for me is that I can switch from a floater to a sink tip in just a couple of minutes. I keep a leader on the sink tip, so all I need to do is remove the leader from the floating line and attach the sink tip/leader and tie on a fly and I'm ready to go.

  5. Nooksack Mac Active Member

    Posts: 1,943
    Bellingham, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +109 / 0
    You can't add a substantial sink tip to the front of a tapered floating line and expect it to turn over/straighten out in the forward cast. There's just not enough remaining energy. Do what spey fishermen do routinely: get a separate floating line, cut off the front taper back to the larger belly diameter. Add a loop (braided or fold the end back on itself and tie it with monofilament nail knots or tying thread wraps). Yes, you'll need a separate spool and backing; or you can remove one line and attach the other (use loop-to-loop connections to the backing line). Sorry, but that's what you'll have to do. The laws of physics, especially momentum, demand it.
  6. Richard Olmstead BigDog

    Posts: 2,479
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +782 / 0
    The "sink tips" that pcknshvl and I mentioned are often sold as sinking 'leaders.' You use them with a short mono leader and a streamer, usually. They turn over fine on the end of a wt forward floating line, just like a leader does.

  7. MikeStark Member

    Posts: 68
    Cheney, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0

    This quote cracked me up! I'm going to borrow that one...
  8. fly-by Active Member

    Posts: 160
    Tangled in the Pines
    Ratings: +33 / 0
    Cortalnd Kerplunk lead core trolling line. Cheap, very dense and small diameter. Cut a few differenct lengths and put them in a leader wallet. For bank pounding you are pretty close in so a quick sink rate is more important than a pretty cast. Just chuck and duck.
  9. David Loy Senior Moment

    Posts: 2,388
    Wolf Bay
    Ratings: +314 / 1
    What Nooksak said. You could probably just cut the GPX at the back of the front taper, loop both ends and still fish it as a floater or with sink tips in a couple densities or lengths. I've done this with a SA Steelhead taper and like it much better than the Rio Versitip. Takes some cajones to cut a fresh line but it's worth it imo, if you don't want to carry or buy extra spools. While not perfect, the braided loops will slip through the guides better than a loop made by doubling back the fly line. Both work tho. Don't coat the braided loops though or they get fat. You may need to replace them every 100 outings or so. Not a biggie.
    If you need sink tips you could buy an extra fast sinking 30' shooting head and cut it at 10' or 12' for 2 tips of different lengths. Play with it until you land where you want. (FYI - Galloup is a fan of long tips.)
  10. Brian White Recovering Bugmeister/Troutlandish?

    Thanks all for the input. I think I am going to try the sinking polyleaders and just see how they feel. I am a little nervous about cutting a line and am also trying to avoid additional spools if I can help it, so I am going to start with the least cost/least risk option. Thanks again!
  11. Nooksack Mac Active Member

    Posts: 1,943
    Bellingham, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +109 / 0
    Brian, I'm leery about wacking up a new $60 line too. But there are dozens of fly lines sold on eBay every day, often for a fraction of the retail price. It doesn't hurt nearly as much to chop a $5-$25 line.
  12. triploidjunkie Active Member

    Posts: 2,281
    Grand Coulee, WA
    Ratings: +1,237 / 0
    me too
  13. FT Active Member

    Posts: 1,239
    Burlington, WA
    Ratings: +100 / 0

    I started to cut the front 10'-15' off a floating WF single-hand fly line to put loops in it so I could have interchangeable sink tips back in the summer of 1970 between my Junior and Senior years in High School. I didn't want to carry extra reel spools (or have to buy them on the $1.65 minimum wage job I had for the summer) and then have to unstring the rod in order to change sink rates or go from floating to sinking tip. Back then, there were a few sink tip lines on the market, but no multi-tip ones. These line had sink tips of usually 10' with a few that were 13'.

    Anyhow, I went out and bought a Cortland 444 line (I got this one because the local sporting goods store that had fly equipment carried only Cortland or a rather poor quality cheepo fly line) in WF6, cut it 10' from the tip, and whipped loops on the floating tip I just cut off the line and the end of the line's belly where I just cut it. I then bought two sinking ST in 6 wt, one that would now be called a type 2 and the other a type 3. I cut them 10' from the butt end because they already had a loop whipped on the butt end by Cortland. I very quickly found this was not a good way to go because the sink tips were a bit too heavy for the line, so they didn't unroll very nicely.

    From my next paycheck two weeks later, I bought two sinking ST's in 5 wt of the same type and cut them 10' from the butt. They worked better, but still didn't unroll very nicely, although they felt better when cast than the 6 wt ones.

    I decided to cut both the 6 wt ones and the 5 wt ones 12' from the tip of the ST and whip my own loops on the butt ends of them. This produced an eye-opening experience with both of the 5 wt tips. The felt great on the cut WF6 and unrolled wonderfully when cast. I had discovered the holy grail of interchangeable sink tips by nothing more than dumb luck and trial and error (an expensive way to do it given the low wages I was making and that I had to use to buy the lines). What it this holy grail of interchangeable lines you ask: simple, cut the single-hand line 10'-12' from the tip (unless it is a salmon steelhead taper, then cut it 15'-16' from the tip because they have longer front tapers), add loops to the line belly and the butt (cut) end of the tip you just cut off the line, and then take sinking shooting tapers (ST lines) one line size smaller than the floating line your rod ballances with, and cut it 10'-15' from the tip and add a loop to the butt end of this now sink tip. In fact, I learned that although the tapered front portion of the sinking ST unrolls best when cast, the butt end of the ST also makes a sink tip that feels good on the cut WF line provided you drop one line size for the sink tip.

    I was then able to change from floating to sinking tip line without having to change reel spools and restring my rod at will. A few years into college, I found out that west coast steelheader had been doing this for many years starting with lead core lines of various diameters (read pound test) and then with the tungsten impregnated sinking lines that hit the market in the early 1960's (which we can all than George McLeod and Leon Turtush at 3M for).

    Since you already have the WF floating line for your rod, just go out and buy some RIO 15' sink tips one line size smaller than your WF line, cut 3'-4' off the front of them, cut your WF line 10' from the tip and add braided loops to the floating tip and the belly. Walla, you have an interchangeable sink tip line that will cast and fish very well on your rod without having to go out and buy one of the multi-tip interchangeable-tip lines now on the market.
  14. Islander Steve

    Posts: 2,171
    Langley, Wa..
    Ratings: +177 / 6
    I use the Airflo Multi-tip lines on several of my rods. The main line is floating and comes with 4 loop to loop segments; floating, intermediate, type III and type V sinking. Works great for different applications.