Lake Lines

I know this has been asked many times, I even searched back >1.5 years. So what 3 lines would I need ? I'm thinking full float, full/fast sink and ?. CLear tip, sink speed, what?
Hoping some lake guru can aim me in the right direction. Thanks.
Full sink 6 or 7, floating, and intermediate. Intermediate most of the time. I suppose there could be some arguement about whether a full type 6 or something like a 3 is more useful. Probably depends on the lakes you plan to fish.
Full sink 6 or 7, floating, and intermediate. Intermediate most of the time. I suppose there could be some arguement about whether a full type 6 or something like a 3 is more useful. Probably depends on the lakes you plan to fish.
Those are my choices as well. My fourth line is a Rio Aqualux in place of a type 3 sinker. The fifth is an clear intermediate sink tip but really only fish it if I'm wading the shoreline.
About the same for me: Rio Deep 6[ in a 4wt] Rio Aqualux Intermediate[ 5wt.] SA GPX Floater[ 4 & 5wt.] and usually a Rio Lake Type3 [ 5wt.] I usually fish 2 rods....a 4 & 5 wt. I have two of the same reels and two spare spools. This way I can pretty much use any line on either rod.


Do it outside!
I look like a bass fisherman when I go out.
3wt dry with chiro setup
5wt dry with chiro setup
5wt typ3 wet with nymph
8wt dry with popper for bass

When you fish out of a pram, there is little to no reason to go back to the truck for anything. :)

Tom Palmer

Active Member
I fish out of a SFC and don't leave rods at home either.
3wt floater (surface chiro or callibaetis generally)
4wt floater with indicater (gets the most use)
5wt clear intermediate sink
5wt type 6 sinker

The three lines mentioned already are ones I'd start with- floater, clear intermediate and full sink. You can fish 95% of the lakes quite well with them.

You already had two of the lines identified- floating and full sink. I would strongly recommend a clear intermediate for the third. For years I didn't realize how effective they are... but they allow you to present mayfly and damsel nymphs (among others) in a more lifelike manner then any other line. It's my second most used now after the floater.


Geriatric Skagit Swinger
Depending on the time of year, I will take up to 4-5 rods on my pontoon. When fully loaded this is what I carry:

5wt Full sink type six on a 4wt rod
3wt Floater for dry fly work.
4wt Floater for chironomids
5wt Wulff 10' intermediate tip for casting to shore or shallows
5wt 10' type six tip for intermediate depths.

However many times I just take three.

Full sink
Sink tip


Alex O'Brien
clear intermediate is what i use 90% of the time on stillwaters then a full floater and a 3sink tip for emergers I have been with washington fly fishing forum years now and this is my first post so you know I feel it was important to get my 2cents in that clear intermediate line is a must for lake fishing
I'm new to the lake game, doh, lots to learn, lots to learn.
Best game you'll ever play. Fascinating what goes on underwater, 90% of it unseen. Just have fun learning it all - best advice you can get.

About lines, they're anything but rocket science. Start with two, and get your third when it makes'll know when that is. Beyond 3 it's a steep slope of diminishing returns (I have 15 years in, last 5 studying SW exclusively, yet I'm using a Type V almost 100% of the time... if that says anything...maybe not:hmmm:). Anyhow, for the two, grab a floater and a fast sink. For the sinker I'd go IV or V...past that you're going where the fish generally aren't. Surface to 15 ft should be your playground 90+ percent of the time, and that's generous...I don't go beyond 10 ft very often...consider their field of vision, not just the location of their bodies...moreover what depths they'll feed and hang out most of the time given temps, food location, cover, etc...never mind the myriad of factors, they all tend to point back to the playground...that zone from surface to 10 or 15 ft.

Oh, for the floater get whatever...if you're doing it right you won't be using it much anyway. I'd say find one that casts effectively for any skill level. Any shop around here will put you into a good one. And if/when you get around to a third, I'd go with a Type II. Couple of other thoughts: SA Mastery is an excellent choice for any sinker; Line color is about as important as fly if you're doing it right (clear lines aren't bad...they aren't good most gear they affect how a fisherman might part with his money and not much else); Sink tips belong in rivers - nothing more than a reverse belly in stillwater; That's probably plenty for now. Lucky you, I'm gonna stop.

If you forget all that, just go with this: For any sinker get the newer style density compensated line. Trust me. Surprised no mention of it till now.

Good luck! And if you're not having're not doing it right :clown:


B.O.H.I.C.A. bend over here it comes again
I use an intermediate line most of the time, the rest of the time I like the full sink line. If your new I'd say go with the intermediate line and get that dialed in and branch out to the other lines from there.