SA Sonar Clear Camo review

troutpocket

Active Member
I’ve been holding off forming an opinion on this line until I put it through many days in a variety of conditions, especially cold water. Cold water has been a problem for me with a few different clear intermediate lines that coil up regardless of stretching.

The SA Sonar clear camo rocks. I have the 6 weight version on an old Sage ZXL 690 and it’s a great match. I do give it a mild stretch when I first strip line off the reel but after that, it’s ready to go. The appearance is a mottled translucent olive, similar to the original Cortland camo line. Prior to the SA, my go-to clear intermediate has been a RIO aqualux. The SA handles and casts about the same for me but it sinks a bit slower. The published sink rate is 1.25 inches per second (ips). In practical terms, I find that if I’m fishing in 5 feet of water and make a 60’ cast, I can get about three-quarters of my retrieve done using slow strips and an unweighted fly before I start ticking bottom. With an Aqualux (1.5-2 ips) I would only get maybe half my retrieve done.

The line provides great sensitivity to the fly. The low stretch core feels solid on strip sets even at 60’ distance. It’s overweighted by one line weight, which I like on full sink lines, especially on windy days. It’s not a super aggressive taper, which makes it easy to make gentle casts. After laying out on the water it takes 10-12 seconds for the full length of the line to break the surface tension and become fully submerged. This works for me since I am generally fishing this line in the shallows and I want to pause before starting my retrieve to avoid any disturbance on the surface.

I don’t think I would use this line for fishing much deeper than 8, maybe 10’. It sinks slow enough that I wouldn’t be confident I was getting deep enough. I would also choose another line for trolling if my target depth was deeper than the top 2-3’ of the water column. But for casting to the bank or working shallow flats, it’s a great option.


97A0EF65-9642-4B84-AD22-A0312E09AE41.jpeg
 

NW_flyfisher

if it's not this, then what?
Thank you for the report on this Rod. I just bought the SA Sonar clear camo intermediate last week, but haven’t used it yet. Now I know what to expect.
 

SquatchinSince86

Active Member
Thanks for the review. How would you compare it to the cortland camo? I am looking at replacing my lost Clear Ambush TT. Thanks worth the extra 30 bucks?
 

troutpocket

Active Member
Thanks for the review. How would you compare it to the cortland camo? I am looking at replacing my lost Clear Ambush TT. Thanks worth the extra 30 bucks?
I tried the Cortland camo line 15 years ago and traded it to a buddy after a handful of outings. At the time, the formula they used made for a stretchy, coiling nightmare in cold conditions. I can’t comment on if it has been improved.

RIO’s aqualux is killer and maybe a few $ less? Just depends on which sink rate will serve you best.
 

bakerite

Active Member
I got one on sale last fall, looking forward to using it! Also got a their 4 2 hover and 5 3 intermediate lines which both cast and fish well.
 

dp

~El Pescador
my aqualux is at the end of its life, so I am looking for another intermediate line.
I have a cortland intermediate on my second rod and it gets deeper than my current aqualux.
Both catch me a lot of fish!
 

SquatchinSince86

Active Member
my aqualux is at the end of its life, so I am looking for another intermediate line.
I have a cortland intermediate on my second rod and it gets deeper than my current aqualux.
Both catch me a lot of fish!
Are you considering buying another aqualux? Which cortland line do you have the clear or the camo clear?
 

dp

~El Pescador
camo clear Cortland. not real sure of its sink weight, but faster then the aqualux, which is a camo line after I think about it. it takes some time to sink and I cleaned it really well a few weeks ago.
I also need to look in my box of lines to see what I have before I buy. hopefully wont have to shell out any money!
 

Starman77

Active Member
I’ve been holding off forming an opinion on this line until I put it through many days in a variety of conditions, especially cold water. Cold water has been a problem for me with a few different clear intermediate lines that coil up regardless of stretching.

The SA Sonar clear camo rocks. I have the 6 weight version on an old Sage ZXL 690 and it’s a great match. I do give it a mild stretch when I first strip line off the reel but after that, it’s ready to go. The appearance is a mottled translucent olive, similar to the original Cortland camo line. Prior to the SA, my go-to clear intermediate has been a RIO aqualux. The SA handles and casts about the same for me but it sinks a bit slower. The published sink rate is 1.25 inches per second (ips). In practical terms, I find that if I’m fishing in 5 feet of water and make a 60’ cast, I can get about three-quarters of my retrieve done using slow strips and an unweighted fly before I start ticking bottom. With an Aqualux (1.5-2 ips) I would only get maybe half my retrieve done.

The line provides great sensitivity to the fly. The low stretch core feels solid on strip sets even at 60’ distance. It’s overweighted by one line weight, which I like on full sink lines, especially on windy days. It’s not a super aggressive taper, which makes it easy to make gentle casts. After laying out on the water it takes 10-12 seconds for the full length of the line to break the surface tension and become fully submerged. This works for me since I am generally fishing this line in the shallows and I want to pause before starting my retrieve to avoid any disturbance on the surface.

I don’t think I would use this line for fishing much deeper than 8, maybe 10’. It sinks slow enough that I wouldn’t be confident I was getting deep enough. I would also choose another line for trolling if my target depth was deeper than the top 2-3’ of the water column. But for casting to the bank or working shallow flats, it’s a great option.


View attachment 270959
Thanks for the well-written review! Nice to know what someone thinks about it after using it for a while on the water before deciding to shell out $90 for such a line. I've been a RIO Aqualux or Aqualux II user myself and like those RIO lines a lot. I tried a Cortland clear intermediate line, but haven't liked it as much due to the coiling and the way it feels (too stiff and slick). Were you able to find a good deal on the SA line somewhere?
 

troutpocket

Active Member
Thanks for the well-written review! Nice to know what someone thinks about it after using it for a while on the water before deciding to shell out $90 for such a line. I've been a RIO Aqualux or Aqualux II user myself and like those RIO lines a lot. I tried a Cortland clear intermediate line, but haven't liked it as much due to the coiling and the way it feels (too stiff and slick). Were you able to find a good deal on the SA line somewhere?
Hi Rex. I bought my first Rio Aqualux around 2004-2005 and have tried several other clear intermediate lines but always came back. I have had so many good days with an Aqualux that I wouldn’t hesitate to keep using it.

I picked up the SA Camo line a couple years ago on impulse but only spooled it up last summer. I really like the other newer generation SA lines I have tried and was curious about their take on a clear intermediate.
 

dp

~El Pescador
I found 3 Aqualux lines in my stash. all lightly used.
I fish a 5wt and these lines are either 6wt or 4 wt.
go up or down? the rod I'm lining is a Sage XP.

thanks
 

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