Intermediate and Fast-sinking lines recommendations?

ceviche

Active Member
I own a Sage VXP 4 piece 6wt. It already showed me that the Rio Grande floating line loads the rod quicker than others I’ve used before. Sweet combo.

The problem I’m facing these days is that my old sinking lines suck for various reasons: memory, rod loading, etc. Yes, these lines are older than I’d like to admit. I haven’t replaced them only because they’ve held together for all this time.

So what I’d like to hear are some recommendations for a new Intermediate line and a quicker sinking line to get deep without mystery weird hassles along the way. Please feel free to expound on the myriad virtues of each of your recommendations.
 

ceviche

Active Member
I love my Cortland type 5 and 7. I think they are around 79 each with two 4 foot sections of integrated hang markers in orange at 14 and 28 feet for easy identification of depths when fishing.
What kind of rod do you use? How would you typify it’s action?
BTW, the hang markers sound nifty.
 

tkww

Member
I have a Cortland for a very fast 6 wt and it casts great (it's their "level" type 7). It is significantly over-weighted, but that rod didn't mind it at all. (That rod is also a 2x4....)

I have a couple of Rio Mainstreams for my 4 wt VXP. I've generally been staying away from Rio, but I ended up with these because at the time they were the only manufacturer out there making sinkers in 4 wt and they're not severely over-lined. (Looks like SA's "seamless density" now has a 4 wt, but limited to type 3.) I would consider my 4 wt VXP to be on the fast end of med-fast) They're still slightly heavy (per manufacture's design), but not that much. They tangle/coil a little more than the Cortland--a good stretch prior to fishing really helps--but frankly just about any line piled up on a tube/toon apron is going to bite you at some point, IMO.

Frankly I wouldn't worry too much about it. If you're using these in stillwater, the overlining just makes them easier to shoot instead of trying to aerialize the whole cast. Granted I'm thinking of tube/toon and not standing in a pram--not sure what your sitch is. As far as streamers go, more line mass = better big fly turnover. So... It's definitely a different feel/operation than casting a floater made to traditional weight, but it works.
 
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ceviche

Active Member
I have a Cortland for a very fast 6 wt and it casts great (it's their "level" type 7). It is significantly over-weighted, but that rod didn't mind it at all. (That rod is also a 2x4....)

I have a couple of Rio Mainstreams for my 4 wt VXP. I've generally been staying away from Rio, but I ended up with these because at the time they're were the only manufacturer out there making sinkers in 4 wt and they're not severely over-lined. (Looks like SA's "seamless density" now has a 4 wt, but limited to type 3.) I would consider my 4 wt VXP to be on the fast end of med-fast) They're still slightly heavy (per manufacture's design), but not that much. They tangle/coil a little more than the Cortland--a good stretch prior to fishing really helps--but frankly just about any line piled up on a tube/toon apron is going to bite you at some point, IMO.

Frankly I wouldn't worry too much about it. If you're using these in stillwater, the overlining just makes them easier to shoot instead of trying to aerialize the whole cast. Granted I'm thinking of tube/toon and not standing in a pram--not sure what your sitch is. As far as streamers go, more line mass = better big fly turnover. So... It's definitely a different feel/operation than casting a floater made to traditional weight, but it works.
Awesome assessment! Very informative.

Yes, I fish out of a Watermaster raft and just added a float tube to my fleet. I also prefer to shoot than aerialize line—prefer to keep the false casts to a minimum. I also like heavier lines for turning over heavy flies, as well as having less line out for casting smaller flies accurately over shorter distances. That’s why I like my Rio Grande floater so much.

My experience with Cortlands in the past has been spotty with line memory. We’re talking about +10 yr/old lines. I’ve yet to explore the latest and greatest with SA lines. They seem to have created a lot of new stuff these days.
 

Bruce Baker

Active Member
I have a SA Sonar Stillwater Clear Camo for my 4wt. It is supposed to be one line wt heavier. I am using it on a 4wt Orvis H3F 4 wt and Sage One 4wt and so far it's nice. I also have an Airflo 40+ fast intermediate (5wt) that I have used on both rods. I can really feel the H3 load (almost overloaded) and it's like a trampoline effect. I mean that in a good way. The line really wants to shoot out. I have also used this line with an Orvis H3F 5wt and it feels great. Still has the same "trampoline" feel. This line is no longer made.

SA also makes the Sonar Stillwater Seamless Density. I have no experience with it, but it is supposedly two line weights heavier.
 

troutpocket

Active Member
I’m currently fishing all SA sonar full sinkers; clear camo intermediate, type 1/3/5 seamless density, and a 3/5/7 seamless density. I got the 1/3/5 first and liked it so much I got the others as the needs arose. This is my fourth year fishing the 1/3/5 and it’s still in great shape. I’m sure the new Cortland lines a really good too.
 

Buzzy

Active Member
Awesome assessment! Very informative.

Yes, I fish out of a Watermaster raft and just added a float tube to my fleet. I also prefer to shoot than aerialize line—prefer to keep the false casts to a minimum. I also like heavier lines for turning over heavy flies, as well as having less line out for casting smaller flies accurately over shorter distances. That’s why I like my Rio Grande floater so much.

My experience with Cortlands in the past has been spotty with line memory. We’re talking about +10 yr/old lines. I’ve yet to explore the latest and greatest with SA lines. They seem to have created a lot of new stuff these days.
I fish an old Cortland Camo I-line, I've had the line literally decades (15+ years I'm guessing). I think it is a 6 weight WF6I). I fish it mostly on a Sage 590 Fli, it loads that rod so nicely. It has memory - but as @tkww says "a good stretch" before use helps a lot. And I too agree that any line piled up on an apron (or pram floor) will bite you from time to time. Good luck.

(Big fan of my Airflo SixthSense type7 but it does get tangled from time to time.)
 

Stonefish

Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater....Know Grizzler
Awesome assessment! Very informative.

Yes, I fish out of a Watermaster raft and just added a float tube to my fleet. I also prefer to shoot than aerialize line—prefer to keep the false casts to a minimum. I also like heavier lines for turning over heavy flies, as well as having less line out for casting smaller flies accurately over shorter distances. That’s why I like my Rio Grande floater so much.

My experience with Cortlands in the past has been spotty with line memory. We’re talking about +10 yr/old lines. I’ve yet to explore the latest and greatest with SA lines. They seem to have created a lot of new stuff these days.

I hadn’t fished a Cortland line in like 30 years, but recently picked up their Compact Type 3, which has a type 3 head with a intermediate running line.
So far I have to say I’ve been very impressed with the line. I’m going to pick up a floating version of it this fall.
I wish they made that line in a full intermediate, but they only make it with a intermediate head and a floating running line.

The SA Titan lines are nice. The only issue I had with them is the intermediate didn’t sink hardly at all, but that was fishing it in saltwater.
SF
 

long_rod_silvers

WFF Premium
I hadn’t fished a Cortland line in like 30 years, but recently picked up their Compact Type 3, which has a type 3 head with a intermediate running line.
So far I have to say I’ve been very impressed with the line. I’m going to pick up a floating version of it this fall.
I wish they made that line in a full intermediate, but they only make it with a intermediate head and a floating running line.

The SA Titan lines are nice. The only issue I had with them is the intermediate didn’t sink hardly at all, but that was fishing it in saltwater.
SF
That's interesting. Noticed similar thing - was fishing both the Rio Big Nasty 4D (F/I/S3/S5) and the SA Sonar Titan 3D (I/S3/S5) side by side (both 6 wt) a couple weeks ago and the Sonar was getting about 5' - 6' deeper than the rio, but the intermediate body of the SA wasn't sinking nearly as much as the rio. I was in freshwater.

SA Sonars are absolute money
This is a factual statement.

If it were me, I'd check out either the SA Sonar Titan 3D (if you're looking for sink tips) or Cortland Competition (for full sinker). I think you'll be happy with either one, but probably happier with the SA. They are that good.

Note: just got a rio predator two weeks back. Hadn't seen or heard much about them. Figured it would be smart to waste $100 to see if they were any good.......:cool: They are nice, but haven't had much time on the water with it yet. The slick coating is legit super slick and makes casting the whole line out relatively easy. TBD if they tangle as much as some of their other lines. The coating feels better than some of the other Rio lines. The line in general feels better when handling. Bring this up because I'm not a fan of Rio sinking lines, but if you're a brand whore and have to have rio, the Predator is pretty solid and it sinks. I'd still rather have the SA Sonar Titan 3D.
 

ceviche

Active Member
I'm seeing a lot of love for those SA Sonar lines. I think I will go in that direction. However, can anyone elaborate on those 1/3/5 and 3/5/7 sink lines? What's with the combo numbers? Is it like a depth range they hold at, depending on how much line you put out, or something else?

One thing I've liked about some of the more traditional Intermediate lines is their sink rate (instead of hovering). If you cast and immediately retrieve, it's relatively easy to maintain a shallow depth. On the flip side, you can do a countdown to figure out if fish are holding deeper. If you don't have a fast-sinking line handy, this can help you trade a skunk day for a slow one.

In the case of Intermediate lines, I've really liked the ones with different shades of green and clear to help you gauge how much line you have out. Does SA do that with their Sonar lines?
 

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