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Sinking line question

Ryan Kral

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Hey guys, anyone have much experience using sinking fly lines? I used this technique while fishing for stripers in about 12-20 feet of water. Like I posted earlier, basically just let the fly sink with the line while we drifted over an area, when it became tight, just slowly retrieved a little then it sink again. I think this would be a good technique when fishing on some lakes I fish, but often time have a hard time the getting the fly down where my buddies are getting their traditional gear down. Thought this would also be a good technique to use on Devil's Lake this coming weekend. I know the different types of sinking lines out there, but any opinions on a good all around line to use in say 10-20 feet of water? Not looking for brands, just the right type. Thanks, Ryan

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I have used a few full-sink lines and a variety of sink tips. I'm by no means the expert but I have had success. Obviously it not only depends on water depth but how deep the fish are holding--on the bottom or suspended halfway down, for example. To get down as fast as possible, be sure to use a denser sink line (t-14/Type VIII is the fastest widely available at around 7-8ips, but there is also t-18 out there if you look). I would make or buy a 15-30' section that you can loop on to your floating or intermediate running line (eliminating need for extra spool). If you are really fishing that deep, I would stay away from the lighter stuff (t-8 or lower).


To get down fast:

-Use fast-sinking line or long tip (Type VIII, t-11, t-14)

-Use a very short leader. Very short.

-Flouro for leader material

-Use fast-sinking flies

-Use sparser flies

-Give (feed) the fly line a lot of slack while it sinks initially


All that being said, I use an intermediate line a lot especially in clear water. This way the fly is sinking slowly but the fish can see it a long way off. I have caught fish in 15+ f.o.w. this way. Of course, in the extreme of that range I was letting the line sink for a long time, in which case I may have been much better off with a fast sinking tip.


Using a sink tip on a intermediate running line can help with presentation and hooksets (over the alternative of a floating running line) as there will a straighter connection between running line and tip (think about what it will look like where the lines meet while fishing deep). Running line preferences can also vary based on the platform you are fishing from--floating line if standing on rocks, full sink line best from a snagless boat deck.


Just some initial thoughts. I know there are some guys on here who hit smallies deep on the big Lake with goby patterns. I'm curious what they have to say.

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A fast sinking fly line is not going to keep up with the sink rate of a quarter ounce jig in fifteen or twenty feet of water. At eight inches a second, a fast sinking fly line will take twenty to thirty seconds to get close to the bottom. Your buddy's jigs will be banging the bottom in a fraction of that time. My experience with this scenario is that the abuse from my spin fishing buddies while I am wating for my line to sink is worse than actually waiting for the line to get deep.


That being said, I like fishing sinking or sink tip lines in the right situations. Instead of using full sink lines, I fish with a Teeny T series line and an intermediate RIO Outbound line, which have long, sinking integrated heads and floating running lines. I prefer casting this type of line over full sinking lines.

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With the right technique full sinkers cast very easily.Start with a shorter line than you'd normally begin casting with.Rollcast the submerged line so it becomes airborne & immediately make a dubl haul cast which together with the xtra heft of the line will rocket the line out for a good distance.

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