when should I use a sinking line? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: when should I use a sinking line?

03-27-2007, 12:30 PM
I fish for trout in streams and small rivers. The trouts there take mainly nymphs, and I use the following rig that works OK for me: a "tight line" consisting of a floating line plus a sinking leader. I let the leader sink entirely, and i use the tip of the line, just barely out of the water, as if it where a strike indicator. I recognize the strikes mainly when the line makes a strange movement, and only ocasionally the strike is hard enough to feel it on the rod.

My question is the following: In what situations would it be better to use a sinking line, and, what should I watch for, or do, in order to recognize the strikes with the line under the water??

thank you all for the good advice I´ve been receiving in this forum.

Dble Haul
03-27-2007, 02:48 PM
I never use a sinking line when nymph fishing. I do just as you have described by using the tip of a floating line or an actual strike indicator to detect hits.

The ony time that I ever don't use a float is when I fish steamers in heavy and/or deep currents. Even then, I use a sinktip line because it's virtually impossible to mend a full sink line.

Tin Pusher
03-27-2007, 07:06 PM
I agree with Dble Haul. Straight full sink lines are good for lakes.

03-28-2007, 07:09 AM
Full sinking lines are almost never necessary. Only time I might use one is in a deep lake or on the ocean. I don't think I've used my freshwater sinking line in 15 years or more.

03-29-2007, 10:37 AM
I never use a sinking line/tip for nymphing. Your strategy is a good one especially if it is catching fish for you!

I'm sure someone has mentioned this line in another thread BUT...... Rio has an interchangable line that might be of interest to you. You are able to change from 3-4 tips, I think, fairly easily. I wouldn't expect any of the tips to perform as well as a tradtional sink tip, floating, full sinking etc.... but they should give you the JOATMON...jack of all trades, master of none, option.
I haven't done much research on these rigs but there might be other line companies doing the same thing.

03-29-2007, 01:03 PM
thank you guys, that rio line sound interesting.

04-08-2007, 06:45 PM
I'd stay away from the interchangeable tip design. You should just get a good WF floating line and a sink tip, and a spare spool for your favorite reel so you can carry both with you at all times. Those two lines will cover 99.99% of freshwater fishing situations.

04-08-2007, 07:42 PM
Why would you stay away from interchangeable tips? I agree with wanting a full floater but for any sinking applications a tip line is not a bad thing.


04-08-2007, 09:54 PM
I think there's a noticeable difference between the performance of a multi-tip line and a regular WF or sink tip line. The multi-tip system is going to cost you as much as getting the WF floater and a sink tip anyway, so why not just get the lines that perform better in the first place?

Here's what I see as the disadvantages to a multi-tip system:
1. The multi-tip systems add another connection where the tip and running line meet that now have to go through your guides. This increases the risk of breaking your rod, as well as hurting casting performance by adding friction when shooting line through your guides.
2. The running line on a multi-tip system has to be a compromise to work with all of the different tips as opposed to the running line of a one piece line that's optimized to work specifically with that line. Granted, most running line these days is a small diameter floater, so this probably isn't a big deal.
3. A good multi-tip line is going to cost as much as buying the separate WF and sink tip lines separately anyway.
4. Limited selection of multi-tip lines (i.e. brands/weights).
5. If you cut or damage a multi-tip line, you've wasted a much larger investment than individual lines.
6. (this is personal opinion) The technology in the separate lines is much better than in multi-tip systems. This gets back to point # 2 above. All of the technology at a company's disposal can be poured into designing a line that works specifically and exactly as it's supposed to under certain fishing conditions and for certain fish.

04-08-2007, 10:49 PM
I can see you point about buying a tip system. They are spendy. Just make your own and you have a much more versatile setup. For trout tip lines are used so infrequently I would just make my own. A few different length sections of t14 and a cut back floater will serve you well. That way you can have lots of options with one spool and not have to go out buying a new spool for your reel every time you want a different sink rate tip line.

For steelhead we all make our own tip systems for the most part and they work swell.

Do not think they optimize running line to work with different lines. It is all level and adds nothing to the cast. A back taper can matter but not the running line. Only variable is diameter but again that has no variable on performance other than shootability.


04-09-2007, 08:18 AM
Do not think they optimize running line to work with different lines. It is all level and adds nothing to the cast. A back taper can matter but not the running line. Only variable is diameter but again that has no variable on performance other than shootability.
I agree for the most part. As I said in my post, they usually use a small diameter floating line. However, in the case of a sinking or intermediate line, the running line is usually the same thing as the head. So if you buy a multi-tip line, I don't think it'll work exactly right with all of the tips.

For the purposes of my argument, the sink tip and WF line are going to have the same running line.

04-09-2007, 09:01 AM
I don't fish with a multi-tip line BUT.... despite the cost of the line(s) it is still cheaper, in most cases, than buying another spool. Sure, you can use one spool and change lines as needed but when you're out in the field and you need a sinking tip, (or multiple sinking variations), the multi-line, in my mind, seems to be the best and most economical option. I am planning on doing a review for a magazine here in the next couple weeks and will report back with the proc/cons.

04-16-2007, 10:09 AM
doing some "research" I find most sink tip lines are between 6 and 12 feet of sinking line, the rest is floating.
Would it not be the same to buy a sinking leader, given that they also come between 6 and 12 feet?
That way I only need my WF floating line and attach the sinking leader whenever I want, any reasons why this might not be such a good idea???

Dble Haul
04-16-2007, 10:23 AM
I'm not sure what you mean by "sinking leader". A leader is either mono or fluoro, and the only way to make it sink is with a weighted fly and/or added weight in the form of shot or twists of lead or tungsten.

A sinktip line will penetrate the water column much, much better, and you'll have a more direct line to the fly that you are fishing so you can feel sublte takes.

04-16-2007, 10:32 AM
I mean for example a Rio "powerflex" sinking leader, they´re made of some "polymer mixture". They look like a short piece of regular sinking fly line, and you add about 15 inches of tippet to it.