Sinking Lines - "Full" vs Floating Running Line [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Sinking Lines - "Full" vs Floating Running Line

Tony Scott
10-29-2007, 09:23 AM
Good day.

In regards to fishing open water (lake or ocean) with sinking line that has a 30 foot sinking section...

Does it matter if I use a line where the running line is floating or where the running line is "sinking" (intermediate)?

I would think you would want a "full" sinking, but someone very good at flyfishing told me you impart more action to the fly if you have the surface tension of the floating section. I wonder if it really makes that much difference.



10-29-2007, 04:53 PM
That's a good question. Typically when fishing open water requiring a quick sink rate, sinking tips with an intermediate running line is the norm. One caveat, if the depth is somewhat shallow (4-6 feet) with current, it is tough to mend an intermediate line as well as a floating running line.

What kind of conditions are you fishing?

Tony Scott
10-30-2007, 01:20 PM
In this question, I am talking about open water - lakes or ocean. I would use floating running line if I was fishing current.

10-30-2007, 03:02 PM
Will you be fishing surf? A full sink with it's smaller diameter has some advantages there.

11-01-2007, 08:55 AM
In terms of lake fishing, you typically use a density compensating full sink. What that means is that while the entire line sinks, the front portion of the line sinks quicker then the back. The issue to resolve by doing this is taking the hinge out of your line so that you have better contact with your fly when fishing subsurface. That being said, there are times when a sink tip with a floater is a better option. Mainly when you are trying to imitate insects swimming to the surface to emerge. I have used this type of line successfully during hexagenia hatches on local lakes. However, I know folks who simply use their floating line and a long leader and have similar success.

11-02-2007, 07:21 AM
the lack of current in lake fishing compared to ocean fishing is a huge variable when determining what line to reach certain depths. i live and fish in boston harbor. when the current is strong i fish a 525 grain sink tip on a floating running line. it will get the fly deep enough. in not so fast moving water i go to a 325 grain sink tip on an intermediate running line. in both of those situations i use the moving water to create the action on th fly. however, during slack tide i use an intermediate tip on a floating running line. like your friend accurately points out, the floating running line imparts more action on the fly. since in lakes it's slack tide all the time, albeit the depth may be substantial, i would think that your considerations are quite different.. if your target area is 15' or so that's akin to "slack tide". but what if you need to get to 50'? in such a case the floating running line will be too much of a hindrance in getting the fly down. hence the trade offs begin. one small tip on action on the fly. learn to tie the loop knot if you do not already do so. the difference in the action on the fly is startling.