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Sinking lines for Sage 9140-4

2454 Views 7 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Jeff
Howdy all. Sinktip's statement about the old 9140-4 and how it likes to be underlined for floating lines got me thinking about sinking lines for that rod. My favorite is also the first one I ever tried on it 6 years ago. It's a "launcher" line as marketed by the "fly shoppe" in Welches Oregon. This line is dedicated to the sunk fly. No floating tip here. They give credit to hundreds of folks for the development of this line, very rare in the fly fishing industry :) Basically it's a cortland big game 12 weight with the front taper cut off, and 15 foot sections of 11 weight type 2, type 4, and type 6 you can loop on. It's got a short head for loading the rod fast, but the running line is thicker than any commercial spey line on the market that I've seeen. It's thick enough that you can actually mend the head out to 60 or 70 feet if the water you're standing in isn't too deep. It also floats extremely high. Best of all it's the easiest chop job in the world, and it won't break the bank! One cut... Or of course you could buy it... Nah! Chopping lines is too much fun!
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I am very very intrigued by this line as I am in the process of getting a hold of the old skool 9140-4.

You've probally noticed the massive discussions I've had with fellow list members plus extensive phone conversations.

Anyways I was wondering how you feel this line compares to the WC 8/9/10 multi-tip line (if you've fished it)? What other lines have you fished on this rod?

Ryan, Philster is right about the launcher being a great line and easy to make. Unfortunately they are no longer available from Mark Bachmann. He does have a comparison of most all the spey lines and he does talk about some differences between the launcher and the Windcutter. Look here:
Mark's website has the most comperhensive spey casting section of any fly shop I know of and he is a nice guy. He also answer e-mail very quickly.
I haven't tried the Launcher but it sounds very similar to the head system Mike Kinney showed me several years ago. It usesa section cut from the belly of a 12wt DT looped to a beefy running line on one end and a tapered tip on the other.

It casts everything from a dry tip to a short (12') type II to a 15' chunk of 550 DWE. For long shooting Spey casts the 12' type III worked best for me on an IMX 15' 8/9 but it all depends on the length of belly you're launching with.

On the 15' 10wt (1050-4) an 18' type IV tip casts great on the same line.

It's pretty easy to cast sinktips with these lines, and once you find the (different) stroke you can really shoot the fly out there. The down side is you must strip a lot of line to get the running line into the guides before the next 'launch'.

I also fish the Windcutter w/ tips and the stroke is much different. I love DTF lines too, and they are again much different to cast. It's hard to change from one stroke to another, for me anyway.

In summary, this is an easy line to make and a great tool for casting winter weight tips. All you have to do is find the crisp little stroke it requires and zoom. The downside is the amount of stripping you need to perform before each cast. To some extent, the 12wt belly is a little more bouyant than you might want in some cases and the mending of long casts is not nearly as effective as DTF for instance so you need to place your casts with respect to the current. I've had th esame experience as Dec Hogan for the lighter weight, smaller diameter, longer tips with this line. The 18' type III in 8wt (S/A wet cel STS 8wt 30' cut on the front end) works the fly deeper for me than a 15' type 5 Rio. Don't know why, maybe diameter in the current? Turns over better two.

Another point: If you get someone to split a 120' 12wt Spey DTF, and cut it in half at the middle, each will get enough belly for a Spey head system and a long tapered Spey DTF front taper each for $30!

I've got one and have only used the head portion of the belly and one front taper, the other half has never seen water for something like 8 or 9 years!
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Ryan, Juro's on the mark for building your own sink tip line. Dana Sturm also has a very good 'how-to' on vfs main site. Or if you look up a current thread in the International Spey Casting ( you will find a point and click to get you there. Building you own lines is not a difficult thing to do as long as you go into it knowing your going to half to tweek a bit to get what you want.

Vis a vis "shelf" tri tips for this rod I'd strongly recommend you get the Acelrtor. instead of the windcutter. The longer head on the Ac. doesn't require anywhere as much 'stripping' due to the far longer head. The line in the 'dry' configuration will cast a country mile without the fooling around.

I use the 9-10 Aclrtr. on the same rod and I can (leaving a couple of wraps on the reel for an anchor) consistently get the balance of the line airborne with the 'Snake Roll' cast after cast. I slightly 'over line' the rod as I'm normally casting heavy wted flys and you need the 'grains' to keep 12-16 foot leaders from collapsing during the cast.
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Ryan, You might also check out this article It has some very good info on building a short head type line
NrthFrk16 (11-04-2001 10:24 p.m.):

Anyways I was wondering how you feel this line compares to the WC 8/9/10 multi-tip line (if you've fished it)? What other lines have you fished on this rod?

Howdy Ryan. I like it better than all the other short heads on the market. I am by no means "Master Caster" but I did work in the industry for an internet/brick and mortar shop that got some serious butt smoochin' from the reps. Bottom line is I got to play with lots of free stuff, most of which I did return! As Juro and others say, it is true that you have to strip line in between casts, but the short fat head on the launcher brings the 11 wt 15 foot type 6 head to the surface like nothing else I've ever used. This is important for beginners, and generally uncoordinated folks like myself who can get easily frustrated when the sinking portion of your line sticks too much when you are lifting to start your cast. It also is the best line I've used when there is NO, and I mean NO room behind you. Did I mention the tips are 11 weight? In case I didn't, the tips are 11 weight! It also matches my winter fishing style, which is frankly to "dead drift" my fly down stream for an extended period, and then mend and lead like a maddog to get an extremely slow swing. If you see me fishing more than 70 feet away, it means I've given up trying for the day and am just enjoying myself on the water. Nothing wrong with the windcutter, but I wouldn't buy a multi tip windcutter. If you like the line buy a standard windcutter and cut it yourself. That way you can avoid that second loop they have built in there, plus you can build softer loops than those plastic thingamajigs rio uses! For extremely nasty weather, when I want to wear full gloves, I have an accelerator, and a double taper that I've modified ala Mike Maxwell. No stripping! There are very few bad lines out there, and the folks here will keep you from getting one of those. It comes down to finding what works for you, and if you are just starting out, I recommend the shortest head you can get. Number one it lets you work with the same amount of line out for every cast, and number two, it "compresses" the energy you are working with into a smaller area, and I feel that gives you a greater margin of error. Borrow every line you can, and play play play!
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I learned to spey cast with a launcher and it is very easy to learn to cast with and enjoyed learning with it. I still pull it out when I want to through heavy tips on my St. Croix (very good rod for tips) or it is really windy out. I soon did get tired of all the stripping I started to have to do as I became a little bit better. I believe the Launcher line was a 37 foot head with the 12' tips. I did really like the running line and you could pull a big heavy tip up off the bottom easy. Mark a the Fly Shoppe in Welches is a great guy and always willing to share information and never regreted for a second following his advice on the rod and line combo.

I will admit I haven't thrown it on my Sage 9140-4 I just thingk it would over line the rod. The rod seems a little soft at times for me and have never thougth to try the launcher on it. I will have to give that a try next trip out.

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