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#11806333 - 08/31/16 01:00 PM Sink tip line?
Glitchmo Offline

Registered: 05/08/16
Posts: 125
So, I just got a new 5wt reel (Lamson Litespeed) and 2 spools. I've got a standard WF5F on one spool, and I want something for streamers/subsurface presentations. I can put a poly leader on my floating line, but I desperately want to spend more money than that. grin And I have an extra spool anyways.

This would be mostly for throwing streamers ranging from #12 wooly buggers to trout in lakes and streams up to maybe #2 or a little bigger clousers for bass in still or very slightly moving water. The one thing I'm NOT expecting to do with this is fish very (>5-10ft) deep water from a boat. Nor will I fish saltwater with it.

There's a ton of different options, from clear sink tip to full sinking lines, and different sink rates, etc...

What do you guys think I should go with? Anything from general considerations to specific recommendations is welcome.

#11806370 - 08/31/16 01:19 PM Re: Sink tip line? [Re: Glitchmo]
Bruce Mc Offline

Registered: 07/25/16
Posts: 43
Loc: Edna, Tx
While not being any kind of expert myself, I posed the same parameters to the guys at the Orvis shop and they recommended the Orvis bank shot sinking tip. It sinks at about a half foot a second. I wished I would of waited a while, its on sale now.
"Garg 'nuair dhùisgear"

#11806482 - 08/31/16 02:11 PM Re: Sink tip line? [Re: Glitchmo]
rrhyne56 Offline

Registered: 02/16/01
Posts: 13216
Loc: McKinney TX USA
There are some fine lines at the Orvis shop. has some good stuff too. And yes, specifying only "sinktip" leaves a lot of room. Might want to pick up a few more spools....
"have fun with this stuff"
in memory of Big Dale
RRhyne56, Flyfishing warden

#11806798 - 08/31/16 05:17 PM Re: Sink tip line? [Re: Glitchmo]
RexW Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 09/24/02
Posts: 2966
Loc: Sherman, TX
I am a big fan of using sinking lines. Using a sinking line can help increase your success. To me, there are two primary items to consider when selecting a sinking line: How DEEP do you want to fish? And How FAST is the water moving?

The sink rate of a line is usually designated with a roman numeral, the higher the number the faster in inches per second the line will sink. (Keep in mind that this is an estimate at best and the actual sink rate can vary. Some folks recommend testing each line to determine what is actually happening, but I’m not that ambitious.) Also, keep in mind that as you strip in the line during the retrieve, you will pull the line up toward the surface and you may need to pause to let the line/fly sink back down to the depth you want to target.

Some general comments:

- Slower sink rates will stay in the strike zone longer WHILE SINKING (when you start retrieving line, everything changes) than a fast sinking line which may pass through the strike zone very quickly. (i.e. it takes a 1 inch per second line 36 seconds to sink to 3 ft depth, but an 8 inch per second line will reach 3 ft depth in 4.5 seconds. The fish had better be quick to react to a fly moving that fast.)

- Faster sink rate lines allow you to make more casts and cover more territory when fishing deep than a slow sink line. (i.e. It will take a 1 inch per second line 4 minutes to reach 20 ft depth. (That is a LONG time to stand there doing nothing while waiting for your line to sink.) While an 8 inch per second line can reach 20 feet in about 30 seconds.)

- Faster sink rate lines are often better choices for fast moving water. A slow sink rate line can drift down stream past the strike zone before it has a chance to sink to the depth of the fish. While a fast sink rate line will sink deeper into the faster moving water before drifting downstream.

- Slower sink rate lines can be a better choice for slow moving water. In slow water, there is the risk that a fast sinking line could sink to the bottom of the stream before completing the full drift through the run and either get hung up and stop drifting or get damaged on the rocks.

Sink tip vs full sink lines? Again some general comments:

- Generally, the shorter the length of the sink tip, the easier it is to cast. A line with a 3 ft sink tip is very similar to casting a floating line, but a fast sink rate, full sinking line takes some practice to learn how to cast. (Use a roll cast to bring the sinking line to the surface before trying to lift the line off the water.)

- It is easier to reach deeper depths of water the longer the length of the sink tip. A full sinking line (or a full sinking shooting head) will sink to deeper depths than a short head sink tip line. (i.e. A sink tip line with a 5 ft sink tip will NEVER reach 20 ft depth.)

- As you retrieve a sinking line (strip in the fly), the line will be pulled up toward the surface. The shorter the sink tip length the more steeply the line will rise to the surface. (Think about how a pendulum swings, a sink tip can rotate at the floating portion of the line in a similar fashion.) But a full sinking line will have a less steep angle and can be retrieved to where it will keep the fly at a specific depth longer (so if the strike zone is 18 ft depth a full sinking line will keep the fly in this depth range longer during the retrieve.)

- While waiting for the line to sink, you can strip more line out of the reel/rod into the water and increase the length of your drift/strip distance. (This technique works especially well in still water lakes.)

There are advantages and disadvantages to both the sink tip style lines and the full sinking lines. It just depends on the fishing conditions.

From your description of the intended use, it sounds like you are looking for a general purpose sinking line. If it was me, I’d probably look for a Sink Tip style line for my first sinking line since the learning curve is easier. You mentioned the depth of 5 to 10 feet, if you think you’ll fish more in the 5 ft range, I’d look for about a 10 foot sinking tip, but if you want to get down to 10 ft, I’d get a 15 ft length sinking tip head. The shorter the head lengths will be easier to learn to cast, but they will not sink as deep. For a general purpose line, I’d probably get either a III or a IV sink rate line (something in the middle of the pack for sink rates.)

Good luck! If you have questions, come out the Texas Expo next weekend in Grapevine and find me or Bill in the casting area and we’ll be happy to discuss this or any other casting topic.

#11807646 - 09/01/16 10:01 AM Re: Sink tip line? [Re: Glitchmo]
Glitchmo Offline

Registered: 05/08/16
Posts: 125
Thanks so much. My thoughts keep bouncing around -- it's very helpful to see it organized like this. I'm leaning towards the Orvis bank shot sink tip, but I have the floating version of that for my 8 wt, and I'm not totally on board with the shooting head style, but most sinking/streamer lines seem to come that way and I think it makes more sense in this context.

#11808227 - 09/01/16 03:33 PM Re: Sink tip line? [Re: Glitchmo]
pearow Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 12/15/02
Posts: 1823
Loc: Murchison, TX, USA
The teeny t-130 is a great fishing line for deeper fishing, unlike the full sinking it is much easier to cast. I also have the orvis sink tip and prefer the teeny for its cast ability. I'm no expert. I use the teeny on Big Cypress on caddie lake because it will get deep enough to take fish off the bottom even with a moderate flow rate-p-edit
edit; I believe the t-130 has a 24 foot sink tip.

Edited by pearow (09/01/16 03:35 PM)

#11809587 - 09/02/16 01:51 PM Re: Sink tip line? [Re: Glitchmo]
Glitchmo Offline

Registered: 05/08/16
Posts: 125
Thanks guys.

I ended up with the Orvis bank shot (a 10' ~class IV sink tip). I hit my favorite pond with it this morning. Hit being the operative word. Definitely a different line to cast than the WF5F, but I think I can get used to it.

Got an unexpected catfish out of it, and lost a good size bass, so we're off to a good start. Maybe some stripers tomorrow.


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