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  1. #1

    Default Full Sink vs. Sink Tip Lines

    I am curious about any input the members might have concerning this subject. Much of the fly fishing done in AK involves streamers for the various game fish as well as all of the salmon. On Christmas Eve I had a good conversation with one of my fishing partners and his opinion is one I respect.

    He uses a wt fwd sink tip line, whereas I use a full length sinking line. His preference comes from the additional casting distance one might achieve.

    Mine comes from a view that a full sink line offers a more consistent presentation and most importantly I have the entire length of the line that sinks. Not just a certain amount on one end of the line.

    I appreciate any thoughts the members might have on the subject.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Full Sink vs. Sink Tip Lines

    I normally tell people that a full sink is for still water and a sink-tip is best for moving water, but I don't necessarily take my own advise.

    You gotta remember that anytime a portion of your line is below the surface in moving water, the subsurface currents are in total control of your line unless you're actively stripping. A floating line is usually best in moving water, but with a sinktip, you at least have some level of (mending) control.
    In still water a sink-tip will pull the fly toward the surface on each strip while the full sink line will have the most consistent presentation. Some people don't like a full sink because you need to strip it in quite a but to pull it up for the next cast, but I've never found that to be an issue.
    Personally I have never noticed that one line casts any better than the other. I'm more likely to use a full sink myself and will often attach a lead-head on to make a "sink-tip, full sink". That casts like you wouldn't believe, just remember duck
    The simpler the outfit, the more skill it takes to manage it, and the more pleasure one gets in his achievements.” --- Horace Kephart

  3. #3
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    Missouri City (near Houston), Texas
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    Thumbs up Re: Full Sink vs. Sink Tip Lines

    Like Rip Tide said.
    On the whole, I'd rather be in Wyoming . . .
    Fly2:

  4. Default Re: Full Sink vs. Sink Tip Lines

    Although I primarily fish dries or nymphs using my floating line.....there are situations when I'm looking to strip some streamers in rivers. I have a Rio 5 foot fast sinking lead core leader just for that purpose. I take off my normal mono/fluro leader.....put this on via same loop to loop connection.....add a few feet of 1 or 2x fluoro and it really gets the job done. This leader sinks like a brick and gets the streamers down in the strike zone. Its probably not the optimal approach for a "serious" streamer guy.....but for my occasional purposes (stream fishing) it allows me to get the job done without having to carry around a different spool with sinking line. I think Rio also makes these leaders in 11 or 12 foot lengths.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Full Sink vs. Sink Tip Lines

    I fish lots of big streamers for bass, and similarly to what Rip Tide said, I use full sinking line in still water, especially where the water is too deep to wade. I use floating line for running water exclusively. I have never found a use for sink tip line, but that could be because I am a cheapskate and don't want to pack around yet another spool. When I need something to go deeper, or just go down faster, I use split shot.

    As an experiment, I wonder if I could insert a piece of something like toothy critter when I furl my leaders. That could add some weight (not to mention strength) and might make a fast sinking leader. I have added fluorocarbon, monofilament, 55# braid, and even kevlar thread on some of my guinea pig projects, with varied degrees of success. Can't see why toothy critter wouldn't work as well.
    frus·tra·tion (frəs-ˈtrā-shən) n. Watching a nine year old with a cane pole and a tin can of worms catch his limit while you get skunked.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Central Florida
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    5,392

    Default Re: Full Sink vs. Sink Tip Lines

    Hi Nerka,

    When I was in Alaska I used a weight forward sink tip line. The tip was about 10' long. I carried a full sinking line and a floating line but don't remember ever using the full sinking line at all.

    As you know, a lot of the rivers in Alaska are shallow and I think a full sinking would be harder to use. I feel the sink tip line is much easier to pick up for a cast than the full sinking with a single handed rod. I use to fish for Grayling at the head waters of Lake Creek in deep pools. The 10' of sink tip will sink a few feet of the floating line if there is no currant. I never felt that I needed anything to go deeper in those deep pools.

    So for me in AK rivers the sink tip is the line. Easier to pick up and easier to control the drift. Now in deep lake fishing I would want the full sinking line but you are not casting much and there is no mending or line control.

    Frank

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    Default Re: Full Sink vs. Sink Tip Lines

    Quote Originally Posted by Walter1023 View Post
    Although I primarily fish dries or nymphs using my floating line.....there are situations when I'm looking to strip some streamers in rivers. I have a Rio 5 foot fast sinking lead core leader just for that purpose. I take off my normal mono/fluro leader.....put this on via same loop to loop connection.....add a few feet of 1 or 2x fluoro and it really gets the job done. This leader sinks like a brick and gets the streamers down in the strike zone. Its probably not the optimal approach for a "serious" streamer guy.....but for my occasional purposes (stream fishing) it allows me to get the job done without having to carry around a different spool with sinking line. I think Rio also makes these leaders in 11 or 12 foot lengths.
    This is how it should be done for rivers.. unless your fishing some slow moving monster holding deep water. IMO. Save the Ducket$ for something cool.. Barley pop,Giant Clouser,Gas..
    Steve

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Full Sink vs. Sink Tip Lines

    Nerka,

    I have stayed away from this one because you already seem to have a system and have the opinion of a respected fishing buddy. The guys have weighed in and I see lots of sound opinion and advice in the posts as always. I am a 15' type 6 sink tip guy unless fishing shallow water when it is a floater in use. When I started fishing for salmon in the Great Lakes Rivers I used weights but they seemed to defeat the whole fly rod thing. I went to the tips and lead heads to get flies down and felt more like a fly caster while I was at it. As you know when the water is high and going along at about 3.5 mph even with the tip a few BB size shots may still come from a pocket in order to get it down. I've been able to live with the BB's because they don't go "Ker-plunk" when they land and I am able to roll a loop 60' or more even with them on board.

    Ard

    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Full Sink vs. Sink Tip Lines

    Quote Originally Posted by dang old king View Post
    This is how it should be done for rivers.. unless your fishing some slow moving monster holding deep water. IMO. Save the Ducket$ for something cool.. Barley pop,Giant Clouser,Gas..
    Steve
    Just out of curiosity, what is barley pop...?


    As far as sink tip and sinking line, my rule of thumb is in shallower water I use sink tip and in deep water I use full sink. But to be honest I really don't use either too often.
    Anthony Laurence
    www.anthonylaurence.net
    Web Developement and Design
    FlyFishinado - My Fly Fishing Blog

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Full Sink vs. Sink Tip Lines

    Quote Originally Posted by ant View Post
    Just out of curiosity, what is barley pop...?
    The lubricant of life.............. beer
    The simpler the outfit, the more skill it takes to manage it, and the more pleasure one gets in his achievements.” --- Horace Kephart

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