Cortland mini-head kit!

kingofamberley

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Hey y'all,
I just got a Cortland mini-head kit from Bass Pro. It is 12 ft of type VI (6 in per sec) sinking line and 4 braided loops for creating your own loop-on sink tips. I plan to use this on a 6 wt and 5 wt with a floating line, so I can switch to a makeshift streamer rig on the stream (since I don't have another reel/spool/sinking line) and throw weighted and un-weighted streamers.
The rivers I fish are mostly small to medium, with some small creeks thrown in. What sizes do you think would be best? I'm thinking a 5 ft and a 3 ft to start, and then when I get more braided loops I can make the remaining section in to a 4 ft or another 3 ft and a 1 ft. Another option is a 6ft and 2 3's, or whatever. I know it will be a bear to cast, but with a short level leader, I think it will be passable.
Thanks!
 

gfirob

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I'm interested in this too. I have never used a sinking tip, but it seems as if it would be easier to deal with than pinching on lead weights in terms of casting ease. Is that a fool's paradise? I like the idea of getting nymphs or streamers down to the bottom without a lot of lead, on a small or medium sized river, but I noticed that this is something people don't discuss much. What's the best advice?
 

Rip Tide

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I've made myself lots of different sizes of LC-13 lead heads with whipped loops for both fresh and salt water from 6" to 18'
The ones that I use the most are a 6' and the 6". The 6" gets looped between the leader and tippet in a case where you might normally use split shot.
Casting is a bear anyway so realize that you can loop different lengths together.
If you have a 2' and 3' head, then you already have a 5'
 

GrtLksMarlin

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Well remember...The fly will sink at the rate it sinks at the only thing altering that being weight on the leader/tippet sinking faster then and pulling it down, or the line...BUT...If you say have a 6' leader in theory the fly could be 6' above the sinking line if it sinks a lot faster.

That said, I have some of these (purchased ones) and have had varied success. Naturally they tend to "hinge" when casting where the line meets the sinking tip so expect shorter casts, perhaps a few fumbled ones and not nearly as nice of a presentation so you need to cast far ahead to not spook the fish.......past that (following) i'm just applying some assumptions not being an expert.



Secondly (and i may be very wrong about this), unless you're waiting quite a while for that tip to sink, a sinking tip will only sink a fraction of its length before it reaches the fish (say in a river), the floating line portion restricting its descent.....As examples (and understand to some degree +/- the floating line gets pulled down to) and remember the fly sinks at its rate.....and I'm figuring this to absolutes which are rarely true:
  • 1. A 12' sinking tip w/say a 6"/sec. rate hinging at the floating portion in 4 seconds (a long time) will in theory be 24" deep at the tip angling back up to the floating line....So in theory any leader past that would allow the fly to sink at its rate hinging at the tip....So w/a fly that sinks 1" a second on a 6' leader it will only be 4" deep and pulled back as much as its butt is as the leader sink tip arc to the line.
  • 2. A 12" sinking tip w/say a 6"/sec. rate hinging at the floating portion in 4 seconds (a long time) will in theory be 12" deep hanging straight down from the floating line....So in theory any leader past that would allow the fly to sink at its rate hinging at the tip....So w/a fly that sinks 1" a second on a 6' leader it will only be 4" deep and pulled back as much as its but is as the leader sink tip arc to the line, in this case 12+".
If the above is even somewhat true, what that means is the rate of the fly and leaders descent needs to exceed that of the sinking tip...Hence weighted flys and/or weight on the tippet. The point being to have a smooth transition and reduce pull back from the floating portion of the line to the fly...So say a fly with a sink rate (and I'm just faking this not doing the trig) of say 24-36"/sec. (which is not really that big of deal for a weighted fly).

IOW, dependant upon the length of your leader and rate of descent of your fly, real short sinking tips (inches) would translate to only intending on getting your fly down a few inches not really adding anything past making that bit of transition slightly better (or worse).

Don't get me wrong, a sinking tip will pull down your floating fly line too somewhat.....Yet in the end you need to think of sink rates of the fly, leader, sinking tip, hinging, arcs formed and so on.......IOW I would assume sink tips are more about making a smooth transition and reducing pull back then actually getting the fly down.

All just guessing, but seems logical.



B.E.F.
 
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kingofamberley

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Grtlksmarlin, your concerns are valid and your logic seems sound. It sounds like you don't like the concept of sink tips at all? Around here in the warm water rivers I fish, sink tips are widely used and sworn by, so there must be something to it! If I can get an unweighted shad streamer down a couple feet in a fast run (by mending upstream for it to sink, then swinging through the current), then it will be worth it. I just don't want to invest a lot in another spool and main line before I try it.
Rip Tide, that is a good point about looping sections together. Wouldn't that give you a double-hinge effect though? Maybe making casting even more of a bear?
 

Rip Tide

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Rip Tide, that is a good point about looping sections together. Wouldn't that give you a double-hinge effect though? Maybe making casting even more of a bear?
Yeah, that's what I'm sayin'. But it hardly matters at that point. Chuck&duck.!

In the salt I'll often use a 10' lead head on a type 6 full sinking line. You'd think that would be next to impossible to cast, but it's actually pretty easy. :rolleyes:
 

silver creek

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With all due respect, I'm pretty good at science and I get the gist of what you are saying, but I some readers may not be able to follow your explanation.

A simple explanation is that the sink rate and the relative position of the fly in the water column will depend on the bouyancy/density of fly as well as the the sink tip. If the sink rate of the fly does not match the sink tip, the fly will seek it's own level which may be too high to present the fly to the fish that are targeted.

There are ways to compensate for your concerns.

Using a leader of 6 feet is unnecessary and is not recommended. A straight section of mono/flouro of 18 inches to 2 feet feet is all that is needed. Shorter is better to keep the fly closer to the depth of the sink tip.

Furthermore, the purpose of multiple lengths of sink tips is exactly to fine tune the system so that the depth of the sink tip is at the level the angler desires. What you are describing may happen in a fixed system with a long leader that cannot be adapted. In a variable sink tip system, if the fly rides too high, you lengthen the section of the sink tip UNTIL the fly rides at the level you want. This mitigates the problems that you have noted.

Hinging during the cast is minimized by using an oval constant tension Belgian cast instead of the back and forth standard 180 degree opposed cast.

I also use the Cortland LC-13 system that Rip Tide has described.

I make my own variable sink tips by "converting" my floating fly line into a "sink tip" fly line by adding a section of Cortland LC13 coated lead core material with braided nylon loop connectors.

Cut the LC-13 to multiple length sections of 12", 18", 24", and 36" sections and attach the braided mono loops on each end. Loop to loop connect the lead core to the floating fly line and then a short 2-3 feet of straight mono to the streamer.

LC 13 sinks at 8-9" per second. A type 6 sinking line has a nominal ski rate of 6-7"/sec so the LC-13 is a dense fast sinker.

Cortland LC-13 Lead Core (30 feet) : FishUSA.com



I form my own loop to loop connectors out of Cortland Braided mono running line which comes in 30 and 50 lb test.

Feather-Craft Fly Fishing | Fly Fishing Rods, Reels, Waders, Flies, Fly Tying Materials | Sage Rods | Simms Waders | Since 1955



Make your own braided loop connectors using the method below.

Getting Looped | Dan Blanton » Fly Fishing Resources

If you don't want to make your own braided loop mono connectors, you can buy a complete kit from Cortland. It is probably your best bet unless you need to make braided mono connectors for a fly line to leader connection. Ditch the shrink tube from the kit and whip finish and coat the ends of the braided loop to LC-13.

Cortland Slip-On Leader Loops : FishUSA.com

 

GrtLksMarlin

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.....It sounds like you don't like the concept of sink tips at all?......
Nope, not what I'm saying.....I use 15' sink tip line more often then not as it makes for smoother casts and just simply change up spools. I have and have used sink tip extensions, but they tend to hinge at the connection and hurt the cast 9distance the issue) in that remember your floating line tapers down quite a bit so the mass at the tip is nothing like say 10' back.

What I'm saying is that I don't believe sink tip line gets the fly down....I believe it simply makes for a smoother transition from the floating portion to the fly in that the fly sinks at the rate it sinks at.....I'll try and do a quick sketch and post it to show what I mean.

In the end, very short sink tips IMO doing nothing.....At that point I think you'd be better served to go with a longer but heavier leader (for turn over) and add a tiny piece of shot down by the fly.



B.E.F.
 

silver creek

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The best is a full sinking line. And an integrated sink tip is second. However, a variable sink tip system is better than using a floating line.

So the point is not that a variable sink tips performs as well as a full sinking or integrated sink tip. It is how best to use a variable sink tip system realizing that there are inherent disadvantages in performance and casting but advantages in cost and portability without the need to buy and carry a second spool and line.

I prefer the variable sink tips because I can carry 4 lengths in a single zip lock bag and swap lengths as the water depths and velocity changes. I actually have a full sinking line and a 15 foot sink tip line that I haven't used in years.
 

kingofamberley

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Nope, not what I'm saying.....I use 15' sink tip line more often then not as it makes for smoother casts and just simply change up spools. I have and have used sink tip extensions, but they tend to hinge at the connection and hurt the cast 9distance the issue) in that remember your floating line tapers down quite a bit so the mass at the tip is nothing like say 10' back.

What I'm saying is that I don't believe sink tip line gets the fly down....I believe it simply makes for a smoother transition from the floating portion to the fly in that the fly sinks at the rate it sinks at.....I'll try and do a quick sketch and post it to show what I mean.

In the end, very short sink tips IMO doing nothing.....At that point I think you'd be better served to go with a longer but heavier leader (for turn over) and add a tiny piece of shot down by the fly.



B.E.F.
Ah gotcha. Yeah I could see that, but I'm still going to give it a shot. My fishing guru (who will be forever missed… he retired and moved to Florida to fish the salt flats all the time!) would rave about a similar product from Orvis that is no longer made. He used it for steelhead fishing and loved it, so I figured I'd try. If I don't like it, there's always twist-ons and splitshot!
 
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