Viking Lars | Saturday, 15 October 2022
I think most fly fishers prefer to fish floating lines, most fly fisher probably do fish floating lines. I probably don’t. I don’t keep track, but when I think about my fishing, it generally consists of sea trout on the coast, salmon and sea trout in the rivers, pike and perch, a little mackerel and sea bass and a little trout and grayling. For quite a few years, I’ve mainly fished river sea trout/salmon and pike/perch.
In the salt, I do mainly use a floating line. I use intermediate in the wind, to make casting a little easier and to keep better contact with the fly. I do use floating lines for pike when fishing poppers, but almost always intermediates and sinkers. Bass and mackerel rarely floating lines, because I mainly fish from the pontoon boat. Trout and grayling almost exclusive floating lines. River sea trout in the night, floating lines and the occasional intermediate, during the day, always sinking lines in different densities.
All in all, considering my fishing these years, I definitely cast more sinking lines than floating lines. Then there’s the in-between - sink tip lines. I have a few, and when I need them/choose to use them, they really are excellent. I don’t enjoy casting them much, but im small streams they allow me to drift a fly into a hole, without it sinking too deep. The floating part allows me to mend the line cross stream/up stream to keep the fly on the other side while it’s sinking. I include Skagit setups in the category. I dislike casting them even more, but they solve problems in very tight spaces that other lines don’t - so I have them and use them.
In many instances, at least when very heavy tips aren’t necessary, sinking leaders can be handy. Like sink tips and Skagit-lines, I don’t much like casting them, but they can definitely be handy. The can turn a floating line into a sink tip in a moment and they can even pull down a siding line further. Some line systems are designed for use with poly leaders and they make the casting a lot better and smoother. The problem with adding a poly leaders to any floating line is that they rarely cast well with them, because the front taper isn’t suited for it.
A system designed for poly leaders is very versatile, but some of them are not good for nylon leaders, there their turn over becomes way too hard, because they’re designed for the heavier poly leaders.
As most things fly fishing, it’s the eternal compromise.
When it comes to sink tip lines, I really liked the Jim Teeny Mini Tips, which featured a short, 5’ I think it was, fasting sinking tip. Excellent lines in smaller streams. It was quite good for winter grayling too. I only have a WF 5 left - I’m not sure they’re available anymore, but maybe I should check.
The bottom line is that if you fish several different species, in several different habitats and over the changing seasons, at some point you’ll end up with a lot of lines. Stores correctly and taken well care off, they will stay good for many years, though.
Have a great weekend!