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How to rig your gear for Steelheading fishing, Questions and answers...about methods, equipment, and steelhead fly fishing gear.
10 posts • Page 1 of 1
by pmjasper » Thu Oct 08, 2009 7:44 am
Recently I've been watching various DVD's regarding steelheading, both the "traditional" Great Lakes style of fishing and Jim Teeny's method of utilizing sink tip or sinking lines for drifting and swinging.
Teeny's ideas seem to contradict the conventional wisdom behind Great lakes steelheading, as instead of long leaders, light tippets and small flies, he uses short leaders, rather stout tippets and flies from size 10 to 2's. Now I know he does most of his fishing on the west coast, which is entirely different than our fisheries but when I asked him about Great lakes fishing he stated he has made several trips to the Great lakes over the years, fished the exact same methods and catch just as well as he does out in Oregon.
Therefore, I was wondering does anyone here utilize sinking or sink tip lines such as Rio's Versitip and forgo adding shot to the leader?
It is an interesting concept and would make casting much easier but I still have a hard time thinking that a 3 to 4ft leader off of your main fly line would not somehow spook these fish. I'm curious what you guys think in relation to this question. Thank you.
Last edited by pmjasper on Sun Nov 01, 2009 9:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
by pmjasper » Sun Nov 01, 2009 9:28 pm
So in relation to the above question, some of the answers i have received have made me question another aspect of simply utilizing sinking leaders with my standard floating nymphing line:
Sent to Rio Fly Fishing Products:
I recently purchased Rio's Nymphing line for fishing egg imitations and nymphs with and without indicators for steelhead in the Great Lake tributaries. I am also looking to utilize the technique of swinging streamers as well and have been told some contradictory things. Some suggest I get a totally different sink tip line, such as Teeny's Mini-Tip line, while others suggest using sinking leaders, such as Rio's Versi-leader.
My question is this, since Rio's nymphing line is a high floating line, does using sinking leaders and making the front portion of the line sink reduce it's overall ability to float over time? I would think that by sinking the line over and over again, eventually the line's ability to remain high floating might be compromised. If that is the case, I would prefer to get a separate sink tip line for swinging streamers. Any insight to my question would be greatly appreciated.
So does anyone think that using sinking leaders on a floating line will eventually compromise the floating ability of that line?
by FiveWeight » Mon Nov 02, 2009 2:05 am
I don't think it would, because a floating line is meant to get wet. It's still mostly submerged anyway. I have used sink tips, and don't care for them - they're pretty hard to cast and I don't like the way they sit in the water, particularly if you attach them to a high floating line. Also, if you extend your line with a sink tip, the shooting head is longer than it's meant to be. You're better off carrying a second spool with a true sink tip line.
The theory behind using short leaders on a sink tip is to pull the fly down quickly. As you lengthen your leader, it has less effect in doing that. Unfortunately, a short leader is a necessity. But it will be so much easier to cast. You won't find as many sink tips in bright florescent colors and I've even fished clear sinking lines. You're probably going to have the most steelhead success with sink tips on larger rivers, covering a lot of water from a boat, and searching for the most aggressive fish. Think smallmouth fishing. Next time you talk to Teeny, ask him if that's how he does it. You're probably not trying to dead drift a nymph on a three foot leader through a small, clear stream. They have their place but it's not everywhere you want to fish.
Caveat: I know this mostly from trout fishing, not steelhead fishing but I would be surprised if the principles were reversed.
by pmjasper » Mon Nov 02, 2009 8:39 am
Thanks 5 weight.
Perhaps I should have started a new thread cause I received some good answers regarding my first post.
Now regarding my second post, I am definitely leaning toward picking up a true sink tip line, and after much discussion with various people who fish the area in Wisconsin that I fish, it looks like Teeny's MiniTip+, which is an 8ft section of sink tip and the remainder a floating line, is a good choice for swinging streamers and tube flies within the Lake Michigan tributaries. My primary presentation will be using a true floating line (Rio's nymphing line) and drifting egg patterns and nymphs through small runs and holes. However, I wanted to be able to switch to a secondary presentation, swinging streamers and tube flies, when water levels are up and when fishing deeper pools and runs. That's where some said go with an entirely different spool and sink tip line, while others said simply adding the sinking leaders to my floating line will get the job done. I just didn't want to destroy my floating line by adding sinking leaders and using it as a modified sink tip line. That's basically where I'm coming from.
Thanks again for taking the time to answer my question. The insight is appreciated.
by SAGA » Mon Nov 02, 2009 9:14 am
When someone comes up with a product SURE they are going to say it works in as many applications/places as possible. You certainly know that on some days it takes nothing special to catch fish, on those days any technique or terminal tackle will be successful, Therefore, like football, on any given day, using closely associated techniques, will prove sucessful.
A full sinking line can be a bear to bring to the surface and start the cast, a full sinking line has its place reletive to the depth of water your fishing.
Longer leaders without the use of weighted files can make for an uneven sink rate between fly and sink tip. A sinking leader, and weighted flies help level out the decent. Depending on the depth , here in Mi, sink-tip lines are more than enough to get down to where you need to, with the smallest amount of fatiguing effort.
There are times when spooky fish suspend well off the bottom to avoid getting gigged in the back. Then a full floating fly line and a 4 ft leader also works well enough. Its all about getting to we here the fish actually are with the least amount of effort, now it may be nearly impossible to carry everything needed for every occasion, so stop-gap quick fixes become practical.
I don't think the sink tip protion of the line will get any dirtier than the amount of dirt a full floating line comes in contact with, I would guestimate it would be less. The cohesive surface layer pf the water is reletively harder to penetrate for fine particulate matter, thus it can be dirtier that what is present subsurface. What makes floating line less bouyant, is micro fine particulate matter that lodges into the micro fine recesses in the fly line coating. SOOOoooo redressing a dirty fly line without cleaning it the best you can first, just overcoats the dirt and produces a far more temporary fix. You can never bring a fly line back to its original new float height, (remove all the dirt) although float height is nearly inprecepitable to determine, its more an equasion of how soon it again floats in an unfavorable manner.
by pmjasper » Mon Nov 02, 2009 9:38 am
Thank you for a in-depth answer Saga.
So assuming you swing flies, and utilize sink tips for doing so, what size do you find most popular for your application. I realize there are many different sink tips with many different sink rates, but on average, which one do you utilize the most.
I've really been trying hard to set up my gear as best possible and asking around. There is Teeny's MinTip line with a 5ft section of sink tip, Teeny's Tip+ with a 8ft section of sink tip (4-6 IPS) and then various other lines with sink tips from 15ft up to 24ft, with various sink rates. I would say most of my fishing, swinging streamers and tubs would be done in water less than 10ft and slow to moderate current. I think the Minitip+ might be the way to go but haven't pulles the trigger yet.
by SAGA » Mon Nov 02, 2009 5:35 pm
Its pretty much trial and error and I definately have not erred enough to rob the necessary number of banks to afford very one of those sink tips to try out. A Moderate current speed is a subjective observation, its a happy medium sort of thing, if the current gets stronger... then it just takes longer for your bait to get down and your drift time on bottom is shortened. There are too many variables to call out out anything specific. I just give a basic overview of what goes on, you still have to pony up the cash to do your own trial and error investigation. What is most verstile, means you know enough to readily adapt to a given situation, from a given starting point. Even little red ridinghood only found what she liked on the 3rd try.
by pmjasper » Mon Nov 02, 2009 6:42 pm
I hear you Saga. Thanks again for your assistance with my question.
BTW... Rio stated that using their sinking leaders with their nymphing line will not compromise it's floating capabilities. Take it for what it's worth I guess.
by SAGA » Tue Nov 03, 2009 8:56 am
Sinking leaders are designed to just tweek depth achieved and the time frame it takes to achieve that end. You can't really add that much weight to a leader such that it can effect the floatability of a floating nymhing line. Fly Leaders or Casting line made from fluoro are inheriently denser than water and sink. The sinking aspects of a fly leader just inhance its preformance in maintaining a more uniformly level decent, but it is all reletive to the current speed, water depth and density (temp), particulate matter (sediment) that is present in the water.
by fontinalis » Thu Nov 05, 2009 12:20 am
Buy some t-14 fast sinking line. cut a bunch of different length sections
tie small loops in each end and attach to your fly line with loop to loop connections
to tie a loop- loop the end of the line then tie a nail knot with fireline to hold loop in place,
use the shorter tips for slower water and longer tips for faster deeper water
fish the sink tips with big flys swing your way down river to find the aggressive fish, then unloop your sink tip put on an indicator rig and fish your way back up river with eggs and nymphs to catch the rest of the fish
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