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Put 12-15-2018 01:17 PM

Multi Density Line Questions
Looking for any feedback on Guideline's 4D and 3D+ line offerings versus other multi-density line options (e.g. Rio's new 3D Scandi, Nextcast's SHF45, Galeforce EDT etc.).

I have some experience with the Nextcast SHF 45 and like the line, though I wish it were a little longer.

My primary interest for a mutli-density line is winter steelhead in Oregon/Northern California and spring trips to BC. I am curious to try the RIO 3D Scandi lines next summer/fall, but worry if they will allow me to throw tips/larger flies for winter fish where I am located.

I do have quite a bit of experience with Skagit multi density lines (FIST), and certainly will continue to use them, but I am curious if a longer mutli-density system is a viable option for winter steelhead on the west coast. I am more confident the Guideline 3D+/4D has a place in BC as the fly does not need to be as deep there.

My guess is any of the above will work anywhere depending on water conditions, but any feedback or experience would be welcomed. It so easy to just put the Skagit head on and chuck out whatever T material is called for, but I would like to begin to expand my fishing experience if possible.


bolen 12-15-2018 03:47 PM

NC SF 45 head like F-I is between 27-31' plus 10' tip, so it is in the same range as most of 3D heads by Rio or GL. For example if your use Rio 580 gr H-I-S3 it is 40' and in case of larger fly you add 36' strong tippet, as it would be the case when using NC 45 F-I + 10' S3. With NC 45 you can also use 15' tip in 80-110 gr depending on F-I head size.

sinktip 12-15-2018 07:29 PM

Like you, I’m a fan of thre Steelhead Finder but wish it were longer. A couple of the Nextcast Prostaff guys advises me to try the Salar Finder 45 as it is longer - 6’ on the 8/9 over the Steelhead Finder 7. Picked up one last week and have one morning on it so far. The 6’ does make a difference.

Not ready to review it yet though as after all fall throwing 16’ rods and FF70 lines, I need a day or two to get my 13’ winter rod stroke back. I ended up changing my Snake roll motion significantly this fall and while I live it on the long lines, it is not as good with the short ones.

Also, in reference to Bolen’s comment on 10’ tips. I’ve always thrown 15’ tips off of the SF45.

bender 12-16-2018 04:42 AM

SA UST SD (sliding density) seem technically most advanced multi sink lines when different density coatings change smoothly and they are easy and efficient to Spey cast when they have big weight difference between front and rear half.

Guideline 3D are good too and they seem to sink fastest of all lines and obviously its because there can be more tungsten in polyurethane coating and still have durable line. They also have good weight distribution up to S135 but 3D S357 is poor model and very demanding to cast because it has no weight difference between front and rear half but its tip sinks very fast. I bought mine soon when they came and newer might have been improved but without knowing I would not buy S357's?


YORKIE 12-16-2018 05:39 AM

I have 3D lines up to 2/4/6 and they do a job very well indeed,I still use them all with a 5ft poly and 5ft of tippet to the flee and haven't had any problems at all getting down where I need to.
Thing with graduated density lines is they sink differently to 2D or single density lines and although you may well feel they're not down there, they certainly are!,downside is they can fish round a bit faster due to more of the line being higher in the water.
The 3D lines are much more pleasant to cast than say a DWE line of 550,700 or 850 grain and those lines will get down anywhere in any flow of water.
You seem to have it in your head they won't turn over big flies, well if they'll turn over 2"+ of copper tube, then should turn over anything you will be using!
If you NEED fast,Guideline still do some of the 2D lines on 40lb core in 4/5 and 5/6 for the big Norwegian rivers early season.On paper they should be slower, but as there's a lot more of the line itself that gets deeper they will fish slower and find bottom where say the 2/4/6 won't.
Although I don't have the 3/5/7 I know those who do and its a fearsomely fast line in the 700 grain DWE class but easier to cast!.
You need to be aware these lines are fast and quite heavy, not at all suited to 12/13ft rods in lighter grain casting weights, rather than 15ft 10/11 conventional double handers!,although easier to cast than the old style DT and WF Spey lines they'll still need good technique and handling skills.They drop like a stone and can rake the bottom of pools with bad results if you pick the wrong sink rate and as they sink so quick, if you stand there fiddling with the end rig with the line in the water about you, it will soon find the bottom and every single line shredding stone, rock and boulder about your feet.
Just remember, with sinking lines the only thing worse than a line that dosen't sink quick enough for where you're fishing is one that sinks TOO fast for where you're fishing.
Best of luck,Yorkie.

Put 12-16-2018 12:53 PM

Thanks everyone, great feedback. Yes, sounds like most of the multi-density lines will be in the 36-40' range when the appropriate tip is added, maybe a little longer with the NC SHF if a 15' tip is used.

My understanding in the past is generally you would not add a tip to the GL 3D lines, just 3-6' of mono or fluro tippet, however it sounds like a short sinking poly could be added (per Yorkie) if desired.

I know these lines are popular in many areas and for salmon but is anyone using them for west coast winter steelhead?

I'll keep trying the NC SHF and also if I want a longer line try the WA's in the 55' with tips. I'll probably try to pick up a GL 3D in H/S1/S3 or I/S4/S6 to see who it fishes in the waters I fish.

Thanks again.

GR8LAKES FLYER 12-16-2018 04:52 PM

I'm a big fan of full sinking lines, especially when fishing cold water.
My "go to" is a Guideline DDC, intermediate belly with dual density tips. It is a highly effective delivery system which gives me the option to adjust my sink rates.

I've been trying out the Gaelforce EMT and EEMT systems lately and they have been a dream to cast and fish. However, I do prefer the full sunk lines for the cold water.
I would like to see these become available in intermediate belly versions along with the 15M Extended Spey Head (EES) :D

My River Brother has all of the ETD shooting heads and does very well with them. He says they are "butter smooth" for casting.


bender 12-16-2018 05:08 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Tuning shooting heads is very easy. If you take a head which is one, two or three weight class lighter and add a length of Skagit head to its rear it makes the head longer and heavier and easier to cast when there comes proportionally more weight to the top of D-loop. Usually at least other Skagit belly end has some taper and joining it to shooting head rear (which rear taper is cut away) the weight transition comes smooth and line behaves smooth as well.

I first cut the lines I join and look their cut and usually the core is more or less not centered and usually line curves to where the core is closer to the surface and I put that side against the table and use scapel and start 3/4" away carefully cut smooth slope down to the middle of line where the core is and then length vise so that blade cuts coating in half sliding against the core but not damage it and then just before end again slope so that first core cuts and then coating. That is easy to learn and is easy when blade is sharp. Then I do the same to the other to be joined end. If cuts come different lengths I cut some away from the longer one. Then I put very little Cyanacrylate to the other cut, align them and push together hard two minutes. There usually is need to form both ends bit smoother and if other line is thicker I taper it and that phase is in first photo.

Then I put stiffer/thicker line to table so that joined section comes 3" out and use masking tape to hold it. I use fly tying bobbin and good thin thread and smear some waterproof PU glue and wrap it over almost touching turns so that thread gets fully saturated with PU glue and threadin goes 1/16" over intact line and do half hitch every 1/8" or so and finish doing at least five half hitches, add and smoothen some more PU and let set overnight. After couple tests one joining now takes about 20 minutes and they are very strong and quite smooth and that is in second photo. I know guys who do not use PU glue and do dry wrapping and then add CA to saturate the thread. I have used many ways to join lines and except welding polyurethane coated lines this is easiest method.


Ravenstonedale 12-16-2018 09:13 PM

The guideline heads, and those mentioned above are all really solid. Guideline have been doing these a long time and their early heads which you could cut to match the rod were fantastic too. Best of all the Guidelines are PU and will last much much longer.

Yooper-Fly 12-16-2018 09:38 PM

I have multi density skagit heads and like them all. But, if you really want to get down and have a line that can toss tips and good size flies, Steve Godshall makes a S4 full sinking skagit head. Those lines rock and take you deeper than any multi-density line.

Put 12-17-2018 05:54 PM

Thanks. I’ll go by the shop and talk to Steve. I have a BC Scandi he put together for a rod I have from Bob, but have not used it much yet. Most of the time when winter fishing, I just automatically reach for the Skagit and am trying to think about it differently.

troutcontrol 12-23-2018 05:37 AM


Originally Posted by bender (Post 2422058)
... but 3D S357 is poor model and very demanding to cast because it has no weight difference between front and rear half but its tip sinks very fast.

Had a similar experience, horrible to cast.
I guess tip and end are heavier than the middle part. :cool:

sinktip 12-28-2018 03:43 PM

I have spent some time with the Salar Finder now and am really enjoying it. The 6í does make a noticeable difference in reduced stripping and in feel of the line.

The type 2 versus the intermediate section seems to sink a bit deeper (go figure) and I notice this most when pulling the combined 25í sinking section out in slack water. Average steelhead current speed is like butter in setting up a Snake Roll but in slack water, it is a bit more problematic. Not surprising though. In this situation, a double or a perry substitutes fine.

This is the only situation that Iíve found the longer line and 15í tips harder to handle. And this is with a Highlander action rod which has a relatively soft tip. Guessing the performance on my new MKX will be better yet (once I get it finished).

GR8LAKES FLYER 12-28-2018 05:25 PM

Duggan, which model Highlander and which Salarfinder are you pairing together ??


sinktip 12-28-2018 07:31 PM

It is one of Bobís Steelhead Master conversion rods. It is a 13í 8 weight that Bob describes a having a HC action. Love the rod but it does have a soft tip for sintip winter work. One reason Iím building the 13í 7/8 MKX.

The Salar is the 8/9 F2 version. Note the 8/9 is Euro rated so is a tad lighter than the 7 Steelhead Finder even though longer. I worried about it being heavy enough but it is a nice match.

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