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Help making sink tips

4352 Views 11 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  L A Smithers
Can you guys give me some advice on making my own sink tips. I have just purchased a $33 windcutter 8/9/10 spey line from Bob Marriott that Carl posted on the main board. I plan on cutting this line and then make some sink tips and do some experimenting.
I know I what something similar to the RIO 15' type 6 which I think is between 130-150 grains.

So, my question to you is what materials can I use to make something similar? How are you making your tips? How do I figure out the max grains for tips that I use with the 9140 (green blank) and the windcutter 8/9/10?

Remember this is my first attempt at this. :)

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You have a couple of options. Beau suggested the Rio tips. They are hard to beat and can be picked up for around $20 each. The Airflo tips are also sold seperatly for about the same and work well.

The other option is to make your own. One thing a number of people do is buy a 30' Type VI SA shooting head (around $25). They then cut this at 13' and 17' and you have two tips with the 17' sinking a bit better than the 13. In essence you have the same as a Type III and a Type VI Rio. If you are needing to know grain weight, the SA paperwork should provide you with the grains per foot for the various sections of the line. You simply pick up some braided loops and afix them and you are good to go.

Both methods work it is just hopw much you want to spend versus how much work you want to do yourself.

another thought - that WC can handle 8-10 wt tips with ease - the factory tips for that line from RIO are in the 9 wt range in terms of grains per foot. I like to keep my eyes open for used full sinking or sinktip lines in the sink rates that I want, and then cut them to suit. A DT full sinker is the real find on this one - you can sometimes get them for $5-10. full sink WF works as well, but usually the belly is 30', so not any longer than with a shooting head. I check eBay, overstock bins, etc for such things. LOTS of deals to be had, especially if you keep an eye out. Or buy a new shooting head as mentioned above and chop it up. I prefer to keep my tips all the same length - 15' - and vary the sink rate.... but I always carry a few 20' lengths of LC13 for those fun times.

I make my own loops out of braided nylon (see instructions on www.danblanton.com). You can buy premade loops, too, just throw away the shrink tube, and tie a nail knot at the loose end of the loop with 12 lb test and aquaseal (or other) lightly to set it. Or whip a loop in the end of the sinking line. A whipped end in the WC line will be too fat, though, recommend a braided loop for that end.
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The one thing that is missing from the above is where do you cut the blasted line. If you cut the 8/9/10 Windcutter at betweeen 17 and 19 feet from the end and put your loops on both the piece you cut off and the end of the belly, it will cast very well. The suggestions from the others on how and where to get sink tip material is what most people I know do. Sometimes I buy the RIO premade tips and sometimes I make my own. The deciding factor is whether I want to use faster sinking tips like Deep Water Express or tips longer than 15 feet.

As to how to make the attaching loop, I use braided mono I buy in 50 to 100 yard spools, either Cortland or Gudebod, cut off a peice, lay each side along the end of the line, and the nail knot the end of the loose loop to the line with two or three nail knots. I cover the nail knots with shrink tubing I buy at the local electrocins or hobby shop. Also, I put aquaseal or Flex Zap on the loop after it is nail knotted to the line and covered with the shrink rubing to stiffin the loop and prevent it from collapsing and loosing the energy of the cast.
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For what it's worth I had an old Jim Teeny T-200 or T-300 laying around and I cut the last 15' off, made a braided loop and now it's my favorite tip. I believe this tip is density compensated so you get a great presentation and avoid lining fish before they see your fly. Perhaps not the most economically sound of options and I'm not sure how stoked Jim would be to hear about it but it catches fish.
Surfer is right, I had a 17' section from a T-300 that was my favorite tip for a couple of years until I lost in on a snag.
COOL! I have a T300 head that broke off a friend's line at the juncture, he didn't want it. I'll be snipping it for a loop!

thanks for the tip
HI: You might consider using scientific angler deepwater express.
It comes in 30 'lengths tapered at both ends. It is available in 550,700 and 850 grain /30'heads. Sci Ang provides a weight per foot scale which allows you to generate any total weight you want.
Normally I cut 2 10 foot tips one from each end of the head. I cut the center 10 'section into 2 5'lengths. I install braid loops cut from 50lb gudebroad hollow braid at each end of each tip.
This allows me to fish tips of any length from 5' to 30 ' .I cut a windcutter at 16' and at 26 ' .I find that you can fish the lighter tips with just the 16' tip removed, but heavier tips are best with 26' section removed.
For light tips using the full windcutter I use Airflo extra fast sink 10' salmon leaders. These leaders can also be used in conjunction with the 10' and 5' deepwater heads.
Thanks everyone, I appreiate all the help. I have started to play around with making the braided loops. I can make the loops but I am concerned about these things hinging.

I don't know, maybe I am making them wrong, but when I slide the fly line into the braided loop, it goes up all the way but leaves about a 3" gap where the line can't go up any further.

Should I be concerned about this? I haven't tried casting them yet, but I would prefer the line go up the braid further.

Is this how your making your braided loops too, or are you doing something different.

Thanks again for all the advice.


If you coat the braided mono loop and portion gong over the line with aquaseal, Flex-A-Gap, Pliobond, Goop, SA Ultraflex or something similiar, the hinging is non-exixtent. Also, you want to make the loops as small as possible, just large enough to pass the other line through it without binding. My favoirite loop coating is aquaseal, something most of use have any way for wader repair.
Flytyer is on the right track with all his suggestions however there is one extra step which gives very tight connecting loops.
Find some soft plastic tube that will slide with difficulty onto your flyline. Put a short section on the sink tip and the flyline and after your loop to loop is connected slide the two together. This virtually eliminates any hinging. The plasit becomes the cover and the braid becomes the core.
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