Spey Pages banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
i want to have an assortment of homemade sink tips for my winter steelhead fishing. im very confused with all of the different products available, so im hoping to get help here. ive purchased a 24' RIO big boy tip 400 grain that i was planning on cutting up into different lengths, but being that it is density compensated, will that screw up the sink rate of a shorter section of this tip? also, for a fast sinking tip, should i get a heavy grain tip such as 1000 grain 30' head and cut it up into shorter sections? im aware of the max grains for line weight, so whats easier, getting a head that is matched by grain weight or to line weight( fast sink, super fast sink etc.) hope this makes sense, just trying to make a system of sinktips but not quite sure how to do it. any help, suggestions, ideas would be appreciated. thanks, mark
 

·
Pullin' Thread
Joined
·
4,694 Posts
MarkNY,

You need to both pay attention to the weight of the sink tip and the sink rate to do what you want. You want you grain weight (orline weight) of the sink tips to be either 1 line size smaller than you belly or weigh about 50-60% the AFTMA standard for a line one size smaller than the belly. This will give you the proper weight for the sink tip.

The sink rate is the second thing you need to take into consideration. There are sink reates available from Intermediate though Deep Water Express or RIO BigBoy.

I use sink rates of type III, type IV (SA), type VI (RIO or Cortland), and sections of 550 gr. and 700 gr. SA Deep Water Express. I'm looking forward to having the RIO type VIII tip on the market.

You can either buy the tips ready made from RIO in 15 foot or 24 foot lengths (15 foot is better), or buy sinking shooting tapers and make your own by cutting them. I use both premade RIO and cut shooting tapers. You can also use Cortland LC-13 leadcore, which weighs 13 gr./foot - just cut the length of LC-13 that gives you the proper grain weight for the line. Need 130 gr, cut 10 feet of LC-13. Need 260 gr., cut 20 feet of LC-13. LC-13 doesn't cast too pretty though so I don't use it.
 

·
Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
Joined
·
1,771 Posts
Great reply from Flytyer!

Based solely on my experiences in upstate NY steelheading, I would also add that the philosophy of sinktips is to bring the classic dryline swing down into the water column deeper and deeper, not to provide a nymphing drift without split shots. Although I am not suggesting you are fishing this way, the fact is that most deep winter G/L steelheaders are drift fishing with fly gear as opposed to swinging a fly down in the column. My point is if the plan is to drift, you're better off with an indicator, floating line, weighted leader and weighted nymph. I personally don't fish that way out of preference but I am aware that it's very effective in the midwest and central states. I don't mean to imply anything by that clarification except that I worked in a fly shop in an area where everyone goes to Pulaski for steelhead and I have had a lot of experience outfitting people who did not understand this subtlety.

Personally, I fish the swing and move the fish to the fly verses the fly to the fish. Although this will not produce more fish in deep winter it kicks ass in late winter / spring as well as summer runs. To build tips that cast and swim well, I prefer a tapered sinktip like the old S/A shooting head tapers in type IV, III, II, etc. But even though the RIO sinktips are not tapered, they cast just fine as long as you taper down from a heavy butt to the tippet (acts as a taper itself). I prefer the old tapered shooting heads cut at 13' (leaving 17') for the casting but have to imagine I am getting deeper without the front taper on the swing. I own and use a wide variety of RIO lines and fish the tips in a broad range of densities. The wallets and color coding are great.

The theory is to blend a floating weight forward head back taper and belly with a sinking high-density belly and front taper. With this you can cast with a good loop transfer, mend, and swim the fly down in the water column. By swim, I mean hold the fly at some fraction of the current speed so that it dances in the current close enough to the fish to warrant a reaction - half the current speed being the general rule. It's really no different from swinging the fly on top except for the depth.

Therefore the ideal grain weight of the combined 'hybrid' head is the same grain weight (or thereabouts) of the original head. The ideal length is the same length. That way you don't need to change your casting stroke when you change tips - except for a more pronounced lift at the start and a more snappy pop off the anchor. But we all know that ain't gonna happen!

The reality is that when you need to get down you want more grains and we rarely get away without changing the stroke and timing to compensate. I usually switch to a snap-T with tips, or a snake roll.

With a snake roll and a floater, the start of the spiral can be small as long as the 'flip' is good. With a sinktip, the first spiral has to be big to pull the tip out and the flip is more subdued.

The snap-T, although you have to put some ummph to get the tip to snap, gets everything right where you need it and with a full sweep the dee loop is powerful enough to give you a solid cast with even a heavy tip.

Anyway, didn't mean to run off at the mouth - I love steelheading and this time of year I am thinking of steelhead and the pacific northwest all the time! :smokin:

Good luck with your tips!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks Guys

thanks guys for the replies, a great help and much appreciated. i have alot to learn, but that gives me something to look forward to. juro, ive outgrown the nymphing/dead drifting technique. thats why i want to get a system of tips set up for harsh winter conditions. on my home water, in mid winter, water temps hover around 32 degrees with slush sometimes. i figured with an assortment of tips, i could stay as close to bottom in various water while still practicing the wet fly swing. id rather catch less fish on the wet fly swing than more fish with common G/L techniques. i know of some anglers that fish traditionally, who give up when the water temps are that cold and dont fish until temps rise. i cant do that, i love being on the river during winter. especially when i can have the river to myself on some mornings, which spoils me. anyways, thanks again.
 

·
Addicted to the cast!
Joined
·
274 Posts
Hi guys

Just got a fright when I read from Juro that our sink tips weren't tapered. I didn't know that! then I checked and found that they are all tapered. You must have some very old tips, Juro, if there is no taper. We stopped making level tips two years ago.........I am relieved as I had been telling everyone that the tips were tapered!

Mark, the DC 400 has a sink rate of around 7.3 ips. The Density compensated part means that the taper has a denser material to compensate for the fact that the line gets thinner towards the tip, therefore has less mass to it. The tip should still sink at around 7.1 ips. So, for sink rate, you can cut the tip where you like and at any length you like, all you will lose is the taper for a softer presentation.

I hope this helps.
Simon
 

·
Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
Joined
·
1,771 Posts
dOh!

Well, I am very embarassed to say that all my Rio tips are level, and I have a bunch. Maybe it's time to get with the program, eh? :rolleyes:

On the other hand, they are still delivering the fly into the depths in winter and spring and have been stretched quite a few times by hell-bound fish. That says a lot about their durability.

Good thing we have guys like Simon checking up on weekend warriors like me ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
114 Posts
Hi : Possibly this has alrady been noted but when you purchase the 30 foot heads of deepwater express from SA in either 550 grain ,700 gr. or 850 gr. they include a diagram of the grains per foot in each foot of the 30 foot length. Using this diagram you can then cut just the right length of sink tip that you want ,to the weight you want to use. I have found that by cutting two ten foot lengths from the tapered ends of the head and two five foot lengths untapered. I can join various lengths together loop to loop to achieve a wide variety of sink rates to match virtually and water depth and current speed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,829 Posts
DE Heads?

LA,
They do get down, too well at times for me. I rearely need to go to tips of deepwater express. Maybe I am not fishing all the water I should be?
Ted
 

·
Pullin' Thread
Joined
·
4,694 Posts
T_richarzhagen,

Deep Water Express indeed goes down quickly. I use a 14 1/2 ft 550 gr. tip and an 11 1/2 ft tip of 700 gr. Deep Water Express on my 11 wieght T&T. I use them when the river is way up. When the water is rally high or very fast, there is nothing like the ti of 700 gr. to get down.

I tried both an 8 ft tip of 850 gr. looped to 7 feet of type 4 and a 5 ft. tip of 850 gr. looped to 9 ft. of type 4 to really get down when the river is roaring. However, they cast like crap. Oh, I can this combo far enough; but it just slams the water at the end of the cast and it feels weird as you pick it up from the water at the beginning of your forward spey. Instead of a nice smooth transition, it just up and rockets away with no real transition, making timing a pain. This is why I don't use 850 gr. with my 2-hander.

I'm looking forward to being able to get the new RIO type 8 sinking tip, it should be about as fast as 550 gr. Deep Water Express (maybe a little faster) and it will cast much better because of its taper.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top