Watching fish rise for a dry fly is exhilarating, but the truth is that fish don’t feed nearly as much on the surface as they do beneath the surface.
Sinking lines are very effective in presenting flies subsurface to cruising fish. And the surprise from a violent yank on the line provides a distinct thrill that is entirely unique to subsurface fly fishing with a sinking fly line.
There is a great variety of applications for sinking fly line. But the real question is: which type of sinking fly line will perform the best for your needs?
In Hurry? We Have Compiled List Of Best Full Sink Fly Fishing Lines
Scientific Anglers Wetcel Sinking Lines
Why is it better?
Our Top Picks For Full Sink Lines
With that in mind, let’s now take a closer look at our top picks.
Let’s dive into the specifics and review each vest individually. You can use the list below to jump and review specific models, or you can read along and go through all the information.
Best Overall: Scientific Anglers Wetcel Sinking Lines
The Scientific Anglers Wetcel Sinking Line is an extremely versatile line that provides you with a forward weighting that works for a range of applications.
This is a basic, no frills line that gets the job done. It is ideal for fishing in streams, river, and lakes, allowing you to hook in trout, bass and panfish, to name just a few.
The Scientific Anglers Wetcel Sinking Line is built around a braided monofilament core.
This is an 80 inch line, with a 5 inch front taper, 20 inch belly, 3 inch rear and the resting being running line.
Line weights range from WF-5-S to WF-8-S, with grain weights for the first 30 feet from 9.1g to 13.6g.
The Scientific Anglers Wetcel Sinking Line is ideally suited for cold to medium water conditions. It is best suited to work with nymphs and streamers.
RIO Products Fly Line Intouch
The Rio Products Mainstream fly line is a general purpose line for the fisherman who will be encountering a range of fish species.
Slightly heavier than you might be used to, this line is designed to help you get the maximum efficiency from your fishing rod.
In addition to the heavier weight, you’ll also notice a shorter head length on this line.
The Rio Products Mainstream is an 80 foot fly line. The overall length of the head is 30 inches, which includes a 7 inch front taper.
The body of the fly line is 25 inches in length and you get a 42 inch running line. This is a clear running line which makes it invisible to the fish in the water.
The sink rate of the Rio Products fly line is 1-5-2.0 inches per second. It has a 30 foot head weight of 8.6 gm.
RIO Mainstream Sinking Fly Line
The Rio Mainstream Type 6 Full Sinking Fly Line is designed to cater to the average fisherman who is overwhelmed by the confusing number of fly line choices and simply wants something that will be general purpose.
This line provides you with a short, powerful front taper to provide ease of casting no matter what environment you find yourself in.
The Rio Mainstream Type 6 Full Sinking Fly Line has a fast sink rate of 3-4 inches per second. The line is brown colored.
This is an 80 foot line, with a head length of 38 feet nd a head weight of 8.6 gm. The front taper is 4.6 inches, with 32.6 inch body, 3 inch back taper and 40 inch running line.
RIO InTouch Deep Type 5 Fishing Line
The Rio ‘In Touch’ series of fly lines brings the latest in advanced sinking line technology to still water anglers.
The series makes use of two exciting new technologies. The first is Rio’s patented Connect Core technology.
This produces a non-stretch line that hugely enhances the feel that the angler has on the line.
This is critical when fishing deep as the feel on the line lets you know what is happening down below.
With an InTouch line, your feeling and perception with be heightened to allow you to keep on top of the action.
The other innovative technology in the Scientific Anglers Wetcel Sinking Line is the distinctive hang marker which is built into the fly line.
This is located some 13 feet from the front end of the line. This clearly identifiable marker lets you know when the sinking line is approaching the end of its retrieve.
As a result, you will never again strip your sinking line in too close to the cast.
The Scientific Anglers Wetcel Sinking Line also provides you with welded loops on the front end of the line.
This makes it a piece of cake to rig the line and change leaders fast. This unique range of lines also provides you with a new taper design to give you a more powerful head.
Full Sink Fly Line FAQ
WHEN TO USE A FULL SINK FLY LINE?
A full sink fly line is a line that is designed to sink down into the water that you are fishing in. It is used to fish for nymphs and streamers.
Trout feed mainly below the surface of the water, so a full sink line makes a lot of sense when going for them.
A full sink line is infused with tungsten powder. This makes it heavier than a conventional fly line causing it to sink more rapidly.
Full sink lines vary in their sink rate depending on the amount of tungsten that is infused into the line.
There are a number of sink fly lines that perform somewhat differently to one another. A sink tip fly line is around 90 feet long.
The first third of this line is the sinking portion. The rest of the line will float on the surface of the water.
A mini sink tip line is between ten and fifteen feet long. It is added to the end of a floating line. Just this end portion will go under the water.
In contrast, a full sink line will completely submerge itself under the water. A full sink line is more difficult to cast than the other types of lines.
An intermediate sink line will maintain a level just below the surface of the water. This is ideal when you are working in a body of water that is full of weeds.
You can also get full sink fly lines that are slow, fast and very fast sinking.
WHY IS THE FULL SINK FLY LINE BEST FOR TROUT?
A full sink line is a good choice when you are fishing for trout because it allows you to get your fly as close as possible to the mouth of your fish.
It allows you to get the fly directly down to where the fish is located, which is something that a floating line simply cannot do.
A trout is likely to lurk on the bottom of the water and then rise to go after the fly. When the fly is at the end of a full sink line, you are able to put the temptation directly in front of the trout.
As a result, the fish doesn’t have to travel as far to take the (hopefully) fatal bite.
HOW TO FISH WITH A FULL SINK FLY LINE?
It can be challenging to cast a full sink fly line. To make it easier, you should strip the line and fly in more than you normally would when using a floating line.
You should also make a slight adjustment to your casting stroke. In addition, opening up the casting range of motion will also help. Try to make just a single back cast.
Which type of sinking fly line will perform for your needs will depend on what type of water and which species of fish you are after.
We offer a our top choices and explore their strengths and weaknesses.
Before you select a sinking fly line you need to know what application you are going for.
Sinking fly lines are made to sink at a specific rate that is given in inches per second, and is abbreviated ips.
Obviously you don’t want to fish a fast sinking line in water that is too shallow, because you’ll snag bottom.
But the most important deciding factor in selecting a full sink fly line is at what depth you expect to find the fish feeding.
Casting fast sinking line in relatively shallow water will require a faster retrieve. But if a fast retrieve is what you are after, then a fast sinking line might be the answer.
But if you need to retrieve slowly, or even pause frequently during the retrieve then you will want a slower sinking line.
And if the water is really shallow then maybe you even should consider an intermediate line, which sinks around 1-2 inches per second.
Type III and IV sinking lines are good middle-of-the-road sinking fly lines, which sink at a rate around 3-5 inches per second.
Most anglers find type III and IV provide for a good range of fishing depths while still allowing good control.
For top performance and the best chance of success, it is super important that you use sinking fly line for the correct application.