View Full Version : Gettin' Down..... Sink tips

03-02-2007, 01:49 AM
I would like to come up with a sink tip rig to fish for white bass on the Cumberland River below Cheatham Dam. Typically, my father and I spin fish throwing a 1/4 oz jig/sassy shad to the bank bouncing it slowly along the bottom (4-8ft deep) while drifting down stream. We are usually casting inside of 40ft or so and the water is fairly swift. The trick seems to be a slow reteive near the bottom. This spring I want to try my 8wt, but I'm not familiar with sink tips. I need something to drop a fly as fast as a 1/4oz jig would in about 8ft of water. Any recommendations? Thanks!

03-02-2007, 12:07 PM
Hey Randall, I've got a sinking line on my 8wt reel. I believe its a 250 or 300 grain. about 6 inch per sec.
Give me a call or PM and you can borrow the reel for your next trip up to your Dads. I won't need it for awhile.
We need to get together again soon to make up for our last outting on that COLD, WINDY Sat. awhile back.
P.S. How is the trip planning going?

03-02-2007, 07:10 PM
It's kind of hard to say without knowing what the cfs is and all that. But, Gary's advice is good on the 250-300 grain lines. I'd lean a little more towards the 300. If you're fishing these flies on or near the bottom with a slow retrieve then I would consider a floating line and split shot as well. The problem with sink-tips is the they will sink and wrap structure on the bottom. If the bottom is mostly uniform where you'll be fishing then this will be less of a problem. If the fly doesn't have to be moved that much and there's a lot of structure then I'd go with floating line. 4-8ft depths aren't really that hard to reach on a dead drift.

03-02-2007, 11:37 PM
Thanks! This will be a good starting point. I'll check the cfs this year. Some of our best days have been when they have the gates raised a bit and are generating. I am really looking forward to trying this.

Gary: I'll get in touch with you very soon about the reel and the raincheck.

03-31-2007, 01:00 PM
If you fish a Clouser or Zonker you will have some weight on the end as well. Let us hear how it works out.
Gary you want to take a canoe down the Little Pigeon, or Lower Abrams, or Little River, (or take your pick!) give me a call.

03-31-2007, 06:17 PM
What do you think about an intermediate sinking line with a slightly weighted streamer for this situation? That set-up worked great for me last fall on the SoHo and Clinch. BTW, when you coming up to give me some coaching on streamer fishing? The drift boat will be ready when you get here!


03-31-2007, 06:33 PM
Randall, Have you been to your Dad's yet? The dogwoods are a bloomin! I'm itchin to get out on the F. Broad for Stripes right now.
I've never used an intermediate sinking line, only sink tips. I didn't like the hinge effect so I bought an extra spool with a full sinking line. I bet it works good though.
Rusty, Sounds like you will be busy when you get back up here. Lots of fishing and friends to catch up with!
John, Looking to get my yak out on water soon. Several places are on my list. I'll PM ya. Bring the 6wt.!

03-31-2007, 06:43 PM
Troutman -- I switched from sink tips to intermediate sinking. Sink tips were a dawg for me to cast (used mostly a 6-wt). Would rather go with a full sinking than a sink tip! Intermediates, on the other hand, have a lot of flexibility -- you can vary fly weight, cast direction (up, across or down), leader length and size, delay in beginning retrieve, and retrieve rate to meet most any condition that I've encountered. I like intermediates a lot. Just my $.02.


03-31-2007, 08:49 PM
I use intermediates for low water and smaller streamers (what I call small) but that's about it. Not bad for hitting bank structure but there's no way to get a fly on the bottom with them during generation. Most of the truly BIG fish I have pulled up have come from bottom dredging. This kind of fishing will cure insomnia. But, if you want to have a chance at the biggest fish in the river then sink-tips, full sinking (hard to manage), or heavily weighted flies are the way to go. Casting is a problem with a long leader and a heavy fly/flies so you don't want to be casting floating line and heavy flies frequently. If they are dead drifted then it's not as much work.

Sink-tips work best for what I do. If they're giving you trouble casting them then you may look into using a softer rod. When using sinkers you want to feel that rod bend and seem like you're launching the line. Parabolic rods work best for less aggressive casting. The discontinued Sage DS2 is an awesome rod for sinkers (look on ebay or try to find an action like it.) Also, be careful that you're not using too much rod for the line you're using. A 150 grain is very ill suited for a fast 5wt and heavier rod. I use 150 grain lines on 4wt's. 5 and 6 - 250/300. 7 thru 9 - 300 and up. Work on your timing if a softer rod doesn't work.

If the fish are actively looking up for prey then an intermidiate is fine. Intermediates are great for low water fishing when you don't want to weigh your flies. They're butter easy to cast but they don't get deep enough.

Thanks for the invite, Phil. Keep in touch with me. Certain times of the year are better than others. ;)

03-31-2007, 09:54 PM
I generally fish a medium fast rod -- Winston BIIx. I hadn't considered a parabolic flex rod, but I'm glad you mentioned that. I have a home-made 6-wt built on a very old parabolic-action Dale Clemons blank that I may have to pull out of retirement.

Let me know when you want to hook up and we'll get a trip in the plan.