Sinking lines



Well-known member
Apr 25, 2007
Good day fellow fly fisherman.

I have next to zero experience with sinking lines, mostly because I have not really needed them.

Anyway, I will be fishing some lakes in Maine mid-May for lake trout and a blueback char. From what I understand as the waters warm the fish will go deeper.

Hopeful that mid May will still find these fish in shallower waters but I want to be prepared in the event I have to go deep.

I know of different sink rates but that’s about it.

What are some things I need to know? Any experiences you can share?

Probably spool it up on a 6wt.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
You are going to find out that you have just opened Pandora's box 🤣. Full sink, parabolic, hovering, blah, blah. Unfortunately, I can't provide much assistance for lake fishing. If you look at some of the European sites, that's their game over there. And those guys will take six or eight reels out in a row boat depending on how they want to fish. Each rod has a different type of sinking line. It's interesting but overwhelming too.

My stab in the dark would be for a full sink but a slower ips sink rate. You can always pause to allow it to reach the desired depth. If it sinks like a stone, you could easily pass the depth a be under the fish which won't get you many strikes.

Post pics of the blue backs if you find them. Cool looking fish
Thanks for the tips. Will do. Of all my native fishing trips, which are many, this one seems like it’s going to be a tough one.

Lake trout, landlocks salmon and the blueback char.

Fingers crossed on the char.

There are 11 waters where the char reside in Maine. The fish and game had C&R regs on the waters I plan on trying but this year they are opening it up to some harvest.

Wanted to go now with possibly a better chance of landing one before people start harvesting as it’s a challenge already. The lake trout and landlocks I expect to be able to check off.

I fish subsurface stuff a bit. I don't know how deep you want to get, and you probably don't either, but I employ several tools. Poly or Versi leader sets. I got a set of "zink" tips from a line maker out west. Last I have a different sink rate Outbound and surf lines. I even keep an intermediate 5wt around for higher spring trout water. The Versi/poly's are my favorite because they are tapered and easy to loop onto your line. I use them for swinging steelhead flies but also Presque Isle smallies from a kick boat in May.
The big question to me is how deep? 5' deep is a whole lot different than 30' deep. A really ugly thing I did in the past was to put a few foot length of lead core trolling line on a lighter fly line and count down the depth. The line stays sort of at the depth when retrieved. It really is ugly to cast and going deep you don't get much feel. Now if I go more than 5' or 10' I break out the spinning rod with some jigs or heavy spoons.
Airflo lines are what you'll be wanting if you need lake lines.

Sixth Sense INT is a must for any lake fishing.

They used to do a line weight U sinker as well... the belly sinks first so your fly 'sweeps" a bunch of water columns. I think they only make that for the UK market but, they'll ship to the US direct from their factory.

+1 on the lead heads. Indeed myself a set when I fished lakes from the float tube a lot. I whipped loops on the ends of 12 and 6 Inch segments of braided lead core line and just looped them between the line and leader depending on how deep and how fast i wanted to get down. Of course you can buy them too. I used these exclusively until I lucked onto a sinking line at a yard sale.