When the fish are holding in deep holes, you can get there quickly with Poly/Versi sink tip leaders, and they’re perfect for shoreline fishing
[dropcap]M[/dropcap]ost floating fly lines on single hand fly rods are not built to handle add-on sink tip leaders. The devil is in the head taper. Shorter, maximal weight-forward fly lines, 25- to around 40-feet, will cast a looped-on sink tips better than long headed fly lines. Too, the shorter the fly line, the easier it is to cast an added tip.
Good fly line options for using tapered sink tips are Rio’s Outbound Short Shooting Head (available in fresh water, saltwater and tropical formulations). Another is Airflo’s Tropical Punch (TP), a Bruce Chard designed line, and Airflo’s Sniper for striper fishing and cold-water usage.
NOTE: The TP line is excellent when long pick-ups and recasts are called for. The TP line has 20-foot belly and 20-foot rear taper. Generally, that is an issue with other short head lines.
Poly-Leader and Versi-Leader are much lighter and tapered. Straight tungsten core sink tips are not tapered and very difficult to manage with regard to casting.
NOTE: Both ‘Poly’ and ‘Versi’ are ad words coined by their manufacturers (Poly=Airflo / Versi=RIO).
RIO’s VersiTip II fly line is 100-feet long floating fly line with just a 35-foot head length. It’s available in 5- thru 10-weight and is specifically designed to handle add-on sink tips in cold-water applications.
RIO’s VersiTip II, along with the fly line, comes with four differently performing 15-foot sink tips. Floating Clear Intermediate (1.5- to 2-ips) Type 3 Sink (3- to 4-ips) Type 6 sink (6- to 7-ips). These add-on leaders are attached to your fly line loop to loop.
The coating around the Poly/Versi core is tapered, has more mass at the top of the leader – facilitating a smoother transfer of energy from fly line to tapered tip to the fly. More mass also means easier rod loading. Hence controllable short pitches.
Additionally, the weight of the leader greatly aides maintaining momentum and direction on the forward haul. And punching line into the wind with a Versi-Leader is an advantage.
NOTE: The rub on the Versi/Poly tips had been the loops were limp and triggered hinging, which leads to bad casts. Today, the connections are stiff and don’t hinge.
Obviously, weighted sink tips are not at all capable of a soft landings – stay with mono or Fluorocarbon for float down presentations.
You can buy RIO and Airflo at your local fly shop
Featured image by Three Forks Ranch . . .