When it comes to those unbearably hot summer days, trout fishing can become a tricky business indeed. One of the most trusty methods used to catch consistently, however, is to head for deep water. Trout will often dive for the depths in search of cooler, oxygen-rich water as surface temperatures rocket sky-high. An eye-catching pattern, such as an Orange Blob or Booby, will often grab their attention and turn a struggle into a good day on the water. However, one thing stands in your way: getting the fly down to the fish in what may be 20 feet of water. That’s where these characters come into play. With sink rates of up to 7in/sec, they ensure you will put your fly where it matters…


RIO Outbound Type 6

RRP: £49.95
Average sink rate: 6in/sec
Total length: 40 yards
Core: Single strand
Coating: PVC
Colour: Black (head), grey (running line)

Tel: 01757 210160
Web: www.guideflyfishing.co.uk
E-mail: sales@guideflyfishing.co.uk

Look out, this one’s a beast! RIO makes no bones about this line being heavier than a normal 7-wt; that’s because it’s not ‘normal’! With a shooting head-style taper, this line is designed to be lifted, back-cast and simply chucked sky-high – and it flies. It’s certainly line geared toward the experienced angler, and the hardened competition boys will love the distance capabilities of this.


 

TOTAL FLYFISHER CHOICE
Daiwa Wilderness Fast Sinking

RRP: £24.99
Average sink rate: 3in/sec
Total length: 30 yards
Core: Braided
Coating: PVC
Colour: Black

Tel: 01698 355723
Web: wwwdaiwasports.co.uk
E-mail: info@daiwasports.co.uk

For under £25, you can’t go wrong with this one. It’s much slower sinking (at 3in per second) than most of the others on test, yet for the fly fishing newcomer who needs a sinker for occasional use, it’s a beaut. The Wilderness is supple in the hand, shoots very easily through the rod rings and suited both rods used to perfection.


Snowbee XS Ultra Fast Sink

RRP: £37
Average sink rate: 5in/sec
Total length: 30 yards
Core: Braid
Coating: PVC
Colour: Black

Tel: 01752 334933
Web: www.snowbee.co.uk
E-mail: flyfish@snowbee.co.uk

With the weight seemingly condensed more toward the front than many, this line loads the rod very quickly indeed. The coating is reasonably slick, lacking the graininess that many fast sinkers seem to possess. At 5in per second, it’s not the fastest sinking line on the market, yet will cope admirably in most deep-water situations.


Scientific Anglers Wet Cel Type VI

RRP: £39.99
Average sink rate: 6.75in/sec
Total length: 33.3 yards
Core: Braid
Coating: PVC
Colour: Black

Tel: 01527 587450
Web: www.leeda.co.uk
E-mail: sales@leeda.co.uk

This certainly feels quite heavy and wasn’t far off overloading both of the 7-wt rods used in the test; we’d therefore recommend an 8-wt to get the most out of this line. Unlike other lines with a phenomenally fast sink rate such as this, it feels slick in the hand and shoots smoothly through the rings. The final point to mention is that the running line is exceptionally fine, which aids shooting yet causes a problem with tangles in a high wind.


TOTAL FLYFISHER CHOICE
Greys Deepseeker

Average sink rate: in/sec
Total length:
Core: Braid
Coating: PVC
Colour: Black

Tel: 01665 602771
Web: www.hardygreys.com
E-mail: sales@hardygreys.com

This is a lovely line to use. It’s well balanced and super-smooth to cast, and when loading both rods – as a 7-wt line should – it doesn’t feel like you’re thrashing a lump of lead! The line is very supple in the hand and, thanks to a slightly thicker running line, shouldn’t cause too much of a problem as far as tangles are concerned. This is without doubt one of the best fast sinkers on the market.


Cortland 444 Classic Type 6

RRP: £39.95
Average sink rate: 6.6in/sec
Total length: 30 yards
Core: Nylon braid
Coating: PVC
Colour: Black

Tel: 01684 299000
Web: www.thenumberone.co.uk
E-mail: sales@masterline.co.uk

Like the Greys line, this is beautifully tapered and is testament to modern line design, proving that using a super-fast sinker really doesn’t have to be a chore. However, the very fine running line may cause problems for some as far as tangling goes – so make sure it’s stored on a large-arbor reel. The coating on this line isn’t as smooth as some, but this one’s well worth a try.


Shakespeare Worcestershire Fly Fast Sink

RRP: £39.50
Average sink rate: 3in/sec
Total length: 35 yards
Core: Braid
Coating: PVC
Colour: Dark grey

Tel: 01527 513802
Web: www.shakespeare-fishing.co.uk
E-mail: sales@shakespeare-fishing.co.uk

Having a sink rate of 3in per second means that this line couldn’t really be classed alongside many of the others in this test. What is noticeable, however, is that it is super-smooth and supple in the hand, making it a pleasant line to fish with all day. It loaded both rods well, and if you have to pick a general ‘sinker’ for everyday use it would be a wise choice. The nifty winder packaged with this is a real help for loading the line onto the reel.


Shimano Biocraft XTA QS

RRP: £24.99
Average sink rate: 6.5in/sec
Total length: 27.3 yards
Core: Low-stretch braid
Coating: Polyurethane
Colour: Dark green

Tel: 01386 425826
Web: www.shimano.com
E-mail: ukinfo@shimano-eu.com

Considering the price, and the fact that the packaging doubles up as a smart, zippered fly case, this is a bargain. This line features a low-stretch braided core; this can be of massive benefit when fishing deep, helping the angler to detect the most subtle takes, such as when nymphing in deep water. The line is fairly tip-heavy, which helps load the rod quickly – often a big help for the novice caster.


Lureflash Deep Water Express

Sink rate: 7in/sec
Total length: 30 yards
Core: Braid
Coating: PVC
Colour: Dark grey

Tel: 01709 724700
Web: www.lureflash.co.uk
E-mail: sales@lureflash.co.uk

While this line certainly lives up to its – fantastic – name and sinks like a brick, it feels as though there’s a fair whack of tungsten or similar in its make up – it’s bloomin’ heavy! We’d recommend rigging this on a powerful 8-wt, or even 9-wt, rod because it severely overloaded both of the 7-wt models we used. Other than that, it handles well and would be a great choice for those wishing to use Steve Parton-esque fly patterns.


TOTAL FLYFISHER CHOICE
Airflo Sixth Sense Di7

RRP: £34.99
Average sink rate: 7in/sec
Total length: 35 yards
Core: Power-core braid
Coating: Polyurethane
Colour: Black

Tel: 01874 612612
Web: www.fishtec.co.uk
E-mail: james@bvg-airflo.co.uk

This is the latest offering from the guys behind the original fast-sinking lines. With a  very low-stretch core, bite detection is super-sensitive even at extreme depths, making sure those shy takes really stick. The coating is reasonably smooth and the diameter thin, but not as extreme as some. The line we tested was rated 7/8-wt but, in our eyes, is certainly closer to the 8-wt. Pick a 6/7-wt version for a 7-wt rod and this is very hard to beat.

THE VERDICT
Those anglers who have used fast-sinking lines in the past will admit that it’s never going to be a joy to fish with them for any length of time. The trouble is, that the more sinking agent (such as tungsten) that is incorporated in the line, the harder it is to produce a smooth coating. Also, to keep a 7-wt line’s weight at a 7-wt to load the rod correctly, the thinner you have to make it the greater the possibility of handling problems. While this is arguably true with many of the lines here, there were three that we had to flag up as great choices.
Airflo sinkers have been a firm favourite with competition anglers for many years now – and the trend looks set to continue with the Sixth Sense. It handles well, shoots like a dream and gets down deep in an instant. The low-stretch core will help many anglers pick up those tiniest of takes at depth, and that has to be a good thing.
Next up for a pat on the back is the Greys Deepseeker. The taper on this really makes the line a joy to cast (you don’t feel like you’re slinging lead about the place), and it’s beautifully supple on the retrieve and to manage in the hand.
Finally, we have to give the Daiwa Wilderness a special mention. Okay, it’s not strictly a ‘fast’ sinker when compared to the Di7 variety of line, but it’s an absolute bargain either for those anglers just starting out or those who only use a sinker very occasionally. Having said that, it’s also a cracking 3in/sec medium-sinker for the experienced guys.

Total Fly Fisher

 


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