A sinking line helps maintain a direct connection to the fly in turbulent surf. Taking the fly down deep also improves chances for bites.

Remember summer? Calm, clear water and snook cruising down the trough. Enter fall storms churning up the surf. Those floating fly lines that worked just fine in the flat conditions of summer need to be replaced. Many of us land-based fly casters fish right through the winter using lines more commonly associated with deep water and fast currents. I’m talking about full sinking, type III to even type V fly lines.

Floating lines are certainly useful while fishing from shore but when the going gets rough, a sinking line helps keep your fly closer to the bottom in the surf zone where fish are feeding. It also makes casting into the wind, which usually accompanies rough surf, much easier. Sinking lines are thinner in diameter than their floating counterparts, so they cut through the wind easier. Their coating is infused with heavy tungsten powder to allow sink rates up to 7 inches per second. Now we aren’t talking about plummeting to the bottom like a 2-ounce jig will, but it’s a vast improvement over using just a weighted fly on a floating or intermediate line.

Sinking lines also provide another bonus; they collect far less seaweed than a floater will, as they quickly slip beneath the surface and away from where the weeds usually are. Imagine looking at a floating fly line lying on the ocean’s surface. It will ride up and over every wave that passes under it, making for an indirect connection to your fly. Now imagine what a sinking line does as it cuts below the surface, sinking in a straight path to your fly. The less slack between your hand

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