Need advice! Please help!

yakker88yakker88 Posts: 54 Deckhand
I'm new to fly fishing and need some advice. I was given a 9wt rod for christmas that has floating line. I tend to use this in the bay area in North Miami targeting trout. I've read about some people using intermediate and sinking lines and I wasn't sure if I would be better off switching over to something different. I do get offshore and wouldn't mind being able to fly fish out there.
I'm asking what type of line would be best for me to use in addition to advice on leaders/tippet.
Thanks for any help!


  • Capt. ScottCapt. Scott Posts: 94 Greenhorn
    Always good (eccential actually) to have sinking lines in addition to floating. A clear intermediate and a fast sinking will allow you to fish more effectively in all the conditions and environments you encounter, back country, near shore and offshore. Spare spools for the reel you have will make it easy switching between the lines you want to use. If the fish aren't on the surface, floating line is basically useless in water deeper than ten feet....a sinking line will out fish, (catch) a floater 10 - 1...
    If you'd like to give me a call, I'd be happy to give you some tips on the whole thing
    Capt. Scott Hamilton 561-745-2402, 6pm - 9pm
  • bonefishdickbonefishdick Posts: 67 Deckhand
    Never leave home without it. That is a philosophy that most fly Fisherman will follow and will carry at least those 3 lines, Floating, Intermediate and Sinking.

    This response will most likely get a few responses that will say all you need is a floating line and that combined with weighted flies is all you need. Always be prepared and the most realistic way to do that is use the proper tool for the job. I use a sling pack on the salt and I always carries at least 3 lines, I have 5 lines that I use and I have ordered a larger Sling Pack to allow me carry all five.

    An intermediate as stated is essential as far as a sinking line, I would think a type 3 full sink density compensated would also be a good choice.
    "The Tug Is The Drug"
  • yakker88yakker88 Posts: 54 Deckhand
    Thank you both for the advice. I know this might sound like a dumb question but you do use spare spools to keep line on or is there a quick way to change out the line?? Also, would either of you recommend a specific intermediate line that is a solid performer with a good price? I ask because I'm a graduate student living on loans which means my budget is a little more restricted than I'd like. I'm trying to stretch it as far as I can!
  • sunflowersunflower Posts: 414 Deckhand

    You can save your money. You definitely do not need intermediate or sinking line. End of story.

    99.999999% of fly fishing in Florida is done with a floating line. Three lines mean three spools (at $100 up for spare spools, $100 for spare lines), or you are going to try to switch them as you fish, which you won't do 100% of the time unless you are waaaay harder-working that the average fisherman. You will only be very-rarely targeting fish deeper than 10 feet ... only tarpon come to mind as a rare fish you might want to sink on.

    The sinking lines are much harder to cast, and you will lose more fish on poor casting than you will gain with the sinking-tips.

    You only need sinking lines if you have specific applications in mind: deeper tarpon cruising off the beach, tuna, amberjack, red snapper, or dredging.

    I have been fly fishing 1 or two times a week for the last 5 - 7 years ... and I have used my sinking line probably less than 5 days. I have fished in Florida, the Keys, the Bahamas, and Seychelles ... all floating except dredging for grouper and tuna in Seychelles.

    Save your money.


    grace finds goodness in everything ...

  • Capt. ScottCapt. Scott Posts: 94 Greenhorn

    There are no dumb questions.....ignorant answers maybe....
    Sadly, most of the clear intermediates are a bit pricey, but they are very much worth it and you should acquire one in the future. SciAng Bonefish and Tarpon tapers are my favorite. Sinking lines Type I thru V lines can a little less if you look around. If you ask your local fly shop nice, they should be able to get them for you. You can view the lines and see their characteristics here:
    A clear intermediate is good not only for getting a little deeper when desired, but is also eccential when on spooky fish in really clear water. It's my go to line for tuna or spooky dolphin. Next step in desired sink rate is going to be something in the 3.5 to 6.5 inches per second when you want to get really deep. There are lines out there that sink at something like 8.0 to 10.0 IPS, but they are a huge pain to cast and generally are used on rods much larger than your 9#.
    As for a quick method of switching lines out, spare spools are the fastest. Short of that, loop to loop connections,( a **** loop in the end of the fly line and a large loop in the backing) will allow you to switch lines fairly quickly. Save the spools the lines come on to store the lines.
    A side note....Redington makes a reel called a Crosswater. The reels are graphite, very light, little to no maintenance, surprisingly strong drag and cost about $40.00, spare spools are $20.00 and will serve you fine until you want to drop big coin on fancier reels....I have six of them and can't kill them, and believe me, I've tried. Here's a look at it:
    Also Rio has a clear intermediate line for about $40.00 as well as some other sinking varieties in the same price range. You can order all this stuff from Darren at the Ole Florida Fly Shop(561-995-1929) and he will ship it to you direct....
    Good luck,
    Capt. Scott
  • yakker88yakker88 Posts: 54 Deckhand
    Thank you for all of the advice! For now, I think I'm going to go w/ an intermediate line. I've found the clear intermediate bonefish taper by SA for $60 on ebay so I think I am going to go that route.
    As far as the spool goes, I think a new spool from Orvis is $40 so I'm thinking that it might just be better to purchase the Reddington for the same price and have 2 reels period.
    Thank you for pointing me in the right direction!
  • acesoveracesover Posts: 550 Officer
    I have a couple of Intermediate lines, have used them about 10 times in the last 6 yrs. The only time I use a sinking line is fishing Sebastian Inlet with my 10wt, so I agree with Sunflower, if your fishing for trout, the floater is all you will need.
  • yakker88yakker88 Posts: 54 Deckhand
    I'll probably to continue to use the floating line when I'm in the bay for trout and then use the intermediate when I venture offshore. I just purchased the intermediate line so I'm hoping it wasn't in vain!
    @acesover--I like your quote!
    I try not to be negative on the forum, but I think Sunflower is off base by not using intermediate,sink-tip or full sinking lines when the conditions suggest their use. Granted, I only get to fish in Florida 3 months out of the year, but most of the time has been spent using clear intermediate lines. When the waves are up, nothing beats an intermediate line for getting just under the surface. Ever try fishing a popper with an intermediate line? It's a hoot!!!
  • Ol'DirtyCasterOl'DirtyCaster Posts: 2,191 Captain
    Yakker, it depends entirely on the habitat you're fishing. I do the majority of my snook & tarpon fishing withh density compensated lines, but would never make any kind of recommendation without first-hand knowledge of th waters you fish regularly. Just put some thought into it.
  • yakker88yakker88 Posts: 54 Deckhand
    I've haven't fished the intermediate line nor the popper on the fly rod yet but am excited to do so. Do you tend to have good results using the popper in the salt??
    Nothing better than top water action, but you have to have the correct conditions. If I know that I'm going to be fishing on the surface, I will use floating line. That being said, I still use an intermediate line for most of my salt water fishing.
  • clampmanclampman Posts: 130 Officer
    I don't use anything but floating and sink tips inshore and offshore. The last time I used high density sinking lines was when dredging for large brook trout in deep lakes up north.

    For someone new to fly fishing, especially, you will find floating lines much easier to cast and to pick up and lay down with a shoot, and consequently will improve your casting skills faster using a floating line than a sinking one. Sink tips are second best in that regard in that they don't have to be stripped in so close to you before recasting.

    Although off your topic a bit, I would not discount the largemouth bass fishing in your area, using large cork poppers or Dahlberg divers at happy hour. Not only is it a great way to tune your casting mechanics, but it can result in a lot of time spent with fish on. That repeated experience ("fish on" time) is the best way for you to learn line awareness and line management. Pay no attention to those who say "a 9 wt is way too much for bass".

    Likewise off subject, I would recommend talking with Dave Olsen at the fly shop on S. Dixie in Miami and seeing what he'd charge you for a half hour of casting instruction.

    Good luck.

  • yakker88yakker88 Posts: 54 Deckhand
    Ol'dirtycaster- I tend to fish bay waters around pelican harbor if you are familiar w/ the area at all. It tends to range from several feet of water as deep as 30 feet. I'm relatively new to south Florida and have yet to catch a tarpon and have been itching for it. It's one of those things where I have seen them a couple of times but haven't gotten hooked up.
    I would like to start using the fly rod when I go offshore but the main priority is inshore at the moment. I went ahead and ordered intermediate line and I was able to call orvis and get a spare spool for $19 since the one I was given has been discontinued.
    @Clampman-- I had a friend teach me how to cast when I was back in NC over the holidays and I've taken to it pretty well, the trickiest part is doing it off the kayak. I honestly haven't heard much about the freshwater fishing down here. Something I'll have to check into!
    Thanks for the help everyone!
  • idlerickidlerick Posts: 213 Deckhand
    I agree, Muskegon. I fish Sarasota Bay 6 mos/year, and it's rare that I even take a floater out with me. I use sink-tips almost exclusively for trout, macs, snook, reds, blues, pomps, ladies, anything that bites. It's only when I get up in the real shallow stuff (1-2 ft) that I'll break out a floater. For most bay fishing the water will run 3-8 feet deep, so I carry ST's in Type I's thru Type IV's, and when the cold fronts hit and the fish get huddled up in the canals and channels, I'll go to a Type V or VI ST. The ST's are nice compared to the full sinkers in that they can be controlled, mended and picked up a whole lot easier.
    Most fish are looking for food down near the grass on the bottom because that's where it lives. Fishing half way up the water column is missing most of the fish, IMO. The macs and ladies will chase stuff up higher, but pomps and trout tend to stay down there, and the deeper you can get a Clouser the more strikes you'll get.
  • yakker88yakker88 Posts: 54 Deckhand
    Great piece of advice, the water temp in the bay has dropped about 20 degrees here lately and I've been catching numerous trash fish. Hopefully getting a lil deeper will yield better results.

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