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shrimpflyshrimpfly Bradenton FLPosts: 2 Greenhorn
Hello all, I’m new member John. Been spin fishing many years & decided this year to learn to fly fish. Been working on casting & trying out budget to mid-priced rods & reels with different lines. So far my favorite is a Sage 8wt Foundation with a Sage Spectrum C reel and Rio Flats Pro 8WF line or Rio Bonefish. Next up: learn to double haul.

I plan on some beach snook fishing this summer, and was wondering if folks here do this primarily with floating or clear sink tip lines, or both. Thanks!


  • sunflowersunflower osprey, floridaPosts: 702 Officer
    edited April 2021 #2



    I have floating lines on my 8-weight (for everything), 10 (permit), and 12 (tarpon) rods.
     I have one 12-weight with an intermediate sinking line. In Venice we target most migrating tarpon in about 10-16 feet (but we are targeting them close to the surface).
    Certainly most fishing in Florida is done with floating lines. I doubt you are often or ever targeting fish deeper than 10 feet, and most much-shallower than that. Your leader sinks. The sink-rate of flies varies a lot.
    Beach snook are in the first trough of the surf wash, in probably 2 feet of water.
    I have never used a true sinking line except for dredging for fish in Seychelles.

    Did I mention ... floating?

    grace finds goodness in everything ...

  • tarponhuntertarponhunter Posts: 490 Deckhand
    I think sunflower is right, most all scenarios in florida inshore a floating line is your best option. I will add tho that I do like an intermediate line on the beach when the waves get anything above flat clam lol
  • shrimpflyshrimpfly Bradenton FLPosts: 2 Greenhorn
    Excellent, really appreciate the feedback & tips. I did some testing with sink rates & retrieves with different flies using the floating lines & 9’ tapered leaders & it sure looked like I could fish most of the depths I’m fishing with floating lines - thanks for confirming this. I will carry a slow sink tip to the beach also though, as tarponhunter mentioned. Tight lines!
  • idlerickidlerick Littleton, Colorado & Sarasota, FlaPosts: 245 Deckhand
    I don't do the beach snook thing; for that I agree floaters are the way to go. When I use a floater it's around the mangrove shorelines, in very shallow (1-3 ft) water, and when I'm using foam-bodied flies. Maybe 2% of the time.
    My typical day is drifting the deeper - meaning 5-8 ft - sand/grass flats after trout, reds, macs, pomps, flounder, blues, etc. I find the better fish, and the most fish, are going to be right near the bottom, so that's where I concentrate using #2 to #4 sink tip lines. They cast like floaters (almost) and pick up easily for a recast. In the colder months when the fish retreat to the deeper channels and canals, I'll go to a #6 ST. You just can't get a fly down 8-10 feet on a floater with a 9-ft leader unless the line is also sinking, in which case you've essentially used a sink tip.
    Drifting with the wind or tide limits the time you have to let the fly sink, too. If you wait as long as it takes for a #4 Clouser to get down 8 feet on a floater, you've drifted well past the place you cast to. You could anchor, but that's a royal pain.
    So floaters have their uses, but for most fishing here I'll recommend a ST.

  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 4,687 Captain
    Everyone in the fly fishing world has different needs (and after that first fly rod.... You'll want another...).  Here's how I'm set up most days (nights are different and I'll get to that shortly...).  All of my lighter rods (9wt and smaller, down to a 7wt, are set up with floating lines since we're either working the shallows or up against mangrove jungle shorelines.  My heavier rods (a 10wt most days with the addition of a 12wt for giant tarpon when they're around....) are all set up with a full Intermediate line.... That Intermediate allows  us to fish a foot under the surface - or all the way down near the bottom in ten feet of water - where many of our big tarpon are holding when they're in the rivers that drain out of the backcountry... 

    At night we run into some very short range fishing when were working small tarpon (20 to 40lbs) up under the bridges that connect Miami to Miami Beach.  We're working so close (behind them -if we're quiet they never know you're there...) and tossing flies to fish we're looking at... that some nights my anglers have difficulty loading the line... That first 30 feet of a weight forward line needs to be outside the rod for it to load properly... Our solution is simply to overline the rod with one line size heavier than normal to aid in very close quarters casting... Works like a charm and is a real aid since we're operating in darkness and you can't see your fly line to get you timing right... 

    All of this is why beginning anglers have some confusion about exactly what line they need.  My advice is to start with a floating line - then pick up an additional line or two as needed until you're geared up the way you want to be (and of course line makers will continue to offer more and more lines for this or that and do their best to convince you that each one is exactly what you need..). 

    One other note is that in jungle territory you're smart not to buy high end super expensive fly lines - they'll get chewed up as quickly as an entry level line when you're working around oyster bars and heavy mangrove cover.... 
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • troutbomtroutbom Posts: 402 Deckhand
    As usual Bob's advice spot on. For beginners ,floating line is the way to go. However, I do a lot of beach fishing for snook and found that for most conditions, a clear intermediate sink tip ( sink rate 1 1/2-3") is by far the best choice. I like RIO's. 
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