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Thread: Subsurface Lake Level Line - "less" vis

  1. #1

    Default Subsurface Lake Level Line - "less" vis

    In my sub-surface lake fishing research from a float tube, I have found that more strikes are had with a non hi-vis level fluorocarbon line than with hi-vis lines such as Sunline orange (the best line I have found for more traditional Tenkara fishing) or the Yamatoyo chartreuse. I believe the short 24-36" tippet/leader and 12 ft. plus hi-vis line combo when presented below the surface still retains a reflective quality that might spook fish - since a good length of the hi-vis line is completely in the water, not airialized above it. For still water fixed line fishing visibility may be a hindrance or at least not the most necessary line characteristic. Without that visibility, however, a relatively tight line and good control become critical to prevent missed takes.
    Last edited by Danny; 07-30-2013 at 12:34 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Fresno, California


    Danny and all, one of the functions a leader serves in Western fly fishing is to give a greater visual separation between the fly and the highly visible floating fly line so that the fish do not become alarmed. As we all know in Tenkara fly fishing the tippet is usually connected directly to the Tenkara line, which is often of a Hi-Vis colored type. Usually the length of the tippet section is in creased if the fish prove to be line shy, or as Danny has done, Low-Vis lines can also be used. The trouble with extending tippet length is that beyond a certain point the whole setup does not cast very well. Fishing from a float tube this may not be too much of a problem because float tubers often troll their flies through the water to catch their fish. And when fishing subsurface an incomplete turnover of the tippet will allow the fly to sink faster than casting a tight line will. But if a fish takes on the drop, there will be so much slack in the system that the fish may eject the fly before the angler even knows that he just had a strike.

    A possible remedy for this situation is to construct a better casting terminal line setup by shortening the tippet and putting in intermediate step-downs in pound test rating in between the line pound test rating and the tippet's - something like a 10 LB., an 8 LB., and a 6 LB. No-Vis line pound test steps down in between the 5X tippet and a size 4.5 HiVis T-line, with each step being about 6 inches shorter than the previous one was. I guess the place to start with this is at the approximate point at which tippet turnover becomes a problem. If you can reliably turn over 4 feet of tippet but you need 8 feet of tippet in order to catch fish, you know you need about 4 feet of a transition section in your line, which could look something like this: 18" of 10 LB. test, 12" of 8 LB. test, and 6" of 6 LB. test Low-Vis line equals 36 inches of transition section, which will turn over a longer tippet than a 17 LB. test line going down to a 5 LB. test 5X tippet in a single step will, and can become a permanent part of your line if you like, or it can be looped in for multiple changeable transition section length options if you prefer that option.

    I know that this idea runs counter to the simplicity of Tenkara fly fishing but, sometimes you just have to do what you have to do in order to catch fish. And I will take catching fish over choosing simplicity for simplicities' sake every time that I get to choose, how about you?
    Last edited by Golden; 07-31-2013 at 12:28 AM.

  3. #3


    Really good points K. I try to fish a tight, controlled line with no slack while lake T fishing from a tube. Primarily casting to bulging fish or structure and not so much mooching or trolling. I practiced the same approach "western" fly fishing for 30 years including the use of muted DT/WF line colors notwithstanding a longer leader. Conservative cast not a blast, let sink a bit, then slowly raise the rod tip rather than strip - sort of a Leisenring lift. In 4 years of T fishing, I have come to the same conclusion about stillwater presentation and stealth. So I will stick to the 3 ft. 6X tippet with direct connection to the low -vis level line, for now anyway. I like the control, ease of casting and simplicity above all else.

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