by Guide Blog


Total Presentation

Having been introduced to the Rio Fathom series of Sinking lines, I’ve been highly impressed. They cast extremely well, and this is in part down to the thin, easily shootable, running line, but it’s the front taper that gives it the OOMPH! It’s a short, compact head upfront, and it’s this which will load your rod so much quicker so that fewer false casts are needed. There’s also Rio Extreme Slickness Technology built-in, so short head, thin running line, and very little in the way of friction means that you can expect to hit the horizon with every cast!

These are dual coloured lines too, a darker head and lighter running line also allow you to see where the total loading point is, again making for easy casting no matter what level you’re at. They feature a short ‘hang marker’ around 20ft from the tip. This allows us, visually and by feel, to hang the flies at the correct point during the end of the retrieve. As it reaches the tip ring, you’ve 20ft of line in the water, and as it hits your hand 10ft, perfect for the hang. The marker also has the line identifications on it, so you know its sink rate is; it’s a neat feature.

Far Fewer Tangles!

Each line features a uniform sink rate thanks to them being density compensated, so you get a perfect presentation every time. And unlike some sinking lines, these Fathoms rarely tangle. I think we’d all agree on this – tangles – can be the most frustrating thing with sinking lines, even more so when you are ‘in the zone’, and you can’t get your flies in the water as you’re picking out knots in your line! The Fathom series are built on a mono core, which has some stretch, equating to far fewer tangles. Total Game-Changer!

All The Bases Are Covered

There are sinking lines to cover all depths here, from sub-surface right down to the lakebed. There are all the usual suspects, Sink3, Sink5 & Sink7 but there’s also a cheeky little Sink6 that fills a gap in my fly line armoury and will do the same for you too. I love this line for ‘pulling’ a fish-finding method that we all employ when loch style fishing early season. All of the above densities are ‘KEY’ for the style of fishing we do here in the UK and ones we can all relate to.

All of the lines in the range come in three-line weights 6, 7, and 8-wt, so whether you prefer a light line or a heavy-hitting competition line, Rio has covered all the bases.

Understanding Sinking Lines

Although most of us are more than familiar with floating lines and the type of fishing applications they are used for, sinkers seem to be a bit of a mystery to many.

Granted, when it comes to fishing small stillwaters, you may think that a sinking line would be redundant, the water that you are fishing being too shallow even to try such a line, but you’d be wrong. Sinking lines are very much a crucial part of our fly fishing armoury, not just from a drifting boat. These lines allow us to present our flies in a specific manner. With various sinkers, we can present our flies throughout the ‘retrieve’ to cover more water and – crucially – at a consistent level within the water column.

This style of presentation is something that cannot be achieved effectively with a floating line. You may be thinking of a Bung, right? But a bung is static and sadly doesn’t cover anywhere near enough water and at the same time, can only be fished either static or very, very slowly.
For the most part, Trout are aggressive (top predator in my eyes) and are often super inquisitive. Both characteristics mean that they have the propensity to chase a fly, something we can capitalise on massively when we are using sinking lines.

When it comes to this style of fishing, lures reign supreme. Early season I’d be looking at Blobs, Cat’s and Black and Green Boobies. But as the year goes on, I’d switch to Cormorants teamed with a Booby or Sparkler on the point. Single flies score highly too, Snakes fish exceptionally well on these lines as the line’s weight pulls them down, fishing them through the trout. Cat, Damsel, Humungus and of course, a single Blob will work a treat too.

A Wise Investment 

Good sinkers like these Rio Fathoms are an investment. Sinking lines use various materials, not found in floating lines, which means that they are a little more pricey, so you should choose wisely. You don’t want to be renewing these lines each and every season. With these Fathoms Rio has created ones that are built to last!

Having good and reliable sinking lines at your disposal will make you a better angler and they will definitely help you to catch more fish!


Steve Cullen

Steve Cullen Fly Fishing

Steve Cullen YouTube Channel



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