Descrition: slow sinking intermediate (0.75-1.25ips sink), with a long head and floating running line.
When I bought a new camo intermediate sink line last year I'd thought that I bought the ultimate stillwater sinking line. It sinks more slowly than my previous clear line, the new one has some camo tinge that meshes much more naturally in the tannic coloured waters I most often fish. The severe memory issues that many of the mono-cored clear intermediates have was minimal, or at least less than the other models I've owned (which has been extensive!).
|A nice rainbow caught in shallow, on the slow sinking SA Hover.|
I managed to get my hands on the Scientific Anglers Hover Line (Mastery Series) for my 7wt, my favourite lake line. (Heavy, maybe, but it launches a long leader, and two or three meaty flies like nothing, not to mention handles the pain in the ass wind!) My 7wt has a 40.5ft head, but other weights have different head lengths, so check out the SA site.
Here's what I know.
1. It sinks a hell of a lot slower than any of the "clear" intermediates I've fished, perfect for 2-8ft depths even with the slowest retrieves, but can be made to fish deeper or shallower.
2. The clear lines aren't all that clear anyway. If they are so clear, why is that 1/8" line OK, but I have to use 4x tippet...? The opaque off white of the Hover is actually pretty subtle, but I can still see and track my line which is a huge plus.
3. Being able to see the line sink lets me keep accurate track of the whole rig and how deeply I'm fishing and see if there are dips or bows which decrease sensitivity.
4. There is little to no memory even in cold water, something almost unheard of with the mono-cored clear lines.
5. It casts well at a half weight heavy (which I'm usually not a fan of...), and you don't really need to force the rod. (So don't get one line size heavy!)
6. The super slow sink rate lets you fish in a level, horizontal retrieve, not an arching or changing one; a bonus when you know the depth the trout are holding at.
7. The floating running line makes line control a breeze, including pick ups and recasts, without pulling the whole line back in.
1. The camo clear lines might be more stealthy in tannic or stained waters.
2. You might need to switch lines once the trout head deeper than 8ft, as waiting for the line to sink takes a long time.
3. The floating running line can get moved around by the breeze, making you lose connection with your flies.
|A nice baitfish slamming rainbow that got duped along the shoreline in 3ft of water.|
So far this year, in many days on the lakes, I've got 95% of my trout on the SA Hover, including some large ones. Except for the odd chironomid hatch that has really got the trout pumping, and a couple lone fish taking suspended leeches, the Hover has been the king.
I've tried using it, but the camo has just sunk too quickly, and unless the trout were aggressive and in a baitfish smashing mood in deeper water (which they haven't been), the Hover has just killed it.
Anywhere from 2-8 or 9ft deep... done. Sure, I tend to use a ridiculously long (by North American standards...) leader of 14ft to the top fly, then 4-6ft to the following ones, so maybe that helps, but by using the Hover, and adjusting my flies based on weight, it has just worked so well. Paired with a 10-12" slow strip interspersed with pauses, the trout have just clambered over it, especially during the paused when the flies are just sinking ever so slowly.
And in Manitoba, when casting in shallow for big meat-eating browns, well... You'll need to check out my Instagram account for that action! :)