The Top 3 Intermediate & Sinking Fly Lines For Striped Bass

Top 3 Intermediate Fly Lines for Striped Bass:

Intermediate striper lines are the most popular choice here in New England. We tell people if you had to have one, this would probably be it. Intermediate lines are very slow sinking lines which are great for fishing subsurface without getting too deep and hanging up on the bottom. They fish well on beaches, rocky shorelines, and in rivers and marshes. Here are our top 3 performing intermediate striper lines according to our experience and our customers feedback. Feel free to give us a shout for help on selecting the right line for you, your gear, and your fishery!

Coastal Quickshooter XP:

By far our most popular striped bass fly line. This line is one of the smoothest and easiest casting lines on the market for targeting stripers. It is an aggressive and overweighted line. Therefore, certain 9wt rods will pair better with the 8IXP vs the 9IXP. This varies rod to rod, person to person, and technique to technique, so feel free to reach out with questions about you and balancing your specific rod. This line features a clear tip, a translucent purple running line, and welded loops on both ends. It is ideal for casting in heavy wind and turning over big flies. This line does not provide the most delicate of presentations but the clear tip does help greatly when dealing with spooky fish on sunny days. 

Click HERE for more info on RIO Coastal Quickshooter

RIO Premier Striper:

A line very similar to the Coastal Quickshooter, except it is not quite as aggressive. This line also features a clear tip and is capable of presenting a fly more delicately than the quickshooter. So in a lot of cases it is preferred by those fishing flats with decievers, clousers, etc. This line has a glow in the dark running line which takes a lot if the frustration of fishing at night out of the equation. 

Click HERE for more info on RIO Premier Striper

Scientific Anglers Sonar Titan Full Intermediate:

The SONAR Full Intermediate is a great casting line with an aggressive taper capable of turning over larger/heavier flies. But, it’s most notable feature is it’s braided multi-filament core that provides incredibly strong hook sets and an increased sense of feel vs single strand cores. If you feel like you are missing hook sets or not driving the hook home deep enough to keep a fish on, give this stuff a try. This line comes in a teal color with welded loops on both ends.

Click HERE for more info on the SA SONAR Full Intermediate

Top 3 Sink Tip Fly Lines for Striped Bass:

Whether you are trying to get a big baitfish pattern down fast, or dragging crab flies on the sandy bottom, most striped bass fly fisherman like to have a sink tip line on hand. Sink tip lines are notoriously aggressive and not the most pleasant casting lines but we have narrowed down 3 lines that we hope can change that reputation. These are our top performing sink tip fly lines according to our own experiences using them, as well as our customers feedback. Feel free to reach out for help selecting the line right for you, your gear, and your fishery!

Scientific Anglers SONAR Triple Density Int/S3/S6

This line casts incredibly well and provides the most direct connection to your fly possible. Featuring 3 different sink rates per line, the SA triple density lines prevent hinge points that traditional intermediate to sink or float to sink lines provide. This allows the line to stay in the straightest possible course to the fly which in turn allows you to feel every little bump your fly might encounter. This line comes in multiple colors to indicate changes on line density. All of this coupled with SA’s multi filament braided core (a low stretch core that is great for providing strong hook sets) makes it an ideal line for striped bass. Comes with welded loops on both ends. This is our favorite line for fishing crab flies. 

Click HERE for more info on the SA SONAR Triple Density

RIO Leviathan:

Not your traditional sink tip line for stripers, and almost something that could be counter intuitive because it is a tropical line, we have found this line to be one of the most durable and well performing sink tip fly lines for striped bass on the market. With a very abrasion resistant coating meant to deal rubbing on coral reefs, this line is an incredibly good line for fishing rocky shorelines and will not immediately brake down if rubbing on rocks or barnacles. The 50lb core not only provides extra strength but also offers a thicker running line for easier handling. This line does not provide the most delicate presentation, but when it comes to getting the biggest of flies from point A to point B with minimal effort, this is the line to use. A great line to use for versatility too, as it performs well with dragging crabs on the bottom and throwing a big fly that may contain half a chickens worth of feathers. The only thing we would not recommend this line for is sight fishing in shallow water, where a sink tip line is often not necessary anyway. Do not be fooled by the fact that this is a tropical line. From late may-early October this line will work as it is intended to during our striper season here in Maine as the water is plenty warm when the stripers migrate up here. Just be weary very early season or very late season when air temps dip into the 30’s. RIO Leviathan may be an unconventional striper line but after brutally testing this line and pushing it to its limits we assure you this had to be on the list. This line comes in various colors depending on grain weight and features welded loops on both ends. 

Click HERE for more info on the RIO Leviathan 

RIO Premer Striper (Sink Tip):

Truthfully it was a close call between this and the SA SONAR Surf. Both are very good lines but two outstanding features of the new RIO striper line put it over the top. We do believe that SA’s Sonar sink 30 does provide a little bit of a better connection due to its low stretch multi filament core, but it came down to castability and durability. RIO’s new slick cast technology has greatly increased the durability of this line and we had no issues with cracking or splitting personally, or from any of our customers (at least to our knowledge). With striped bass fishing being so hard on lines this is a very impressive track record. On top of durability, this is one of the smoothest and easiest casting sink tip lines on the market. Comes in various colors depending on grain weight. Features welded loops on both ends. 

Click HERE for more info on the RIO Premier Striper Sink Tip



I’m a beginner at fly fishing in the surf. I’ve done tons of research.
I think ultimately, a shooting head system makes the most sense.
But if I have to choose just one line do I pick an intermediate or slow sink tip line.

I’ll be fishing, starting this week on Long Beach Island, New Jersey.

I have a 9ft., 10 weight Echo Boost Bue rod. Fast Action.

Thank you for any help and advice you can give me.

Peace ☮️

Oct 25, 2023

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