Several months ago, the good folks at Cortland sent over two lines for me to test: Quick Descent 24 in a 7/8 (250 grains) and Compact Sink Type 3 7/8 (275 grains). As we've said many times, a sinking line can be an absolute necessity for getting the fly down into the strike zone effectively under certain conditions!
Quick Descent 24- Rated for both warm and cold temps, this line is built on a braided multifilament core. Sporting an orange running portion and black head, the line is rated at a speedy Type 6 sink rate also includes welded loops on each end making for easy rigging.
Compact Sink Type 3- Built on a mono core that's rated for all weather conditions from cold to tropical, this sounds like a line you can fish from British Columbia to Florida. Unlike the Quick Descent 24, this line has an intermediate running line along with Cortland's special HTx coating which offers extreme slickness while repelling grit and grime. Colored with a brown head and electric yellow translucent running line, the Type 3 sink rate offers good versatility. A welded loop can be found on each end.
Both lines were free of defects and had wonderfully smooth finishes from end to end.
It took me a while to test these lines—sorry for the wait, Cortland! I originally received them before a planned trip out west back in the spring, but of course I came down with some weird throat infection just before my departure date. In the days since, I simply didn't encounter any conditions here in South Florida that required me to string up either of these lines, but I was able to reschedule my trip and brought the lines along for a whole bunch of testing opportunities.
Quick Descent 24- I fished this line in cool to warm temps and in depths down to about 30 feet or so. The braided multifilament core keeps the line nice and manageable and the fact that the running line floats allows it to easily mend and simplifies keeping loose line in check. Casting was smooth and drama free with good power on tap for the small–medium weighted and unweighted streamers I needed to deliver. With a Type 6 rating, it sinks fast and stays on a nice straight path for good sensitivity.
Compact Sink Type 3- Advertised to perform in a broad range of temperature conditions, the monofilament core stayed very manageable in the cool to warm temps I fished in. The HTx coating lets the line zing through the guides, and the more aggressive taper along with a slight weight gain over the other line (275 vs. 250 grains) got things done with a bit more punch. Obviously it sinks at a slightly more moderate rate in comparison to the other line, but it does so on a similarly straight path with the added benefit of the intermediate running line staying below any wave action.
I certainly haven't subjected these lines to any crazy punishment so far, but as of yet there's no abnormal issues with durability of both the line bodies or welded loops. They fished very well and I fully expect to see quite a bit of service out of these Cortland lines.
These are two solid sinking lines options from Cortland. The Quick Descent 24 sinks fast and does well with various fly sizes while offering increased line control thanks to the floating running line. For more punch, the Compact Sink does great and the intermediate running line stays below the surface to keep flies down efficiently. Both line styles are suitable for fresh or saltwater usage and are offered in various sink rates and grain weights to cover a variety of needs.....see them all at the link below!
Cortland Fly Line