Saltwater fly-fishing is all the rage these days. This excitement
is quite understandable because there's hardly anything more thrilling
to a saltwater fly-rodder than a bluefish blitz, a tailing red drum
off the coast of NC, or a bonefish battle on the flats of south
If you are just getting started in saltwater fly-fishing, there
are a few tips that will make your conversion from freshwater easier
and more productive.
Get some gear just for fishing saltwater
You're best bet is to get another fly rod and reel for your saltwater
fishing adventures. Your freshwater gear is undoubtedly going to
be lighter than may be necessary to deliver that big fly in a stiff
offshore breeze, and you're better off leaving your high-dollar
equipment out of the punishing salt air.
Get a good 10-weight rod
There are a number of reasons you need to use heavier tackle. One
is because you will need to make longer casts with larger flies
in typically windy conditions. Another is because when you see that
fish you need to deliver the fly IMMEDIATELY. Doing that will be
considerably easier with heavier equipment.
Put your money in the rod
If you have to make a choice between spending money on rod or reel,
choose rod. You can get away with a less expensive reel but you
will not get the control you need with a cheap rod because it will
flex more when you try to cast. The rod is more important than the
Buy a reel made for fishing saltwater
You will still have to clean it after use but it will hold up better
than one designed for freshwater.
Buy the best fly line you can afford
More expensive fly lines last longer and perform better than cheaper
lines; it's as simple as that. Your lines are the one place you
can't afford to pinch pennies. Also be sure to keep your lines clean
and dressed with a good line dressing if you expect top performance
from your lines.
Keep direct contact between your rod tip and fly.
Beginning saltwater anglers often do not realize the lighting speed
at which a marine game fish is apt to strike. Every little bit of
slack from our rod to the fly means a greater chance your hook-up
will be unsuccessful.
Keep your rod tip pointed toward the water
Your best chance of hooking a saltwater game fish is by not lifting
your rod from the water and setting the hook by stripping the line,
keeping the rod pointed down before lifting it. Eliminate as much
slack as possible between your rod and the fly and you will find
your attempts will be more successful.
Try the shooting head system
Because of the heavy head section; a good caster can achieve a good
80 to 90 feet of distance with only one false cast. You may often
find yourself in a situation where an 80 foot cast is sometimes
not enough for open water fishing so a long cast with a shooting
head is what is needed.
Keep in mind what your game fish eats and mimic it (most of the
time). Sometimes the fish will only bite the bizarre, but usually
you're better off with flies that look like minnows, shrimp, crabs,
worms, and various other small saltwater creatures.
Whether you are just getting started and testing your fly-fishing
"wings" or are a veteran who simply loves the sport, give saltwater
fly-fishing a try this fall or spring. You'll be hard pressed to
find a more exciting fly fishing adventure than a saltwater one.