If you’re a fly fisherman, there’s one thing we all have in common no matter what we’re fishing for… we’re absolute gear junkies. Whether you’re one of the minimalists who only carry what can fit in your pocket or if you’re a guy who has a boat bag for each species you like to target, we have plenty of trinkets and thingamabobs.
When it comes to inshore fly fishing gear, an 8-weight rod is normally the go to. Now, of course you can fish with smaller or larger weight rods, the 8-weight is just the magic number to cover MOST of your bases. There are so many great companies out there who make fantastic equipment; Sage, Orvis, TFO, Clutch, G Loomis, Scott, etc. Picking the right rod is a personal choice, all based on your casting stroke and how it feels in your hand. If your cast is a bit slower and methodical, maybe a slower action rod will fit your needs versus someone who has a fast cast and may need something that is a bit stiffer to accommodate their cast. I highly recommend you go to your local fly shop and try a couple different rods before diving right into purchasing one, you’ll feel the difference and your cast will show it.
Be sure to pair your reel up with your fly rod and fly line size. I prefer a large arbor reel with 20-30 pound dacron backing and a weight forward floating fly line most of the time. There are certain days when a spare spool of intermediate fly line is needed to help that fly line sink just a little bit. When looking for a reel for saltwater purposes, one big thing to keep in mind is a sealed drag system. There’s sand, salt and mud out there and we don’t need that messing up our equipment. Hatch, Nautilus, Orvis, Sage, Redington, etc. all make a great reel with a sealed drag system.
Once you’ve picked out the two BIG pieces for your setup, it’s time to get down to the line, leader and tippet choices. As I mentioned earlier, I mostly fish a weight forward floating line but occasionally throw an intermediate line for false albacore if need be. Different brands have different line choices with the weight distributed differently. Once again, your casting stroke will help determine which line fits your needs. Companies like Cortland, RIO, Wulff, Arc, Scientific Angler, Orvis, etc. have different lines for all your specific needs. Leader and tippet va
ry depending on the species, anything from an 8 pound leader to a 20 pound leader will work mostly, if you’re targeting a species with teeth, take into consideration some wire bite tippet.That covers a lot of the basic info and we will be diving more in detail later, but there’s all sorts of bags, packs, trinkets, sun protection, eye wear… you name it. What it comes down to is find something that fits your needs and your casting stroke. When you’re through on the water, take care of your gear and it will take care of you. Clean everything off with fresh water and inspect your gear for any knicks or breaks so that you won’t have a surprise next time you’re out of the water.
Contributing Writer: Perry McDougald
Pogies Fishing Center