Understanding Saltwater Flyfishing
Even if this sounds like an overwhelming undertaking, understanding saltwater fly fishing basics is not really that difficult. This certainly has been a great deal published about saltwater fly fishing. In fact, you will find more information about accessories, and it may feel like you have been inundated with information if you have never picked up a fly rod. However, just like any other fishing, fly fishing can be complicated or as simple as you would like to make it. However, understand that you do not need a lot of knowledge or equipment to start successfully. In fact, you do not even need to invest significant amounts of your savings on equipment. Here are the basic equipment needs that will help you get started.
Naturally, the first thing you will need is a decent fly rod. Anything lighter than the seven weight rod is not a good investment. In fact, it is typically recommended that eight or nine weight is the perfect place to start for your average saltwater fish. This includes Northeast fish like bluefish and striped bass. You will find that for the most part, rod lengths are about 9 feet. These offer the leverage that anglers need to cast the line with little effort and they are easy to handle. A good quality rod should not cost you more than $100 at most tackle shops.
The reel is the next important piece of equipment that you will need. It must match your rod. If you bought an eight weight rod, you will need an eight weight reel. Saltwater applications typically mean that you will want a large arbor reel. These reels are wider and deeper in the spooling area, allowing room for the fly line as well as additional fly line backing. This will help if you hook into a large fish that decides to take off on you. A good fly reel with an excellent system can be purchased for well under $100.
The next part of your tackle should be fly line and backing. There is no need to use expensive lines in the beginning. Your line weight should match your fishing rod and reel, and it is preferable that you go with a floating weight forward line. You will not need sinking lines until much later. The majority of your spool should be filled with the fly line backing before the fly line is attached. The best fishing line for this is Dacron, typically weighted for 20 to 30 pound test. It would be prudent to ask a tackle shop that has line winding equipment to put the appropriate amount of backing onto your reel and then attach the fly line to the backing.
Another critical piece of tackle will be your leader. Leaders are generally monofilament line or fluorocarbon line. Use a section that is about equivalent to the length of your Rod. You can attach this to the end of your fly line before you tie on your flies. Your local retailer will be able to recommend the best leader size for the type of fish that you are angling for. You will notice that leaders typically tapered, to allow for unfurling at the end of the cast.
The final piece of tackle that you will need is a small selection of flies. The best place to get information on this is locally. Local anglers and staff members at your bait shop can help you make an accurate determination of which flies are best suited. A small selection of streamers and surface flies that offer a variety of sizes and patterns will typically work fine. Once you have been out a few times, you will soon be able to figure out which ones work best for you.