Saltwater Fly Fishing Equipment
When I go to Andros Island I always pack along two rods. You never know when a sea crab will snip off the tip of one of them. I use a Scott 8 and 9 wt. When their is a light wind the 8wt is fine but when the wind stiffens the 9wt is much easier to cast. Most times when wade fishing a flat or poling the skiff I have one rod rigged up for bonefish and the other rigged for barracuda. When wading I will simply tuck the cuda rod under my left arm pointing back. I started doing this after I missed several golden opportunities at casting to some big cudas when I only had the bonefish rod along. On the cuda rod I use a 30lb test toothy-critter leader made by Rio. I tie on a snap swivel to the steel leader and in that way I can quickly change from a needlefish pattern to a popper if they refuse one or the other. You can also use this same rig to switch to a tarpon fly in a hurry if your lucky enough to spot one. The best method I have found for catching cudas is if you see one cruising the area don’t throw the fly directly at him. Throw it about twenty feet on either side of him and slap the water with it, do this a couple times. He will usually do one of two things. He will either blow out of the area of will turn to investigate the disturbance on the water. When he does this, throw it a little closer and strip as fast as you can and hang on. When they strike the fly it is so fast and violent it is unbelieveable. At this time you better have all your line clear cuz if not he’s going to bust something.
Rio also makes a bonefish taper fly line I like to use. This is mono-core and retains a lot of memory so it needs to be stretched daily. The upside to using this line is that it doesn’t tangle as easy as some other lines especially when you have a bunch of it stripped off laying on the deck of the skiff.
You don’t need to buy a $600 saltwater reel. For the past six years I have been using Teton reels there and have caught bones, cudas and tarpon with them and have had absolutely no problems. The most important thing to do though is to wash them off with fresh water daily and rinse off the entire rod. Undo the reel and wash off the reel seat also. When you get home from your trip it’s a good idea to completely take apart the reel and clean and oil it.
The beauty about using Scott s3s 4 piece fly rods is that not only are they the top of the line rods but you can pack those 4 piece cases into your luggage. If your uneasy about your luggage getting lost as I am (cuz when you arrive there is no place to purchase another one) I just tape the two cases together and pack them on the plane as my extra carry on. I also pack my reels and an assortment of leaders and fly’s in my carry on so if my luggage does get lost it ain’t gonna stop me from fishing.