Thought this may help a little The ABC's Of Fly Fishing - Forums
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Stripers on the Fly Discuss fly fishing for Striped Bass here. Fly tying, tips, tricks, reports, etc. Everything fly!

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Old 03-08-2010, 04:04 PM
Flytyingguy1 Flytyingguy1 is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: South Shore L.I.
Posts: 65
Default Thought this may help a little The ABC's Of Fly Fishing


A fly rod is basically a flexible lever. In fly-casting, the weight is in the line, not the lure. Rods are rated to properly flex (“ load “) with the line weight designated by the manufacturer. Rod action may vary from ‘ fast’ (stiff) to ‘slow’ (bending well down into the butt) depending on the rod taperand length. Since fly casting requires good timing of the back-and-forward casting strokes, a beginner may find it easier to get a rod with a ‘moderate’ action.
Saltwater fly rods must have large line guides to permit free passage of leader knots, and a sturdy reel seat. All components must be highly corrosion-resistant. Even so, a rinse with lukewarm soapy water followed by a freshwater rinse should be performed after every trip.
Though no tool will do everything, perhaps the best all-around rod for local use is a 9-footer rated for a 10-weight line. This has the power to cast a fairly large-sized fly when needed, the power to handle a good-sized fish, yet is still sensitive enough to enjoy fighting a ‘schoolie’.

The three essential attributes of a saltwater fly reel are: 1) corrosion resistance, 2) ample capacity for both fly line and backing, and 3) a smooth adjustable drag, which both protects from spool ‘over-runs’ and leader break-offs.
Direct-drive” reels are the simplest and most efficient, but you must be cautious of the rapidly revolving reel handle on a running fish. “ Anti-reverse “ reels allow a fish to pull line without spinning the handle, but are mechanically more complex, andrequire you to continuously re-adjust the drag.
Your reel should have easilyinterchangeable spools, especially if you intend to be fishing from the beach and/or at night. No matter how well made, do not purchase any reel which requires substantial disassembly to change spools – you are guaranteed to lose essential parts at the worst possible time!
It is recommended that your reel be able to hold a minimum of 150 yards of 30-lb. test dacron backing. 20-lb Dacron does not give as much abrasion resistance to barnacles, mussel shells, etc, and its breaking strength may be less then the breaking strength of your fly line. Gel-spun polyethylene’s like ‘Spectra’ are much thinner for a given break strength (which permits a lot more backing length on the spool), but require different attachment knots, and will slice your fingers to ribbons if you handle them while a “hot” fish is running.

Most fly lines are from 90 to 120 feet long, and consist of a ‘plastic’ coating over a core. The core affects the general stiffness/pliability of the line. The coating density permits the line to float, or to sink at various rates of descent. Lines are taperedwith a somewhat narrow tip, a fatter ‘head’ section, and a narrow ‘running’ section. This is done in order to effectively transmit the energy of the casting stroke, and to permit the ‘head’ of aerialized line to ‘pull’, or ‘shoot’ extra line out behind it on the final forward cast. The line weight rating refers to industry standards about the first 30 feet of the line. There are many dozens of specialty lines on the market. In general, a beginner in the sport should have two basic lines: a slow ‘intermediate’ sinking line (sinking at about ¾” per second) and a line with a 20-30 foot long high density sinking tip (about 6-9 inches/second). Floating lines are reserved for very shallow waters and for fishing surface poppers. They are a distinct disadvantage in waves and surface ‘chop’, when the undulations of the floating line produce slack between you and the fish, impeding a good hook-set.
Most beginners would be well advised to buy lines rated one ‘weight’ greaterthan the rated rod they have. Most rods can easily handle this extra weight, and you will be better able to get a feel for the right ‘loading’ of the rod during the casting stroke. Never purchase a rod/line combination without test-casting it first. Buying a rod & line from a catalog instead of from a reputable fly shop is one of the worst and costliest mistakes a novice can make.

The leader is the tapered connection between your line and the fly. The ‘butt’ section should be about 2/3 the diameter of the line’s tip and about ½ the total leader length. Leader butts are attached to the fly line with a ‘nail knot’ or via a loop-to-loop connection. A short midsection tapers down from the heavy butt to the tippet. Tippets are usually about 2 feet long and test strength will vary. Most are from 12- 20 lb. In some cases, a short piece of heavy ‘shock’ tippet is added for abrasion resistance, or a wire ‘bite tippet’ is added for toothy critters like bluefish.
Leaders may be purchased at your local fly shop (usually ‘knotless’ tapered nylon), or you can make your own using this simple formula (provided you are good at tying knots):
  1. Decide on overall leader length. 1/2 of this will be a butt section. Use 40-lb mono for 8-10 weight fly lines & 50-lb mono for 11/12 weights.
  2. Reserve 2 feet of desired tippet.
  3. Remainder of leader is a mid-section, stepped down in 1 or 2 equal segments between butt and tippet.
  4. Example: 8 foot, 12-lb tippet leader for a 10-wt. line = 2 ft. tippet+ 1 ft. 20-lb + 1 ft. 30-lb + 4 ft of 40-lb butt section.
Except in special circumstances, try to keep leaders for near-surface applications no longer than your rod. This will help avoid getting the line-leader connection inside the rod tip when landing a fish, which could cause a break-off if the fish lunges.
Leaders for sinking lines/deep applications can be much simpler- just a short butt mated directly to tippet. This helps keep the retrieved fly in the same plane/depth as the end of the line.

Knots you mustknow: arbor knot, nail knot, ‘double surgeon’s knot’, ‘double surgeon’s loop’, improved clinch knot, Albright knot.
Knots you should know: perfection loop, blood knot, uni-knot, non-slip mono loop, Homer Rhode loop knot, Spider Hitch, Sosin’s ‘no name’ knot, Bimini Twist, figure-eight knot , Haywire Twist.

Saltwater flies may be imitators(closely resembling bait), attractors(triggering a predatory response through movement, action, color, etc.), or both. With hundreds of different patterns to choose from, how can you prevent being overwhelmed and/or impoverished? Here’s how:
  1. Get to know the prevalent bait(s) in the areas you fish during the course of the season, as well as their size variations during the year. Choose flies that will generally have similar profiles and sizes.
  2. Think about where in the water column the fish will be feeding, and in how much current
  3. Whenever possible, opt for fly patterns which display movement in the water. Flies that look alive will work over a wider range of retrieve speeds.
  4. Buy your flies at a fly shop, where the owner can help you select what’s working best and how to fish them. Join a club and/or ask advice of more experienced fisherpersons.
A basic fly selection might include the following:(for our area)
Topwater flies:
Crease Fly, Gurgler, Slider, Popping bug
Surface-to-mid-depth flies:
Deceivers, Snake flies, ‘Peanut Butters’, Surf Candies, Mushmouths, Flatwings, and ‘the Groceries’
Mid-to-deep flies:
Clouser minnows, Whistlers, Half &Halfs, Cone-heads, & other weighted flies
Special situations flies”
Grass shrimp, crab flies, Cinder worm flies, Squid flies
Basic colors are white, chartreuse, olive/white , blue/white, yellow/white, and black (for night fishing)
Good flies are not cheap. Use your common sense & adapt to conditions; bluefish will make short work of a fly tied with feathers or bucktail, so be prepared with some epoxy-bodied flies and/or patterns tied with durable artificial fibers.

Learn to “ read the water “, and the effects of tide, current, structure, wind, and water temperature upon the feeding habits of the fish. Find the bait to find the fish.
Always observe boating and wading safety. Never fish alone in unfamiliar waters. Wear a hat and eye protection at all times, even at night, whether or not you use corrective lenses. A life preserver such as inflatable ‘SOS-penders’ could save your life one day.
Use a ‘stripping basket’! After the cast is made, the fly line is not retrieved onto the reel, but rather ‘stripped’ in before being re-cast. The basket contains this loose line; without it, wind, current or surf will make it impossible to handle or control. A basket can even help you in a boat, where uncontained line can catch on any protruding object, and where a loop of line caught under your foot can ruin a cast.
Take fly-casting lessons, preferably from a certified instructor. Good lessons will help you avoid getting into bad habits, and it is much harder to get rid of bad habits once established. Try to keep a regular casting practice routine to encourage ‘ muscle memory’. Casting distance comes through technique, not through brute force. It will serve you better to strive for accuracy first, and worry about achieving distance later; oftentimes, the fish are literally ‘at your feet’.

Fly Fishing in Salt Water, by ‘Lefty’ Kreh
Inshore Fly Fishing, by Lou Tabory
Flyrodding the Coast, by Ed Mitchell
Fly Fisherman’s Guide to Atlantic Baitfish & Other Food Sources, by Alan Caolo
Practical Fishing Knots, by Lefty Kreh & Mark Sosin
Fly Fishing Long Island, by Angelo Peluso
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Old 04-04-2010, 11:56 AM
WaterFlogger WaterFlogger is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Albany, NY
Posts: 2
Default Re: Thought this may help a little The ABC's Of Fly Fishing

Appreciate the posting - lots of nice info.
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Old 10-13-2010, 06:10 PM
L3gendAngler L3gendAngler is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: New York
Posts: 3
Default Re: Thought this may help a little The ABC's Of Fly Fishing

Thanks for the good read FTG. Hows the bite in SC been treating ya?

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Old 10-13-2010, 08:22 PM
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zimno1 zimno1 is offline
Old Salt
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: staten island
Posts: 5,926
Default Re: Thought this may help a little The ABC's Of Fly Fishing

go out with someone who will teach you how to MEND.... all the areas you will fish, you will encounter breakers/current/and and assortment of line management issues. if you cannot (or know not) how to mend then all your aspirations on keeping your fly in position to be successful will be for not.. unless in a boat (sorry i have not been out with you yet you coot!) you have to get your line working for you. this time of year especially as wind is a beeotch for us lunatics out there.

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