Re: Fly line, leader and tippet for inshore
We have a bunch of Texas and Gulf guys that hopefully weigh in with their specific suggestions for pattens.
But this might help a bit in the meantime until they chime in. Redfish usually aren't too picky, so if you can get something in front of one they'll either blow up and take off along with the rest of the school, or they'll eat. Some of it is luck, but some of it is common sense-- a heavily weighted fly plopping down in the middle of a school in shallow water is more likely to send them flying in clear shallow water vs a lightly weighted fly cast well ahead (3-4') of a feeding school. So you might want a few different types of flies for different situations -- depending on where you might run into reds--water 4' deep vs 6" shallow water, or up in the grass etc. A local fly shop could help select area favorites, but in general you might want a few different types of patterns in sizes ranging from 4 to 1/0:
Something that sinks to puff along the bottom. You couldn't go wrong with clouser type flies-- chartreuse over white bucktail is pretty standard everywhere in saltwater for everything, but other patterns like a Foxee Clouser usually in a brown or tan would be good too. You'll probably want some with a variety of weights-- some with beadchain and some with lead dumbell eyes depending on water depth-- start out with beadchain as they're easier to cast. Having a few in chartreuse for stained water and some more muted colors (tans and browns) for clear water would be a good idea.
Something that suspends for fishing very shallow water like a seaducer
Something weedless for fishing grass like a bendback
A couple minnow imitations of some sort, in green over white or blue over white like a Deceiver 1/0 or Glass Minnow size 2 should be deadly for sea trout (weakfish) and would cover a range of bait fish sizes (from 2-5" glass minnows, piggy perch, finger mullet etc)
and some topwater stuff- a popper, gurgler, crease fly or deer hair slider-- they're too much fun to fish not to have a few. They'll take lady fish, jacks, bluefish (if you've got em) as well as trout (weakfish) and reds.
I haven't fished them much but a lot of folks that chase reds use spoonflies too like Dupree's or Kingfisher.
But if you were to narrow it down to a couple clousers and a deceiver or two you'd be pretty well armed. Except for the spoonflies, crease flies and deer hair sliders, all the patterns mentioned above are very easy to tie. There are more elaborate patterns that are shrimpy and crabby looking things (like any pattern with a name starting with "Borski" ie Borski Slider, and many other patterns etc. that will also work very well on reds, but many are essentially fancier dress variations on these basic pattern types.
Hope this helps-- keep asking questions! Hopefully the Texas guys will weigh in with their favorites.