Re: 1st time fly fishing salt need some help guys.
As the other replies have indicated, an 8 wt will work, but there will always be variables, such as the wind that might make it not the ideal setup on some days.
That's just the way it is in the salt.
For that area, the main issue with any line will be that it has enough mass to cast the bigger flies. Modern line materials are often temperature orientated, so it doesn't matter whether it's advertised to be for freshwater or salt, as long as you're using it within an environment with a suitable temperature. You should be fine, unless the line is intended for tropical waters.
If possible, it's not a bad idea to have both a floating line & an intermediate. That would require an additional spool for your reel. I use both depending on where I'm fishing & what type flies I'm using. Frankly, I'm a bit cheap, so I've bought lines that are not sold for saltwater, yet for the fishing I do, where casting distance is not a big issue, they work fine. Most of the time I'm casting within 50 ft of my position. Still, I like WF lines that have a good, heavy front taper, such as those sold as Bass, Striper or Tarpon lines. There are differences, but I've yet to see that it has made any difference for the fishing I do. It's when you start to get into the casting distances over that 50 ft mark, that the line design really is an issue. Of course, the rod & line have to work well together too.
Stay away from level or DT lines in the salt, as they really are not what you want with big flies.
An 8 wt will cast most 3/0 size flies. Again, the issues will be with wind or wind resistance of the fly & how far you need to cast. Like the others, I generally use 1/0 -3/0 size flies, but I also use a 9 or 10 wt. However, I've used an 8 wt too quite a bit in creeks & rivers which is likely better for that wt than the beach. All depends on the conditions.
I also use tieable wire for Blues, or I add the wire ahead of time with crimps & a loop. I use 20 lb test tippets quite a bit and for the occasional Blue, that's fine. You'll lose fish to bite off's either way. I prefer not to use the wire when possible, but still carry some in 10 to 20 lb test.
Keep your leaders as simple as possible. If you're not into making them, then buy a tapered leader in the 7 1/2 to 9 ft range & at least 15 lb test on the tippet end. Heavier is better the bigger the flies.
Yes, salt will destroy any equipment, so clean it well immediately after use in saltwater. I use a product called Salt-X too. It's expensive but has worked well for me.
Remember, no one likes to be behind the big truck, but that's better than being under it!
Last edited by bigjim5589; 01-02-2013 at 10:31 AM.