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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 06-15-2014, 10:08 PM
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Default Re: Snag Free Flies?

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Originally Posted by silver creek View Post
I was listening to an AskAboutFlyFishing podcast. The host asked the bass fly fisher what he used as a weed guard. He said he uses the same weed guard that the bass spin fishers use from Bass Pro Shops.

He said the are cheap and come in various sizes and that you can put them on the fly when you need them.

http://www.basspro.com/Bass-Pro-Shop.../product/1997/

The photos below pretty much show how they work. You should shorten then so just the point of the hook is covered and not buried into the hook guard. Bury it too deeply and you'll have trouble setting the hook.

The advantage of this weed guard is that you can put it on when you need it because it is not permanent and tied into the fly.

Click the image to open in full size.


Click the image to open in full size.
Those are pretty cool Henry! I may have order some to try. Thanks for the tip!
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Old 06-15-2014, 10:22 PM
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Default Re: Snag Free Flies?

Flygrain, you've made some very good points! Especially about Clousers! Great flies, but not the best in heavy cover. I primarily fish with big flies in the 1/0 to 3/0 range so the wire is ideal, but again not always 100% effective against all snagging. If it was, it would be 100% fishless too I think! I don't like constantly messing with straightening weed guards, but they do require some adjustments sometimes!

Rip, I too like the bendback style, but as you say in pads, particularly Spadderdock, everything seems to snag at some point & it's not always the hook point.

I generally use 20 lb test tippets in that heavy stuff, and a 10 wt rod. I check tippet often too for cuts & abrasions!

Silver, you're input is always excellent! I've done that too with plastics, but again as Flygrain has said, that's not a good method for real heavy cover. I've done it with panfish jigs in heavy cover, but it works better for close quarter vertical jigging. Not so good for horizontally pulling thru heavy stuff. The plastic is too soft for that & tends to stretch too much or tear too easily. I even tried the Elastec type of plastic, (Strike King or ZMan products) which is very durable, but still too soft, except for vertical presentation.

As said, time & place for all of these, but none will prevent all snagging. Even jigs with the heavy fiber weed guards will snag sometimes!

One thing not yet mentioned is the "feel" you need to learn. I've learned that a gentle pull on snagged flies is often better than a hard rip because sometimes it's not the hook point that's snagged. If I yanked hard every time I got hung, I would end up burying the hook in another snag 8 out of 10 times when the fly popped free from the first snag. So, there is a "feel" to getting flies thru snags as well & knowing when to yank hard & when not to.

Changing rod angles helps too very often. Otherwise, ripping the hook free is something that may be needed, particularly when the fly is way back in the snags & can't be gotten to by wading or by boat. That's the primary case for using heavy gear like a 10 wt!
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Old 06-15-2014, 11:17 PM
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Default Re: Snag Free Flies?

Yep. You're spot on about the right amount of pressure when freeing the fly from the junk. The hard quick pull is supposed to trigger the weed guard, so you want to avoid that if its not a fish. Also a slow steady pull is much more effective in freeing a tippet wrapped limb.

Nothing is completely weed free. The wire guards protect the hook very well, but other parts of a fly can be prone to catching junk. It helps to use a kreh loop knot to tie on your fly, because the tag end lays back and won't catch vegetation. I think its very important to have as clean of fly as possible. It also helps to engineer your flies so they don't catch weeds in the head.
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Old 06-15-2014, 11:38 PM
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Default Re: Snag Free Flies?

Thank you everyone for the great advice! Its really appreciated!
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Old 06-16-2014, 06:50 AM
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Default Re: Snag Free Flies?

G'day fellas,
Nick here from Australia. My front loop weedgaurd was featured in this Forum chat.
I live in rural NSW of Australia, where we chase Murray Cod in the snag lined rivers using 10wt short flyrods. These fish live amongst the snags and under overhanging trees that grow on the riverbanks. Casts are always short and accurate into the most hellish snags 100% of the time. After using most of the popular weedgaurds out there including wire sprigs and double mono loops, I tried experimenting to find an ultra durable and effective snag-gaurd that required very little tweaking. Our Murray Cod have quite a raspy jaw that tended to shred/twist double mono loops until the fly was un-usable. Wire sprigs worked, but needed the accaisional tune.
I use RIO's Heavy Shock tippet for the front loop, ranging from 40lb for smaller flies and 80lb for 5/0 Owner Spinnerbait hooks. Finding the right poundage mono is the key so the fly isn't transformed into a fishgaurd.
If you check out my site Cods Country | Flyfishing for Australian Murray Cod you'll get and idea of why an effective weed/snag-gaurd is mandatory.
Regards Nick.
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Old 06-16-2014, 08:03 AM
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Default Re: Snag Free Flies?

Hi Nick. glad you chimed in here those cod look like fun sport! They look to me to have a similar body structure to barramundi? But with that cool leopard skin.

I can certainly see how a big mono loop guard could effect the orientation of a fly if its not engineered correctly?
The thing that I look for in our fisheries is a weed guard that is much closer to the hook point. A very effective presentation here is to crawl your fly very slowly with lots of stops in the retrieve. Any gap between the weed guard and the hook point can allow that fly to stop and settle down on weeds. A 1/4" diameter lily stock is VERY tough and if it slips between the guard and the hook point, your retrieve is finished.
The mono loops that follow the hook and connect near the hook eye are extremely well suited for this. But as I said before, they get beat up. Using two strands like BigJim suggested prolongs the usability, but once you clip one off from damage, the one that's left seems to be prone to kick off to the side of the hook. This still works for heavy cover, but the exposed hook point easily picks up snot algae and other small junk.

The heavy loop you are using Nick seems very well suited to an actively moving retrieve where that loop is causing the fly to deflect and bounce off structure. but if its left to settle down on any type of horizontal vegetation, it could gather debris. The other nice thing about your guards is they can withstand a ton of abuse, which is huge in this type of fishing!

I love this thread and all the input! Weedless flies are an absolute must for serious structure fishing and I love to tie them. I may have to go tie something today
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Old 06-16-2014, 08:57 AM
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Default Re: Snag Free Flies?

Nick, I'm glad you stopped by here too & added some input! Welcome! I linked to your site, as the pictures there provided great illustration of your loop guard! I also bookmarked your site & will be visiting again! Looked like some wonderful info there!

This has been a good discussion! I think we all agree that nothing is perfect, and every situation we may find, might require a different approach.

It's always a good approach to get many points of view & opinions when trying to find "ideal" methods, and weed guards is a subject that can be approached in various ways as this discussion has shown!
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Old 06-16-2014, 09:00 AM
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Default Re: Snag Free Flies?

Finding the weed/snag gaurd that best suits the terrain you fish I think is the key.
After watching "Bass the Movie", you guys really fish some crazy salad. Lily pads and heavy weed is something I rarely fish. When drought conditions dictate, we're forced to fish weed pockets, Usually I'll switch to a single level mono section leader to reduce weed fouling on leader knots.
Perhaps a fly with hook point riding upward with materials to guide/ramp that dreaded weed/lily pads away. Tiers such as Grahame Coombes (Swimtrue flies) mouse pattern use this style. Another Aussie tier, Rob Meades "Gutless Frog" pattern has had success for Saratoga amongst the salad.
Another style I've tried and quickly dropped for timber work, is the jig hook. All to often the hook tended to grapple around our Bottlebrush tree lined waterways. Once this happens it was nearly impossible to work the fly off the snag, effectively blowing a potential fish catching snag.
Our Cod are a real moody fish and quickly sulk at the slightest temp or water level change, rarely do you tap into big numbers. But the potential to hook up to a meter plus fish keeps you banging casts into the hot zones.
Most of our trips involve portaging Floatboats in to find that special water, distances up to 7klm's and in 40 degree heat.
Regards Nick
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Old 06-16-2014, 10:52 AM
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Default Re: Snag Free Flies?

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Originally Posted by flymasta View Post
But the potential to hook up to a meter plus fish keeps you banging casts into the hot zones.
Most of our trips involve portaging Floatboats in to find that special water
Wow! this got the hair on my arms standing up :O
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