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Saltwater Fly Fishing Bonefish, Tarpon, Redfish, Permit, False Albacore, Striped Bass, etc...

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Old 05-20-2014, 03:43 PM
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Default Hoping to fish the salt for the first time. Gear??

Ok fellas. So my wife tells me today that she wants to go to the beach next year for a vacation for the family.
Which is fine for me too but I want to fish. So the area we are planning on going to is fort Walton/ Destin area.
Hopefully I will be hiring a guide for tarpon for a day.
My question on gear is. We are planning on taking our camper and stating at a campground right on the beach. Which will allow me to be able to fish in the mornings while the wife and kids are sleeping since they don't get up as early as I do.
What all would I need to take for gear rods reels flies and so on to be able to fish for tarpon on the guides trip as well as fishing from the beach also


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Old 05-20-2014, 05:50 PM
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Default Re: Hoping to fish the salt for the first time. Gear??

Quote:
Originally Posted by luked View Post
Ok fellas. So my wife tells me today that she wants to go to the beach next year for a vacation for the family.
Which is fine for me too but I want to fish. So the area we are planning on going to is fort Walton/ Destin area.
Hopefully I will be hiring a guide for tarpon for a day.
My question on gear is. We are planning on taking our camper and stating at a campground right on the beach. Which will allow me to be able to fish in the mornings while the wife and kids are sleeping since they don't get up as early as I do.
What all would I need to take for gear rods reels flies and so on to be able to fish for tarpon on the guides trip as well as fishing from the beach also


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What time of year? That will help determine the gear both as to species and wind. Generally off the beach an 8wt or 10 wt, buf if you are in a mangrove area a six can be good, but the wind determines the rod.

Last edited by fq13; 05-20-2014 at 06:28 PM.
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Old 05-20-2014, 06:14 PM
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Default Re: Hoping to fish the salt for the first time. Gear??

If you are fishing for big tarpon you will probably need an 11 or 12 weight, but that's too much gun for just about anything else. If it were me I would try to find a tarpon guide who supplies the gear for tarpon fishing, and bring my own 9 for DIY inshore wading.
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Old 05-20-2014, 08:46 PM
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Default Re: Hoping to fish the salt for the first time. Gear??

Probably going to be around July of next year.
What I was thinking wasp exactly that on the guide also. Already planning on getting a guide for tarpon. But for fishing from the bank I wasn't sure what wt rod to go with. Was thinking a 9 wt but really have no clue at all
Or if there is any other gear I will need
Los fly wise I assume clouser minnows are the main staple I assume?
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Old 05-21-2014, 09:24 AM
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Default Re: Hoping to fish the salt for the first time. Gear??

A nine is a good way to go. It's a good all around rod for salt from the shore. However, I'd do some practicing. I have a 9, a 10 and a 12. These are not rods that you're going to "prospect" with as they will wear you out, no matter how efficient you are at casting. I'd practice shooting line with one back cast. Start with some close in ranges (30-40ft) and get good at accuracy. Then, start lengthening your cast distance. I've worked up to 75-80ft with some decent accuracy.
There are lots of guys on here with more salt experience than me, but I'd say get a reel with a decent drag, 200 yards of 30lb backing and a good 9 or 10WFF line. Tie on a simple straight 20 or 30lb straight leader about 7-8ft long with a piece of yarn (I use a scrap of T-shirt material to simulate larger clousers) and practice.

Also, be aware of casting weighted flies. They don't call it "chuck and duck" for no reason. Open your loops a bit and you can put it where you want it.

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Old 05-21-2014, 09:44 AM
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Default Re: Hoping to fish the salt for the first time. Gear??

You may want to give line some thought as well.... It will make your casting a lot easier. A Feb trout line is not usually a good July saltwater line.

Unless I was loaded, I would not invest in a 12wt unless you are planning on being on the salt a lot. An 8 or 9, as I'm sure you well know, has other applications. My NRX 8wt is my most used salt rod. My 9wt has caught a lot of tarpon and permit. If you are after the big boys, the guide will outfit you if you need heavier gear. You can have a blast wading by yourself with an 8/9 and no guide.

Take the time to rinse your gear before hitting the tiki bar. Saltwater is so dang hard on everything. If it is metal, rinse it twice.
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Old 05-21-2014, 09:48 AM
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Default Re: Hoping to fish the salt for the first time. Gear??

Thanks a bunch guys. The 9wt was what I was thinking of getting just to play around the shore with. We have found a rv park in destin that is right on the beach which the wife loved since it was right on the beach and I also loved because while they are sleeping till 9-10 in the morning I can be wading in the water fishing early in the morning
Other than rod reel and line. Is there any other gear that is a bonus when fishing the shore like that? I'm really out of my element with this kind of fishing and want to make the best of it


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Old 05-21-2014, 12:38 PM
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Default Re: Hoping to fish the salt for the first time. Gear??

For fishing the beach, I like a fast action 9wt. An 8wt would work, but the 9wt is nice when throwing heavier flies or when its windy.

Off the beach, I mainly fish clouser minnows, EP minnows, glass minnows, and other baitfish patterns. White, or mostly white with a little chartreuse or pink, are my go to colors for fishing the beach.

My favorite line is the Wulff Lost Tip. It is a WFF with a 12' clear intermediate tip. I find that intermediate lines (or at least an intermediate tip) help keep the fly under the surf. A fly with a little weight also helps.

The other thing you might consider is a stripping basket. They help a lot in avoiding tangles, especially on days when there is strong winds or currents. There are a number of commercially available baskets, but you can easily build one from a plastic dish basket (available at any big box store) for a few dollars.
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Old 05-21-2014, 01:07 PM
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Default Re: Hoping to fish the salt for the first time. Gear??

Thanks a bunch for the tips fellas. Now I have another question.
So someone said same thing about going to Islamorda. Now that would be fantastic. Question is I have been trying to find a hotel or something there that has a beach for the wife and most I look at don't really have a beach but just like an overlook of the ocean. Do any of you all know of a hotel in islamorda that has a beach there outside the hotel. With no beach for the wifey to sit on that's a no go with her and it's hard to figure out when looking at hotel pictures online


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Old 05-21-2014, 01:27 PM
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Default Re: Hoping to fish the salt for the first time. Gear??

Good info already posted. I don't know much about Destin except it's on the Gulf. You've mentioned Tarpon, but there's likely going to be other species there as well. Not sure how much success you might have with Tarpon from the beach. I suggest having some saltwater poppers because you might find Jacks there, some variety of flies like Lefty's Deceivers, Clouser Half & Half's, Seaducers and perhaps some of the EP style flies. Also, some of the shrimp or crab types, like those tied by Tim Borski. In the salt you only need to cover the water column and have flies that mimic what's being eaten. Matching specific prey isn't usually necessary as far as the pattern, but can be sometimes as far as size & profile.

Clouser's are always good to have too as already mentioned, but have some variety to the amount of weight in them. (Half & Half's as well!) Unfortunately they're not standard when it comes to the weight of the barbells added to flies. Some with various size barbells & some with beadchain are good to have so you can cover depths from skinny to deeper. Plus, most times saltwater species move around. You may find Snook around mangrove stands, bridge pilings or other structure, but if there is no structures, they'll be moving around looking for something to eat. You need to have the correct weight to the flies or by the time the fly sinks or doesn't sink, that fish might be long gone, particularly if there's current!

For sizes, the flies might range from size 4 up to about a 3/0 or even 4/0 for bigger Tarpon, but with a 9 wt you might be better off with Tarpon flies in the 2/0 range, and about 3 1/4" to 3 1/2" long. If you encounter Snook, Seatrout or Redfish 2/0 should be about as big as you'll need. But again, some smaller is not a bad idea to "match the hatch" if they're feeding on smaller baits.

As said, basic white for colors is always good, but otherwise light & dark should cover most situations. Since you've said you intend to hire a guide for some of the fishing, you might get some input there for specific patterns & colors. Guides all have their own preferences, and there's a good reason for it!
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