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cidme 09-15-2009 04:06 PM

help with salt setup
Hello ,

I am heading to the outerbanks in NC in a couple weeks and I want to set my 8wt rod up for some surf fishing as well as a bit of offshore (we will have kyaks). Can anyone reccomend line leader and size and type of flies I should bring?


BigCliff 09-15-2009 09:43 PM

Re: help with salt setup
For surf and fishing further out, I would suggest an intermediate sink line to get down below the chop and give you a more direct connection to the fly. Clousers, Decievers, and Jiggies in about size 2 both in some light and dark colors. 9' 15-20lb leaders should do, unless the bluefish are there, in which case you'll need wire bite guards.

This is just generalized info, I've never actually fished there.

peregrines 09-16-2009 09:15 AM

Re: help with salt setup

Welcome to the board and good luck on your trip to the Outer Banks.

Cliff gave you good advice. Fishing in the surf can be tough if you've never done it. And at places like the OB, surf conditions can make it very difficult-- and of course the fish have minds of their own-- sometimes right on the beach in the wash, sometimes further out 200 yds sometimes not around at all. Also realize an 8 might be a bit light if you're fishing in the surf where wind in your face is the norm. In sheltered back bays and/or in a kayak, it is less of an issue.

But you're going at a great time, and good things can happen.

For fishing from shore, especially in the surf, having a shooting basket is essential. You use it to store slack line while casting, and "shoot" the line out of it, instead of trying to lift it out of the water. With strong currents and side sweep, even a floating line is tough to rip out of the water for a cast, an intermediate or sinking line is even tougher. It will add considerable distance to your cast. Orvis makes one for about 50 bucks, or you can do as i do and make your own out of a rubber maid dish pan and some shock cord. (Drill or burn a hole in the rim of each short side of the dish pan and put the hooks of the shock cord through the holes. You wear it around your waist, and can adjust the tension of the shock cord by tying overhand knots to take up slack if needed.)

As far as flies, Cliff gave you great suggestions. The time you're going should put you in the middle of major movements of many different baitfish.

Blue over white Deceivers size 2 and a few 2/0 imitates a range of baitfish including menhaden, mullet, small "snappers" (baby bluefish) and is a good all around searching fly

Chartreuse over white clousers size 2 with lead eyes-a good sand eel imitation and all around searching fly to puff along the bottom.

Bay Anchovy imitation size 2 and some size 4. There is a very good possibility you will be running into False Albacore that time of year. They typically run 12-20lbs and are blisteringly fast. They will be following enormous schools of bay anchovies- a small baitfish 2-3" long, as will bonito, spanish macs, stripers and bluefish. Good store bought imitations include tan or light green over white surf candies. Because the shoals of anchovies can be so dense, some small all pink ones might be a good choice too to make them stand out from the crowd. If you tie you can make some very simple and effective ones:

In order of tie in:
Hook: Mustad 3407 DT (least expensive), or 34007 SS a bit more , or Owner Aki (a premium hook) (i would lean towards this one for Albies)
Tail: None
Body: Pearlescent body braid like Diamond Sparkle Braid etc
Wing/collar: Sparse white bucktail tied 360 decrees around the shank (not just on top of the shank, with some pearl krystal flash for a little sparkle.
Topping: A sprig of brown bucktail from the top (or "wrong" side) of a natural bucktail or Ginger marabou about 1/2 the length of the wing.
Lateral line: a strip of silver flashabou on each side of the wing
Eyes- stick on prismatic eyes covered with several coats of Sally Hansen's Hard as Nails or your favorite head cement of epoxy.

As far as lines, an intermediate as Cliff suggested would be a good choice-- I typically overline it by one line weight (ie a 9 weight line on a 8 weight rod) .

All these flies are also a good bet for fishing the back bays.

Just be careful in your kayaks, especially out front. I strongly advise you to use tethers to keep expensive stuff onboard, and make sure you get a tide/current chart for the areas you plan to fish. Realize that tides will be strongest with higher highs and lower lows around and on either side of the full (Oct 3) and new (Oct 17) moons.

Good luck on your trip and again welcome to the board.


BigCliff 09-16-2009 01:01 PM

Re: help with salt setup
Peregrines is absolutely right about a stripping basket. Without one you'll be spending lots of time dealing with tangles and possibly even face planting into the chilly surf if you trip over it. There's lots of manufactured stripping baskets out there, as well as DIY instructions online. The simplest solution has to be a smallish laundry basket and a nylon lash strap/belt or even just a bungee cord though. just make sure to use one with holes so the crashing waves can drain out.

cidme 09-16-2009 08:26 PM

Re: help with salt setup
thanks so much you guys, I just picked up a 9w cortland 444 sink line type II, hopefully it will work, I want it mostly for bass, walleye and pike up here in NY but i figured it should be ok for a one week trip. i was wondering about what size flys i could throw, i didnt think anything bigger than 2 but i will try what you said. We are getting a house on a bay so maybe the surf wont be so bad. Any other tips? I dont tie my own yet so i will have to purchase online somewhere, any good place to buy from that come to mind?


jimw 09-16-2009 09:52 PM

Re: help with salt setup
Finger mullet are everwhere in OBX right now so look for something to imitate them around 5 to 6 inches long. Here is a link to a local bait shop that has very acurate reports that are updated daily

peregrines 09-18-2009 01:35 PM

Re: help with salt setup
As far as where to get flies-

Least expensive are discount online flies from places like Big Y, Bluefly Cafe. Although inexpensive they can be a bit dissapointing-- over dressed, out of proportion and not as durable. they typically run 1.30-1.50 a piece, with discounts on larger quantities.

Flies tied by Umpqua and Rainy's are available in a lot of large online stores and are decent and a a bit more expensive at 2.50-3.00 a pop for standards like Clousers and Deceivers with assortments discounted a bit. You might consider the striper/bluefish assortment as a good way to get started with the basics and top it off with a couple of other patterns from Raineys Umpqua or locally tied patterns from sources like local shops or shops that specialize in saltwater (below)

Locally tied patterns from places like BearsDen and saltwateredge typically run 5-6 bucks a pop, but are often well tied effective imitations not available elsewhere. They also typically stock Umpqua or Rainy's flies too at a bit of a markup for the basics.

Tying most of these patterns yourself is relatively easy, and for the most part use inexpensive materials-- once you get over the initial investment of vise, tools etc, and initial stock of hooks and starter materials it becomes pretty easy to crank out a variety of effective patterns out for well under under a buck a piece, but it will take a lot of tying of flies you would have bought anyway to make up the investment.

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