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turbineblade 06-10-2013 09:20 AM

beginner surf questions
Hi -- I'm considering trying my 8 weight in the surf (Maryland - Virginia shores) and had a few questions --

1. When using the integrated shooting head with the intermediate running line, do you guys tend to use small 3-4' leaders?

2. Is casting at an angle, such that your body is facing slightly toward the beach a decent approach for keeping the line tight? I understand that reading the waves is probably more important, but I haven't learned that yet.

3. tippet size? I have spools of 8-20 pound mono and also fluoro in 8 and 12 pound.

4. How do I avoid shark attacks?

I don't expect to catch anything, but I'm betting it's fun to be out there.


Rip Tide 06-10-2013 09:35 AM

Re: beginner surf questions
You use an integrated line in the surf and you'll be dragging your flies through the sand. Those lines are more for boat fishing.

Ken Abrames' Stripermoon

Waves are to surf fishing what rivers are to trout fishing-- the source of current. Water in a river moves, water in a wave moves. Moving water causes fish to locate in particular places. Waves are the visual aids we use to find where the stripers are located when feeding.

turbineblade 06-10-2013 09:39 AM

Re: beginner surf questions
Floating line in the surf? Interesting....:)

Rip Tide 06-10-2013 09:54 AM

Re: beginner surf questions

Originally Posted by turbineblade (Post 563343)
Floating line in the surf? Interesting....:)

Most people use regular intermediates.
I happen to believe that there's more to surf fishing than casting and stripping and fishing a floating line is the only way that you can be in total control of your line. Unless you're consistently stripping, a sinking line gets dragged around by conflicting surf currents.

theboz 06-10-2013 12:08 PM

Re: beginner surf questions
In the surf I agree with Rip 100% that floating is the way to go much better control especially at night. In the bay and sound I will use a sink tip when needed due to lack of current and wave action.
Casting towards shore is easier then away once you figure out your angle of water movement. Have caught some big Stripers in sloughs and the wash while angling my casts towards the beach!
Sharks are the least of your worries especially if you wet wade like me.! Worry more about jellyfish and stepping on skates ! Always shuffle when you walk.
I like an 8wt in the bay and sound I prefer a 9 or.10 in the surf but that's just me you need to find what is best for you.
The only time I would be concerned with sharks is if you keep fish on a stringer and swim or wade a long distance . Stringers can be a magnet in some situations as I found out the hard way years back. I don't do that anymore!

turbineblade 06-10-2013 12:22 PM

Re: beginner surf questions
It kind of sounds like you can get into fish in the surf by essentially doing the same thing you'd do swinging a wet fly downstream for trout with a floating line ;0. That's fine with me -- i'm already used to that.

That's for the tips guys -- I would have never thought to use a floater in the surf.....almost everyone I've seen talking about it says it won't work :eek:

---------- Post added at 11:22 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:14 AM ----------

Do you guys use the same kind of leader on your floating line that you'd use anywhere else, or do you tend to shorten it up a bit in the surf?

I'm learning here -- keep it up :).

I read an article in midcurrent about "ultralight SW fishing" with 5-6 weight rods, and the guys seemed to be using tapered leaders that were "chopped" to a more heavy and manageable length for the SW conditions. I didn't know if I should just try a level leader of 8-12 pound test or a tapered one.....though I usually use level leaders as is.

Rip Tide 06-10-2013 01:25 PM

Re: beginner surf questions
I use 6' of 16-20# test mono with poppers and a three section leader for streamers. 40/25/16 #test mono.
You want to keep the leader shorter than the rod. That way the line/leader connection is one less thing to worry about when landing a fish.

As for sharks...;)

OCEARCH Global Tracking Central

In this picture, I'm high-stick dead drifting a pair of streamers in the long shore current.
Not something you could do with a sinking line.

turbineblade 06-10-2013 02:30 PM

Re: beginner surf questions
Rip -- why taper the leader for streamers? My understand and experience with tapered leaders (which you've seen on here before) is that they're good for transmitting energy and "softening out" your cast and providing a more gentle landing. Aside from that, the heavier line at the butt and mid section doesn't sink as well as thinner line (like from a lever leader). I was just thinking that you'd select a level leader for these flies as well -- is presentation important in the surf?

I don't mean this tongue-in-cheek -- I'm genuinely interested in knowing. You appear to have been at this game for probably at least a decade longer than me so I wanted to pick your brain, and possibly avoid mistakes before making them :)

Rip Tide 06-10-2013 03:05 PM

Re: beginner surf questions
I'd rather not get into this with you again.
The "transfer of power" from a tapered leader will help to turn over large flies.
This is critical in a stiff breeze whether you chose to believe it or not.
I've been tying all my own leaders for close to 25 years so I do have a pretty good grasp on how it works

turbineblade 06-10-2013 03:14 PM

Re: beginner surf questions
No problem -- please disregard.

Thank you for all your help -- this is going to be good for me. :)

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