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  1. #1

    Default First post..... ever. What type of line/leader for pan fish?

    So, I thought that I was a fairly advanced fly fisherman, until I started reading posts on this site. You guys are insane.... in a GOOD way. Learning an immense amount of stuff.

    I've been fly fishing streams and rivers for trout and steelies for about 12 years, but Ive finally decided to take a stab at lake fishing. Mostly for crappies, bluegill, perch, small bass, etc. I've seen a lot of good suggestions for flies to use (mainly top water), but I have a few other questions related to line/leader set-up.....

    What type of leader and line set-up should I be using?
    If I am not using top water flies, should I be using a sinking leader?
    What Weight? ( Ive got 3wt, 5wt, 9wt set-ups)

    Thanks for any info. It all helps.
    "There are those who catch Steelhead with flies.... and those who dream about it." Colin Preiser

    "Some go to church and think about fishing, others go fishing and think about God." Tony Blake

    "In my family, there was no clear division between religion and fly fishing." Norman Maclean

    "Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after." Henry David Thoreau

  2. #2

    Default Re: First post..... ever. What type of line/leader for pan fish?

    A senior member named Cliff wrote this article that is full of great information on bream in a lake setting, its worth the read.
    Bream Fly Fishing - By Cliff Hilbert
    And I guess I am the first to say this welcome to the forum!
    Cabot

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Lake of the Woods/Rainy River Minnesota Canada border
    Posts
    4,752

    Default Re: First post..... ever. What type of line/leader for pan fish?

    Welcome to the site. I'm pretty sure you will enjoy your time here. As for the panfish idea, you probably have what you need for them already. The 3 and 5 weights would both work. I tie my own leaders, plain mono down to 6 for Crappie and Bluegill, but big enough for the Bass that hang out with them. Small nymphs and dries work on panfish. They are not as picky as Trout, and probably not as smart. Most panfish flies are pretty simple and not overly realistic. I tie a floater with craft foam and round rubber legs and use it as an indicator above a small nymph. Matching a hatch isn't to needed for pan fish. In fact bright colored will work better than realistic most of the time. I use a single fly rig sometimes with a bit of lead wire, a tail of the straight fibers from marabou, a red floss thin band and a chenille body. White/chartreuse, Pink/white, purple/white, etc. The white tail with Chart. body works as good as any. Actually this fly is killer. Bass will hit clousers, and leech patterns. Real fun for Bass are Deer hair poppers or small Dahlbergs. If you fish the pockets in the weeds. you may want a pretty stout tippet so you can haul them out and 'weed whacker' them out of the holes. The 5 wt. is good for most of them but you may want to step up to your 9 for the heavy weeds. I use an 8 for big Largemouth in heavy cover, but most of my Bass fishing I use a 5. The Bass in my avatar was on a 5 wt. with a Steelhead fly called a Funny Bunny Emerald Shiner. I hope this helps get you started. Again, welcome to the site.

  4. #4

    Default Re: First post..... ever. What type of line/leader for pan fish?

    Awesome! This is all GRRRRREAT info. I need to get some heavier leaders and tippit, but other than that, I think Im set.

    WHen I am stripping in, should I really be ripping it in fast, or jerk it a few times and let it sit??? Ive been hearing that most panfish are pretty aggressive and will hit anything moving in front of them.
    "There are those who catch Steelhead with flies.... and those who dream about it." Colin Preiser

    "Some go to church and think about fishing, others go fishing and think about God." Tony Blake

    "In my family, there was no clear division between religion and fly fishing." Norman Maclean

    "Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after." Henry David Thoreau

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Lake of the Woods/Rainy River Minnesota Canada border
    Posts
    4,752

    Default Re: First post..... ever. What type of line/leader for pan fish?

    I go slow, single wet fly. With the two fly rig, pull it a foot or so, let it set, repeat. They can be pretty aggressive, and will hit fast stuff, But I think I do better going slow. Be careful with Crappie, Paper thin mouth, can't get overly carried away with out loosing them.

  6. Default Re: First post..... ever. What type of line/leader for pan fish?

    All great info, if you ty your own flies a simple but VERY good one for warm water fish is this.
    1x long nymph hook sze 12, 10, 8
    Two wraps of .10-.15 lead on the very back of the hook, just infront of the bend.
    Two rubber legs tied over the top of the eye like antena(build a small ball of thread behind the eye of the hook it helps keep the rubber off the eye makeing it easier to ty on your tippet.
    and a chennile body.
    You can make it any color you want
    I seem to do best with a black body and white rubber
    Top water is fun but for the bigger bluegill it seems sinking patterns catch more of teh bigger ones most times.
    I play with retreves untill I find what the fish like slow or fast
    The lead on the back of the hook makes the fly fall butt down and the rubber wiggles on the way down, bream cant stand it, I have also caught very nice bass and some crappie on this fly
    Good Luck
    Bear

  7. #7

    Default Re: First post..... ever. What type of line/leader for pan fish?

    I've found that slower works better, especially bass poppers on the surface. The oldtimers rule of them was cast it out, let the ripples disappear, then give a sight twitch or movement to the fly (and it only has to barely move, though you can experiment), then let the ripples on the surface disappear. Bass have a curiosity and it's often the splat from the cast that catches their attention or a little bit of movement. They cruise over and suddenly they get a tantalizing little movement that triggers a reaction strike. They can get put off, though, if you overdo it or work too fast. Bass like an easy meal.

    With panfish and bas streamers, I give a short strip, wait 2-3 seconds, the strip again. Sometimes slower.

  8. #8

    Default Re: First post..... ever. What type of line/leader for pan fish?

    I'm new to fly fishing for bass to,so thanks to everyone for the info.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    4,019

    Default Re: First post..... ever. What type of line/leader for pan fish?

    Steelieaddict, welcome to the forum.

    You've got great advice from the folks on flies and leaders so i don't have much to add.... other than get out there and have fun.

    And don't be surprised if you get slammed by something bigger while panfishing--- in fact there's a post from Work2fish in the General forum about a 30" pike he caught on a four weight.
    Mark

  10. #10

    Default Re: First post..... ever. What type of line/leader for pan fish?

    The set up I use when fishing for bream and smaller bass is a 6'6" Winston fiberglass 3 weight with a 9 foot 7x trout leader. When fishing for larger bass I use a 9' Green River Jade 6 weight with a 9 foot 6lb. bass leader. Both these rigs work great for me... hope I was some help.

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