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Thread: Musky on a Fly

  1. #11

    Default Re: Musky on a Fly

    There's a 10wt ESOX in the classifieds right now...

    Here's my only muskie... Thanks to Ted... Actually taken on a 7wt Fenwick Feralite...


  2. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    Default Re: Musky on a Fly

    Welcome to the musky on the fly sickness. We crazies need to stick together. What do you think "snapped" in your head to make you want to come over to the dark side? For me, I tend to lean towards it being a genetic thing. Maybe it is some kind of ailment that I was born with.

    For small fly work, a 9wt will just fine. But if you want to step your game up into flies that most would consider medium to large, you'll want a 10 weight at least. 10 weights really are the ideal starting rod as far as I'm concerned. It's a do-almost-anything type of rod, with very few limitations. And todays 10wts are so light that the difference between casting a 9 or a 10wt is almost negligible.

    There are a bunch of rods on the market these days that are more than capable of handling the rigors of musky fishing. Most every brand has at least rod out there I would trust to toss musky flies around. And like you said, everyone has a preference. **Shameless plug coming** I will add that if you're leaning toward a TFO Mangrove, you might be interested in my TFO Esox in the classifieds. It's the same blank as the mangrove, with an extended fighting to make executing those figure 8's easier.

    Regardless of the rod you end up purchasing, there are other things just as vital to your success. Lines can make or break whether or not a certain rod is successful. You need big heavy headed fly lines to get those flies to turn over. Rio, Airflo, and SA all make good lines for this. For lake fishing, I’d probably get myself an intermediate to start with. If you have the funds to add a spare spool and line, I’d get yourself a fast sinking line as well, just to be able to cover the deeper structure a little more effectively.

    Flies vary a ton on this side of the industry. Some guys prefer big synthetic baitfish flies, while others like myself, enjoy using natural fibers like bucktail and long saddle hackles. Take a look at lures that have worked for you in the past, and see if you can build a fly around that same color scheme. Us musky fly guys have been “borrowing” pattern ideas from you gear guys for a long time.

    Reels I wouldn’t get too involved with. I mainly use two different reels on my setups. Allen Krakens, which I really, really dig. And Lamson Gurus which are also nice reels. I opt to fish my Allen reels for a number of reasons though, and one of the big ones is the level of great service that they offer. Those krakens also have a solid drag system that I’d trust for any application of fishing.

  3. Likes zippy83, ia_trouter, ic3wind liked this post
  4. Default Re: Musky on a Fly

    loop booster 8ft8 wt---this rod is shark worthy. and it will cast rabbits

  5. Default Re: Musky on a Fly

    Quote Originally Posted by ted4887 View Post
    Welcome to the musky on the fly sickness. We crazies need to stick together. What do you think "snapped" in your head to make you want to come over to the dark side? For me, I tend to lean towards it being a genetic thing. Maybe it is some kind of ailment that I was born with.

    For small fly work, a 9wt will just fine. But if you want to step your game up into flies that most would consider medium to large, you'll want a 10 weight at least. 10 weights really are the ideal starting rod as far as I'm concerned. It's a do-almost-anything type of rod, with very few limitations. And todays 10wts are so light that the difference between casting a 9 or a 10wt is almost negligible.

    There are a bunch of rods on the market these days that are more than capable of handling the rigors of musky fishing. Most every brand has at least rod out there I would trust to toss musky flies around. And like you said, everyone has a preference. **Shameless plug coming** I will add that if you're leaning toward a TFO Mangrove, you might be interested in my TFO Esox in the classifieds. It's the same blank as the mangrove, with an extended fighting to make executing those figure 8's easier.

    Regardless of the rod you end up purchasing, there are other things just as vital to your success. Lines can make or break whether or not a certain rod is successful. You need big heavy headed fly lines to get those flies to turn over. Rio, Airflo, and SA all make good lines for this. For lake fishing, I’d probably get myself an intermediate to start with. If you have the funds to add a spare spool and line, I’d get yourself a fast sinking line as well, just to be able to cover the deeper structure a little more effectively.

    Flies vary a ton on this side of the industry. Some guys prefer big synthetic baitfish flies, while others like myself, enjoy using natural fibers like bucktail and long saddle hackles. Take a look at lures that have worked for you in the past, and see if you can build a fly around that same color scheme. Us musky fly guys have been “borrowing” pattern ideas from you gear guys for a long time.

    Reels I wouldn’t get too involved with. I mainly use two different reels on my setups. Allen Krakens, which I really, really dig. And Lamson Gurus which are also nice reels. I opt to fish my Allen reels for a number of reasons though, and one of the big ones is the level of great service that they offer. Those krakens also have a solid drag system that I’d trust for any application of fishing.
    Ted,

    Thank you for the warm welcome. I agree musky fisherman in general are a strange breed and need to stick together!!!

    Thanks for all the info. I was looking at rods and was thinking to get a 9wt and a 10wt to have with me at all times. The rods I am looking at are the ION and EDGE from Echo and the Mangrove from TFO to start with. Now after reading all suggestions I am leaning towards the 10wt rods.

    As for the leader what do you recommend for a typical fly setup? Currently I am making my own fluorocarbon leaders in 100LB and 130LB test range. Do I need to go lower on the test diameter, or maybe wire?

    Thanks again
    Zipp

  6. Default Re: Musky on a Fly

    loop booster 8ft8 wt---this rod is shark worthy. and it will cast rabbits

  7. Thanks richard g thanked for this post
  8. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Northern WI
    Posts
    1,003

    Default Re: Musky on a Fly

    Zippy

    Leaders vary from person to person. I fish wire, but also know plenty of guys that fish floro. It all works. You can you use the exact same bite wires that you're using with gear if you want. Keep in mind, that because I generally fish fast flowing rivers with a high likelihood of snagging up (maybe I'm a bad caster?) I always build a breaking point into my leaders so that I don't have to worry about losing fly lines.

    My general streamer leader setup is simple though. 2' 60lb floro -- 3' 20lb mono ---> 1' bite wire. Sometimes shorter going all the way down to 3-4' in some cases, rarely longer than 6' though. Topwater leader is a straight 40-60lb with bire wire.

    If I was only fishing lakes I'd simplify it even more and just use straight 40 or 60 with a bite wire like I use with my topwater.

    As far as I'm concerned, there is no magic leader out there that will work for everyone. You'll just have to experiment a little bit to find the one that works best for you.
    Last edited by ted4887; 11-19-2014 at 03:17 PM.

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  10. Default Re: Musky on a Fly

    Thanks Ted,

    This is very good information. I will have to experiment with different setups as you have suggested.

    As for backing, I was thinking of putting 65LB Power Pro for my backing on the reel. Am I braking any fly fishing rules by doing so?

  11. #18
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    Northern WI
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    Default Re: Musky on a Fly

    Nah, you'd be fine to do that. Though, it will take a lot of that braid to fill up the empty space. Are you planning on buying a new reel for a 10wt, or just using one that you already have?

    Most fly shops will pre-spool a reel for very little cost to you. It would probably be more advantageous to just pay the small fee for a shop to add backing than using good power pro. 20lb or 30lb would be just fine. You'll never see backing when fishing for musky anyways.

    Remember this one little fact about musky fishing: Usually about 50% of your eats are going to come within mere feet of the boat. That means that a musky is going to have to peel roughly 100' of fly line away from you before the tip of your backing is even visible. Give a fish 100' of room to run, and you know it's going to find some structure to break you off on.



    Another tip I'll offer up regarding leaders/knots is to make darn sure that the butt section of your leader is tied to your fly line with a knot small enough to go through the top guide without much resistance. I prefer to cut the loops off the end of my line and nail knot the butt sections to my fly line. Sometimes I'll finish it off with a bit of Loon Knot Sense just to smooth out the knot. Though that isn't necessary at all.

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  13. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    middle Tennessee
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    825

    Default Re: Musky on a Fly

    It seems that the OP suggested that he would be fishing shallow most of the time. A floating line would be my recommendation. I don't fish pike or Musky but I would think that they are similar. A 40# straight leader I would think would be enough. 6 to 12" of wire for a bite tippet. Heavy mono or fluro would also work I believe. I have a 9wt and it is all the rod I care to cast for any length of time and it will throw some sizeable flies but if you are planning on 12 and 14" flies it probably ain't enough rod. A 10wt may not be either. Flies like a seaducer and whistlers are slow sinkers if properly tied and should stay above the weed beds. A wire weed guard would also be a wise addition the your flies to keep from collecting a salad on each cast. Rabbit zonker flies should work well. Maybe with deer hair heads to keep them from sinking too fast. Bait fish imitations tied bulky with some synthetic hair should be slow sinkers too. Bulky heads will push a lot of water and should put out that 'come and eat me' pressure wave. .....If you decide you need a fast retrieve you can do the two handed retrieve like the salt water guys. If he wants it you will not be able to take it away from him.

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  15. Default Re: Musky on a Fly

    Thanks for the info..

    The only reason I am asking is because I have about 300yrds of 65LB powerpro that I have not used up. I might as well just use it. I have a reel that is designed for 9-10wt lines so it will take about 270yrd of 30LB line.

    You are right on the hookups, they usually happen so close to the boat or even on a figure 8 that I don't see the Musky taking 100' of line.

    Thanks for the tip on the knots. I will make sure that my knots are as small and as strong as possible. Cant wait for the spring to arrive so I can get out there and try this out.

    Thanks again
    Zipp

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