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Thoughts on Fly Fishing Gear:

I usually have a couple of rods with me on any saltwater trip. One reason is that you are usually very far away and completely dependent on your gear. Lodges do not typically have extra rods around if yours should break. A good rule is to travel with two rods that will cover the same job. I typically travel with two 8wts, a 9wt and a 10wt. You can throw in a 7wt for smaller bones. I do not like fishing with lighter tackle because it is harder on the fish and if there are sharks on the flats you can not muscle a Bonefish in with the lighter weight rods.

Your primary Bonefish rod should be a nice stiff  8wt.The best way to find one is to figure out how much you want to spend and cast the rods in that price range and then some in the next higher up price range. The best thing to do is to cast the rods. I worked in a fly shop for quite awhile and had access to all the top brands and they all really cast differently, combined with your own personal casting style the best way to find a rod is to cast them. You can make generalizations like, if you fish an Sage XP you will like the Sage XI2, but you might find you like the Scott S3S better. Most rods makers put out a really good rod in the $300 - $400 dollar range. Now matter the price make sure you are comfortable casting it. So get out there and cast. Remember long hauls.

Now that you have found a rod you like you can start shopping for a reel. The reel is where you need to do your research.  A good reel in essential when fighting any saltwater fish.  A disc drag is a must and look for cork or polymer.  Pay attention to how the drag knob is designed as you will need to adjust while fighting the fish. Make sure it is easy to work. Nothing worse than having your knuckles banged while trying to tighten your drag.  A large arbor is key when you are trying to retrieve line at a fast rate when the fish is swimming at you. Make sure the the reel is sized correctly so you can get enough backing on the reel, because if all goes well you are going to need it. When in doubt get the next size up. If the reel says it can hold 5 to 7 WT and the next one is 8-10 go with the bigger one so you can buy a spool and put heavier line for when you want to fish for larger species. It may weigh a little more, but you are not casting it all day so the extra weight will not kill you.

While on the flats the sun can be a killer. Be sure to use lots on sunscreen and reapply a couple of times a day.  I prefer to fish in light pants and a long sleeve shirt. That way I do not have to mess with the sunscreen except for my feet, hands and head area. I find a hat that covers you ears and neck to be handy. It does two things, protects you from the sun and from your fly. There has been a few windy days when either I or a buddy has stuck ourselves with a fly. A light weight breathable rain coat is a nice thing to have. Splashy rides and passing rain storms can leave you wet and it might take awhile to dry out. One tip I got had been a life saver. Carry an extra pair of sunglasses. A good polarized pair for fishing and one for riding in the boat. It is really nice after a wet boat ride to pull out a clean pair of shades to fish in.

It is nice to have a good fanny pack to carry all your stuff. One that will hold your fly box, camera and leaders in case you get out of the boat to wade or are wading from the get go. A larger bag is great for boat fishing.

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