dannyplug1

surf fishing with floating fly line

Rate this topic

55 posts in this topic

I have been a subscriber to steve coultons emails.  In those emails and a talk he did for the saltwater edge he talks about using a floating line.  I wonder if he uses the floating line because he fishes mostly outflows?  I can see the usefulness you can mend to get it deep and get a dead drift like you are fishing nymphs  on a river.  But in the surf I wonder if the waves and especially larger waves would make it very difficult to control your line.  therefore making an intermediate or a sinking head floating line better for surf fishing or fishing off the rocks.  Thinking of purchasing a floating line wonder if its necessary as I mostly fish the surf and not outlets.  thanks Charlie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited) · Report post

Quote

 

Ok you have now opened a can of worms. Steve at one end and me at the other.

 

ok my take my experience. A floater can be very useful in a surf that’s not too lively. You want to fish Gurglers and poppers it needs to be a floater. It will fish flies like  Clousers  and Decievers in the surf but you are not going to gain any serious depth. Mostly forget about mending a line in breaking surf. It is a fallacy. Flat surf beaches at night a floater can be good to use.

 

The intermediate is my proffered  line for the surf and even fast current and inlets. You can get depth by shoving your rod tip down into the water hold it there  and the line will follow it.

In fast inlets you can cast it up current feed line and then as it starts to come round force the rod tip right down to the depth you wish to fish. It can be hard work to keep the rod down under the water. It works. Few seem to do this. Beats me.

 

If you are fishing a beach with a steep edge and lots of structure and a strong sweep then a full fast sink as in 6 inches per second or even faster can get you to strike zone much faster. Time is at a premium with a fly line in proper surf. Full sinks cast better than sink tips by a long chalk.

 

But you may still need fast hands to prevent your fly from fouling the bottom.

 

Never liked sink tips. But worth trying even if just to find out if you can get on with them.

If you love the surf a wet suit will be of great help. You are not going to remotely stay  dry no matter what you wear. Have fun.

 

Mike

Edited by Mike Oliver

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Mike Oliver said:

Ok you have now opened a can of worms. Steve at one end and me at the other.

 

ok my take my experience. A floater can be very useful in a surf that’s not too lively. You want to fish Gurglers and poppers it needs to be a floater. It will fish flies like  Clousers  and Decievers in the surf but you are not going to gain any serious depth. Mostly forget about mending a line in breaking surf. It is a fallacy. Flat surf beaches at night a floater can be good to use.

 

The intermediate is my proffered  line for the surf and even fast current and inlets. You can get depth by shoving your rod tip down into the water hold it there  and the line will follow it.

In fast inlets you can cast it up current feed line and then as it starts to come round force the rod tip right down to the depth you wish to fish. It can be hard work to keep the rod down under the water. It works. Few seem to do this. Beats me.

 

If you are fishing a beach with a steep edge and lots of structure and a strong sweep then a full fast sink as in 6 inches per second or even faster can get you to strike zone much faster. Time is at a premium with a fly line in proper surf. Full sinks cast better than sink tips by a long chalk.

 

But you may still need fast hands to prevent your fly from fouling the bottom.

 

Never liked sink tips. But worth trying even if just to find out if you can get on with them.

If you love the surf a wet suit will be of great help. You are not going to remotely stay  dry no matter what you wear. Have fun.

 

Mike

 

  I'm 100% with Mike. I don't use an intermediate to get my fly down, I use it to manage the shorebreak. I use an intermediate head with a floating running line. Easy to cast, easy to mend. If I saw one of my friends on a beach fishing a floating line, I'd be tempted to ask them just what the **** they thought they were doing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You Certainly can fish poppers On an intermediate line. You just have to start stripping line as soon as the popper lands. I’ve caught lots of fish this way, over almost 30 years, mostly stripers and bluefish. I don’t stop the popper. Often, I’ll hold my rod under my armpit and form an “O” with my left hand and grip the line with the fingers of my right. I’ll move my hands apart hard and quickly, causing a loud pop. And repeat. If I’m bluefishing and one comes in to investigate I’ll start two-handed stripping hand-over-hand quickly, more like working a slider fast. The Surface wake and fast movement causes them to chase it down and attack the popper, whereas a slower retrieve will often cause them to lose interest. Try it, it works.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As for Steve’s using a floating line in surf, I know he’s a great fly fisherman, it works for him, and Kenny Abrams also does it with great success. You’re going to deal with waves in your line either way. With floating line you get vertical waves in your line, but can mend line to counteract a bow in the line caused by cross current. With sinking or intermediate line you go under the surface waves but are more at the mercy of  turbulence and cross currents. You can minimize this by casting up current, down current or swinging downstream but will still often have some degree of slack in the line.

   Take your pick.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can fish a popper for a short while with an Intermediate  line. But it is just not very good.Tried it when I did not have a floater with me.  Give me a floater every  time. If others can make it work all the way back to the rod tip then hats off to them.

 

mikey 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good one...where are you Steve.... so looking forward to the rebuttal :)     and should I be putting holes in my stripping basket ....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For the type of fishing that I have done and generally will do - not much use for a floater. I like a full intermediate for topwater stuff. My favorite line was a Monic but that was years ago. I actually found it easier to work some topwaters with it vs a floater. 

 

For the overwhelming majority of my fishing I have been a shooting head guy. They were very versatile, you could switch out heads in seconds. Generally, I used a type 4 or 6 for 90% of my fishing with good results. A type 6 head is my go to for albies. It's thinner in diameter, and when the retrieve is started right away it doesn't sink all that much. Also, for every albie to see on the surface - there's multiples more down.

 

There are some instances were a full floater is good to great and I will use one in those situations but that's not the majority of my fishing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, dannyplug1 said:

I have been a subscriber to steve coultons emails.  In those emails and a talk he did for the saltwater edge he talks about using a floating line.  I wonder if he uses the floating line because he fishes mostly outflows?  I can see the usefulness you can mend to get it deep and get a dead drift like you are fishing nymphs  on a river.  But in the surf I wonder if the waves and especially larger waves would make it very difficult to control your line.  therefore making an intermediate or a sinking head floating line better for surf fishing or fishing off the rocks.  Thinking of purchasing a floating line wonder if its necessary as I mostly fish the surf and not outlets.  thanks Charlie

If you are fishing the beach out front I mostly fish a intermidiate line .. is hard to mend a floating on a heavy surf plus you can’t get to the strike zone ... I would fish my intermidiate line on the surf and the line do is Job on the fly . You can use a floater on a calm night or calm day ... but you would have to have in mind what you are trying to mimic .just my experience on how I fish the surf in jersey and ny  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I fish the surf a lot less than I did in the 80s and 90s, mostly now in the fall, but I still use shooting heads a lot. Mine are homemade, I don't weight them, trial and error in the back yard. "Unscientific Angler" would be my brand I suppose. I usually carry an intermediate head and a sinking head made from old lines and looped to braided mono. It might be perception but I always felt like I maintained a stronger connection to the fly with the mono, it seemed to cut the wave action better. Need a finger guard though...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Floater sees limited use for topwater poppers or drifting an outflow on a calm night. Intermediate gets it's fair share if the wind is not pushing water at me too hard...otherwise heavy full sink, no sink tips. Gets the fly down and gives you the most time for a decent retrieve out of the three.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm from the Kenney Abrames/Ray Bonderew school of floating lines in the surf. A floating line is all I use in the surf, I fish mostly ocean sandy beaches, some rocky beaches. Floater allows you to mend over the waves. Don't know how you would mend an intermediate line thats sunk under the water, even with a floating running line. Most ocean beaches aren't very deep out at the end of a 60-80 foot cast. A clouser on a 7 ft leader will get down near bottom with a floating line if you throw in a mend or two to allow it to sink before the sideshore current pulling on the fly line starts dragging the leader and fly. A floating line also allows you to dead drift a fly without current drag with a series of mends, and to use the Greased Line Swing salmon fishing technique which also employs dead drifting the fly.

 

Read these if you want to learn more about floating lines in the surf: Striper Moon by Kenney Abrames (he's a creative independent minded fisherman and writer), Stripers and Streamers by Ray Bonderew, and Greased Line Fishing for Salmon [and Steelhead] by Jock Scott. Steve Culton wrote a nice article a few years ago about using the Greased Line Swing for stripers, its available on his currentseams website (greased line = floating line).

 

I'm sure the guys with intermediate lines can catch fish in the surf too. Never tried it so I don't know. :) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

95% of my fishing is with a floater.  But I don't fish real surf any longer.

I think that the intermediate bellies just like the floater in currents - but you just don't see it.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to register here in order to participate.

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.