drp1223

Fly vs Surf casting

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The frustration level is much higher with fly fishing........which can make the rewards feel that much better, but that varies from individual to individual and depends on how you define “rewards” and what you’re looking to get from going fishing.

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One of the major differences, for me at least, is I can cover much more water more quickly surf casting versus fly fishing. Generally that causes me to limit my fly-fishing to times i have a very high confidence that fish are around

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Pros and cons of each are largely a personal preference. To me wind is the most confounding factor to enjoying a fishing outing. In my fishing this is most prominent at the surf. Fly casting can be very challenging in moderate to strong winds, though can be overcome with the right setup (rod, line, fly) and practice. I know some here are set up and experienced to cast into very rough conditions, but that is not me. I always bring a spinning rod with me as a back up when I fly fish the surf should the conditions not agree with me. Obviously if long distance is a consideration surf casting would have the advantage. 

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Sometimes fly gear outfishes other methods.  Depends on location, timing, species and their selectivity.  When you get to know a particular system really well and understand local fish populations, feeding cycles and behavior, bait type and size, you will know more or less when that is.  It can still be more fun to fly fish even when it does not give an advantage.  Distance is an issue but can be overcome to some extent by practice, wading, and/or a float tube SUP or kayak.  If you are not dedicated as a fly fisher you might not practice or learn enough to overcome the distance disadvantage.

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Some presentations are best made with fly tackle. Usually delicacy and subtlety are better done with flies. Surf gets you more versatility and sometimes more efficiency, easier to fish far, deep, and less time spent casting. All in all, they're just different methods or tools, each have their place. Some places I've fished would be better covered with saltwater flies even very large ones. Other places you kind of need surf gear to fish meaningfully, like very deep fast water with little room behind you, although this can be done with fly tackle it is much harder and more technical.

 

Just different ways of fishing.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Fly fishing the surf is frustrating and difficult if not impossible at times, but it can also be rewarding if you stick with it and pick your days (or nights) to fish. When I decided to give saltwater fly fishing for stripers a try ( early ‘90s),  I really put my all into it but got frustrated about a year and half later and quit. I quickly realized that the better conditions to catch bass always included wind, rough water or lots of current or all three, which are not ideal conditions for fly casting. I used to bring my spinning rod with me too and more often than not and ended up using it over the fly because it was either too windy, too big or too much current. I was also turned off with the fly because although it is probably the most fun way to catch a striper it is far from the best way to catch them particular larger fish over 20 pounds. I admire anyone who can just fish the fly for bass in the surf. 

Edited by VanStaalSteve

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With much of any kind of wind and/or wave action, fly fishing is a serious challenge.  having said that, my first fly fishing experience from the beach in Maine was watching a guy fly casting over 30 years ago.  we got chatting and it sounded so interesting I went and bought a Sage RPLX and a Valentine reel.  On my first outing, I caught a 36" bass off the beach, a truly eye opening and thrilling experience.  So, whenever the conditions are ok, fly fishing for me.

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I fly fish in nice weather when small bait is around, or on the flats. Surf cast all other conditions. Its no fun fly casting into 15mph wind and large waves. I enjoy both methods the same. Different tools for different jobs. 

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I prefer the fly rod but sometimes borders between impractical and impossible if you have crowds around. Had someone set up a beach chair behind me once and got really mad when I asked him to move down a little. Forget the walkers on their phones and those that want to stand behind and “watch this guy.”  Spinning rod on the busy days.

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Personal preference for sure.  I choose the fly rod 90% of the time, because (a) I enjoy casting, itself, (b) fishing flies you tied adds a level of enjoyment, and (c) I prefer fighting fish on fly gear more....BUT, I often think I should go with spinn8ng gear more often in order to cover / reach more water, more quickly....and heck, top water and soft plastics are good fun. There’s really no right answer.

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8 mins ago, NSflyguy said:

Personal preference for sure.  I choose the fly rod 90% of the time, because (a) I enjoy casting, itself, (b) fishing flies you tied adds a level of enjoyment, and (c) I prefer fighting fish on fly gear more....BUT, I often think I should go with spinn8ng gear more often in order to cover / reach more water, more quickly....and heck, top water and soft plastics are good fun. There’s really no right answer.

Pretty much sums it up. That said I now have fly rods very capable of dealing with big wind and water and use them first over my spinners if fish are in close or not dealing with a tight lineup of surfcasters slinging 2oz bucktails all around me. In the fall I never leave home without the big spinner, in case the crowds too big to sling fly line or the fish are feeding 50yds out of reach.

Left Kreh once said to Flip Pallot never go fly fishing without bringing along at least 1 spinning rod.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

When I started out I carried both simply because I couldn't cast a fly rod for more than a few hours without wanting to snap it in half.  I'll definitely continue to do it when it's not too much of a pita.

 

For me it all depends on where the fish are.  If I know they're within 60' and conditions allow I'm definitely going with the fly rod.  With exception of an unweighted sluggo style soft plastic there aren't many surf presentations as fun as a fly (ok maybe jigs and deep metal lips around interesting structure).  I wouldn't say either presentation is harder to perfect but the learning curve is different.

 

My absolute favorite routine is jigs and deep metal lips in heavy current then fly around slack.  Over the last year it's opened up a lot of new presentation strategies for the same complicated current seams and structure.

 

 

Edited by Bait Tailer

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As most said it depends on conditions of surf, wind depths you want to fish. I will fly fish for stripers 80% of the time. I try to fish where my ability and equipment will work best. Wind in the face and I am dead in the water, a little wind behind me and I am most comfortable. Having options of surf, flats, harbors and estuaries can usually get me out. My own thoughts on success is that a fly  presents itself better in shallow waters. I pretty much sight fish. In big water I will go spinning gear with plugs, yes I do get bigger fish in the surf, but easy everyday results fly fishing. I’ve learned to fish at my ability, 30-40’ casts with good footing

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I bought a new 9 weight setup two years ago and haven't gotten it wet yet!  For many years,  I have enjoyed fly fishing for trout or small mouth bass, but it never seems "right time" to get it out on the beach.  That being said, I just today tied up a bunch of flies (deceivers) and am going to be in CMC for the next two weeks for a family vacation.  I am going fly fishing...hence I am reading up on it here today ;-)

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