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Northeasters | How many different fly lines do you REGULARLY use?

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Hi Everyone, It's so good to join this community and to have learned so much from the chatter on here.  I am coming into the saltwater world from river fishing so am curious about gear particularly Fly Lines. 

 

1.  How many different fly lines do you guys regularly pack and use shore fishing the surf and from jetties? (The 1, 2 or 3 lines you will find yourself using at least once over say three outings, and the line you have on most)

2.  What is your preferred rod for these contexts and what lines do you love for that rod?

2.  What tactical scenarios in those shore fishing contexts would cause you to change the line on your rod on a given fishing day?

3.  Do you have different lines for the summer vs the cold months?

 

I read CaryGreen's EXCELLENT and in-depth line manufacturer review and walked away with the impression that people tend to pack multiple lines and I am trying to figure out a good baseline set up to cover the various tactical scenarios encountered in the shore fishing context.

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Welcome!  (By the way - I think you owe a joke as a new member :-) ... there's a thread pinned at the top of this forum.)

 

You'll get lots of different answers based on fishing situations and targets, I suspect.  Here's mine.


I fish 95%+ of the time from shore, wading flats, beaches, estuaries, etc.  Stripers are main target, plus blues once in a while.  

 

95% of the time I'm carrying a 9 and a 10, or 2 9s and 2 10s, depending on season, what I'm targeting, etc.  My rods are all built by me, blanks are mostly Batson or CTS.  Before I started building (well assembling to be honest) rods, I had Orvis and Sage rods mostly.  There are times I might go with an 8, but less and less as the years go by.

 

I always carry 2 rods with me, one  always has an intermediate line, and one has a full sink (depth charge type) line, which I pull out when I fish a deep channel and the tide is running.  I had one bad experience years ago breaking a rod during epic striper fishing out on Monomoy Island back when you could take a "taxi" out there.  Lost 3 hours getting back to the car and then back out to the island. Never again.

I don't have different lines for summer vs. cold months.  It does not get hot enough here (although last weekend was "ouch") to really require using tropical lines, at least in my experience.  So my lines are generally "cold water" lines.

Cheers

 

 

Edited by jalthoff

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He does owe us a joke. I will let this thread proceed anyway.

 

Floating and intermediate is enough for me.

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Thanks fellas......not much of a funny man...but I do become the butt of jokes often.  Here's one of the many times when I was literally the joke.

 

As a novice fly angler I would baby my kit after each trip so after cleaning I would forget to screw in my spool....well one morning in a particularly fast section of a river that I "bravely" waded across to get to a perch so I could make a beautiful hero cast with the line dancing in the air away from the branches...it would be poetry in motion, so I thought to myself.  Predictably...the spool plopped off in the middle of my 'recital'....and I unfurled my line and backing...the wrong way.....downstream it went.  Bent over to try to catch it....dropped my iphone as my first sacrifice to the river gods never to be seen again...and was cursing myself loudly retrieving the line.....before noticing a veteran 30 feet downstream pretending not to see me but trying to conceal a smile in his face......." 

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@jalthoff hmmm I can see the utility of a two rod set up....On the rivers I carry a nymphing rod in 3 and a dry fly/dry dropper set up in a 5 that I can use for swinging small streamers in a pinch with a leader swap as well....maybe that TH OH build I've been eying on here is a good second rod to the 9wt...

 

@BrianBM Thanks for that. 

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If I had one choice for a line, it would be an intermediate. But I don't like that sort of thing so I like shooting heads. I can carry an intermediate, type 2-6 head and use them as needed. They aren't always the best but they give one good versatility.

 

But, what I use will be determined by where and what I am fishing for. I have multiple rods set up differently to cover multiple situations.  Again, given a limited choice I'd choose and intermediate and fast sink type lines if I didn't know where or what I'd be fishing for. I would try to cover both ends of a spectrum here.

 

If wind is an issue, I want a 10wt. If I had ONE rod to fish the NE with - it would be a 10wt - period, nothing else. It might be overkill at times but better to be over than outgunned. 9wts are nice, so are are 8wts, but when the wind kicks up they aren't much use. I see no reason to go heavier than a 10 in the NE.

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I carry two rods also, typically both 8 wts. I do not want the hassle of changing spools on the water. The rods vary but I will usually have one with an intermediate and one with a fast sink tip.

 

My 10 wts rarely see the light of day anymore in the NE. I did pick up an NRX+ T2S 10 this year that has seen some play time but I don't think it will become a primary rod. 

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I mostly fish off of a boat.  I know you asked about shore based fishing.  None the less, intermediate and full sinker for me.  7 - 10wt depending on the wind.  I normally keep one full and one intermediate rigged and ready to go.  The full sinker line punches through the wind nicely

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When I was beach fishing a lot I carried only one rod, a 10wt, with a 250 grain sinking line or an intermediate.  It all depended on what state I was fishing in at the time.

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When fishing it is only ever one rod. Except for rare exceptions the spare is left in the car.

Mobility is everything to me and two rods destroy that.

 

From shore and talking a beach and inlets it is a 10 wt fast rod. A floater an intermediate and a fast sink. The two spare spools are carried on a surf belt, and yes they get to live underwater most of the time when fishing. I use wf lines. All bases covered no regrets and as to weight the square root of very little.

 

You tell us you are coming from a fresh water background. A lot of us did to. A lot of FW guys make one huge mistake they do not use a line tray. Crazy madness. 
 

Don’t be afraid of the wind and seek wind at back or ignore the steep structured sand beaches. 
 

Cold water lines function all through the season in the NE. You have too much choice.

 Be very wary of the sales pitch for short head as in 30 feet lines. Not the best lines to start with. Heads around 40 feet are better. Not everyone agrees with me on this.

You mentioned a TH that’s a subject in itself but for general  use suggest you avoid any switch rod like the plague they don’t cut it.

 

Enjoy your new adventure.

 

 

mike

 

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Full sink 99% of the time, 1% a floater when I feel I need to sacrifice my numbers to catch a fish on a popper, and 1% an intermediate when I’m fishing really skinny stuff with cruising fish that I can see. 
 

9 or 10 weight rods are also my go to. Not a real big fan of an 8 weight up here despite owning a couple of them. 

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5 hours ago, Mike Oliver said:

When fishing it is only ever one rod. Except for rare exceptions the spare is left in the car.

Mobility is everything to me and two rods destroy that.

 

From shore and talking a beach and inlets it is a 10 wt fast rod. A floater an intermediate and a fast sink. The two spare spools are carried on a surf belt, and yes they get to live underwater most of the time when fishing. I use wf lines. All bases covered no regrets and as to weight the square root of very little.

 

You tell us you are coming from a fresh water background. A lot of us did to. A lot of FW guys make one huge mistake they do not use a line tray. Crazy madness. 
 

Don’t be afraid of the wind and seek wind at back or ignore the steep structured sand beaches. 
 

Cold water lines function all through the season in the NE. You have too much choice.

 Be very wary of the sales pitch for short head as in 30 feet lines. Not the best lines to start with. Heads around 40 feet are better. Not everyone agrees with me on this.

You mentioned a TH that’s a subject in itself but for general  use suggest you avoid any switch rod like the plague they don’t cut it.

 

Enjoy your new adventure.

 

 

mike

 

You make a good point about mobility re two rods.    

 

The big surprise for me in this thread is hearing the 10wt mentioned more than once, which is not a recommendation I have heard talking to the fly shops as the first set-up.  Yours and Redgreen's excellent posts on DIY TH Surf builds was what brought me to this forum months back.  This thread definitely has me thinking about taking on a build again, which sounds like a fun project.  

 

I have a 9wt T&T Exocett (scored a used one for a good price) with an SA Titan Full intermediate on the way on the back of fly shop recommendations which is much shorter than I am used to vs my 5wt with a 49' head.  I've been looking for a full intermediate line with a longer head but am worried about "overloading" the Exocett.  Will have to try casting the Titan on the rod with full head out to understand the loading characteristics of my rod.  I am also eyeing the SA Camo intermediate line after CaryGreen's excellent line manufacturer review but the total head weight of 395gr has me worried some but I do wonder if I am overthinking it (Beginner-itis).  Lines is the part of the gear list that I am most confused about.

 

I am starting to get the sense that this community here is ahead of the curve vs fly shops as it pertains to shore work (Surf, inlet, jetties) fishing on the fly. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

As you can see there's lots of different approaches to the lines used.Most of my fishing the beaches and bays I use a floating line with an intermediate reel setup in the bag.Also,carry a 10' piece of LC13 just in case.Go to rod is a totally beat Lamiglas IM700 9.5' 9wt that I have totally rebuilt twice.Many other rods rest in their tubes above my head in the shop.

I prefer weighted flies vs weighted lines.

Edited by theshadow

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I'll echo others and say it all depends on the regional and seasonal patterns you want to fish.  I fish several setups from a 11 wt with 2 skagit heads and 3 or 4 tips to a 6wt and BTT 6F for the fun summer species at the same spot. Usually one setup 100% of the time for a specific bait pattern and size class fish, then move onto a another setup that meets the needs of new spot, technique and/or pattern.  

 

I'd focus on your best local opportunities to get into fish, figure out what it requires, then branch out from there as you find other bites and patterns.

 

I started with a 9wt and floating outbound short and loved it, but after a few years it wasn't seeing much use.  An 8wt with a longer head is more fun in the estuaries and a 10 and 2 hander with tips better suit my needs out front. 

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