It’s the time of the year where most of us around the shop are preparing for our Salt Water destination trips. Every year we do a variety of trips to warm places, from all inclusive guided trips to sleeping in a cabana on a beach with no fresh water. Besides the fish, the tropical weather, and the great people of the various countries we go to one of my favorite things about going salt water fly fishing is the simplicity of packing. When I go up to Alaska or even Idaho I have bags of gear, waders, boots, tents, and who knows what else but you never know what your going encounter and must always be ready for it. With a Saltwater trip to Mexico, Bahamas, Venezuela, Belize, or any number of other destinations you really only need 11 items. Here is my list of 11 items we all take on any saltwater destination trip we do. If you have these items you’ll be set wherever you are.
1. 8 weight fly rod, there are a number of other rods you may want to have but it’s the perfect weight for a bone fishing fly rod.
2. Saltwater fly reel that will hold an 8 weight line and 150+ yards of backing.
3. Saltwater fly line, occasionally if you going to a destination where there is lots of coral a backup line is good to have just in case.
4. Flies, a variety of shrimp and crabs.
5. Boat Bag, we typically use the Patagonia Great Divider. It’s the perfect size; it’ll fit into an overhead carry on compartment, and keep all your gear dry.
6. Flats booties, if your doing a guided trip a set up the Simms Zip it booties is perfect. If you’re going out walking on your own all day I would suggest a boot with a little more protection and support such as the Patagonia Marlwakers.
8. Quick dry pants, the Tropical Flats pants are the best you’ll find.
10. Good pair of sunglasses, if you have lighter eye’s a darker lens, but we still love our copper lenses.
11. You never know what you may catch, and some of these salty critters have teeth so a good pair of long handled pliers. Rising has some and if you want the best you can find the Hatch Tempest Pliers.
There are little odds and ends that you will want to take, but if you have these 11 things you’ll be set for your trip. One of the other big questions we get asked a lot is how we travel with our fly rods. Some of us have travel tubes such as the Fishpond Overland Tube, but I prefer to just carry all my rods on in their socks duct taped together. I’ll tuck them next to the window or stow them in the very back of the overhead bin.
When traveling to most of your destinations you can carry all your rods, reels, flies, tippets, leaders, and everything else on except pliers. I recommend carrying on anything you can, including your flats boots. With so many of these remote destinations your gear doesn’t quite make it on time and you may be ¾ the way through your week without your luggage. Some of you may be luckier than others, but if I’m paying for a week of all inclusive fishing in the tropics I don’t want to be without my essentials. When I travel home I throw everything in my check bag except my luggage.
I hope you find this helpful, if you have any questions or are thinking of getting into the Saltwater game drop us a line we’d love to help you out.