Fly rods have come a long way in the last decade and I’ve noticed that fly rod companies are now starting to pay attention to fly rods that need to be designed for women. Of those companies, I recently picked up the women’s A4 905-4 fly rod. The first thing that comes to mind with this rod is its extremely versatile!
I just returned from a week of fly fishing for bonefish, and several other species at Crooked Island Lodge in the Bahamas. This was our 5th shop hosted trip down there, and like I always I pack enough gear to outfit an army chasing bonefish and other saltwater fish. Some of our vendors and reps are gracious enough to send me a few samples to play with while I’m down there. I had the chance to fish several Scott Rods, Sage’s, and Winston’s along with Lamson and Tibor reels. It is pretty tough to beat those rods and reels for bonefish and tarpon. We’ve written several rod review articles lately and I thought about all the gear I took and there were a few little things that caught my attention.
Many of us at the shop have been converted to sharkskin fly lines, and for tropics fishing I think they are one of the best. The Sharkskin Magnum Tropic is probably one of the easiest casting fly lines for any saltwater angler as well as turns over big heavy crabs and shrimp patterns. I have fished this line on a 6wt as well as an 8wt several times. I put this line on a 10wt rod, and was amazed how easy it was to cast. I even was able to place a fly well enough to land my first tarpon. Another line I took was the RIO Bonefish. Now many of us trout guys have fished the RIO Gold taper lines, and the bonefish is basically the saltwater version. We had several days of dead calm weather, which left us with spooky fish and gentle, accurate presentations were essential. After going from a very aggressive magnum taper to this bonefish line was a drastic difference. I am now sold though, and think the longer head length of the RIO was perfect for lightweight flies and calm conditions, but for nuclear winds and heavy flies I’ll be fishing the magnum. I found these two lines complimented each other nicely and will be coming on my next saltwater adventure.
With my line experimentations on this trip trying to re rig your reels is tough to do without any sort of machine. Sometimes we take for granted how nice it is to rig up at the fly shop. I would usually just have someone grab my line and start walking then hand roll it on a spool. While this is a great beer drinking activity it’s a hassle and inevitably makes a mess of your lines. On this trip I took the Anglers Accessories Line Winder, and was able to swap lines in minutes. It was a great addition, and will be going on any multiday trips I have in the future.
The last little things I took on the trip that I wasn’t sure of were the new Hatch Tempest Pliers. Usually I just use some cheapo pliers, or long handled hemostats, but having a heavy duty salt water plier was the ticket. When those shrimp or crabs get inhaled or stuck right in the hard corner of a bonefish cheap pliers will bend, and don’t have the backbone to pull the hook. It’s tough on the fish, and not to mention having those tiny handle rings of hemo’s jabbing into your knuckles is not exactly fun. Having heavy duty pliers like the Tempests made child’s play out of removing hooks. Plus they have great cutters for trimming up heavy tippets that dull ordinary nippers.
Another great year down and already planning next years trip. If you are heading on a saltwater trip, or have questions on any other gear don’t hesitate to call or email us. Between all of us at the shop we have over 25 years of saltwater destination experience and will get you dialed in to make the most of your trip.