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Saltwater Fly Fishing

Why cast a fly in the brine?

There are many reasons but only obvious to those who have tried it. For one thing saltwater fish are much stronger than their freshwater counterparts. Donnelly's law dictates that the chest waders are only useful up to the 2nd breaker Whereas a freshwater fish might break a fine leader, there are fish in the sea capable of stripping an entire line from a reel. Once a fly angler has experienced the thrill of hooking a fish in the vastness of the sea, the attractions of freshwater fishing aren't quite the same.

Another key difference is that the sea holds truly wild fish. There are no stockies here and you can be sure that none of them have names either. A sea fish caught on fly tackle is a memorable and thrilling experience.

Tackling up

If you're already a trout fly fisherman there's no need to invest lots of cash on new tackle. A 7-9 weight Trout rod for big lakes and reservoirs would be fine to start off with. However, if the money is burning a hole in your pocket then the standard saltwater fly set up would include a 8 or 9 weight from say Cortland (9ft or 10ft) rod with a matching line combined with a salt resistant Large Arbor reel (Greys make some cheap ones for under £30) and lots of braid backing. Line selection is very important, make sure it is designed for use in saltwater.


The techniques used are very similar to those used for trout. Bass feed close to the shore in surprisingly shallow water, this provides a great opportunity for the saltwater fly fisherman to target them especially early morning and as dusk falls. Both floating and intermediate lines will cover the majority of fishing situations.


The range of flies that will catch bass is enormous but there are a few patterns you shouldn't be without:

  • Deceiver
  • Clouser Minnow
  • Poppers
  • Gurglers

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