bonefish rod advice

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Rick Sharp, May 4, 2013.

  1. Rick Sharp

    Rick Sharp Member

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    We have a trip planned to mexico this coming october and I have a two piece redington cpx 8wt that I planned on taking. however I'm thinking a four piece might be a better idea. So I'd like to ask for some advice or opinions, would it be worthwhile to change or maybe smarter to look into a switchrod. I'm really leaning towards a meiser 9'9" but if I got caught with that purchase there would be hell to pay, but maybe worth it in the end. Any advice or opinions
    Thanks
     
  2. Anil

    Anil Active Member

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    I do a fair amount of Bonefishing (I’m going to The Bahamas this Friday), and I never enjoy fishing for them with rods longer than 9’. Some rods designed specifically for Bonefish in fact, have been 8’8” or 8’10” but those have been primarily targeted towards guides and anglers fishing from the deck of a boat. Shorter rods perform better in windy conditions but most anglers will find the extra length of a 9’ rod to be an ideal compromise for a wading angler.
    Given the average size of Mexican Bonefish, you might look at 9’ 7 or even 6 weight rods. This will depend on your ability as a caster and the amount of wind during your trip.
    Allow me to offer this advice: Never buy the best Bonefish rod you can afford, buy the best TWO Bonefish outfits you can afford. Unless this is a vacation with your spouse where fishing is a sidelight, you are risking a lot by putting all of your eggs into one rod. Remember, you are casting weighted flies in the wind for a week straight. You will get ‘Buck Fever’ unless you are a very experienced Bonefisherman. The chances of you making a mistake and breaking a rod, having a reel fail or damaging a line are decent. It is more fun to purchase a 7 weight rod and an 8 weight rod which will allow you a little flexibility. The more practical approach would be to purchase two 7’s, with matching reels and lines. Which will provide you with built in back-ups for everything. This buying two outfits that are lower priced that you'd hoped to.
    Of course, fly fishing has never been about being practical.:)
     
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  3. formerguide

    formerguide Active Member

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    What Anil said!

    Seriously, for the general size of the fish in and around Ascension Bay, a 9' 7wt is all you'll need, as stated above. A 6wt is great when the wind cooperates, but a 7 likely covers the bases better.

    A switch rod would be pretty much useless on the flats, remember you're almost always casting to a specific and seen fish, and accuracy and stealth are paramount, two areas where switch rods suffer greatly. Distance is not generally the real issue, it's accuracy, and how quickly you can cast to a spot (work on shooting line smoothly, and take no more than 2 backcasts if possible.)

    Are you fishing at a lodge? Are you targeting permit as well? From Boca all the way south to Chetemal (and of course, beyond to Turneffe and Belize) is permit heaven. A 9' 9wt would be my choice, you're casting heavier and more wind resistant crab patterns to permit.

    Anyway, good luck. Anil and the guys at the Puget Sound Fly Co can certainly help you out.

    Oh, and a 4pc rod for travel is, for me, a no brainer. I pack all of my rods in an Abel 4 rod travel case.

    Also, if being guided from a boat, I always do this with an unfamiliar guide. Cast 50' and ask him how far that was. Then go through the hands of the clock to make certain you're on the same page and that the guide doesn't have any weird idiosynchricies on that front.

    Have fun!

    Dan
     
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  4. Derek Young

    Derek Young 2011 Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide Of The Year

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    Used my 9' 7wt SW Hydros Tip down in Belize for Bones, and it was just right. Paired with a Mirage III and the Orvis Bonefish line.
     
  5. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    Rick,

    Here's another variation on being "practical." Take two 4-piece rods, a 6 and an 8 wt. The bones are small enough for a 5 wt, but . . . the wind. If it's not too windy, a medium fast 6 wt will do and be fun. The 8 wt is for conditions too windy for the 6 wt and for permit. My Mexico/Belize arsenal now includes a 6, 7, 2 8s, and a 10 wt (baby tarpon and baracuda and snook).

    BTW, call Anil and have him send you a few bonefish, permit, and tarpon fly patterns. He has a proven selection in his shop.

    Oh yeah, forget the switch. 9' single hand rods are perfect, med.-fast to fast action. There is at least some wind 99.9% of the time.

    Sg
     
  6. Rick Sharp

    Rick Sharp Member

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    I have a 7wt and a 10wt, maybe I'm good to go then, I'll need to pick up a tropical 10wt line and tie some more flies. I have an older Lamson bonefish reel that should work out great.

    Sent from my SPH-L710 using Tapatalk 2
     
  7. shawn k

    shawn k Member

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    You are good to go with the seven and ten. also don't leave home without some of del browns merking crabs.