Albacore 2019

mbowers

Active Member
I'm using the same approach as when I fish the sound. 4-6' of 30 lb flouro looped to the end of the line. Very simple.
So Nick's tippet was about twice as long as Guy's. I generally think butt sections don't belong in offshore fly leaders unless you need great turnover for surface feeders. The fish can see the knot which picks up blood and slime to become even more visible plus the butt section doesn't stretch much compared to the same length tippet.

Basically sidelined this whole summer with life but hopefully next summer I will get out there..

Circle hooks?!? WTF Guy?? :)
 

SilverFly

Active Member
So Nick's tippet was about twice as long as Guy's. I generally think butt sections don't belong in offshore fly leaders unless you need great turnover for surface feeders. The fish can see the knot which picks up blood and slime to become even more visible plus the butt section doesn't stretch much compared to the same length tippet.

Basically sidelined this whole summer with life but hopefully next summer I will get out there..

Circle hooks?!? WTF Guy?? :)
Hi Martin,

Totally get the side-lined thing. Building a deck ate my entire summer last year. Still have some loose ends to wrap-up but I can do that this winter when I won't be fishing for steelhead.

I agree there's not much point to using a leader with a heavy butt section offshore, at least in terms of turning the fly over. I use one mostly to have a secure, "semi-permanent" tag to attach the tippet section to. It might be a false sense of security but I feel better having thicker material attached to the flyline. A 2' butt can also get cut back many times before it needs to be changed out. That said, you bring up a good point about fish seeing the knots. Contrary to popular belief, these fish can be very sensitive to things like that. I wonder if the fly-inspectors on the trip last month would've eaten if I had been using a longer leader of 20#, or even 15#, vs the 5' with heavy butt and 30# tippet. Don't think it was the fly since the next school ate that pattern just fine.

Regarding circle hooks, yeah, I know :rolleyes: . For the most part, I've actually had really good luck with flies tied on circle hooks, even very small ones for steelhead and salmon. Worked great with two troll fish on the trip on August, but not so much this last trip.

There are a couple reasons I have used circles for albacore. For one, when doing the partial retrieve, stack-mend, let-sink-and-repeat-thing-on-the-drift, I've had fish hit the fly with loose coils of line unwinding on the surface as the fly sank. If they are moving fast enough on the take, line drag is usually enough to seat the hook and they're still on once the slack is retrieved.

In the case of these last two trips, I was hoping something worthy of the 5/0 circle hooks (largest hooks I had) might be around. It's one thing to miss a strike with a circle (usually out of stupidity), but I've never lost a fish that has been hooked on one. Not sure why the 2 hits I had when retrieving the squid fly didn't stick. Might've been a confidence thing with that big squid fly while they were eating anchovies, but couldn't get at my other rods with all the activity in back. They were both very solid whacks and really caught me off-guard, so I may have been holding too much tension, or strip-set. To be honest I don't remember. Things were pretty crazy at the end.

With the big circle hooks I was hoping for a solid connection if lightening did strike and ended up with a striped marlin, bluefin, or an opah on the line. I might have thrown myself overboard if a standard hook pulled after an hour or more of back-breaking fight.
 
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Coho

Member
Your frankenline should do it though. Wish I had time to re-furb my home-made stupid-deep line (Plasti-Dip and tungsten powder coated on 220' of 100# gel-spun) but that's a major project and I barely have time to tie albacore flies. I was thinking of doing a similar "frankenline" using 30' of T-whatever slipped inside some 100# hollow-core Jerry Brown and coated with tungsten impregnated Plasti-Dip. I might have to re-visit the stupid-deep line thread for pointers. There was some great input from the likes of @Nick Clayton, @mbowers, and others.

Novice question - are you "casting" those lines like the Depthfinder/Leviathan?

I tried to flyfish off a six pack a few years ago. Built my own SH with leadcore and amnesia. Could not cast w/o putting my friends in danger, so basically just rollcasted and fed the line out.

Curious what your technique is?
 
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cabezon

Sculpin Enterprises
WFF Supporter
When @SilverFly, @Bagman, and I fished out of Garibaldi last October, Silverfly had his fly out while we were on the troll (missed one strike). When we had a solid baitstop at the end of the day, he moved up to the bow and roll cast and fed the line out, alas without a strike. On a typical six pack, six guests, a captain, a mate, and a crapload of conventional rods scattered around makes for a very crowded casting platform. For our trip with @Nick Clayton in August, we will have 4 fly anglers and will reduce the number of conventional rods that are deployed. That should give us more room and less obstructions.
Steve
 

Coho

Member
Thanks! Learned a lot from this thread. Very smart and experienced folks here, and grateful you are willing to share your knowledge. Laughed at the angry & depressed steelheader description. Used to flyfish for steelhead when you knew they actually existed. Actually CATCHING sounds like my kind of flyfishing.
 

SilverFly

Active Member
Novice question - are you "casting" those lines like the Depthfinder/Leviathan?

I tried to flyfish off a six pack a few years ago. Built my own SH with leadcore and amnesia. Could not cast w/o putting my friends in danger, so basically just rollcasted and fed the line out.

Curious what your technique is?
Yes. The Leviathan and Depthfinder both cast very well IMO. The main qualifier being a matter of simply getting used to the heavier line, rod loading etc... Went to Baja for a week last year and spent a lot of timing fishing a 700 grain Depthfinder on a 13wt Sage Xi 2. Mostly for trying for big snapper and tuna.

That combo casts very well, and I feel confident I was hitting at least 70' consistently with no problem. But these lines will cast just fine even on lower cost rods. A well-matched 12-14wt outfit, loads and casts just like a "normal" fly rod - just requires more effort, and getting a feel for it. Even the home-made "stupid-deep" line cast surprisingly well. The longest measured cast I made at the local park was just shy of 90', and that was into a very light breeze.

Regardless of all that, these lines aren't something you will want to cast all day. Fortunately, that's not going to be the case in tuna fishing, Any long casts will be in a "run-and-gun" scenario where you'll be lucky to get 2 or 3 casts in before the school sounds. And when we have them keyed on chum, sometimes for hours, getting the fly down is far more important than getting it out. In that case a short roll cast is usually all that's needed. The drift and line weight take the fly to the fish.

The main thing is just getting used to heavier loading. Just practice until it feels like normal fly fishing.
 

SilverFly

Active Member
When @SilverFly, @Bagman, and I fished out of Garibaldi last October, Silverfly had his fly out while we were on the troll (missed one strike). When we had a solid baitstop at the end of the day, he moved up to the bow and roll cast and fed the line out, alas without a strike. On a typical six pack, six guests, a captain, a mate, and a crapload of conventional rods scattered around makes for a very crowded casting platform. For our trip with @Nick Clayton in August, we will have 4 fly anglers and will reduce the number of conventional rods that are deployed. That should give us more room and less obstructions.
Steve
That was total chaos. I thought you guys would be able to get at the fly rods in time but guess I dropped the ball there. The bummer on that trip was not getting into the fish until, literally on the run in. With maybe a half-hour left on the charter clock (12hrs dock-to-dock) it was probably better that you and Al were fishing conventional. You guys actually kicked butt and stacked some good tuna in that time. BTW, I did miss a grab but didn't have time to switch to an anchovy fly. So was fishing the same squid pattern I was trolling. Didn't have much confidence, but got a good pluck and strip-set, forgetting AGAIN, that it was tied on a circle hook!

Even so, I'm talking with Capt Randy about doing some re-configuring. He now has some PVC adapters that will allow putting fly rods into the same rod holders, or "rocket launchers" that make a loaded tuna boat look like a porcupine bristling with variously rigged rods. I want to make a few of my own and will bring them on the trip with Capt Nick. Everyone should have at least one fly rod at the ready, at all times.
 
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cabezon

Sculpin Enterprises
WFF Supporter
I thought you guys would be able to get at the fly rods in time but guess I dropped the ball there. The bummer on that trip was not getting into the fish until, literally on the run in. With maybe a half-hour left on the charter clock (12hr dock-to-dock) it was probably better that you and Al were fishing conventional. You guys actually kicked butt and stacked some good tuna in that time.

Even so, I'm talking with Capt Randy about doing some re-configuring. He now has some PVC adapters that will allow putting fly rods into the same rod holders, or "rocket launchers" that make a loaded tuna boat look like a porcupine bristling with variously rigged rods. I want to make a few of my own and will bring them on the trip with Capt Nick. Everyone should have at least one fly rod at the ready, at all times.
After thinking back on that day, I thought that our and Captain Randy's decisions were reasonable all through the day under the circumstances. I was happy to fish the conventional rod if that would keep the school in the neighborhood of the boat and increase your odds of hooking an albacore on the fly rod from the bow. If you had, I would have asked to switch places and have my own shot.

It will be great to have places to store fly rods more securely. And before we head out, we will need to think more strategically about just how many conventional rods do we need in the rocket launchers. We can store any unnecessary rods in the front cabin where we can still access them if the situation dictates.
Steve
 

Bagman

Active Member
Like @SliverFly said about roll casting, on the trip I made we just did a roll cast and dumped out the line just don't dump all of your running line you dont want to be stripping in gel spun, because its not something you want to be doing if a tuna grabs it and hits high gear. The big reels hold more backing and gel spun is about half the diemeter of Dacron. Sorry about the pic but it shows what a reel looks like when a 20 lb yellow fin tuna grabs you fly, I'm going to say this one ran out about 200 to 300 yards before he slowed down. This was not me but I was standing next to the guy when he hooked up. Lots of backing is your friend.
 

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