Mono Rigs

jaredoconnor

WFF Supporter
Does anyone else here fish a mono rig?


I've used one for most of the summer and I'm sold on it now. However, I'm still learning and there isn't anywhere to discuss this system. I figured maybe this could become a dedicated thread.

Edit: This article might be controversial for some folks and the title of the article probably doesn't help, so I'm going to clarify a few things.

The writer doesn't claim this is a perfect solution for all scenarios. If you read his other articles, he's very clear about the disadvantages. He is of the opinion that you should use the best tool for the job and that this is just another tool, albeit one that fits his needs more often than others. He isn't into euro nymphing and there's articles explaining his stance on that. He uses fairly general purpose gear, so he can easily switch between a mono rig and a traditional rig as needed.

This rig is nothing like gear fishing. You can think of it as just a very light fly line, because that's what it is. Much of the time, you can cast it the same way as a normal fly line.

I encourage people to be open minded and do some investigation, before writing things off. Your fishing and life in general will be better for it. At the very least, I suggest actually reading the article before commenting; you'll see that most negative comments you can make have been thoroughly addressed already.
 
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PhilR

WFF Supporter
It's about the only way I nymph anymore, using the TB system. Either a heavy stonefly on the bottom, or sometimes I'll drop shot with couple of split shot on the bottom tag. I usually use an 11 ft 2 wt ARE rod, but I've also had success with a 6-6 CGR, when that was all I had. I'm still learning, too.
 

MGTom

Living at the place of many waters
WFF Supporter
Been working on this this summer myself. I've tried the full mono rig, but ended up back with a more euro-type, about 15-17' is the maximum amount of mono I can deal with, then I like the fly line to cast. 9'tapered, 2-3' sighter, 1' clear, then 3 flies 24" apart. I found my 9' rod is fine for my streams.
My learning post
 

Dustin Bise

reformed hot-spotter
aka how to nymph if you care more about being cool and less about catching fish. its fine for some situations (small, shallow creeks), but its far from a end all solution to nymphing.
 

jaredoconnor

WFF Supporter
I've tried the full mono rig, but ended up back with a more euro-type, about 15-17' is the maximum amount of mono I can deal with, then I like the fly line to cast. 9'tapered, 2-3' sighter, 1' clear, then 3 flies 24" apart. I found my 9' rod is fine for my streams.

Aren't you getting a lot of sag? Even with mono above 0.017in, I started to notice sag. I imagine using a fly line, even a thin euro line, would take away a lot of the benefits. Casting the mono rig definitely takes some perseverance. It took me about 4-5 days on the water and a whole lot of reading and watching videos to figure it out.

A rod with a sensitive tip definitely helps. I was able to cast on my 8'9" 5wt TFO Finesse, but accuracy and distance weren't great. I'm using a 10ft 3wt Echo Carbon XL Euro Nymph rod now, but don't let the name fool you; it's not really a euro rod. I can cast a 5wt Rio Gold on it, out to 60 feet. It's more like a normal rod, but with a tip that can load under its own weight. I think Domenick uses a 9ft 6in 4wt non-euro rod, which probably has similar characteristics.
 
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jaredoconnor

WFF Supporter
Learning update:

Last weekend I started to really concentrate on keeping the butt of my rod in contact with my forearm and sighter stability has improved dramatically. I'm actually thinking about getting an ultralight reel and making my outfit as tip heavy as I can, so that it will naturally rest in that position. It might also take some of the effort out when performing tuck casts.

I'm also going to tweak my leader and give that a try this weekend. I've been using something close to Domenick's rig up until now, but I feel like it is hard to mend when the wind kicks up and I start using a dry dropper or indicator. Lack of visibility is the main issue for me. I'm sticking with Chameleon for the butt, because it seems like there aren't any good alternatives. Everything else will be opaque mono though.

- 40-50ft 0.017in Maxima Chameleon
- 2ft 0.017in OPST Lazar
- 2ft 0.014in Cortland Indicator Mono
- 2ft 0.011in Cortland Indicator Mono
- Tippet ring
- 3ft Rio 3x Powerflex

A tip to anyone else who wants to change rigs easily; grab yourself a Rio Cranky kit and make the loop on your butt section large enough to fit over the entire spool. I hit some wind one day and it took me a while to take off the mono rig, so I started looking for solutions. I can take it off and put a normal leader on in a couple of minutes now. This is much quicker than changing spools.
 
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sroffe

Active Member
Interesting article. It's never occurred to me to as much mono on a fly rod as mentioned in that article. I don't know if I would ever go there; I wouldn't never poo poo the idea either, and in some circumstances I could see using that method. I'll cross that bridge when I get there.

It does seem to break away from the traditional methods of fly fishing/drift fishing/float fishing.... My take is to be an effective fish "catcher", a person has to present their offering in such a way that appeals to the fish. I see this method as just another way to do that.

What ever method you use, I wish all to be safe and tight lines.

Sam
 

DerekWhipple

Active Member
This is how I nymph out to 30ish feet from the rod tip. I used to goof around using a flyline and a super long tapered 0x leader and then would add the sighter and tippet, but it just doesn't work as well as a mono rig. It limits your range on bigger rivers with limited wading like the Deschutes (still catch a ton of fish), but on smaller waters or shallower rivers with easier wading like most rivers out east (where the author fishes), its a great method. This setup was really refined in the eastern US and Europe with "kinder, gentler" rivers.

My setup:
Scott A4 10' 5wt (the softer tip than most fast rods, casts this rig pretty well).
40 feet of 20lb or 15lb chameleon
18" of red or yellow amnesia
2 feet of bicolor sighter material, usually 0x
tippet ring
6 feet of 3x-5x tippet. I'll usually tie on a surgeon's dropper one x below the main tippet.

I only really get line sag when i'm fishing very slow water. If the water is moving along at a decent pace, I don't really think it's an issue. If i'm fishing really slow water, or if I want to fish further out without using a fly-line equipped rod, I'll put on a thingamabobber and give it a big water-haul. I've hemmed and hawed about getting a dedicated euro rod, but the scott works pretty well.
 

Clarkman

Huge Fly Guy
WFF Supporter
In those relatively rare occasions I fish strictly nymphs (usually if I feel like catching more fish), the TB method is the way to go. It's highly effective, just not my favorite way to fish. I've even fished streamers with it (I think he posted up something about streamer fishing with it), and while effective, I still prefer to streamer fish with an actual fly line, even though much of it is still close in like with his method.
 

Old Man

A very Old Man
WFF Supporter
I have no trouble catching fish the way I was shown. Chasing trout with my fly line and about a 9 foot tapered leader with two flies attached. The heavier one on the bottom. Or just switch them. A small bb shot to get it down to the bottom.

I don't think I would want to use that rig in fly only waters.

Besides fly fishing is supposed to be fun and not work.
 

Shad

Active Member
Talk about taking the pleasure out of the process....

When you start thinking it's time to take the fly line out of the equation, it's time to accept that you care more about catching fish than anything else, sell your fly rods, and buy something made to cast mono. A fly rod only makes gear fishing harder.
 

PhilR

WFF Supporter
Talk about taking the pleasure out of the process....

When you start thinking it's time to take the fly line out of the equation, it's time to accept that you care more about catching fish than anything else, sell your fly rods, and buy something made to cast mono. A fly rod only makes gear fishing harder.

Taking the pleasure out? not for me. I like nymphing with a mono rig. And with the right rod, you can use that rod with a mono rig, or change leaders and cast dries or swing soft hackles.
 

duggiefresh

Active Member
Looks pretty interesting! I'll read more about it, and it may give me something to focus on this long winter.

In terms of pleasure out of the process. I'm in the camp of it doesn't affect me, then I'm not going to yuck anyone's yum.
 

Shad

Active Member
Taking the pleasure out? not for me. I like nymphing with a mono rig. And with the right rod, you can use that rod with a mono rig, or change leaders and cast dries or swing soft hackles.
I think you hit on what I was thinking. It requires a light rod. As a person who likes to use as light a rod as I can in most situations, I dig that aspect, but on the other hand, I have to think that would limit you on a bigger river, where you sometimes need to make 50-foot + casts (thinking streamers here). The line will be willing when you get to it, but that monster leader's got to be a bitch to turn over on a light line, especially with a weighted streamer, right?...

It's not that I doubt the method's effectiveness. I don't doubt it's super effective in a lot of situations, and I think it's always interesting to see how other folks roll. I probably would enjoy it, too, but I have come to appreciate the challenge the fly line adds to the deal. My favorite catches are the ones where I figure out how to make the line work FOR me (as opposed to against). That's the essence of fly fishing for me.
 

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