Fly fishing gear for saltwater fly fishing is normally heavier than fly fishing gear used for freshwater fly fishing – there are two reasons for this. Firstly, saltwater fish species are generally larger than freshwater fish species, and you will need stronger rods, reels, and lines to catch these fish species. Secondly, saltwater fly fishing requires longer casting with larger flies, and normally there is some wind to deal with. You cannot cast very far in windy conditions with a light fly rod using a light fly line. The saltwater fly rod, saltwater fly reel, and saltwater fly line make up the essential saltwater fly fishing gear you will need for saltwater fly fishing.
Saltwater Fly Rod
Your most important item of saltwater fly fishing gear is the saltwater fly rod. Freshwater fly fishing is normally done with a 3 to 7 weight fly rod. For saltwater fly fishing, the lightest fly rod usually used is a 7-weight rod. A 16-weight fly rod is the heaviest rod that can be used for saltwater fly fishing. The saltwater fish species that you are trying to catch determine the weight of your saltwater fly rod. To catch sailfish such as Marlin you might use a 13-weight rod, but then use an 8-weight rod to catch Bonefish. For saltwater fly fishing, look to buy a specialized saltwater fly rod, specifically designed for saltwater fly fishing.
Good saltwater fly rods are normally quite stiff and generally have a fast action. A fast-action rod allows you to cast further in windy conditions and makes it easier to land larger saltwater fish species. Fly rods for saltwater fly fishing should have guides that won’t rust – stainless steel guides are normally used. The guides should also be strong enough to handle the additional punishment of saltwater fly fishing. A good saltwater fly rod will have a padded fighting butt which will provide more comfort when fishing for extended periods. One of the best saltwater fly rods currently available is the outstanding Sage Xi2 saltwater fly rod.
Saltwater Fly Reel
A saltwater fly reel is an essential item of saltwater fly fishing gear and is more important for saltwater fly fishing than for freshwater fly fishing. A saltwater fly reel needs to be of better quality than a freshwater fly reel. The components of the saltwater fly reel that you buy must be saltwater resistant, and this will prevent your fly reel from rusting. The saltwater fly reel that you use should include a good drag system and also can hold your fly line along with all your backing line and your leader line. As saltwater fish species normally run further with your line once caught, 100 to 300 yards of backing is normal.
Saltwater Fly Line
The saltwater fly line most commonly used for saltwater fly fishing is a floating line, which is used to catch fish near the water’s surface. Sometimes an intermediate line is used, which sinks slowly. A sinking line or a sink-tip line can also be used to catch fish at deeper levels. The preferred taper for a saltwater fly line is a weight forward line – this allows you to cast further in the windy conditions encountered at sea. The fly line weight used normally matches the fly rod weight, but sometimes a slightly heavier line weight is used, especially in windy conditions.