Flats Skiff and Line Management [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Flats Skiff and Line Management

04-08-2006, 03:15 PM
Good afternnon, I just returned from Andros and had a great trip. Lots of fish and lots of fun, but I found out I need to improve in one particular area of bone fishing. That is, managing line on the casting deck in stiff wind. I did not have a stripping basket and since I have returned, I have started researching how to manage line on the casting deck with and without a stripping basket. Your advice on how to with and without a stripping basket would be appreciated. I would also appreciate any recommendations on a stripping basket [brand and type]. Thanks... Traveller

04-08-2006, 05:32 PM
If you're not using a basket I find that stripping and laying the line into the boat cockpit (off the casting deck) is your best bet for line control on windy days.

04-08-2006, 07:37 PM
to add to f1's recomendation: Only strip off as much line as you'll need to cast.
Check your line often and make sure that the front of the
line is on top of the running line.

If you are fishing with a buddy, tend each others line.

Never step on the line.

Keep a short loop out of the tip (the loop should be no
longer that the boat so it does not get fouled in the tabs).

Did I mention to only strip off as much as you need to
cast (not necesarily as much as you can cast).

A flyline tamer works great, but not very portable. I don't
think I would want to use a stripping basket (I get plenty
of that on the rocks at home).

04-08-2006, 07:50 PM
The only thing I would add is that I like to go barefoot on the boat. Apply the sun block often especially in the Caribbean sun but it helps prevent you from stepping on your line as you can feel it if you do. If the boat has a non-skid surface also try not to drag the line or push it around with your feet as that is a great way to delaminate it.


04-08-2006, 09:15 PM
Stepping on the line adds twist, and this is an opportunity killer. I some times wear just thin coolmax socks (to protect against sun burn). Surprisingly, they are not slippery on a wet deck (if the boat is pitching, it will be wet). Kind of like felt wading boots. They also keep my feet cooler than shoes or bare feet.

04-09-2006, 05:18 AM
I have used a large container that looks like a big bucket but with a weighted bottom. It is about 2 ft deep and about 18inches diameter. It stands on the deck next to you.
It is in my opinion the best thing when it is windy.

Quite a few guides in the Keys use them.


04-09-2006, 08:03 AM
I agree with Sean that going barefoot can be better than wearing shoes (and especially better than wearing velcro strapped sandals).

But on my last flats trip I wore thin neoprene socks while on the deck of the boat (very thin, light grey Simms wading socks). I found this to be the ultimate solution. Good grip on the deck and almost zero chance of wrapping line on a toe if you are stumbling around on the deck in decent swells.

04-09-2006, 11:57 AM
This leads me to ponder the development of line management techinques with the toes. We have been doing so well with our fingers and have been blessed with prehensile toes. Although the lack of an opposing big toe could prove challenging :hihi:

I don't like the folding mesh baskets when wading because the water fills the chamber and defeats the purpose, but on a boat they are pretty handy and travel well in the suitcase.