Catching Pike [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Catching Pike

07-22-2007, 12:02 PM
I've never fished for pike with a fly rod, and was wondering if you need some type of a different leader since their teeth are sharp. I know you need a steel leader when fishing with a spinning rod, so I would think you would need a steel leader or something tougher than a 6 wt on a fly rod.

07-22-2007, 12:26 PM
I use a 6 - 10 inch bite tippet of the tiable wire (like Surflon) in the lightest test they sell. Works fine, and this is in very clear water.

07-22-2007, 03:20 PM
I use a short length of 40# fluorocarbon for a bite tippet, with 20# fluoro for the rest of the leader. Works pretty well for pike of the size that I usually hook (24" - 32"). Haven't had the opportunity to try it on anything larger yet!

BTW, If you're planning to toss large flies and/or catch large fish you might want to use something a little heavier than a 6wt. I use a 7wt and that seems a little light sometimes.


07-22-2007, 03:45 PM
I chase large pike mostly, 10# plus so I use a 9 wt rod, just to be sure that I can release the fish quickly after the hook up. Smaller pike deserve the same respect, so if you start targeting larger pike, then go with a heavier rod. My leaders are about 5 feet long, tapered with 18 inches of 35# to 25# to 15# of mono then I tie on 10 inches of Tyger wire or similar bite wire.

07-23-2007, 06:46 AM
Just yesterday I tried wire for the first time. It was only my second time targeting pike on the fly. After spending WAAAY too long tying up some deerhair bugs, I decided I wasn't willing to lose any flys that took that much time and effort. Screw losing fish, it was my flies I was worried about!:hihi: That says something about how cheap and lazy I am.:hihi:
So here are my preliminary findings on wire;
1. Apparently I was supposed to get single strand wire. I thought that was what I was buying but the microscope proved otherwise. Everybody said the wire would tie all my normal knots. Knot so. At least not the multistrand stuff. I was able to attach it to my leader with a nail not which gave me a decent low profile knot but is touchy and time consuming - not field expedient. To attach the fly I ended up going with an improved clinch knot but with only two wraps. Even that didn't cinch up very well and looked kinda scary under the [low power] microscope. More traditional clinch knots and uniknot just didn't cinch up right and looked like hell under magnification.
2. Casting was unaffected. I was concerned about that but wire users here assured me it would be fine and it was.
3. Although the leader stood out like a sore thumb to me, small to medium largemouth bass were not detered. I worried about that because my pike river has some quality LMB and I wanted the "bycatch". Actually the deerhair bug was much more attractive to the bass than to pike. I was plauged with rat bass even though my fly was quite large. Biggest about 3.5 lbs.
4. The only pike I landed was a hammerhandle which inhaled the fly completely. His teeth totally chaffed the plastic coating on the wire convincing me that the wire saved my fly.

Overall I was pleased with the wire. I was concerned about leader shy fish but the LMB didn't seem to mind. I didn't raise any big pike but that was more likely the fact that I stuck to topwater when the pike were probably laying deep.
The one real disadvantage was the difficulty tying knots. After awhile I was doubting my stratigy of throwing the deerhair bug but was reluctant to retie. Eventually I stuck to the topwater, possibly keeping me from finding a good pike. I would have been cutting off and retying flies if not for the reluctance to retie the wire.
One other thing I didn't like was the frayed plastic coating after landing a pike. It bunched up about an inch above the fly and looked like crap. Is ther noncoated wire?

07-23-2007, 04:23 PM
Mike did you buy the American Fishing Wire, Surfalon brand wire? I have never had a bit of trouble with knots coming undone. I use either a loop connection or a surgeons knot to leader and a nonslip loop to the fly. Of course this for Bluefish. I have not yet gotten over to the pike river. Gonna try to get there soon(damn I hate work:rolleyes: ), you guys have me all fired up for Pike on the Fly:D

07-23-2007, 06:50 PM
Yes that's the wire I got. I think the mistake I made was getting too heavy wire, 27 lb.
I didn't actually have any knots come undone. I just couldn't cinch up the knots because the wire dug into itself instead of sliding. I suspect lighter wire would work better especially if it was single strand.
I'm still learning this pike game. I'll keep you posted as I get the bugs out.

07-23-2007, 07:13 PM
Mike from the "What it's worth Dept": All I have ever used is the 17 lb wire. I cannot imagine needing anything bigger. If it withstands the chewing a 9or10 lb blue fish can dish out and not break off I would think it would handle even the largest pike rather handily.

Sounds like your having a great deal of fun finding out what works or doesn't in any event. :cool:

07-23-2007, 07:43 PM
Just caught two tonight in front of the house. I use 13# Surflon: I connect the bite tippet to the leader with a Simplified Blood Knot and use a modified Rhode loop knot for the bite tippet to fly.

08-15-2007, 08:01 PM
To set up a leader system is quite simple. I use a 5 foot pc. of 17 lb. monoand use an Albright Knot to attach my wire. Then to attach the fly use a figure 8 knot. Have used this system since I was 20 and have landed pike and musky up to 44 inches without losing one.

08-16-2007, 12:38 AM
That stuff is pure magic. It knots like dacron, does not fail, low visibility, and comes in a wide variety of sizes. It's only downside is that it's a little pricey, but it's great to work with.

South Shore
08-16-2007, 07:54 AM
I've used the Tyger wire and my only complaint is that after tying it the inch above the fly gets a curl to it from drawing the knot tight. Is there a way to avoid this?

08-20-2007, 11:40 AM
Caught a nice 33 " / 10#er yesterday late afternoon... what a ride! Landed him on a 6# tippet. Played him on my 9' 8 wt rod and managed to get him beached in roughly 10 minutes, but had no net... Lost the fly in his mouth as I reached down to grab his head to get it. a couple chakes, and snap!:frown: I will definitely try the tyger line... gotta get more of those bead head buggers!!:cool:

08-20-2007, 12:35 PM
I've used the Tyger wire and my only complaint is that after tying it the inch above the fly gets a curl to it from drawing the knot tight. Is there a way to avoid this?

Wetting the knot before cinching it down should help prevent that.

08-20-2007, 04:24 PM
I haven't found that to work nearly as well on Tyger wire as it does on nylon and fluorocarbon. Any other ideas?