Fly Fishing Forum - View Single Post - Whats your Bone Rod/Reel?
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Old 03-04-2013, 03:03 AM
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teflon_jones teflon_jones is offline
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I currently run two rods that are almost the same. Both are Orvis Helios 9 footers, one an 8 wt 9.5 tip flex and the other a 7 wt 10.0 tip flex. Both have a Waterworks Lamson ULA Force LT 3X reel on them with an 8 wt line and about 300+ yards of 20 lb gel spun backing. At least one line is a Sci Anglers Mastery WF floater, but they both might be. I'm not positive of the brand on the second one! I'll rig up each rod with a different pattern so that I have a second rod ready to go if I'm casting from the boat and the fish aren't interested in the first fly I throw. It's much faster to hand the first rod back to the guy sitting in the bow than to tie on a second fly, especially since you usually tie lousy knots when you're rushing!

Both rod/reel combos weigh about the same as my 4 wt trout setups. I specifically went for the lightest possible rod/reel combo I could find, and this is in fact the lightest 8 wt package you can buy in the world today. The rods are just over 3 ounces and so are the reels. With line and backing, they're still only about a half pound total. Some guys that have fished for years for bones have felt my setups and don't like how light they are and want the heavy weight of their Abel reels and Sage rods, which are about a pound, or twice what my setup weighs.

I definitely go above and beyond with backing because I refuse to lose the fish of a lifetime because I don't have enough when I'm wading and can't motor after a fish. The biggest bone I've caught to date, a 10 lb 33" fish, almost spooled me even with that much, so I have real-world experience to back up (no pun intended) needing that much. I've caught plenty of 7-8 pounders and they can easily rip off 200-250 yards of backing too no matter how much pressure you apply or how heavy your tippet is (I often use 20 pound flouro btw, mostly due to seeing a ~20+ pound 45"+ bone up close and personal last year that I actually got a few casts at - and no I'm not exaggerating both the guide and I thought it was a small shark it was so big!).

I've used a lot of other setups over the years including other Orvis rods and reels, Sage, Winston, G Loomis, and others, but my current setup is definitely by far my favorite.
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