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Old 10-03-2009, 07:59 AM
striblue's Avatar
striblue striblue is offline
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Location: Plymouth and Chatham, MA
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Tuna - use of fly rods

I want to pass on a lesson I learned, and knew somewhat but did not use as much in the past , when fly roding for tuna fish. Many of us can only get offshore infrequently. If you don't know people who go out often and can join them as I am fortunate enough to do, you will usually hire a charter to go out. It is not productive to just go out with fly rods only, and most captains will use conventional equipment with spinning rods to the side. You can do so with fly rods and spinning if you go out frequently or to areas which are not far offshore, like off P-Town this year. So if your charter captain agrees, bring the fly rod and focus on trolling the fly line inside the spreader rigs as a start. The disadvantages of the fly rod are evident when casting to rising fish which can be difficult to find and impossible to do effectively with the speaders out (or even in) behind the boat. Also, casting to quick moving fish can also be ineffective since only one of you on board will only have room to do so with the spreaders in. Two guys will find it hard to do without tangling fly lines or hooking your pal or the boat which results in wasted time and effort. So I say forget casting to them unless you have optimal conditions and position ,and the Catain agrees to pull the spreaders in while giving a pass to surface fish. The better way, which I recommend, and which works , despite what purist might say visavis casting a fly rod, is to troll your line along the edge of rising fish. Why, becuse the advantages are the following , 1) two fly rodders or more can fish at the same time, 2) Let line out after it hits the water, and don't do the usual, i.e. strip in to get action (which is what we do to get the line back in), just "yank" on the line as it trolls. 3) Your line is continously in the water, without the strip in after a miss, the time to cast effectly is something you don't worry about. I look at it like simply a type of salmon or numph fishing.... and not like casting a dry fly to a target but casting and drifting the fly........only the boat at a very low speed acts like a moving stream....Finally , your line within the spreaders, if they are out an, will not compromise the Captains need to still use the spreaders. You are also increasing your hit ratio. Lines have to be brought in with a hit on one rod anyway even with conventioanl equipment. It takes seconds to bring your fly line in, and seconds to let it out again after a hit on the conventional. It takes time to let the conventional lines back out, while you can move from corner to corner with your line out and not interfere with the replacing of the conventional line....this is something that also is very effective. Who wants to sit on the boat waiting for an opportunity to use the fly rod.... in reality, under the usual situation, you might not even get to use your fly rod at all. Talk to the Captain and describe what you would like to do, be flexible. If you work it this way, most Captains will see that it will not interfere with the conventional, and increase the catch ratio, get your use of the fly rod. Finally, it would increase your chance to hook one .btw, tuna have hit the fly rod 30 feet from the boat on a pass. Try it. Don't be one of the guys who say at the end of the day, "Why did I even bring this rod"... (despite having fresh tuna in the fridge)
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