Weed guards, barbs, tippet, etc... - Fly Fishing Forum
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Old 01-17-2010, 12:33 PM
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MartyG MartyG is offline
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Weed guards, barbs, tippet, etc...

Eleuthera DIY in 10 days and I had a few quesgtions.

* Do most of you tie your bonefish flies without weed guards or if you buy them like I do would you cut them off unless you're fishing over eel grass? Could they make the fly unbalanced?

* Knocked down barbs? Slightly knocked barbs?

* 8 weight rod. Tippet/leaders? 6#, 8#, 10#, 12#. I usually use 9' 10# leaders with 8# tippet but just curious about the best practices.

* What about for barracuda? I bought some wire tippets.

Any other advice regarding Eleuthera would be appreaciated. I'm renting a house on the beach at N. Palmetto Point looking forward to fishing the beach there, then Savannah Sound and some flats on the west side.

Thanks - Marty
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Old 01-17-2010, 04:21 PM
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Vince Vince is offline
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Marty, it makes sense to have some flies with guards and some without. There are places on Lutra where you may need them.

You don't have to cut them off either, unless you find that they are disrupting the balance of the fly. They should not bother the bonefish.

I do bend down my barbs mostly. Easier on the bones, and on you if you're unlucky.

You should not have to go below 10# for your tippet. I use 12# mostly, unless I am fishing smaller flies to spooky fish. Use the heaviest tippet you can get away with. I would not use 8#.

Yes, barracudas! I keep some flies pre-rigged with a wire tippet of aboout 12". I have a loop on one end. If I see a 'cuda, I simply clip off my bonefish fly and tie the tippet to the loop on the wire. You should be able to do this in about 30 seconds. clinch or improved clinch knot will work fine.

Bones will cruise the beaches at times.

What house are you staying in?
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Old 01-17-2010, 10:27 PM
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MartyG MartyG is offline
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Thanks for the feedback. I guess I was mostly on the right path and wanted to make sure I was being as fair as possible to the fish.

I was worried about the weed guards decreasing hook ups.

I'm bringing two 8 weights and a 10 weight. Are the 8's fine for any cuda's I might see or should I use my rig up my 10 for them?

The house I'm renting is call Windchat. I got some good fishing info from the owner's nephew who fishes there once a year. It'll be nice to hit several different types of water from the beach and Savanna Sound on the east coast and the flats and creeks on the west.

I'll certainly take notes and provide a report afterwards.

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Old 01-19-2010, 10:11 PM
flatsslammer flatsslammer is offline
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Weed Guards

Hello Marty

here are some tips for the road regarding Weed Guards!! they might serve you good also; a guide's way of seeing it

in my years of fishing, in many country's and scenarios, i've seen and come to the conclusion that no matter what you fish for, you'll always encounter obstacles for the hooks to snag on something else before, causing me, clients, friends, etc. to loose more bites and hook-ups on potential could been a caughted fish!!!!!!, i primarily chase the Big 4, Tarpon, Permit, Bonefish & Snook, (Super Slam)

where they're usually located, you have debris such us: Grass whether it's alive and sticking up short or tall, sitting dead on the bottom or floating, rocks, coral, branches, logs, you name them all, fishing around those debris i've lost more fish than what i've caught because of not having a Weed Guard!!, but it's been years ago that i've change things around, now i catch more fish and less debris!!!!!!, how & why, i decided to put weed guards on all my flies, yes amigo, every single one has weed guards no matter the type & what it's intended to catch,

Many anglers think and sware!!! that they loose more fish with the guards on, i agree, but you need to study things right in order to have the Proper Weed guard for each type of flie, some flies i've seen have either the mono too thick or too thin for it to provide both performances it's intended for, the Kepping things clean & clear and the hook-ups,
if the flie doesn't have the proper line diameter for the Guard, it can fail on either side!!! some fish crush and slam on the flies, others just picks them up or inhales'em,, it's not the same having to ride your flie thru or over debris than it is recovering it from 3 foot+ inside the mangroves or swim it thru a pile of sea weed,, some flies can work well and do it's intended job if the guards are tied correctly, some models needs to be tied with guards sticking out, loops sticking out of hook eye, loops around the hook point and others Betta if with wire and not mono!!
the right tied in weed guard can make a big difference whether you nail most of the fish you getta chance on!!!, if your fish is located in the open clear, clean water, PERFECT!!, if his in a junk yard, PERFECT!! you can cast and nail'em too!!! and not like the OTHER guy that won't make a cast, cause he knows that the last thing he'll snag in there is a fish,, OOPS he has no weed guard!!!!??? when you're slamming you don't count with many available doors, They few you have, always KEEP them open!!!

Back to your business: BONEFISH, this is what i do on most of my bonefish & Permit flies and have uprise the hook up rates significally; they both have the same and primarilydiet, shrimp & crabs, these 2 have pinchers or claws, what ever feeds on am has to get pinched or stabed!!! (i've seen lots of bones and mits go by with a claw sticking off the side of their mouth!!) so here's what i do, i tie my flies with guards sticking out the hook eye, but the barbs are not trimed evenly??? they are more trimed on an angle tending to make a sharp point (needle type) on each, if they pinch your finger, they'll pinch the fish!!!!

why this?? because when the fish goes for the pick up, if they get stabed by the Guards, they'll think for sure that the flie is defending it's self as a crab would do and the fish hangs on to the flie better!!!!! and believe me, every single time me or one of my anglers make a cast at them, i PRAY for them to get stabed!!!! MON, it's a caught fish!!!! lots of times the fish is hook swiming away and angler haven't even gotten to the flie!!!!!!!! this way the fish rearly spits the flie back out,,

ROD weight: 8wt is fine and most common rod to use, my advice is to carry or 10wt also???, some fishing days are not based on the size of fish, but how strong the winds is!!!, most fish sometimes are found on the windy areas where food is being staired up and moved, not speaking much but 2knts of wind can make a deference whether you can cast and handle the rod well or need to move up with a heavier line in order to fish that honey hole!!!, you don't live where you're going on vacation, so you can't fish it the next week when the days are going to be betta!!!, so keep that door open also,,
we've caught 2-4lbs bones and mits on 10wt rods?????, yeap, but our SLAM is completed do!! think on spooky fish too in calmer areas, you might need a lighter rod than a 8wt for them!!!!,

Tippet/Leaders: not sure how the structure, surrounding, fish size and most important, HOW much pressure the areas has where you're going to fish at!!! so best is to have different size leaders, to handle the task
big tippets for the big fish, , small for the small,
no matter the size of the fish, if you have debris issues, better using the big leaders,, no matter the size of the fish, if they're spoiled, then use the smaller leaders,, you'll see when there, but it's best to have things at hand and ready incase you need them!!! i personally would only use flourocarbon

Barracuda: these fish are one of the dominant predators on a flats besides Sharks, so rearly something spooks them, so i would say to fish them on the 10wt specially if planning to use big poppers,, the needle type flies has less resistance, these you can fish with an 8wt., unless you have wind issues
the wire leaders are a must, you can have either a rod rig and ready or as Vince said: flies at hand to switch and tie,,,

Now this is what i (we) do: you'll need the single strand wire for this, the braided-plastic coated one will not work ok.., if you can get the brown color one even betta, less reflection than the silver one
tie your Cuda flies on 6" inch wire leaders, now with the loops at the other end??, close (pinch) them together to the point that your bonefish flies (hooks) can go thru the loops but not come out easy, the barbs should do the job, this way when a cuda show up you don't have to trim anything, pinch the hook your fishing with thru the loop and you are ready for business!!!!!!!! it takes 5 seconds to do it!!!! if you can handle the Buck (fish fever) well
while am poling, i always have those flies ready and at hand hanging on my shirt rod keeper in order to add it up to the leader that my clients are fishing with whenever a cuda, jack or shark shows up!!

wish you awesome times, good weather, lots of fish and many tight-lines when there!!!!

best regards
always friend
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Old 01-20-2010, 07:26 PM
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MartyG MartyG is offline
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tackle tips

Thanks very much Capt. Hunter.

I really enjoyed your insights and your tips. Most often it's much better to know "why" something works rather than only "what" works.

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