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July 06 2019, 09:58 PM #1

Bob Scheidemann

Slot Fish

Member Since : 2016
Number of Posts : 122

Seeking Recommendation on Fly Fishing Equipment Set Up for LMB

Would any of the several PWF fly fishing members posting on the PWF forum pages be willing to recommend a decent fly rod fishing set up (rod length/weight, line type/weight, leader and reel info) for targeting LMB?

I recently had a great time fishing for Cutthroat on a float trip up in Wyoming (water was a bit to murky for any significant success) and really enjoyed learning how to cast and mend. Unfortunately my guide could not offer any equipment info for fishing LMB.

I have been intrigued by all of the recent posts by those of you employing this technique, and would like to give it a try this fall on the Houston area properties.

Any info/suggestions would be most welcome.

Thanks in advance,

Bob

July 07 2019, 02:55 PM #2

Steve Carpenter

Slot Fish

Member Since : 2015
Number of Posts : 247

I would also appreciate this information.

Steve

July 07 2019, 09:15 PM #3

Jim Bennett

Fingerling

Member Since : 2019
Number of Posts : 55

Hi Bob and Steve,

I can offer some tips on what I use. Initially I was a “chunk and wind” kid like everyone else. I started to play with a fly rod as a teen growing up in E TX. My first fly rod was given to me by an old fellow cleaning out his garage, a fiberglass 9ft, 9wt.  This thing weighed about two pounds and was way too big and heavy for the blue gill poppers I started with.  I was successful in learning to cast and found that popper fishing for both bass and bluegill, the key was a good presentation.  Not so much stripping and popping but making the bug land in just the right spot and usually leaving it motionless or just one or two pops.  If no bites, lift the fly and re-cast to the next likely spot.  The mastery of casting and landing fish on a fly rod is the reward of fly fishing.    

After I got out of school I lived in Alaska and New Zealand for the past 18 years. In those locations I got savvy about northern pike, trout, salmon and steelhead on flies and streamers, and built quite a collection of flies and fly gear.

I moved back to TX last year and joined PWF in Jan 2019.  I started using steelhead streamers, deceivers, wooly boogers and poppers on LMB. Some I tie myself, others are bought.  I don’t fish flies exclusively, but always have a fly rod in the boat, particularly if the water is clear.  If the water is very muddy (often), I normally don’t do as well with flies and grab a baitcaster or spinning rod. If the pond has bank access I like using the fly rod from the bank.  Very efficient for near shore bass. Stand far from shore and gently drop a bug without spooking them.  Often bass will meet the fly at the surface on impact.   

I recommend a 9 or 9.5ft, 8 weight, fast-action fly rod to help punch these big bass streamers and poppers into the wind, which is blowing nearly every time I go.  Lighter rods, while acceptable for some flies, but will be very difficult to get water soaked streamers and poppers to cast effectively.   

As far as brand, any of the named brand combos deliver good products: Orvis, Redington, Cabelas, Sage. The reel is of secondary importance for LMB as it mostly just holds the line.  I use a Ross Canyon reel and 8 wt Sage rod, but it was fairly expensive and you can get by with cheaper models.  You wont be using the drag much for bass, just strip the fish in.  I would expect to pay $150-220 for a good 4 pc, 8wt combo that included everything you need to get started. 

As far as fly line, this is fairly important and expect to pay for good fly line.  The good news is it pretty much lasts forever.  I also recommend floating line vs sink tip.  The line I’m using these days is Orvis Hydros HD Bank Shot.  This line is great for roll casting and punching big streamers with weight forward taper.  Best floating line I have found.  I think it was about $100 but worth every penny.  As far as leader, I use a 10 ft taper, starting with 30# mono, 3 ft section, then 3 ft section of 20#, finally a 4ft, 15# flouro tippet.  I only use the flouro tippet as its thinner, stiffer, and allows the fly to “roll-out” better.  I connect all sections with a 4-wrap surgeons knot.  I only ever have to replace the tippet as it gets used up changing flies, etc..

Orvis, Bass Pro Shops and many other online shops sell a wide variety of bass streamers and poppers. I enjoy “Bass Crawlers” tied up by some fellow on Ebay.  These are good weedless sinking flies in good colors for reasonable price.  I ONLY buy and tie flies that are WEEDLESS, or at least rigged “hook point upward”.  Open hook flies pointing downward will hang up every cast in mossy ponds.  Flies don’t go through brush very well either.  Wooly boogers do okay and catch many fish, but generally you will want big weedless streamers and poppers for bigger bass.  Check out Enrico Puglisi flies for the best streamers I have found. https://www.epflies.com/shop/fresh-water-flies/. They look great in the water and work very well, again only buy his weedless ones for PWF lakes.  After I bought a few EP streamers, I just started buying his fibers and tying them myself.  Much cheaper and very easy to tie.

Here are some home tied streamers that have produced several nice bass up to 5.5lb this year from PWF lakes: 

Glad to help out if you have other specifics or want me to clarify anything.  Good luck

July 07 2019, 10:38 PM #4

Bob Scheidemann

Slot Fish

Member Since : 2016
Number of Posts : 122

Jim,

Thanks for the time you invested to provide all of the useful information! I plan to purchase a set up based on your recommendation and start to climb the learning curve for this technique!

Most appreciated!

Bob

July 09 2019, 02:42 PM #5

Steve Carpenter

Slot Fish

Member Since : 2015
Number of Posts : 247

Thank you. Great information

 

Steve

July 11 2019, 01:04 PM #6

Kevin Fuller

Fingerling

Member Since : 2014
Number of Posts : 63

Bob and Steve,

I pretty much only fly fish.  I fish mainly with a 9 foot 6 weight fly rod.  I usually have a 6 foot leader with about 3 feet of 10 to 12 pound tippet at the end.  My number one bass fly is a black wooly bugger with a cone head or bead head in size 4, 6 or 8.    I agree with everything Jim Bennett said about fly fishing with 8 weights however I usually fish with a 6 because to me I get more of a “fight” when I catch bream and smaller bass.   I’ve caught bass and catfish up to 8 pounds on my 6 weight and been able to handle all that with the smaller rig.  That said when its windy an 8 weight is a huge help and also better when you’re throwing big poppers or bigger flies.  My favorite brand for rods is TFO (Temple Fork Outfitters)  They’re local, not too expensive and when you break something they can replace the broken piece and get you back on the water same day.  My local fly shops are Tailwaters and the Orvis in Dallas.   Either Kristian or Sean at Tailwaters or Mitch at Orvis Dallas can get you set up with everything you need but Orvis just sells Orvis rods (which I have and like very much but the warranty program is much much slower than TFOs’)  Good luck.  

Kevin

July 12 2019, 01:43 PM #7

Bob Scheidemann

Slot Fish

Member Since : 2016
Number of Posts : 122

Kevin,

Thanks for sharing your perspective!

I went ahead and purchased a set up from Orvis in Houston based on Jim’s recommendation, but will keep your information in mind if I become proficient with the 9’ 8 weight rod.

I plan on cutting my teeth with poppers this weekend on a small pond down the street from my house.

Hope the several other PWF fly fishing members weight in on this thread with their suggestions!

Cheers,

Bob

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