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Archive for the ‘Saltwater’ Category

Bonefish Lines for 8wt

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In continuation of my series looking at fly lines in one page, looking to Tropic Bonefish Lines.

What do I want?

Given my flies are light and small, and my preferred rod does flex well (Scott Meridian), there are two idea lines for me:

  • Windy days: Ghost Tip of 5′ (intermediate sink tip) and a short front taper (3-5′), with a total head length less than 30′.  I would add an 7’+ Airflo Intermediate Polyleader
  • Default or with Guides (who do not like clear-tip lines): 9′ taper in a light sand and a total head length of less than 30′.

Other details and notes:

  • Head Length should be viewed, as the length having the mass I need to generate an effective cast into the wind, and ideally the rear taper having begun by 30′.
  • I am not looking fur bullet tapers, though will use them as general saltwater line.
  • Front colour:
    • Since I am laying the line out in front of the bonefish, I want the line to match the sand and ocean, not the sky.  And the sky is not always blue.
    • Ghost tips must be intermediate – though a ghost tip is clear, it still refracts and if it floats, disturbs the water pattern.  Stealth is gain, when the tip slips below the surface.

To the survey …


Airflo, a line manufacturer I do like, but they do not have a “bonefish” line I am incline to recommend or buy (again).

airflo bonefish


Airflo Clear Tip Tropical Short 12′ – List Price: 90 $US

No > I really like Airflo, and this taper is reasonable, but I am disappointed the tip floats. I have this line in my arsenal, but it is regulated now to “just in case”.

Airflo Super-Dri Bonefish – List Price: 90 $US

No > Really meets none of my criteria

Airflo Supri-Dri Tropical Punch – List Price: 90 $US

No – but > Nice bullet line to keep for general tropical saltwater fishing.



Ballistic Pro Performance Saltwater

No > Nice taper, but it is blue.




No targeted offering.




A nice diverse selection of lines.


Cortland Ghost Tip 5 – List Price: 80 $US

No > I like the profile and the tip sinks, but dislike the green and feel it is more associated with freshwater  fishing.

Cortland Ghost Tip 9 – List Price: 80 $US

Look > Intermediate Tip, though with a long body.

Cortland Guide – List Price: 90 $US

No > Green.

Cortland Bonefish – List Price: 100 $US

Look > Head maybe a little more aggressive than the idea line, but it is reasonable given its long back taper.




No targeted offering, but they do re-sell Airflo




Monic keeps to a traditional 1980 WF Taper, which in this case, I do not object to. There lines are fine for general deeper tropical water fishing, where a hard strike is necessary.


Monic Skyline – List Price: 80 $US

No > Insufficient detail on website.

Monic Impact Intermediate – List Price: 85 $US

No > It is green.

Monic Genesis Phantom Tip – List Price: 100 $US

No > Clear tip floats.

Monic Genesis Covert – List Price: 90 $US

No > It is a full intermediate line.




No offering, as their market focus is spey.



Phoenix WF Silk

There is no line drawing, but it is straw colour traditional WF taper with a 6′ front taper and 33′ head. Given its tight loop through the wind behavior, I do fish this intermediate line with no floating treatment and a 9′ leader.

MBraid Phoenix DSC1526




No offering, as their market focus is spey-skagit.





DirectCore Bonefish – List Price 120 $US

No > Maybe there is some magic that happens, when you fish, but I cannot see it as being effective when walking the flats.

Bonefish QuickShooter – List Price 100 $US

No > I really like the shape, but again blue. I want stealth when the line is in the water.

Bonefish – List Price 100 $US

Look > Body is a little long.



Scientific Anglers

The tapers and colour are similar, so what differs is surface preparation. These lines are worthy of a look.

SA bonefish

Amplitude Bonefish – List Price 130 USD

Look to the Smooth (next) > As bonefishing is casting to sighted fish, the premium to shoot more line does not feel like a great investment.

Amplitude Smooth Bonefish – List Price 100 USD

Look > Ok.

Mastery Bonefish – List Price 80 USD

Look > Mastery has been a classic line that has produced some fine lines, so I am incline to the Mastery Line versus spending another 20 for unknown (real) gains with the Amplitude.




May or may not be a good fit, but manufacturer refuses to disclose details to its customers.



My selection from best to acceptable

  1. Cortland Bonefish and Ghost Tip 9
  2. SA Mastery Bonefish (or Smooth Amplitude)
  3. RIO Bonefish





Written by raspberryfisher

2019/02/04 at 04:51

Posted in Fly-Fishing, Saltwater

Bonefish Fly – Goto 1

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Wilson’s Flats Fiend

Available commercially (though hard to find), but in my case tied with real hair and not craft fur-hair.  Tied in different weights with corresponding eyes, with a light cream body and wing, too mimic the sand of the Exumas.

fiend 1_DSC4377fiend 2_DSC4382fiend 3_DSC4384

and a group image …

flats fiend group_DSC4491



Written by raspberryfisher

2018/11/28 at 07:27

Bonefish Goto 2 – Spawning Shrimp

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I got my first bonefish on this, and I still serves well. If I did not have this pattern, I would probably have more small Peterson’s Shrimp tied small.

Starting with a close-up of 4 Variants – for the smallest flies, I like to go with rabbit.  This is white, but I also need to dye some rabbit off-white.

sp shrimp 1 DSC4397

Larger flies, I go with Polar-Bear and this case, some heavy eyes and crystal orange flash, to fish off the boat into some deeper water.

sp shrimp 3 DSC4395

But soft and thick, polar bear with seal and a soft pink heart. This is the colouring we found blend well, but still has some life to it.

sp shrimp 2 DSC4396

And with a little more flash to the heart.

sp shrimp 4 DSC4394

And a group, from top left to right – rabbit, pb-bear and tan rabbit.

sp shrimp g2 DSC4416

This series was inspired by Ruby Babikian, a fine tyer who owns the website > https://hiddenhookfly.com/collections/all-flies/products/spawning-shrimp > but I am not sure how active Rudy is now.

And yes, I will tie in Orange. In this case, I am using Yellow and Orange Seal and some hair from a fox’s tail.


orange sp shrimp_DSC4443



Written by raspberryfisher

2018/11/24 at 07:23

Exuma – our goto bonefish flies – Peterson

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So what are my (Our – Judy an I) goto flies for the Exumas’s Bonefish, then?

  1. Wilson’s Flats Fiend
  2. Spawing Shrmp
  3. Peterson’s Spawning Shrimp

Do we really need more than 3 syles!  So far the answer is no, but just as long as I have then in different weights.

As noted previously, I dislike the commonly used Craft Hair-Fur. I cannot get it to work as I like and I find it dead in the water. I like the naturals,  particularly Fox, Wolf, Rabbit, Calf Tail and Polar Bear.

So here is the Peterson’s Spawning Shrimp, once tied true to form with rabbit but with the long translucent haris of the Pb-Bear for the claws. The other where I have use a split tail from Paulo’s fish-on.

petersen _DSC4405

.petersen _DSC4406


petersen DSC4413

From big to small.



Written by raspberryfisher

2018/11/23 at 01:56

Scott Heywood Bonefish Flies

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I have more flies than we need for this years Bonefishing trip to the Bahamas, but never-the-less, it is fun to be inspired and tie a few more.  In this case, using Veverka’s Innovative Saltwater Flies book, I have taken a couple of flies from Scott Heywood.  Though the irony, neither fly is part of Scott’s current recommendation for bonefish.

With the Biclops Shrimp, I wanted a large unweighted fly with the light tone of the Exuma sand, which varies from very white (common) to tones slightly grey (less frequent) or occasionally warm.  I recall one flat on the warm side, where the bonefish where all-over close in and shallow.

I have used more sheep fleece than Scott, to enable a long body look.  I comb the fleece, but I rely on the end of  the (Romeny’s sheep) fleece that had not yet been processed into consistent manufactured buns, so I could keep the unkept curly hair in place.

I also went with a seal body with a monofilament ribbing versus mohair.

I am expecting a soft landing into shallow tailing water, with an initial retrieve.

heywood sheep DSC4403

Then there is the Eye Gotcha. As I dislike artificial craft fur, I used polar bear wih a thicker wing. If you live in the US, I would have used Calf-tail. In the field, I may cut back the mylar tubing mouth by 20%.

The pink heart is brighter when using the Pink Uni-Stretch Thread-Floss.


As these are fishing flies, I was only using two coats of lacquer, so no glossy heads for show.

.. Post release add to illustrate better the long shape of the sheep fly

heywood2 _DSC4508

heywood 4_DSC4501


Written by raspberryfisher

2018/11/20 at 00:41

Tarpon Reels – 12wt

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In a previous series of postings, I discussed my thoughts on reels for the intended use. I wrote this series, as I often see passion mixed with industry marketing override solid thought and analysis. Some of my key messages:

  • We over-worry about weight for trout reels, and should focus on something that is interchangeable and flexible, id est, get a reel that allows for multiple spools and should be about to get spools 10 years later.
    • If you are fishing with silk lines, consider a reel that is open with little backing.
  • The industry’s lack of on-going support for spools is sad. I am not a fan of planned obsolesce.
  • For Spey rods, many reels are too light
  • Sealed drags are good in tough conditions – Winter and Salt
  • Large Arbours are good for fish that run long – Steelhead, Bonefish and Tarpon
  • Anti-reverse reels have a real advantage with the drag control on the reel hand side, but they are heavier.

As of recent, as I have begun working with heavy line rods that are light, such as 12wt rods, I have added to expectations for these large reels for saltwater fishing.

  • Weight – please less than 10oz or 280 grams
  • Diameter of 112mm – while larger is better for retrieve, it does increase the momentum-twist the hand feels.
  • Backing that exceed 200m, preferably with 30# Dacron.
  • Open Spool – lets the backing dry.

Without a good flyshop within a days drive of me to allow me to test reels, I have to rely upon datasheets and experience to select a large saltwater reel with a sealed drag that I believe can take the stress.  My (our) choices are ….

Reel weight spool OD backing price
Danielsson L5W 8twelve 229 B 108 A 227
H5D 9thirteen 247 B 108 B 329
H5D 11fourteen 272 C 118 A+ 336
Henschel Anti-Reverse 3 306 D 98 A+ 540
Henschel Anti-Reverse 4 370 D 107 A+ 520
Abel SDS 11/12 282 A 115 A+ 1095
Tibor Signature 11-12S 371 B 128 A 785
Nautilus Monster 280 A 127 A+ 895


  • Reel with the H5Ds are Danielsson
  • Weight is in grams
  • Spool refers to strength and being “open”
  • OD is the Outside diameter of the spool in millimeters
  • Backing refers to the ability to carry 200+m of backing, with B implying you need to consider braid versus dacron.
  • Price is USD as of 2018-07-28

If money was no concern, you and I should look to the Abdel SDS, or a Nautilus Monster.

If money is a concern, look to the Danielsson H5D 9thirteen and if 200m is an absolute, spool on small braid, such as a Cortland Gel-Spun (in Pink too!) or Hatch Premium.

What did I eventually do? Found a nice used Abdel SDS 11-12 at a reasonable price.


Written by raspberryfisher

2018/07/28 at 23:43

Posted in Fly-Fishing, Saltwater

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Guideline RSi 11wt Review

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I posted earlier my admiration for the Scott Meridan, but included a picture of a newer Guideline RSi 11wt (which was funded by frequent flyer miles). I deferred any comment, until such time I got some real-time fishing, and now I believe this rod has seen enough water for me to make some valid comments.

In summary:

  • A good 10wt rod that lets you feel well into the cast (bends) with a fast recovery that enables you to hold tight loops as you cast into the saltwater wind.
  • I can quickly load the rod – within 2 false casts from the deck of a boat – shoot the line and consistently hit my target at 70′.
  • I will keep it available for throwing large flies for pike or use it on the salt as a 10wt tarpon rod, (<40lbs), permit rod, et cetera ….
  • I will keep available the following 10wt lines, using a Dianelsson L5W 8twelve reel, with
    • RIO Coldwater QuickShooter with Intermediate Tip
    • Guideline 3D Pike Taper – FHI
    • Cortland Tarpon 10wt

Supporting notes:

The rod is light and it *BENDS*, but this does not mean it is slow. It has a very nice quick recovery, but I found the 3 11wt lines too much weight with a strong cast (double-haul) into the wind, as I was constantly “hitting” the butt on the backcast (id est, over-extending the rod), and thus losing energy and accuracy in the cast.

I have tried multiple 11 wt lines from Monic, Airflo Tropic Punch and RIO Tarpon and all felt heavy, unless you kept the casts short. After which, I put on the 10wt lines – Guideline Pike and RIO CostalShooter XP.

Beyond design decisions, such as making lines heavy, there are always variances in production – rods and lines – I am not surprised or disappointed. Thus, I note spend the additional effort to ensure I have a good match.

With cork applied being lower grade, requiring filler was the one disappointment on the cosmetics, but otherwise the build quality and component selection is fine.

I did like the mesh bag, as it allows the rod to dry and consumes little space in multi-rod carrier.


As of today – May 7, 2018

  • Guideline RSi from Rheal Pitre – 650 CDN
  • Scott Meridan from Bears Den – 865USD or 1115 CDN
  • Scott Tidal from Bears Den – 495 USD or 638 CDN
  • Sage Motive from Bears Den – 499 USD or 643 CDN
  • G Loomis – Asquith – L’Ami Du Moucheur – 1550 CDN
  • Temple Fork BVK – – L’Ami Du Moucheur – 393 CDN

It is light and fast and makes a good 10wt rod, properly priced.

Will I keep the rod at hand?  Absolutely yes!



Written by raspberryfisher

2018/05/08 at 04:35

Posted in Fly-Fishing, Saltwater