Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: Clueless to salt

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Newport, TN

    Default Clueless to salt

    So I am going on vacation in a few weeks to South Carolina. I am clueless when it comes to fly fishing saltwater. Can some of you give me advice? Can I use a 5wt (heaviest rod I have)? If so, will the saltwater damage my trout fly line or reel? Would I just need to clean them after each time I fish? Also I guess fish in the mornings and evenings I know tides play a major role. I plan on just wading. Sorry for all the questions.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2015


    My experience with salt water fly fishing is non existent, but I have fished with spinning rods and all I can offer you is to make sure you hose everything down with fresh water at the end of the day. Reel, rod, line, everything. I would also suggest you lube everything well before and do a complete clean/lube when you get back.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Lincoln De


    The 5wt is a little light for saltwater but will work. A 7 wt is what I use all summer in the saltwater. I usually use a sinking line but floating will work. In the morning or evening is good. I have got my biggest flounder around lunch time.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default saltwater fly fishing

    I've been fly fishing in saltwater in Florida for about 6 years now, one or two weeks per year. FWIW:

    1) 5wt is too light for almost all saltwater fly fishing. I suggest a 9ft 8wt with a floating saltwater line and 30+lbs gel-spun backing for redfish and seatrout. I've never fished for bonefish, permit, tarpon, snook, etc., because getting to the places where those fish are is an expensive proposition, so I can't give you any advice on the tackle for those fish. I've heard and read that large tarpon require a 12wt. The guide I work with has a 12wt in his boat for tarpon.

    2) You must be able to cast to a fish that is 50 ft. or more from you with a minimum (no more than 2) of false casting. (70 ft. is much better.) If you're in a boat, it is difficult to get closer to fish without spooking them. The fish can sense the water pressure wave caused by an approaching boat. They can also hear very small noises from long distances. I was fishing in North Carolina with a guide, and I stood up to get up on the casting deck. I scuffed my shoe on the floor, and the fish spooked.

    3) Watch this video and learn how to do the saltwater quick cast:

    If you are going to be fishing out of a boat you must learn this cast. Watch a few more of Chris Myers' casting videos.

    4) When you can cast accurately to a fish 50 ft. away using the quick cast, hire a guide. If possible, hire a guide who knows something about fly fishing and who has a flats boat.

    5) Fly fishing off the beach or wading is a very dicey proposition.

    6) Fishing with a guide from a flats skiff is the quickest way to catch fish and shorten the learning curve. The guides know where the fish will be, and they can get you there quickly in a boat, which allows you to cover more water. Almost all of the best spots are inaccessible either because of the terrain (marshes) or because you must cross private land to get to them. The guide that I work with in Florida charges $400 for a half-day. He likes fly fishing, and will usually give you a lot more than your money's worth.

    7) If you can't afford a guide and his boat, you may want to try kayak fishing. If you've never fished out of a kayak, it's a tough way to start. Paddling or pedaling a kayak is work, particularly if the wind is blowing, which makes it hard to get to where the fish are.

    Check out the fly fishing forums on

    9) Saltwater fly fishing is almost another type of fishing compared to fly fishing in the mountains or the tailwaters. You must be able to cast long distances (50+ feet). You move the fly, rather than the water.

    10) Blind casting (fishing the water) in saltwater is usually a waste of time, energy, and money, as opposed to sight fishing, which is fishing to a fish that you or your guide can see.

    11) If you're near Charleston, try to hire Randy Hamilton, if he's still guiding. You can probably contact him through the Charleston Angler:

    12) Rinse everything off every time you fish. I put my reel in a bowl of fresh water for a while. Saltwater is hard on tackle.

    13) Check the tide charts for the area you will be fishing: These tide charts claim to show you when the fish will be feeding actively. They seem to be pretty accurate, in my limited experience. Some people say to fish when the tide is falling, others, when it is rising. The common element in both of these theories is that the water is moving.

    14) Pull 30 ft. of fly line through the tip top of your fly rod. Use a Sharpie in contrasting color to mark the spot on the fly line where the line is even with the front of the rod grip. Make the mark long enough to be easily visible. This will show you where to hold the fly line when you are casting. Mark the fly line at 10 ft. intervals from the first mark. Those marks will make it easy to see how much line you have out.

    15) My personal preference is to use a stripping basket hanging on my left hip when I am fishing from a boat. The basket is always in the same place, and so my stripping motion can stay the same. I don't have to worry about getting the line into a bucket on the deck, the line doesn't twist and tangle, it doesn't get dirty, and I don't step on it or get it tangled in my shoelaces or something on the deck of the boat.

    Send me a private message with your email and/or phone number if you want to discuss further.
    Last edited by smctrout; 10-20-2015 at 10:00 AM.

Similar Threads

  1. TFO Casting for Recovery 8wt in the salt?
    By 92Esquire in forum Saltwater Fly Fishing
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 02-06-2010, 08:48 PM
  2. Salt Water Flies
    By BlueRaiderFan in forum General Fly Tying
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 06-06-2009, 08:03 PM
  3. Salt Water Rod for my daughter
    By JohnH0802 in forum Tackle and Gear
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 11-20-2008, 12:50 PM
  4. Fresh to Salt
    By Flyfishjeep in forum Saltwater Fly Fishing
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 03-21-2007, 08:22 PM
  5. A few days in the salt.
    By Rockyraccoon in forum Saltwater Fly Fishing
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 12-26-2006, 12:33 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts