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Saltwater Fly Fishing – Equipment Basics


In this blog post we discuss the basics about SWFF equipment. Fly fishing in saltwater is tough even to the most patient of anglers. Success does not come easy, it takes time and effort but is rewarding when it all goes according to plan.


Stripping Basket



When buying your first saltwater fly rod for bass fishing in Ireland consider buying an 8 or 9 weight rod. Manufacturers rate there rods by AFTM number so match your reel and lines accordingly.

A slower actioned rod is often a good choice for a fly casting beginner as it generates slower line speed therefore being a little more forgiving. To put it very simply a slow action rod bends more during a cast than a medium or fast actioned rod. Whatever your budget is for a swff setup it would be fair to say Invest the majority of your available funds on the rod and line firstly.

Echo edge swff rod

The Reels.

Reels must be balanced on the rod and be large enough to hold sufficient 20lb backing and a full flyline. You can waste money rather quickly on a reel that will seize up in the saltwater environment. Choose a reel that has been proven to last in the salt. Its main objective is only to hold line, chances are you will not see the end of the spool too often in Irish waters.

Vision Koma reel & Echo edge rod


Weight forward (WF) lines or shooting heads are often used to combat the challenging marine environment. Floating and intermediate lines would be first choices. Choosing the correct rod and line to suit your needs is very important so for example a nine weight rod requires a nine weight line in order to load it correctly.

Rio, Guideline and Scientific Anglers make good quality lines amongst others. As an example If you need to purchase a number eight weight forward floating line you will see WF8F on the box. Check to see of your line has a loop on the end, If your fly line is not provided with a welded loop you will need to either create one or purchase some braided leaders.


Saltwater Fly Fishing



Tapered leaders are not essential but do aid turnover. Tapered leaders can be made yourself at little cost or purchased in store ready to go. If you choose to use a leader ring this will prolong the use of a leader greatly as you only ever need to replace the tippet or point section. Polyleaders can also be used, polyleaders are and extension to your fly line to which you attach a tippet, they come in various density’s to cover many presentations.

saltwater fly fishing leaders

One or two medium sized fly boxes filled with a varied selection of flies from the below list will be more than enough to get you started. Fish with flies you are comfortable casting given the conditions on the day. Lefty’s deceivers are a great all round fly for many species, the go to pattern for many anglers.

  • Deceivers.
  • Clousers.
  • Flatwings.
  • Rays flies.
  • Gurglers/poppers.


Clousers and deceivers

Other items:

Line Tray .

Wading Staff.

Line nips & hook removal tools.

Spare leaders, tippet & braided loops.

Lightweight Waders & Jacket.

I hope this brief overview was of assistance to you. If you have any further questions send a email or alternatively you can take part in a SWFF workshop.





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