First time saltwater fly fishing.


I'm looking at getting into some wand waving down at the beach aiming for herring, tailor and flathead.

I've done a bit of trout fishing and although my casting is by no means pretty it gets a fly out on the water with only a few bits of my jacket and ears on it.


Forum search suggests a 5/6wt outfit with wt forward taper. So for the beach:

- Should I be looking at a sink tip or intermediate line?

- What sort of tippets are you guys using, bit concerned about what a tailor would do to my usual set up.


Any other fly suggestions than crazy charlie's, think I have a few wooly buggers and the odd coachman lying around somewhere.





hlokk's picture

Posts: 4290

Date Joined: 04/04/08

Keep in mind your casting

Thu, 2011-11-10 13:28

Keep in mind your casting distance. Often at a beach you may not be able to get a lot of fish if you cant get in the zone. However, sometimes when beach fishing you can get fish in the gutters so dont need to cast far. Some washy areas may not be too far out if casting off some low rocks (like near trigg).

5/6wt will be rather light if you're using heavy flies or if theres any much breeze at all. Prob better off going 7 or 8wt in case theres any amount of wind about (plus you can carry larger flies). If you have a 5/6wt then could use that anyways?

Make sure you can double haul and use full arm if SW casting into a wind though (less precision needed than trout fishing). Rio outbounds are awesome though. They do a outbound short in F/I which would be good. Has a thin floating running line, then a thick front part, with clear tip section. Also, the hover lines are good if a bit of chop but you dont want your line sinking too much. I do like the S6's though...  (but for a beach when you dont want to fish right on the sand, might be too dense. Though you can bomb them out and strip them back super fast).

Also, remember the SW fly fishing addage: Dont trout strike!

Posts: 103

Date Joined: 14/07/09

Hey Knigit, Get yourself at

Thu, 2011-11-10 23:17

Hey Knigit, 

Get yourself at least an 8w rod and real to suit. Trying to cast into any wind with bigger flies is hard with anything less. The main advantage of going for and 8w over a 5/6 or 7w is the extra distance you will get into the same wind. I really prefer a floating running line with a sink tip as the running line does not get wrapped around your feet when wading with the line stripped out, well not as much. Rio make an outbound in a sinktip version. Get yourself on their website and have a look around. If you want to get a decent reel that can handle some sand and salt for a while, look at the Shimano Biocraft or Lamson Konics, both have great drags and will last you ages and your backing does not need to be more than 30lb.

As for leaders, most of the time I use 4-5 ft of 60lb, 2.5-3ft of 40lb and then  1-2ft of 15-20lb. This will give you the best roll over of the fly at the end of your cast. 

Flies, well don't go anywhere near the beach without a 1/0 chartreuse (green) clouser. Herring love them stripped fast and let them sink down and fish them slowly for flathead, on that, Flatties in the Swan love pink and white clousers for some reason too.


I hope this helps you out in some way. 



knigit's picture

Posts: 115

Date Joined: 19/12/10


Fri, 2011-11-11 06:52

Cheers guys,

Will go down the 8wt route then. Had my first look at some saltwater flies yday and they are monsters compared to anything I've thrown before so I'll be getting myself a serious hat at the same time too. I dunno about a reliable double haul just yet hlokk, things tend to get messy in a hurry. Plan fo rthe time being is to burley the water till it's not safe for swimming and get some casting practice while I get a feed of herring.

Both of those reel suggestions look pretty slick but my thinking was that a P.O.S. el cheapo plastic or ali one would probably be better for starters and then upgrade my reel as the last thing?

Looking forward to getting into this now, borrowing a mates outfit and going to do an early morning attempt this weekend. I can see the budget situation getting ugly already.

crasny1's picture

Posts: 6988

Date Joined: 16/10/08

The guys above are all correct

Fri, 2011-11-11 07:41

8Wt, weight forward, sink tip. Crazy charlies and clousers for bloody sure (its almost all I use!!!). I think you shouldnt get a cheap fly reel. Im not saying get a beast, but get at least a intermediate. I have 2 Okuma Armolite reels (Everyone on here would almost know I hate okuma, but cant fault the fly reels). Im at work and cant remember the exact reel but it is Black plastic. Mean enough to use and abuse, but not that extreme $$$ on the hip.

????Found it, and it is a cheapy - Okuma Cascade CS 7/9. Now I have better reels, but these were my beginners and serve(d) me very well.



"I would like to die on Mars. Just not on impact!!" _ Elon Musk

Posts: 25

Date Joined: 11/05/10

The 2 most important things

Fri, 2011-11-11 14:20

The 2 most important things are the lingo and how you look.

Tip #1 fly fishing is not wand waving. There is nothing Harry Potter magical about it.

Tip #2 if you havent already, ditch the khakis and anything with columbia written on it.

Once you have these down you can start to fish salt water.

Please learn how to haul cast. A single haul is good, a double is better. This will cost you nothing. check youtube for instruction.

Once you can cast the diffference between a 6 and 8 wt is not distance but the size of the fly you can carry. The lads in the previous posts have given you good advice, ive got nothing more to add.

For tailor a short 6-8cm single strand bite tippet is the best solution. If they are being shy, run some lumo tube onto the tippet, then push it over the hook eye when the fly is tied on. You can even colour it black with a red tip if you like.

hlokk's picture

Posts: 4290

Date Joined: 04/04/08

Whats wrong with columbia

Fri, 2011-11-11 14:50

Whats wrong with columbia gear? Lots of pockets, sun protection and even has a little rod holder for when you're on the flats juggling a fish and your line :p.

With no wind, the line weight might not matter (the best distance casters use 5wt from memory) but given wind, a 8wt can go further than the 6 (assuming flies are either both tiny, or both appropriate).  

Oh, and forget the whole 10 to 2 thing and use your elbow only :p. I've done full 180 degree casts with full arm extension and body twist when i've needed to :p


Also, consider going along to a saltwater fly rodders meeting. Held first tue of each month at the swan river rowing club. They also do cast days and other events (think you may have missed out on the last cast day by a few weeks though)

knigit's picture

Posts: 115

Date Joined: 19/12/10


Fri, 2011-11-11 20:21

I figured that if I got myself a khaki vest, the one shouldered heshian satchel bag and a hat full of flies that it would drastically improve my casting. Will upscale the budget again and have a look around at some reasonable reels too, didn't take much convincing ha ha. Thanks again all.


Liquidtension's picture

Posts: 151

Date Joined: 05/03/08

those columbia jackets are

Sun, 2012-03-25 19:33

those columbia jackets are fkn pimp! I bought one the otehr day


Cheers Steve