Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Fly Fishing Offshore Series 1 of 4

I'm starting a new series that will consist of fly fishing offshore; particularly fishing in the Gulf of Mexico off the Texas coast. This will be a four part series with the first series covering rods, reels and lines. Followed by three other series that will consist of flies and rigging, the fish and lastly techniques.

Series 1: Flys, Reels and Lines

There are four rods I like to take offshore with me. I will explain each rod and what reel and line I have matched it up with.

The first rod is a TFO Mini Mag 8-10 wt rod. This 8’ rod utilizes Temple Fork’s Bluewater Technology; a hybrid combination of S-Glass and high-modulus carbon fiber. With exceptional lifting power and casting ability the 3-piece Mini Mag goes through TFO’s proprietary TiCr coating process twice. This process adds exceptional power and durability to the rod. The rich blue granite finish on this rod looks great chasing fish in the bluewater. This is the only rod I have setup with a floating line. I have rigged it up with a 10wt RIO Outbound Short.. With a short, aggressive front taper this line is designed to cast large and heavy flies. The powerful head design loads rods deeply and efficiently for easy casting. This line and rod is perfect for casting medium sized poppers like Mr. Popovics "Bob Bangers". The reel I have on this rod is a Ross F1 in size 5. This is a great reel utilizing eight independent contact points to produce a smooth and dependable drag. Incorporating two square inches of carbon fiber drag surface has resulted in a reel with unsurpassed stopping power. This setup is ideal for throwing poppers around shrimp boats, weed lines, and when the birds and fish are on bait balls.

My next setup is a TFO TiCr 10wt. This 9' rod is the rod I primarily use. Unfortunately TFO has discontinued this series. The rod has a great backbone and there isn't a better all around rod for fishing offshore. I have a Ross Momentum 6 on this rod. The Momentum is one of the strongest and most dependable big game fly reels on the water today. Using carbon fiber based technology for the drag including three backup systems to ensure dependability under the most critical fishing conditions, it is one of the ultimate big fish fly reels. This rod is also lined up with the RIO Outbound. The over all line length is 120' with a 37.5'  type 6 DC sinking head. With an intermediate running line this line can get your fly down quick. This setup is ideal for fishing 30'-50' of water with a large clouser.

The third setup is a TFO TiCr X 12wt. Also being 9' this rod has just as much backbone and a little stouter tip. The power in the TiCr X gives this rod the ability to not only cast heavy grain sink tips, but also larger flies and more importantly lift angry fish from the depths. The reel I paired up with this rod is the Colton Torrent 1113. This fly reel was designed to put some serious heat on a fish. Producing 12lbs of drag out of the box the Torrent can be modified at the factory to exceed 18lbs of drag. Bring on the Tuna, Billfish and Sharks because this reel can handle the challenge. A strong rod and reel needs a strong line. RIO's Leviathan series of lines have been specifically designed to target big fish. I am throwing the 600 grain series. This line is built on a ultra strong 70 lb core that will hold up to the hardest running fish in the ocean.

The last rod in my offshore arsenal is the TFO Bluewater in the medium duty series. This 8-6' rod goes through the TiCr coating process twice. A hybrid S-glass in combination with IM6 graphite and a fore grip, this rod is built for battle. Teamed this heavy weight rod up with a Ross Momentum # 7. With its carbon fiber rulon drag with triple redundancy radial pawl engagement there is seamless transition between line-in and drag engagement. With no start up inertia this reel is also built for battle. I spooled this reel with 500 yards of 80lb Power Pro and Airflo Depth Finder 700 grain Big Game line. This line is built for getting deep with 120' of intermediate running line and a 30' 700 grain head this line isn't called Depth Finder for nothing. it has a 50lb low stretch core to maximize hook setting power at any depth. This rig is setup for dropping the heaviest flies to deep underwater structure looking for amberjacks, snapper and other deep water structure oriented fish.  

The write up looks bare with out any pictures. I was thinking of adding some, but I don't have any neat pics of my rigs setup and ready for action. I guess we have all seen a rod and reel so its not that big of a deal. One think I will add is all my reels are setup with power pro backing. I use the 80lb spec and will go more into backing in the next series.

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