As in any other sport, using the appropriate gear or tackle is fundamental in order to practice fly fishing. Next, youâ€™ll find a brief description of the basic gear you need for this sport.
The rod is the extension of the fishermanâ€™s arm allowing him to cast the line, catch the fish and initiate the struggle with it. The first rods were made of bamboo and later replaced by fiberglass. These in turn, were replaced by graphite in order to achieve the least weight possible but with the greatest degree of resistance and flexibility.
Rods are, without question, the most cherished piece of equipment of any fly fisherman. They are differentiated by number, action and length. In numbering, they vary from #1, used for smaller fishes, to #15 , used for sea-fishing. In turn, action describes the way in which the rod responds when it bends under pressure, for which it also depends on the material it is made of. While bamboo rods are flexible but slow in action, graphite rods are harder but quicker.
The purpose of the reel is to keep storage of the line and to produce a soft tension when a well-sized fish tries to escape. It also serves as a counterbalance when casting. In general, the importance of the reel is linked to the fishâ€™s size and tenacity.
Reels have a pressure system used for two purposes. The first is not to allow the bobbin to over spin and get stuck when the rod slings the line at a proper casting. The second is to tense the line and get the fish tired as it tries to swim on the opposite direction.
The fly line throws the fly towards the fish. Fly lines are divided into three sections: the â€śleaderâ€ť, where the fly is attached; the fly line itself that allows the casting and the â€śbackingâ€ť which allows the line to achieve greater length.
There are two types of fly lines: floating fly lines, designed dry fly fishing and the wet line, designed for fishing with wet flies which imitate the larval stage of an insect.
Given fishing lines have an average length of 30 meters, the backing serves as an â€śinsurance policyâ€ť when during the struggle with the fish you need to give in a few more fly line meters.
The leaderâ€™s function is to attach the leader to the fly and fool the strout. It is made of nylon or transparent monofilament. Tippets are the most important device within the fishermanâ€™s bag of tricks. One inch more or less in its diameter marks the difference between success and failure on a fishing journey.
Leaders differentiate from tippets by way of their length and diameter. Tippet are measured in inches and identified by their â€śX-sizeâ€ť (0X, 2X, 3X, and so on).
A fishing fly can imitate the shape of almost anything that a fish commonly eats. Flies used for trout fishing resemble different insect varieties, crustacean or even small fish.
Fishing flies are divided in three parts: The head, just behind the eye of the bait; the body which uses most of the space for the bait; spiral-shaped ribs or abdomen, wings and hackle. The latter allows dry flies to float and wet flies to imitate the legs of an insect or crustacean.
Some of the best flies are made of furs and feathers in order to imitate aquatic insects which are at the base of the troutâ€™s food chain.
What is the difference between a dry fly and wet fly?
One is designed to float, and the other to sink. In the case of wet flies, the hook is made of metal, and so the weight causes it to sink. In some cases, lead wire is also added, so that it sinks faster.
Most dry flies will not float by their own means, or will not float for a long time if you don't add a couple of false casts to dry them. Dry flies are made of a lighter metal, which helps their flotation.
Most of these flies are stiff, with a lot of hackle around the hook. Hackles also allow the weight of the fly to be dispersed across a wider span of water surface. It also causes resistance in the air, helping the presentation of the fly in the water. Finally, it contains a floating liquid, made of silicon paste or silicon with a solvent. This helps the fly float for a longer period.