Rigging it Right

By Nick Curcione


Luck plays a part in practically everything we do even with our leisure time pursuits and fishing is no exception. Eventually however, blind luck becomes less of a factor and over time it is the knowledgeable angler who constantly experiences the most consistent success.

In fly- fishing, minimizing the luck factor is a two- step process. First, you have to choose a tackle combination that is appropriate for the conditions you are facing. Secondly, you have to know how to rig your tackle. These steps may become complicated because in the outdoors conditions can change very rapidly. But the proficient angler is the one who can readily adapt to the conditions at hand.

The one tackle component that garners the most attention from fly fishers is the fly rod. Mistakenly however, many anglers base their rod selection almost exclusively on the relative size of the species they are targeting. But equally important is the nature of the fly pattern you plan to present to the fish as well as the conditions you will be fishing in. The same fish may require different line and rod combinations based on prevailing conditions and changing fly patterns. For example, a 6-weight rod might be suitable on a bonefish flat early in the morning when conditions are calm, but later in the day if the wind begins to blow you may have to step up to an 8 or 9-weight. When fishing from a boat, adjustments like these should not present a major problem because you can generally have more than one outfit onboard. However, the angler on foot doesn’t have it quite so easy. Carrying multiple outfits or even extra reels or spools is generally not an option. But the appropriate choice of fly lines can go a long way in enabling you to adapt to changing conditions.