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How to chose tackle for Pike fly fishing

How to chose tackle for Pike fly fishing

Noted pike fly fisher Stuart Smith talks us through the basics of fly fishing for pike, what factors influence his gear selection and what tackle you need to get started in this increasingly popular pursuit.


Choosing the right tackle for fly fishing for pike involves considering various factors such as the size of the fish, the type of water you'll be fishing in, and the specific fly fishing techniques you plan to use. Here's a guide to help you select the appropriate tackle for fly fishing for pike:

1. **Rod:**
- **Length:** A 9 to 10-foot rod with a fast action is typically suitable for pike fly fishing. The longer length allows for longer casts, and a fast action helps in handling large flies and dealing with the aggressive strikes of pike.
- **Weight:** A 9 or 10-weight rod is recommended for pike. This provides the power needed to cast large, wind-resistant flies and handle the strength of pike.

2. **Reel:**
- **Size:** Choose a reel that matches the weight of your rod. Ensure it has a strong drag system to handle the powerful runs of pike.
- **Capacity:** A reel with enough backing capacity is essential, as pike can make long runs and may require extra line.

3. **Fly Line:**
- **Weight Forward (WF) Line:** Choose a weight forward fly line that matches the weight of your rod. This helps in casting large and heavy flies accurately.
- **Sink-Tip Line:** Consider using a sink-tip or full-sinking line to get your flies down to the desired depth, especially when pike are holding in deeper water.

4. **Leader and Tippet:**
- **Leaders:** Use heavy-duty leaders, typically in the range of 7.5 to 9 feet. A 30 to 40-pound test leader is suitable for pike.
- **Wire Leader:** Consider adding a short wire leader (7 to 12 inches) between your fly line and the fly to prevent bite-offs from pike's sharp teeth.

5. **Flies:**
- **Large Streamers:** Choose large, colorful streamer flies that imitate the pike's natural prey. Patterns with a lot of movement can be effective.
- **Deceiver, Bunny Leech, and Pike Bunny Patterns:** These are popular choices for pike fly fishing.

6. **Other Gear:**
- **Polarized Sunglasses:** Essential for spotting pike and structure in the water.
- **Wading Gear:** Depending on the water conditions, waders or wet wading gear may be necessary.

Remember that local regulations and environmental considerations should guide your tackle choices. Always check the fishing regulations for the specific water you plan to fish and practice ethical catch-and-release techniques to conserve the pike population. Additionally, consider seeking advice from local fly shops or experienced anglers familiar with the specific conditions in the area you intend to fish.

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