February 17, 2000
SALTWATER ESSENTIALS CHECK LIST
to trout fishing, the well armed saltwater anglers
needs are simple. Quite often, as with all leisure time
activities, people tend to over think the task and
consequently burdened themselves with gadgets and gizmos
that do nothing more than complicate matters.
example, check out the average cold water
fishermans vest, its crammed with 7 tippet
spools, 12 leaders, a leader book to hold the leaders, 6
fly boxes, floatant, sinking agent, bug spray, nippers,
pliers, split shot, zingers, forceps, leader straighter,
thermometer, strike indicators, spare spools, spare
lines, knot tiers, sun glasses, hook remover, hook
sharpener, etc., etc., etc. Theres enough stuff
there to outfit the entire Regis Philbin fan club.
saltwater game remains much more simplified, there are
some "wouldnt be without" items I would
consider essential to the sport besides rod, reel and
spools. In no particular order of importance:
Sunglasses - My
personal passion is sight fishing. To sight fish with
any degree of success one must be equipped to see
through water under various light conditions
duh. There is absolutely no excuse for not possessing
a quality pair of amber tinted sunglasses. The color
amber allows for maximum visibility under a variety
of conditions from overcast to bright sun.
- The tool that does it all. Your pliers should be
made of stainless steel, to resist rust, and
incorporate a cutting blade sharp enough to clip
heavy monofilament and .457mm wire. This tool also
comes in handy for tightening knots, removing hooks
and crimping barbs.
Basket - Im am fortunate to have the ability to
coil substantial amounts of fly line in my stripping
hand and do not use one. Learn how to use one. This
tool will make line management far more pleasant,
reduce line memory and coiling, as well as add
considerable distance to your cast.
- I personally carry four spools when wading. Butt
section 33lb Rio, mid section 22lb Rio, and tippet
section 13.2lb Rio and 20lb fluorocarbon (similar
diameter). I must admit that I have never encountered
a situation that I found myself replacing either the
butt or mid under field conditions, but its
Box - See if you can limit yourself to just one
modest sized fly box. Even a small box has enough
storage capacity to maintain a small army of flies.
Wire - American
Fishing Wire produces a product called Surflon-Micro
Supreme that is by far the best material on the
market. It is conducive to accepting a variety of
knots and will come in handy should you encounter
toothy critters. I prefer their 26lb (12kg) test.
Glove - Because of a mild skin disease I will simply
no go afield without one. Worn on the rod hand, this
glove has a no-slip surface and prevents cuts and
abrasions when stripping line. Would a golfer play
his favorite links without one? Would Nomar saunter
up to the plate absent of his favorite batting glove?
Ive also discovered that "The
Stripper" made by the Waterworks Company, also
comes in handy for tailing fish in shallow water.
Chest Pack - I
hate them. Frankly I find them bulky and restricting
but a necessity for storing all this stuff.
Personally I wear a lightweight, breathable jacket
with oversize pockets that not only offers enough
storage area, but serves as a wind breaker, sun
shield and rain coat during inclement weather.
also obvious clothing and skin care issues to consider
when spending a day in the hot sun, but above are the
nuts and bolts. And that "is my final answer."
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