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Most saltwater species have teeth as well as sharp dorsal fins and gill covers, and many will take your line into abrasion-filled cover. Therefore, it's necessary to tie a shock leaderusually about a foot in lengthonto the end of your leader. The strength of the shock leader varies from 20- to 100-pound test, with the lightest used for redfish and the heaviest for sailfish. (Shock leaders are covered in more detail in Chapter 11.) Shock leaders can be attached to the end of the leader with a surgeon's knot (see Chapter 7).

As many species will make long runs, sometimes emptying your spool of fly line, it's essential to have enough backing on your reel. Two hundred yards of 20-pound-test backing on an 8/9-weight outfit for bonefish and permit is cheap insurance.

As long casts are often necessary to reach saltwater species, it's necessary to have as much as 50 feet of line laying loosely at your feet so it can shoot easily through the rod guides on your final cast. This is rarely a problem when fishing from a flats boat. But if you're wading after bonefish, permit, or redfish, all that line may tangle in your legs as the tidal current pulls at it. The line must lift from the water before it shoots through the guides, decreasing its energy. And striped bass flyfishermen often cast from rock jetties and groins, where the line easily gets tangled and even damaged on the rubble. The solution is a stripping basket, which is nothing more than an open plastic box that straps to the caster's waist. Cones inside the box distribute the line evenly as the angler deposits it into the box when preparing for a cast or retrieving a fly, and it lifts out of the box smoothly when casting for distance. The basket sounds too simple an idea to work, but it does.

Fish Recipes

Fish Recipes

This is a great collection of delicious fish and shell fish recipes that you will love.

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