Welcome to Quick Tips! A new series, presented by Redington, where we ask some friends for their quick tips for new anglers. We were all beginners at some point and all of us are always learning new tips and tricks! Whether it is your first time out or you have been fishing for 20 years, we hope you can take these tips and use them yourself, or help one of your own friends that you might be introducing to fly fishing.
Fly fishing is a journey full of tips, tricks, and hacks we learn along the way; both by trial and error and with those who have learned before us and are kind enough to share. My favorite fly fishing tips are the ones that leave you wondering why the heck someone didn’t enlighten you sooner. Oh, the knots, mediocre casts, and lost flies that could have been avoided, but it’s all part of the fun.
So wherever you find yourself on the angling spectrum, here are two quick tips I believe to be helpful along the journey.
Tip 1: Keep Your New Leader Free of Tangles and Knots
I’m only mildly embarrassed to admit how long I’d been fishing before this tip was shared with me.
Keeping the leader intact, place three fingers and your thumb inside the circle to hold tension. Then start with the butt end of the leader (this is the end that’s thicker and typically has a pre-done perfection loop), unwrap it four to five times, or until the leader starts to unravel—now see how easily it comes apart and free of tangles!
Bonus Tip: This tip works in reverse for storing leaders!
Tip 2: A Cheat Sheet For Your Fly Line
Being able to accurately judge your casting distance in saltwater fishing situations is key to getting the fly to the fish. Knowing how to properly load the rod will help your fly get out there faster with fewer false casts, which conveniently means fewer chances to spook the fish.
Measure out 30-ish ft of line, and mark 6-ish inches with a contrasting colored marker. When that mark leaves your rod tip, you’ll know you have 30ft of line out. When that mark gets back to your stripping hand, this is your cue to pick up and recast, as most weight forward lines will load best between 20 – 30ft.