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Steelhead fly fishing equipment
Hunting fish requires the use of specific equipment to reduce fishing failure. When it comes to getting in the water to catch steelhead, it is advantageous to you if you have the right tackle. What do we mean by proper tackle? It's simply having a good balance between the fly rod and the fly reel, and having a quality fly line. More still, you need to have attractive flies when fishing steelhead waters.
The fly rod
The weight and length of your fly rod are important aspects because they need to work perfectly and at the same time feel right for you. If you have done fly fishing before, not necessarily for steelhead, you should be able to feel when you have the right fly rod. You don't want a rod that is too long nor do you want that is too short; you also don't want it too light or too heavy. You only want a rod that you can cast and fish successfully for about 6 hours a day without getting overly tired. The power of your destination trip to catching steelhead lies on your ability to get the right rod.
Typically, fishing steelhead will require a 9 to 10 feet long rod. And because steelheads have a tendency to fight hard, the rod should be capable of absorbing sudden shock that results when the steelhead is taking the bait. This feature will allow you to wrestle the fish in a better way.
Pertaining to weight, you need a rod that is light enough, one that you will find comfort with when doing the casting. Many anglers prefer a weight of #7/8 on a wide range of fishing conditions. Rods heavier than this are nice when catching steelhead in large water bodies with strong winds. This is the time that you will find it important to consider the quality of the rod. You can't afford to lose that trophy steelhead because you went for a poorly made rod.
When it comes to single-handed and two-handed rods, fishing steelhead with a single-handed rod when you have a floating fly line. However, if you are going to use a two-handed rod, you'll be required to have a changeable-tip fly line type system.
The weight of the fly line is a critical factor. In normal instances, you'll want a #8 weight fly line. However, when the steelheads you are fishing are not particularly large, a #6 weight fly line is enough. Heavier fly lines help you fight larger steelhead and stronger water currents. Depending on the size of steelhead you hope to catch, you should know how to select the fly line.
So, how do you choose the right fly line? It is advisable to use a fly line that is one-weight lighter than what the manufacturer calls for. When using a fly rod of #8 weights, you can match it with a fly line of #7 weights. The logic behind this is that, when casting, you often have an extra line that is past the fly rod tip and therefore the extra weight of that line plus the weight of the steelhead fly fishing fly, will load the #8weight rod thus making a tight loop and a long cast.
If you have prior experience with steelhead, you must be aware of how these species can move quite fast in different directions. The #7 line is light enough such that it helps you make changes in direction of the cast. It makes it easy for you to roll cast at the time you are prepared to make another cast across or down the current. A #7 fly line is also good in that it is easy to mend after a cast.
When facing steelhead, the fly reel is more than just a storage place for the fly line and backing. You might have to opt for a reel that can feed and retrieve a long fly line and backing.
Steelheads need a good quality reel that has a proper adjustable drag system. Precisely, a reel with smooth and low inertia pays handsomely for these fish. Steelhead experts can attest to it that you'll probably never need a reel with more than 5 pounds of drag pressure. Reels with a drag pressure of 3 to 4 pounds are good for steelhead. The reel should be large such that it holds an #8 fly line and a 150yards fly line backing.
Are durability and maintenance count in reel reliability? Of course yes. Considering that fly reels tend to get wet quite fast, you need one for steelhead that has a waterproof drag system. With today's reels, bronze bushings call for more maintenance than sealed ball bearings. And if you thought of coating your reel, you had better anodized it instead. Choose a reel that has less moving parts. The lesser they are, the better it is for you.
Needless to say, a combination of smooth operation and reliability are the things that matter most about steelhead fly reels. They dictate the difference between a winner and a loser when encountering steelhead.
Whenever you think of steelhead fly fishing, you'd also better think of selecting flies that make steelhead go crazy. Just like any other equipment, if you lack the right flies you'll be missing out on the chance to win the steelhead catch.
Basically, steelhead fishing starts with buggers. These are wet flies that are meant to sink in water and mimic edible feeds that live underwater. There are so many types of buggers but for steelhead, you will want an assortment of woolly buggers.
The woolly look of the wooly buggers come from the fur body. The best thing about buggers is that you can add different colors of feathers (for marabou tails and hackles) so that you tie the flies in a variety of designs, bringing out infinite number patterns. Steelhead may seem finicky, but the truth is that they will always bite on a variety of patterns.
It's very important to ensure that you match flies with other fly fishing equipment. In terms of size, large flies are better cast with larger equipment and vice versa.
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