Fly Fishing the Texas Coast

Fly Fishing the Surf: Tackle and Techniques
  |  Gorp.com

When tossing a fly into breaking waves, experienced surf anglers recommend casting at an angle to the approaching waves rather than straight into them. Wave action will make it virtually impossible for you to maintain any line control and impart action to the fly when a wave is carrying your line and fly back to you. You will have better line control and better results by casting across the wave, and retrieving your fly while it is in the trough.

Under light wind and moderate surf conditions, you can scale down to 6-weight tackle for the ultimate in surf-run ladyfish action. A 2-pound ladyfish, or skipjack as they are called in Texas waters, can get into the backing, and a 22-inch redfish with an"attitude" will keep an angler occupied for a good spell on the lighter tackle. A favorite tackle combination in light wind situations in the surf is a 6-weight graphite rod matched with weight-forward, intermediate sink line.

Eight- to 10-weight outfits are the usual choice in the surf when flycasters must contend with extreme wind, tide, and current conditions. If a tarpon suddenly appears or you see large jack crevalle busting bait around you, it may be time to move up to the 10-weight rigged with a shock tippet.

Shooting heads, sink tips, and stripping baskets are good items to bring to the beach. A 9 1/2-foot rod can provide the extra leverage you need while being bounced around in the breakers, and uniform-density lines can be helpful in cutting through the swift current and getting your offering to the fish. With the fast-sinking lines, use a leader of 3 feet or less to keep the fly in contact with the end of the flyline.

South Padre guide Eric Glass likes to use intermediate density lines like Scientific Anglers' clear "Slime Line" or a floating line with a clear, intermediate sink tip.


Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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