Saltwater Fly Rod & Reel Rigging Information Inshore & Offshore Big Game Including Sailfish, Marlin, Tuna, Snapper, Roosterfish

Costa Rica Fly Rod & Reel Rigging Information

Rigging & Product Information for Big Game Saltwater Fly Fishing - Sailfish, Marlin, Yellowfin Tuna & Inshore Species Roosterfiish, Cubera Snapper & Jacks

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Billfish Rig

Rod: Scott  15 wt. (BW8415)

Reel: Ross Momentum LT #8

Backing:  Cortland Micron Fly Line Backing 30 lb

Running Line:  Cortland Briaded Mono Running Line 30 lb

Fly Line: Cortland LC-13 Lead Core

Class Tippet: Eagle Claw Lazer Line 20 lb

Shock Tippet: Jinkia 100lb, 0.74-1.00 mm

Crimps: Jinkia Size J

Hooks: Eagle Claw Big Game P195 Lazer Sharp 7/0 - Eagel Claw L097RG Lazer Sharp Wide Gap 6/0 - Eagle Claw L226BLK Lazer Sharp Octopus 5/0 & 7/0

This set up is a combo sailfish marlin rig.  For marlin only I would make a couple adjustments you can read in steps 2 & 3.  The most important concept when rigging for billfish, especially for marlin is to reduce line drag in the water.   The majority of marlin bites are lost in the initial run because the line drag will break the tippet.   By using micronite backing, eliminating a butt section and use of a shooting head instead of a fly line you will increase your odds greatly.   This set up will also provide you with many more yards of backing which will be needed when hooking up marlin.   The space on the spool taken up by a long billfish line is much better served with extra yards of backing.   Billfish fly lines are also expensive and they do get lost so you can save yourself some good money with this rig.   Remember a billfish cast is short so you just need a good enough head to get your fly out there.

1. Start by loading your micronite backing on the spool, Arbor Knot is fine.   Lay it on tight and even as possible in a left to right pattern and not to stack the line stright on top of itself.  You want to come off smooth and even side to side and not bunch up and get a back lash.  I try and get as much backing as I can on the spool.

2. Next attach your running line.   I prefer a Nail Knot but an Albright is usable.   The running line should be about 30 yards max and the more experience you have the shorter it can be.  When comfortable switch to the Cortland Cobra Plus Mono.  The reason for the running line is to give the angler something to tug in order to set the hooks.   The micronite backing will slice you fingers if you let the fish take that much line before the hook set.   This section of running line is also a good indicator that the fish is nearing the boat. (For marlin only elimiate the running line too).

3.  Attach you running line to a 10' - 15' length of Cortland LC-14 lead core to creat your shooting head with an Nail Knot.   Shorter is better because this lead core does have a tendacy to kink so be aware of that.   Again your not making a long cast normally for billfish your just zipping a weighty fly out there.   At times you may be called on to get a cast out as far as you can so give yorself that chance.  Create a loop in the end of the line using a crimp in order to attach your fly.  That crimp creates a more hydro-dynamic connection than a double overhand, etc.  (For marlin only you will fix your fly to the head with a Nail Knot)

4. Using Eagle Claw Lazer Line create your class tippet by tying a double bimini twist.   Do not use pre fabricated tippet and do not use any other knot system.  If you need tippets mailed to you contact me.   Attach your fly to your shooting head using a loop to loop system. (For marlin only you will fix your fly to the head with a Nail Knot)

A class tippet must be made of nonmetallic material and either attached directly to the fly or to the shock tippet if one is used. The class tippet must be at least 15 inches (38.10 cm) long (measured inside connecting knots). There is no maximum length limitation.

5.  Attach your shock tippet to the class tippet using and Albright Knot

A shock tippet, not to exceed 12 inches (30.48 cm) in length, may be added to the class tippet and tied to the lure. It can be made of any type of material, and there is no limit on its breaking strength. The shock tippet is measured from the eye of the hook to the single strand of class tippet and includes any knots used to connect the shock tippet to the class tippet. In the case of a tandem hook fly, the shock tippet shall be measured from the eye of the leading hook.

Tuna Rig

Rod: Scott  12 wt. (S4s9012) or 10 wt (X2S9010)

Reel: Ross Momentum LT #8

Backing:  Cortland Micron Fly Line Backing 50 lb

Fly Line: Cortland Precision Quick Descent - 15' - 30' Sinking Tip

Butt Section: Ande IGFA Fluorocarbon 80 lb, 8' piece (crimp size 1.00 mm/Jinkia Size J)

Class Tippet: Ande IGFA Fluorocarbon 20 lb

Shock Tippet: Jinkia 100lb, 0.74-1.00 mm

Crimps: Jinkia Size J

Hooks: Eagle Claw, style depending on the fly used

When I fish for tuna my strategy is to get the fly as deep into the water column as possible.   For that purpose I like to use a fast sink fly line.   Usually these schools of tuna are fast moving so we try and get out in front them and cast than strip line out.   As the school passes under and around the boat the angler will retrieve.    In this rig I add the use of a butt section.  Tuna are so finicky that I like to use the fluorocarbon between the fly line and to give some extra space.

1. Start by loading your micronite backing on the spool, Arbor Knot is fine.   Lay it on tight and even as possible in a left to right pattern and not to stack the line stright on top of itself.  You want to come off smooth and even side to side and not bunch up and get a back lash.  I try and get as much backing as I can on the spool.

2. Attach the fly line to the micronite backing using a Nail Knot

3. Attach an 8' butt section to the fly using a Nail Knot and put a loop in the end of the line using a crimp

4. Using Ande Fluorocarbon create your class tippet by tying a double bimini twist.   Do not use pre fabricated tippet and do not use any other knot system.  If you need tippets mailed to you contact me.   Attach your fly to your shooting head using a loop to loop system. (For marlin only you will fix your fly to the head with a Nail Knot)

A class tippet must be made of nonmetallic material and either attached directly to the fly or to the shock tippet if one is used. The class tippet must be at least 15 inches (38.10 cm) long (measured inside connecting knots). There is no maximum length limitation.

5.  Attach your shock tippet to the class tippet using and Albright Knot

A shock tippet, not to exceed 12 inches (30.48 cm) in length, may be added to the class tippet and tied to the lure. It can be made of any type of material, and there is no limit on its breaking strength. The shock tippet is measured from the eye of the hook to the single strand of class tippet and includes any knots used to connect the shock tippet to the hook.


 

Brand Information & Testimonials for Big Game Saltwater Fly Fishing Ross Reels, Scott Rods, Eagle Claw Hooks, Cortland Line

I would appreciate any comments regarding this section so I can make it better, etc.

These are brands that I highly recommend and have enable me to be a successful:

As a professional charter boat captain & guide I have immense responsibility to the successful fishing of my customers.  A trip to Costa Rica is often a life long dream for these anglers and represents a lot of money to many.   Catching fish is also very important to my livelihood and puts food on the table.    In Costa Rica we also have many prize fish opportunities.

In my years on the water I have learned that in order to catch the fish of life time everything has to come together perfectly including boat, experience and tackle.  I make no compromises across the board.

The following brands are ones that I put my business, my reputation and my livelihood on the line with.   I will take these products on the ocean with me in any situation in any part of the world and for any application.   Being they are good enough for me they are going to be good enough for you.

Rods

Eagle Claw, Wright & McGill -  Eagle Claw is probably the most underrated brand in the industry.   Their attention to quality and commitment to creating top fishing products is second to none.   These products also represent the greatest value in the industry I have seen.   The spinning rods are what I use most and everything about them is what I expect.  What I didn't expect was shutting the door to my pickup on a couple and they didn't break, now that is rod!

Scott Rods - Wow!  I have put these to the test.   One of my favorite lines on the boat when customers use my Scott is, "go ahead and try to break it, I'll buy you one if you can".    These rods are engineered with lifting power and work like no other I have used.   I am talking lifting 300lb marlin, 60lb yellow-fin tuna, etc.  BIG GAME that needs to be horsed.  Bites can turn off quickly in Costa Rica and often getting that fish in is very important when their are a couple anglers on board.   It is hot out there too and having anglers burn up because of a pretty rod with no guts is frustrating.  Rule the rest out and buy a Scott.

Reels

Eagle Claw, Wright & McGill -  I have been using the Eagle Claw and Wright McGill spinning rods for years and have had great success with them.  Success means lots and lots of fish, including big ones and no failure.   Nothing brakes on them and parts have not come loose.   The standard for spinning reels has always been Penn and these reels dont take a back seat.   Anytime you can get a good product that is lighter weight it makes a difference.  This year I am looking forward to trying out some bait reels.   The idea is to catch some big tuna, amber jacks and cubera snapper.

Ross Reels - Another WOW product.   Incredible.   I have seen so many other brands come aboard with customers and just fail.  Some very expensive reels too.   The Ross reels I have are in the never fail category.  They are so well made, the drags just super smooth and easy to take care of also.  No fancy BS and bells and whistle crap to blow up.    Depressing is having that fish of a lifetime, tournament winner, etc on the line and having a reel fail.  It's brutal.  As a captain you suffer because at the end of the day the customer just remembers it was a fish that was not released and ultimately we take the blame.   That's why I am writing this section, so that doesn't happen.  Eliminate all other brands,  buy a Ross reel and never worry.

Inshore Rigs

coming soon

Lines

Cortland - Sticking with the theme of I wouldn't want to be in business without these companies I include Cortland.    The engineering that has gone into the product like micro-nite has made getting lucky actually a thing of the past.   It's more about having the right gear now.  I am very fortunate to have come across their product line because it's made me a better captain and enabled me to keep putting food on the table.  It also gives me great confidence to push the envelope.  If a customer wants to target some slob of a fish like a marlin or tuna I know we can get it done.    All the products represented in this section also have great value.  I run a business and when a company can help keep me costs in line I appreciate that greatly.  It means I can upgrade in other areas.    I am fortunate to get to know the people at these companies often.  My conversations with Cortland have been fantastic and they are so dedicated to our sport.   Always raising the bar really. My recommendation  is go to their website and look what they do, it's impressive.    Once again I have seen it all and tried it all but fact is the cream rises to the top.   My recommendation... get hooked on Cortland. 

Eagle Claw

Outerware

Kuhl

Kayaks

Hobie

Additional information