Bonefish Fly Fishing Tackle

FLY RODS: Multi-piece 7 or 8 wt. fly rods in a nine-foot length are the best choices. Fast-tapered saltwater rods specially designed for the rigors of the salt are good choices for bonefishing and should come in three, four or five pieces, for easy traveling. A backup rod is necessary. Consider using an 8wt. for most conditions with a backup 7wt for non-windy days.

FLY REELS: Reels specifically designed for saltwater FLY FISHING are needed. Smooth disk drags, plenty of backing capacity (minimum 150yds of 20lb backing), and sturdy aluminum, anodized frames are features to look for in a reel. Heavy use in saltwater use will likely ruin reels with plastic parts.

FLY LINES: A weight-forward floating line is all you need. Airflo Ridge, Wulff Triangle Taper, Scientific Anglers Mastery, and Rio Saltwater are the best going. These lines are specifically designed for saltwater fly fishing with a special braided monofilament core that provides the proper stiffness to allow excellent shooting while resisting tangles, especially in tropical heat. However, Cabela’s sells a great Saltwater WF flyline for $40 that holds up very well.

LEADERS: Tapered saltwater leaders made from clear monofilament (10lb – 15lb. class) 10’ – 12’ are good for bonefish. Umpqua Bonefish Leaders and the Rio Powerflex Knotless Bonefish Leaders are first rate. You should bring along some tippet material in clear monofilament or fluorocarbon. 12lb tippets are ideal since most bonefishing takes place around sharp ancient coral in mudflats. Fluorocarbon leaders are another good choice as they are near invisible in the water, perfect for spooky fish in very clear water.

FLIES FOR BONEFISH: Bonefish flies come in an array of styles and colors. The following list of flies should cover most of the bonefishing situations you will encounter. Most bonefish flies should attempt to mimic small salt species such as fish, a few species of shrimp, various crabs, snails, and mudworms. Predominant color choices for bonefish flies include cream, tan, pink, and light green. Include a few brown to olive flies for fishing in turtle grass beach areas.

  • Crazy Charlie with bead chain eyes in pink, white, tan, brown, sizes 6-8
  • Crazy Charlie with mono eyes in chartreuse, pink, white, brown, size 6-8
  • Blind Charlie (without eyes), size 6-8 in silver, amber, pink, crystal chartreuse
  • Blind Puff size 6 in pink, tan/orange, and chartreuse
  • Weighted Puff size 6 pink/grizzly Mini Puff size 8 in tan, grizzly
  • Darting Coral Shrimp size 6 (pink, pearl, tan)
  • Gotcha with weed guard sizes 6-8
  • Swimming Shrimp with lead eyes in size 6 tan/pink
  • Mini Clouser sizes 6-8 tan, orange/brown
  • Mini Mantis Shrimp size 6 ta
  • Snapping Shrimp size 8
  • Kwan size 8 olive/dark brow
  • Turneffe Crab size 8 cream, light olive
  • Raghead Crab size 6-8 cream, light oliv
  • San Juan Worm size 8 tan, pink