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Permit Fly Fishing Tackle

FLY RODS: Multi-piece 8, 9 or 10 wt. fly rods in the 9ft length are the best choices. Fast-tapered saltwater rods that have been specially designed for the rigors of the salt should have 3, 4, or 5 pieces for easy traveling.

FLY REELS: Reels specifically designed for saltwater FLY FISHING should have smooth disk drags, plenty of backing capacity (a minimum od 200yds of 20lb backing), and sturdy aluminum, anodized frames.

FLY LINES: A weight forward floating line is all you need. Airflo Ridge flylines are unsurpassed for permit. 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 better than other brand lines, even in tropical heat.

LEADERS: Tapered saltwater leaders made from clear monofilament (12-15lb class) 10’ – 12’ are excellent. Umpqua Bonefish Leaders & the Rio Powerflex Knotless Bonefish Leaders are good choices.  Bring along some tippet material, clear monofilament in 15lb. Also fluorocarbon leaders are another good choice as they are near invisible in the water, perfect for spooky fish in very clear water.

FLIES FOR PERMIT: Permit flies are generally larger than bonefish flies because permit seem to prefer a slightly meatier meal, normally in slightly deeper water. Because of their larger body size, they also tend to put more of a strain on a hook, so it is a good idea to use larger/stronger hooks. Flies for permit include:

  • Shallow H2O Clouser Minnows sizes 2 to 1/0 tan/pink and orange/brown
  • Mantis Shrimp size 4 tan Blue Crab size 2 rusty brown to olive
  • Other misc. crab patterns:
  • Velcro Crab #6 to #4 tan Bauer’s
  • Fur Crab #6 tan Turneffe Crab #6 cream and light olive
  • Raghead Crab #6 cream and light olive
  • Spawning Shrimp #4 (pearl or pink)