Saltwater Fly Fishing: Big Rods for Big Wind

May 29, 2006 By: Marshall Cutchin

I usually hear a pause on the other end of the line when I tell folks that my favorite all-around bonefish rod is a nine-weight. There are plenty of anglers who can’t afford more than one or two saltwater rods, but often the advice they get from a fly shop is to make a six- or seven-weight one of those rods (usually a ten-weight is the other). I’m guessing the reason is that the person giving advice fishes only in winds less than 10 knots.
As Joe Doggett explains, larger rods help defeat the wind, which in some places — like Los Roques — is ever-present and powerful. “A vivid memory was meeting A.J. McClane on a bonefish trip to Deep Water Cay in the Bahamas during the early ’80s. McClain was one of the pioneers of modern fly fishing, a world-class talent. I watched as he strung up a 10-weight rod. I waggled my 8-weight and commented on his manly tackle.” In the Houston Chronicle.