Welcome to the latest installment Fishwest Gear Guide! The goal of this guide is to provide you, the angler, with the recommendations and professional insight from the Fishwest staff in order to make your fishing adventures a success. Each month, we will be exploring different fisheries, species, the tackle and other gear we think you would need in order to find success on the water.
This month, we are gearing up with one eye towards warmer salty waters of the Caribbean. The Bahamas is regarded as one of the premier saltwater angling destinations by fisherman of all skill levels. This is due in part to the vast network of pristine flats that produce some of the best bonefishing in the world.
Check out the gear guide below for our recommendations to make your next bonefishing adventure a success. Whether you are a rookie or a salty vet, this blog is packed full of plenty of good info.
Rod – Winston Saltwater Air – 8wt
The Winston Saltwater air is an extremely light, fast action, fly rod capable of generating high line speed needed for the windiest of conditions. This rod is perfect for delivering flies to the spookiest of bonefish either on foot or the front of a flats skiff
Reel – Nautilus CCF-X2 Fly Reel – 8/10
The Nautilus CCF-X2 features a stout, saltwater safe, disc drag system that is built to withstand the stress of hard fighting species like Bonefish. The 8/10 reel is a staff favorite due to the fact that it has a lightning fast line retrieval rate of almost a foot per revolution. This reel can also be fitted with a larger 10/12 spool to tangle with cuda, tarpon, sharks and whatever else can be found while roaming the flats.
Line – Scientific Anglers Amplitude Grand Slam – WF8F
The Scientific Anglers Grand Slam represents a line that is designed with a short powerful head to turn over a wide variety of flies no matter what the conditions present. The line loads up a rod with relative ease to allow you (the angler) to make the most of every shot that comes along.
Leader & Tippet – SA Absolute Saltwater Fluorocarbon
Once hooked, Bonefish run hard & fast. The SA Absolute Fluorocarbon brings increased wet knot strength and abrasion resistance to ensure that once hooked those fish make it to hand.
Boxes – Umpqua UPG Boat Box + UPG LT Flats Foam Fly Box
Umpqua’s UPG Boat box provides ample storage for all the shrimps, crabs, baitfish, and poppers needed for a day out on the flats. The outer drying foam is a great spot to store all the used flies that have been snubbed over the course of a day.
When on foot, the UPG LT Flats Foam box allows you to carry a vast selection of flies in a slim profile. That way you have all the right options on hand at a moment’s notice.
Pack – Fishpond Thunderhead Submersible Backpack
As its name suggests, the Thunderhead backpack from Fishpond is 100% completely submersible waterproof (assuming the heavy duty T-Zip is closed). It holds enough gear to double as a great boat bag option and has an extremely comfortable suspension if you find yourself putting some miles on your boots for the day. Couple with the optional Quikshot rod holder, a 10-weight rod and you are ready for anything.
These high top style, saltwater safe, wading boots offer a great deal of support and protection that comes in handy when navigating the various terrain found on the flats of Bahamas.
Socks – Simms Neoprene Wading Socks
When paired with the quick drying sock of your choice, the Simms Neoprene Wading socks are a lightweight, quick drying option that does a fantastic job of keeping the sand where it belongs. That is, outside your boots of course.
Men’s Top – Simms Solarflex Hoody Women’s Top – Simms Solarflex Hoody
The sun shines bright in the Bahamas and sun protection is paramount. Anything that is not covered and screened will be as red as a stop sign by the end of the fishing day. The Simms Solarflex hoody is the answer. It is designed with lightweight, comfortable, COR3 fabric that is UPF 50 rated. It offers technical performance to keep you on the water under the hottest of conditions.