tiistai 27. marraskuuta 2012

Leader materials

Leader- Choosing suitable materials for pike fly fishing leader

There are few different kind of leader materials that suits for pike fly fishing leader in my opinion. I want to share my user experience with pros and cons about the leader materials that I have been using in pike fishing. 

Predator Fortress type of mixed dyneema and braided metal. These type of materials are very supple, easy to knot and thickest materials are quite reliable but can be cut off (happened to me twice with thickest diameter). I have made a long leader because when leader starts to fray it´s easy to cut the damaged part off. These type of materials tends to move fly straight forward especially when the fly is tied in to a hook. So I don´t use it with my slinky baitfish imitations that are tied into a hook.

Knottable nickel-titanium leaders came to me as a new product this season. I tested 25 lb version of the Knot 2 kinky . Kink free and quite stiff. Helps to get side to side swim with hook flies. I was very excited about this product until it snapped off twice during casting. And because of the thin diameter it tends to cut pikes soft tissue next to the mouth. Maybe the same product in a thicker diameter would be better?

Climax toothy critter type of Plastic-coated steel wire that can be knotted. I use only the 50lbs version of the product. When the wire is new its almost impossible to make it break. Down side is that it gets kinked easily and the plastic coating wears off quickly.  Needs to be replaced every now and then. I use a clinch knot when attaching lock in to the wire and secure it by melting the knot´s coating. This material is stiff enough to help the slinky hook flies get the side to side action.

I have been using large cross locks and large snap locks for leaders. Neither one have never been broken with a fish. Solid knot between the lock and leader helps to get side to side swim.
Metal of the swivel can be tired and break so I have given up using them in pike fly fishing.

sunnuntai 18. marraskuuta 2012

Outlines of a pike fly

Outlines of a pike fly

I use two kinds of flies when fishing pike. Slinky bait fish and tinsel bait fish imitations. Reason for it is that I want eliminate alterations when fishing. This helps to concentrate what I consider main things in fishing. Fly colors, depth and swim motion of the fly. 
I have four major reason why these two fly models has a place in my fly box. One is that they are light and easy to cast. Second is that they fish well and third is they are quite durable and fourth is, they are easy to tie. 

I want Slinky fly to have a side to side action. I have noticed that when I start tying from the rear end of the hook I´ll get the swim more easily. When the fly has a big profile rear end it makes a drag in water and makes the fly turn more easily. 
I always use 6/0 fulling mill or Sakuma hooks. These have a long shank and quite thin wire. Thin wire helps to get hook ups and long shank for getting hook point near center of the fly. 
I also make these kind of tube flies and they have a tendency to hover in the water in perfect balance witch is great when fishing in cold water. 

So does a fly that has a side to side action catch more fish than a fly that comes straight as a bullet? Maybe not, but this "swim" makes me to have a confidence in the fly and makes me fish better. 

Old and shitty video about the swim: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXgMyCEO36w&feature=plcp

The second fly is made from tinsel. I use this one in bright conditions and when water temperature is quite warm.

torstai 15. marraskuuta 2012

Pike fly line for my needs

Cut it! Ideas for making an unique pike line 

There are some features about pike fly lines that cannot be found in commercial fly lines so take your razor and scissors to create fly line that suits for your needs.

I want my line have near zero flex. This helps me to hook fish better. Zero stretch also makes casting more efficient. Best lines for these specs are Airflo made (including Guideline, Loop Pike booster). Rio lines has flex of a rubber band so I don´t have any confidence in them. 

One major thing is the running line. If I want a intermediate or a sinking head and floating running line I have to make line by myself. Floating running line is good when you are fishing from belly boat, pontoon boat or when you are wading. Float running line has a smaller tendency to mess up with your flippers and it is easier to lift from the water. Airflo has a floating ridge running line that meets my needs.

Anatomy of a pike line

Many of the line manufacturers has short pike lines. These lines are about 8 meters long and are ideal for casting big heavy weight flies to short and medium distances. Short head is easy to handle to short distances but when the belly ends you loose some line control and accuracy. 

Short line is easy to handle in the wind but when casting upwind it cannot transfer the line energy from the running line. So in harsh conditions you can only cast few meters over the belly length.

I want the line to be a bit longer because I want to be able to keep longer line in the air. This gives me more distance when casting from a boat especially when casting upwind. There is also less need to shoot the line when casting longer than 10 meters. This decreases shooting line tangles and makes the line more accurate because I have less need to use overhang when casting and I don´t have to shoot line so much. 

Weight to the front and a long rear taper

How to make a line which is long but can turn big flies over whit out getting over weighted? To turn big flies over the line has to have weight in the front and to achieve needed length to the belly there is a need for long rear taper.
This can be made from turning over a scandi style shooting head. Almost every gram of the line weight is in the front. Scandinavian style shooting heads tends to be too short but there is a great option for it: Guideline coastal 8-weight shooting head turned backwards and connected to a floating running line. This line meets my needs for fishing pike.