Equipment for Zen Fly Fishing the Surf
The equipment I have settled on for fly fishing the surf is not expensive and performs well. The specifications for the gear are listed:
This can all be bought for approximately $300. The 6-weight is powerful enough for the strongest surf and is light enough that you can cast like a machine continuously for hours. The stripping basket makes slack line control easy and is essential for the Zen focus on presentation and bite detection. The gear is powerful enough to give you a good chance of landing a 12-pound striper if ever you hook one.
This photo of me on the water geared up. You can see silver duct tape wrapped around my ankles to seal the gravel flap against sand.
I usually use a 2-fly leader using Berkeley Big Game Supreme: 20# test on the butt section to 12# test for the point fly using a 5-turn surgeon's knot. For the dropper, I use 14# test tied a 3-turn slipknot secured just above that knot. The overall length is 6-feet. I use a perfection loop to connect the leader to my leadcore shooting head.
My leadcore head is hand made using loops constructed from Gudebrod 20# test braided monofilament. See Dan Blanton's excellent article Getting Looped for instructions on how to make loops. Leader to Leadcore is connected loop to loop. The shooting line is connected to the Leadcore using a 3-turn slipknot secured to the loop. All knots are coated with Softex to ease movement through guides and to protect them. I use a few coats and recoat every few trips to renew the coating.
Here's a close-up of my stripping basket. The basket is from Organized Living at Westfield Valley Fair, San Jose. One edge of the plastic mesh on the sides of the basket emblem is cut to make room for a Hodgeman wader belt strap. Six 3-inch tubes are attached by stainless steel (1 1/4" long #10 screws and fender washers) through drill holes in the bottom of the basket. The tubes are cut from risers that are sold as drip irrigation risers. I use cable ties to attach a length of 2-inch diameter closed foam tube (used to insulate plumbing) at the bottom along the side that rests against my leg.
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Los Gatos, California
zen fly fishing home
Last Revised: August 25, 2002
This page © Copyright 2002, Glenn Yoshimoto