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Bonefishing Tip: Make Sure Your Rod Loads Easily

Posted on September 30 2013

Load Your Bonefish Rod
Be ready for the short shot! Photo: Adam Kryder

When anglers ask us about what gear they should bring to South Andros, we first cover the basics of what should be in their quiver.

Then we get to an absolutely fundamental piece of advice – make sure your rod loads easily.

What You Don’t Want

The worst setup for bonefish on South Andros is a super-fast rod paired with a line with a long, fine front taper – requiring 50 feet of line out the rod tip to be well-loaded.  The majority of our shots at bonefish come inside 50 feet.  Getting the rod loaded quickly for a decent presentation inside 50 feet is critical.

Ways to Make Sure Your Rod Loads Quickly and Easily

So how do you get your rod to load well at short range?  You’ve got a few options – we’ll go from least-helpful advice to most-helpful advice.

  • Be a successful tournament caster.  Steve Rajeff could make a great, instant 30 foot shot with a 5 weight line on an 8 weight rod, but you’re not Steve Rajeff, are you?  Oh, you are?  Hey Steve!
  • Use a slower rod.  Slower rods work OK for shorter shots but things can fall apart a bit when the wind blows or when you need to make a longer cast.
  • Go up one line size.  In the past a popular option was to, for example, put a 9 weight line on your 8 weight rod.  Similar to using a slower rod, this works well for the short casts but your rod is really going to buckle if you need to go for it.
  • Use a modern, shorter-head bonefish line.  Lines like Bruce Chard’s Grand Slam line were specifically designed to make quick presentations easy.  They’re often about a half line size heavy, but that mass is concentrated in a shorter head with an aggressive taper that helps turn over big flies too.  We line all our bonefish rods with lines of this style, and this is our top choice to make sure you’re ready for all those short, quick shots.

See you on South Andros!

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