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The Ultimate Quick-Change ‘Cuda Rig

Posted on March 18 2017

Fly fishing for barracuda at Andros South
No spare ‘cuda rod needed. Photo: Gary Interdonato.

Barracuda (something we see a lot of on South Andros) are a highly underrated fish to target on a fly. Not only are they big, aggressive, and fight really hard, they’re also know for jumping like tarpon and hit flies harder than anything we’ve seen.. What more could ask for in a game fish!?

The vast majority of the Barracuda we see at Andros South are spotted while actively scanning for bonefish. Many of our guests prefer to keep a spare rod rigged specifically for barracuda for such an occasion, however, the time required to put down the bonefish rod, grab the ‘cuda rod, strip off enough line to reach the fish, and then make the cast, is often too late for an effective presentation, not to mention nearly impossible when fishing on foot (unless carrying more than one rod of course).

But, what if you could transform your bonefish rod into a proper ‘cuda rig in a matter of seconds? Well, you can!

A while back we told you about a great tip shown to us by Andros South guest, Loren Irving, learned from Brain O’Keefe, which consisted of keeping a barracuda fly attached to 10-12 inches of knotable wire, with a slip knot on the leader end handy at all times on the flats. The thought process? Upon spotting a ‘cuda, simply take the rig out of your pocket, slip the knot to the bend of your bonefish hook and voila! You’ve got yourself a ‘cuda rig. Brilliant.

We recently expanded upon Loren’s tip using a simple quick-change swivel made for conventional gear called a ‘fast-snap.’ It turns your bonefishing rig into barracuda ready setup in seconds and here’s how it works..

Fast Snaps
Step 1: Pick yourself up a pack of medium (50 lb.) fast snaps found at most big-box tackle shops. Fast snaps can be purchased with or without swivels to prevent the fly from twisting, however to keep the rig as light as possible (for easier casting) we chose not to use a swivel.
quick chance barracuda fly fishing rig
Step 2: Attach 10-12 inches of knotable wire (we like 30-40 lb.) to the end of the Fast Snap using a uni-knot.
quick chance barracuda fly fishing rigquick chance barracuda fly fishing rig
Step 3: Attach a ‘cuda fly to the other end of the wire using a uni-knot and voila! Your ‘cuda rig is ready for action.
quick chance barracuda fly fishing rig
Step 4: While scanning for bonefish, keep your ‘cuda rig handy in your pocket, on the outside of your boat bag, or close by in your pack.
quick chance barracuda fly fishing rig
Step 5: Once you spot a barracuda, pull out your ‘cuda rig and simply clip the fast snap directly to the EYE of your bonefish fly. By design, the fast snap requires no opening or unlocking, allowing the eye to snap on with ease in seconds!
quick chance barracuda fly fishing rig
Step 6: You’re now locked and loaded for barracuda! Chuck it out there, strip fast, and hold on!

More on Fly Fishing for Barracuda

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