Saturday, 12 September 2009

Wire it, or not?

When it comes to fly fishing for fish with teeth, then it always pays to use some kind of protection. I'm not talking about body armour, gloves and a helmet, but when presenting a fly and leader close to a mouth full of nippers, then that is where the protection should be. There has been a longstanding debate on whether you should bother using wire, or use a length of mono or braid etc instead. Personally I don't really see the debate. It's simple. If I'm fishing or guiding and expect to come across pike or zander, then it's wire every time.

Over the years I have played around and tried countless different wire, mono, braid and Kevlar traces to find which suited my style of fishing the best. I have never been a big fan of mono or braid traces when fishing for pike. There are products on the market that will stop and hold most pike, and probably land 99% of the fish that are hooked. But at the end of the day mono isn't designed to be tooth-proof. Mono is perfect for fish that have abrasive pads or skin that will rub against it during the fight. I often use a Rio Hardmono leaders when saltwater fly fishing around sharp rocks and shingle for exactly the same reason. But once a pike as inhaled a fly, spun like a croc, and chomped on your leader a few times then it wont take long for it to break for freedom (with your fly and leader still in its mouth).

Perfect for fish with abrasive pads or fishing over sharp ground.

There are plenty of good wire trace materials available to try. If you are unsure how to construct a leader/trace set up, then you can always buy them ready made. Again I have tried numerous ways over the years to make mine up. It's not rocket science. It's just a case of using the correct wire for the job. Some wire is designed to be crimped, some twisted and some that can be knotted. When fly fishing, I always opt for a knottable wire. This allows you to eradicate any extra weight from the leader by not having to use snap-links and swivels. As with nearly all of my fishing I use either a tapered leader or a poly-leader to aid energy transfer. The trace is simply attached using a double grinner or an Albrite special knot.

When fly fishing I always opt for a knottable wire.

Attaching flies to the end of the wire can be done in various ways. As I have mentioned, when using wire, I prefer to tie the fly on using a knot instead of snap-links. Dependant on the type of fly will depend on the type of knot. If the fly has a lot of it's own natural movement then I use a half-blood knot, but if the fly needs that extra bit of swing then I will use a loop-knot.

Dependant on the fly, will determine the knot that is used.

If the correct wire is been used, then the knots should be secure enough on their own. But as an added security I like to give them a splodge of glue. Well I say glue. I like Loon UV knot-sense for the job. Superglue, as good as it is breaks down in water overtime. Whilst on the subject of knots, one thing that I have learnt throughout the years is to keep knots simple. There is nothing worse than having wet, cold hands in the middle of winter and trying to fiddle around with complicated knots. I tend to use the same knots when fly fishing for trout, grayling and when fly fishing for pike.

Autumn will soon be upon us again (sorry to the sun worshipers out there, but it's coming to an end), and the pike will be on the feed. If you haven't already blown the old cobwebs off your pike gear, now is the time to get it prepaid. Again the tackle industry has produced a few new products in time for the season, and with the British fly fare around the corner then there will certainly be a few new materials to try! I have just finished spooling up my reels with a few new lines. The first to be given an outing will be the Rio 'Outbound short' in a 9 weight. Get the correct line speed with that, and your flies are hitting the horizon. Event a strong head wind has a job of blowing the fly back towards you. And that's the last thing you want when a cold North Easterly is hitting you square on. Brrrrrrrrrrr! The best option would be to sit it out by the fire with a brew, and watch the crap weather through the widow. But why would we want to do that? Were pike anglers!!

Perfect Piking weather

I would like to say 'Thanks' to all the people who have been supporting us at aff-UK. Thank you for your kind comments and emails. It is much appreciated!! Mark

If you have any questions regarding fly fishing tuition, pike, or whaterver fly fishing question is buzzing aroung inside your head- feel free to send us an email.

Fly fishing for pike. Fly fishing tuition. Guided fly fishing. Fly fishing in Devon. Mark Bailey. Adventure fly fishing. AAPGAI.

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