What’s Your Favorite Bonefish Rod?

May 19, 2009

in Gear, Tips

What did you use to catch me?
Photo: Rick Sisler

We got some really interesting feedback a couple of weeks ago when we asked our readers about their favorite trout rods.  Here’s our post with everyone’s votes, and here’s our post with the results.

Today it’s time for round 2.  What’s your favorite bonefish rod?

Once again the usual caveats apply – we know that some days are calm and some days are windy, that some shots are long and some shots are short, that some fish are big and some are…less big.  We just want to know, overall, what your favorite bonefish rod is.

Leave us a comment and let us know – what’s your favorite bonefish rod? Why?

More on Bonefishing Gear

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

TexasTux May 19, 2009 at 5:31 am

With a good chance of a typical Bahamian wind and a possible double digit bone I use an 8wt Scott S3. Fast action with a strong butt!

Michael Gracie May 19, 2009 at 5:58 am

Another Sage for me…the 890-3 SP+ Yes, it is an absolute broomstick, but it’s another I will never let go. After hitting a windy day in your neck of the woods AB (Bahamas), a buddy was forced to bench his rig in favor of mine. At the end of the day he ran back to the hotel, started dialing, and found one in California. He had it next-day aired.

Deneki Outdoors May 19, 2009 at 6:14 am

Couple of votes from Twitter–

@schedulefly says
loomis glx 8wt

@12gaBrowningGal says
TFO’s remain a winner.

Kevin Kelly May 19, 2009 at 7:08 am

Loomis CrossCurrent Pro-1 8 wt.

Rick May 19, 2009 at 7:12 am

My choice; 796-4 Xi2! Not a rod with a ton of sentimental value, yet, but it has potential. It can play with most 8wt rods and it is durable as they come. Lays the fly in there a bit softer, but still has the backbone you need to battle a larger bone. I plan on testing mine out again very soon.

Jon Yenari May 21, 2009 at 4:01 am

Orvis Zero-g 9 ft 6wt (although I have not tried the Helios yet). I love this rod and have cast it next to (and I do own
this one as well) the Sage Xi2 9ft 6wt. The zero-g is a little faster and smoother. Even with the strong winds @ andros south, I don’t think I am leaving anything behind by using a lightweight rod. I feel like I can make softer presentations than with a heavier rod. It also has decent backbone for heavier fish. This is also my rod of choice for beach and night snook in Florida.

Capt. Keith May 24, 2009 at 5:04 am

Have you ever thrown the Sage 890-4 z-axis? Light in the hand quick at the tip. loads short,loads long. It can handle big fish or small,wind or no wind. It is a dream to cast all day. Maybe a little overkill for the smaller bones but when it is blowing twenty in your face and a tail comes up in front of you will be happy you have the power.

Capt. Keith Robbins
A Spot Tail Salmon Guide

Reamus May 24, 2009 at 12:56 pm

My favorite rod to fish bones on Andros is… the rod I have in my hand. How can you go wrong after all? I mostly use my warhorse 890-4 Xi2 but I think the beauty and playability of the 890-4 TCX, combined with a perfect December day on the flats of South Andros make for a moving combination… lovely to look at – delightful to hold.

mikera May 24, 2009 at 1:36 pm

Sage TCR 890. Powerful. Fast.

Likes big, fast bones on big wide flats in big wind.

He he he. :)

Mac Beatty May 25, 2009 at 7:12 am

I have several old Sage RPX series rods from 6 to 8 and use for bones. They are all sporting new parts as I have a predilection to breakage.

The rods are strong but my eyesight is weak and I fear more bones swim by than are cast to.

Bill Taylor July 20, 2009 at 8:43 am

For wading; R.B. Meiser System 6, 10' 6" 7/8 Switch rod; for casting from skiffs: Sage 790-5 RPLXi.

Anonymous September 3, 2009 at 6:30 am

The 7wt Crosscurrent GLX from G. Loomis. This rod has the power of some 8wts yet is lightweight and fun to cast and fish. Performs brilliantly with either 7wt or 8wt lines and is perfect for bonefish. For bit Florida Keys bones, I'd choose the 9wt Crosscurrent GLX, which is unbelievable in its versatility and fish-fighting power.

Anonymous November 20, 2009 at 9:29 pm

St Croix Legend Elite Saltwater 9' 7 Weight. Also own a comparable G Loomis CC GLX and find I prefer the St. Croix. It performs great at short and long distances, and cost me about $200 less than the Loomis.

John June 17, 2010 at 4:32 am

My fave bonefish rod is the 9′ 7wt Crosscurrent GLX from G. Loomis. Lightweight, strong and very fast. This rod will do everything most 8wts will do.

Craig June 17, 2010 at 7:42 am

I would take my GLoomis Roaring River Switch Rod, 450G!

Dave October 7, 2010 at 5:45 am

Redington PREDATOR 71084!!

Dan Stockton October 7, 2010 at 8:35 pm

I like my Winston BL5 10′ 8 wt for flats fishing so much, that I bought an identical used one for a backup.

Tommy Tucker May 5, 2011 at 6:13 am

My 15 + year old four piece Reddington 9′ 8 wt has all the miles and smiles. My back ups a Orvis Zero G 9′ 9 wt for real wind and rigged for a permit and used for snooking. I love travel rods and always carry some spinning gear along for snapper and grouper. Cabellas and St Croix fit the bill here. If you want to put a fly in a tea cup at sixty feet I’d think about getting a Sage.

Frank Dalziel May 5, 2011 at 3:45 pm

My favourite bonefish fly rod is a Thomas & Thomas Horizon II series 9-foot, 8-weight. I also love to use a TFH Axiom 9-foot, 7-weight rod.

Leigh Eldridge May 6, 2011 at 5:52 am

I love my Pro Angler 9wt (an Aussie classic) as it caught my first Bone at the Cook Islands…32″.
I am now hooked on Bones for life!

Frank May 7, 2011 at 7:49 am

For Andros I really like my Orvis Hydros 8wt. with a 9 wt. line.
For Belize I drop down a notch to a Orvis ZG 7wt.

Jim Ardito May 7, 2011 at 5:26 pm

G Loomis – GLX 8 weight.

Light, smooth and has enough giddy up when you need it.

Robert May 8, 2011 at 11:17 am

7wt Orvis Hydros I picked up last year is not only my favorite, but I had trouble getting it back from my guide on Oahu last winter. It loads fast, and is light enough my old lousy shoulder can cast all day.

Likkoe Himself February 6, 2012 at 12:19 am

I love 10 footers, especially when fishing with long leaders.
My leaders are 18-22ft for bonefish if the wind allows it and when the winds are mild, I use my favourite Sage XP6101, combined with SA bonefish line for stealthy presentation. With more wind, I pick up my T&T Helix 908-4, where I always miss my extra foot.

Mike March 1, 2012 at 3:19 pm

There’s nothing like taking a large bone on a lightweight rod. There nothing better than a 5wt xi3 on a calm day. However you not always so lucky. Over all, the 7wt one and the tcx 8wts are my “go to war” rod when there is an element of the unexpected. However, for most reds and bones where I know I’m going to get sone what of a good day, I can’t help but go for the z-axis 7wt.

MagicMike March 8, 2012 at 6:00 am

The Scott HP 888/3. The best saltwater fishing tool I have ever owned. Its durable and can cast up close and out far.

Jarrett Sasser March 8, 2012 at 11:32 am

As long as Adam Tavender isn’t trying to take the perfect shot, the 890-4, and the 990-4 Sage One are my new top fav’s. I will never get rid of old faithful, the 890-4 TCR, she’s perfect every time!!!

Wayne Walts March 8, 2012 at 5:48 pm

I find my favorite rod choice changing as do my go to flies. I
seem to like the fast sage rods the best. Have owned sp+.tcr ,tcx xi2,
and this year I put the new sage one in a 890-4 in the rod quiver. She is my new favorite most of the time. I go to the 890-4 tcx on bad weather days.
With all this being said most of the mid to upper tier of rods cast real good. I find that changing to different taper fly line for the conditions makes a huge difference. Try a short head on windy and overcast days.
You can fine tune your favorite rod for that days conditions by changing lines, but lines are another topic.

Jordan Simpson October 10, 2012 at 12:30 pm

I’ve only fished bones in Hawaii alongside Capt. Terry Duffield where the fish are redics spooky and the winds super strong (20mph+ some days).
The bonefish here are not typical flats fish- they are deep water fish that live beyond the reef edge and only come up to feed. They do not live on the flats like in other locales. That being said, when they come up onto Triangle or Middle flat, or even Rat Island, they are super spooky. SUPER. That’s when I use an 8wt Redington Pursuit. (89-4). It is not the best rod for punching wind but it loads deep and lands soft. Something you need out there.
When fishing the East in Kaneohe or Kualoa, my favourite so far is a TFO BVK 109-4. It’s pretty much a really expensive broom stick that acts as a cannon and can punch the line out quick through tough winds. It also has the backbone to turn the fish away from the reef edge and to keep them on the flat.
I’ll be coming into some Sage and other Redington rods soon so I will see how they fair for my own personal tastes.

Nattyzed January 8, 2013 at 6:36 pm

I’ve fished the Oahu flats a few times on holiday with my 8wt Loomis CC GLX. Trouble is when the bones are tailing max 35ft away and you are casting a 12ft leader with some dumbell eyes tied on the end of it, the thing can’t hardly load. Throw in some typical sub-hurricane class trades and best you can do is clunk it down in the general direction and say a prayer to Pele. Next time I’m out there I’m fishing two rods- one much slower than the GLX for the short casts, and the GLX (or maybe even an 8wt switch) for the blind bomber casts across the flats. As Jordan says, the slow rod will be armed with a less aggressive taper to lay her right in the tailing pocket. You don’t see much written about the short casts to bones, but without the trained eyes of a guide by my side, short casts to tailers is most of what I’m gonna be fishing at least on Oahu.

Rogerover August 17, 2013 at 11:09 pm

My go to rods for bonefish are the classic Scott HP 888/3 and Thomas & Thomas Horizon 9′ 8wt. for normal, windy days on the flats and a Scott STS 9′ 6wt. for “calmer” days. All of them are over 10 years old. The HP really loads easily close and far; and is very accurate even with stiff wind. It has all the backbone you need and is built like a tank. The T & T Horizon, although slightly heavier on the swing than the HP, is just a pleasure to cast as well and still has plenty of backbone, like the HP, to play with the “newer” saltwater rods out there today. As for the Scott STS, heck, it’s a STS. What more can I say? Tried and bought some of the newer saltwater rods over the years, and although some are definitely lighter and great rods, I just couldn’t find the vibe and love. Unfortunately, they’re just gathering dust as my back-up rods…

Leave a Comment

{ 5 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: