George Cook recently spent some time with us beating up on bonefish at Andros South. George is the Northwest manufacturer’s rep for Sage, Redington, and RIO along with many other great brands. He’s fished all over the world and has probably forgotten more about rigging up for just about everything that swims than most of us will learn in a lifetime.
He usually rigs up more rods than the rest of our guests combined, but when the money’s on the table, here’s his bonefish rig of choice.
- Sage SALT 890-4 Rod
- Sage Domain 8 Reel
- RIO 8 wt. General Purpose Tropical Floating Fly Line
- 25 yards of 20 lb. Dacron tied to the spool with an arbor knot (yes, only 25 yards).
- 150 yards of 50 lb. Gel Spun backing connected to Dacron using a double uni knot.
- 25 yards of 20 lb. Dacron (yes, again) connected to Gel Spun backing using a double uni knot.
- Loop created in the fly line end of backing using a perfection loop.
- Backing connected to fly line via loop to loop connection.
- 10.5 foot leader constructed from, 9 foot, 16 pound RIO Bonefish Leader (see details below) attached to fly line via loop to loop connection.
- For a fly of choice, I’m currently super hot on a new pattern called Shea’s Bonefish Buttah’.
- “I like the SALT rod because it’s proven to be a wonderful tool in the bonefish theater both near and far. It’s great for close casts which so many of these fish are hooked at, but you can still punch it out there when needed.”
- “The General Purpose Tropical Taper is an extremely overlooked line. A lot of people hear ‘general purpose’ and think ‘well I’m not doing a general purpose trip, and think maybe a bonefish line might be THE bonefish line,’ whereas this line with a 40 foot taper is truly a universal line for casters of all levels.”
- “The Domain reel is new at Sage. It’s a full caged frame which means no line can slip through, which is obviously nice when re-rigging for spey and switch applications as well. It has an extremely smooth drag and a no nonsense design.”
- “My leader of choice is a 10.5 foot leader made from cutting back 1 foot of tippet off of a RIO 9 foot, 16 pound bonefish leader, and attaching approximately 30 inches of 16 pound RIO Fluoroflex with a blood knot. 9 foot leaders are the standard, and many experienced guys like 12 foot leaders for bonefish, but I find 10.5 feet to be a great middle ground. It seems to give a solid turnover, even in the wind”