JEB Hall, our manager at Andros South, is a Southern boy, and that means that he knows his way around a spinning rod.
Spinning rods fit right in on the flats! Here’s how JEB sets up his spin rig for bonefish.
JEB’s Travel Spin Rig for Bonefish
Rod: 7′ 3 piece Medium Action Cabela’s Salt Striker spinning rod
Reel: Penn Conquer 3000 Series spinning reel
Line: 250 yards of 15 pound test / 4 pound diameter Power Pro in Hi Vis Yellow
Leader: 5-6 feet of 1x-0x Rio Flouro Flex Plus, tied to the line with a slim beauty knot
Lure: ⅛ oz. lead jig tied into a variety of bonefish patterns, tied on with a non-slip mono loop
For windy days, and for first time bonefish anglers, bringing along a spinning rod can make some of the ‘challenging’ parts of flats fishing more achievable. While we pride ourselves on being surrounded by schools of the world’s most willing bonefish, some days the conditions aren’t in our favor. Having a spinning rod on board can give the novice caster shots at fish that they otherwise wouldn’t have reached.
When spin fishing for bones, it is important to cast well ahead of the fish. An ⅛ ounce jig landed near a pod of fish in shallow water, is a sure way to cause them to instantly spook.
The set up listed above is portable, affordable, and effective. A three piece rod is a must for air travel, and today’s hundred dollar price point reels offer a lot of bang for the buck. 3000 and 4000 series reels feature a good size spool for making long casts and are not too heavy to balance most high modulus graphite rods.
The line required for delivering light lures to spooky fish is not a place to cut corners. The new braided lines that are out on the market are perfect for flats fishing, and are well worth the somewhat shocking sticker price.. The smaller diameter lets anglers throw smaller jigs further than ever before, while the increased strength can stop all but the largest of fish.
The leader is possibly the most important part of this set up. Having at least five feet of high quality fluorocarbon between the jig and the line will give anglers a better shot at getting wary fish to eat.
Finally, the lures or jigs you present to the fish must be small, but also have enough heft to punch through the wind. They are also fairly simple to tie for most intermediate fly tiers. Simply purchase lead jigs that are poured on high quality hooks with no collar and recreate your favorite bonefish fly on them. For an even better look to your jigs, paint the heads using Pro-Tech powder paint. There are lots of great flats fishing colors and you can bake them in an oven to make for a more durable finish.