Saltwater Fly Fishing for bass

by | Apr 6, 2018 | Fly Fishing | 0 comments

Fly Fishing for bass.

Apart from lure fishing, fly fishing for bass has got to be one of my favourite forms of fishing. Using such a light rod and minimal tackle make these easy options as far as locating and finding the fish, bass in this case.

How I got started fly fishing.

For me, it must have been about the year 2000 when I first got into fly fishing. I was working on the road as a Bridge engineer and basically, we would find ourselves working all over the country. Anyway, whilst we were working in Scotland, near a famous golf course called Royal Dornoch we were staying at a b&b that had a small trout fishery on the grounds. So me and my cronies decided to give it a go. We hired rods and made our assault to catch a whopping rainbow trout. Unfortunately, there were not any jaw-dropping catches but we did catch. Watching us trying to cast was an awesome spectacle though. I am so surprised there were not any casualties along the way, nothing serious anyway.

This was the start of it for me and one of the other blokes Ryan, we went and ordered a couple of fly fishing outfits off eBay and that was it. I can remember it being a Ron Thomson outfit, you got a rod, a reel, a line and some flies.


Jeez! This was a spectacle watching us thrashing away trying to catapult that tiny fly out into the water. It seemed the harder you’d try the worse or more mess you got yourself into. I personally would advise anyone who has just started to get some lessons or at least watch some video tutorials on the subject.

Fly Fishing for Bass

To be honest, there is not a great deal of difference between fly fishing for bass or fly fishing for a jumbo rainbow trout, to be honest, apart from the seawater of course. Remember that for lure fishing for bass the tide runs, in my opinion, make a vast difference. A bit like a flowing river when fly fishing, fish will hold in the current waiting to pounce on some poor prey that may come along their way. Of course, there are still water fisheries that are like lakes packed full of trout. Often you would be a member or you could just buy a day ticket. Fly fishing for bass there is no charge, the sea is free to fish. 


The only downside to saltwater fly fishing is the salt in the water can age and corrode your equipment a lot faster than our freshwater. So it pays to wash the salt off your clothing and equipment after every session.

Here is a list of 10 things you’re going to need for fly fishing for bass.

  • Fly Rod

  • Fly Reel

  • Leeda

  • Landing net

  • Saltwater Flies

  • Waders

  • Wading boots

  • Waterproof jacket

  • Polaroid sunglasses

  • Fly Line

Buying a Saltwater fly rod is no different to buying a freshwater fly rod. They can cost a fortune. Personally, I would start with something on the cheaper side to start with around the £100 mark. It’s entirely up to you whether you fork out a bomb, I mean if you’re going at it full time then, by all means, get a top rod.

Fly Reels for Bass Fishing. 

This to me is another no-brainer. I mean really the fly reel just holds the line and in running or tidal water the line gets fed into a basket. This is only my opinion, by the way, this is the way I fish other people may beg to differ and do things differently.

Saltwater Fly Lines for Bass

Now, this is super important that you get the right match for the line weight versus the right line weight for the rod. The general rule of thumb is that if it’s an 8# line then this would suit an 8#rod. Sometimes people will use a heavier line for their rod for distance casting which in the sea can make a big difference, we want to cover as much water as we can. 

You also get different types of fly lines like floating, intermediate and a sinking lines but generally for bass fishing normally we would use a floating line. This is because bass flies tend to be a bit bigger than your average trout flies so they are going to sink.

Leader or tippet.

Well, there are numerous manufacturers of tippet for fly fishing for Bass. The tippet is that bit of nylon line that goes from the fly line to the fly, there is ain’t no way that fl line is going through that hook eye is there? Besides, our lovely bass is probably going to see it too, we don’t want to spook that bass. Fluorocarbon is probably the better choice of tippet to use, it tends to be a bit stiffer and harder to wear than conventional nylons, but they’re still fine to use alternatively.

Landing net.

There are so many options to choose from here. If your standing waist-deep in the water you do not want a landing net on a pole. The obvious choice would be a trout landing net. Make sure it folds in half and is easy to carry around with you when your wading in the water. 

Saltwater Flies for Bass Fishing

Being a keen trout fisherman as well, I know from experience that buying flies, like lures, can be an addictive pastime. I would seem to have hundreds and still always resort to a trusty few. There are just so many to choose from with tackle shops and online stores but for now, we are going to take a look at a few killer flies for bass.

Most of the bass fly patterns seem to be a mixture of like a Sand Eel patterns or crabs or prawns. Some of these imitation patterns are amazingly lifelike. I would suppose they would have to be, fish are not that stupid…… 

Here are five killer bass flies to get your teeth into:

The Deceiver

The Deceiver is probably one of your more common Bass flies. These Sand Eel look alike can be deadly when the fish are smashing through those Baitfish and generally on the feed.

The Deceiver (click on the image to see available prices)

Crazy Charlie

This saltwater Bass fly is similar to the Deceiver and a great fly for Bass. The name came from a Bahamian bonefish guide named Charlies Smith. He was a guide who fished around Andros Island in the Bahamas back in the 70s.

Crazy Charlie (click on the image to see available prices)


For those of you who wish to venture into the water is going to need some waders for sure. Unless of course, you intend on paddling in with a pair of sandals or flip-flops and a pair of shorts that’s fine, but you wouldn’t catch me doing that. The water would have to be pretty warm and I’d rather stay dry thank you very much.

With that being said I have taken a tumble 4 or 5 times over the recent years. I can assure you that it really is not a pleasant experience at all. But side split-tingly funny to the person who you are fishing with as they watch you clumsily floundering around trying to get back on your feet.

Trust me, just take your time when wading in the water, especially if your platform is rocks. Remember you can not put a hand down to steady yourself because you are just going to sink. I personally recommend some kind of wading stick just to help you steady yourself and keep your balance.

Also, you can check the terrain at low tide to see where any obstacles or gullies or any other hidden dangers that may be hiding when the water is up. If the water is generally crystal clear, you can see the dangers through the water. Sometimes though, the water can be murky to start with and clearer as you walk out, especially around the South East of Kent where I live.

The two types of waders we are going to be covering are the standard all in one Wellington boot waders, and the breathable stocking foot type waders. 


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