Amazing Saltwater Fly Fishing for Bass But How?

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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 makes these easy options as far as locating and finding the fish, bass in this case.

fly fishing for bass
Fly Fishing for bass.

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. 

Fly Fishing Setup
Fly Fishing for bass.


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.

Choosing the Right Saltwater Fly Rod: A Comprehensive Guide

Saltwater fly fishing is an exhilarating pursuit that demands specialized gear to handle the unique challenges posed by the ocean’s powerful inhabitants. At the core of your saltwater fly fishing arsenal lies the fly rod, a crucial tool that can make or break your angling experience. In this article, we’ll delve into the world of saltwater fly rods and answer some burning questions for enthusiasts and beginners alike.

What Weight Fly Rod is Best for Saltwater?

The ideal weight of a fly rod for saltwater largely depends on the species you intend to target and the specific fishing conditions. However, the most commonly recommended saltwater fly rod weights range from 6 to 12. Here’s a breakdown of the general guidelines:

  1. 6-8 Weight Rods: These are excellent for targeting smaller saltwater species such as bonefish, redfish, and snook. They offer the finesse required for delicate presentations and accurate casts in calmer conditions.
  2. 9-10 Weight Rods: These are versatile options suitable for a wide range of saltwater species, including tarpon, permit, and striped bass. They offer a good balance between power and finesse, making them ideal for many saltwater applications.
  3. 11-12 Weight Rods: These heavyweights are designed to tackle the most formidable saltwater species, such as large tarpon, billfish, and sharks. They provide the backbone needed to handle powerful runs and heavy fly lines.

Can You Use Any Fly Rod in Saltwater?

While you can technically use any fly rod in saltwater, it’s not advisable. Saltwater presents unique challenges that freshwater fly rods aren’t built to withstand. The corrosive nature of saltwater can quickly damage the reel seat, guides, and rod itself if not designed for the environment. Furthermore, saltwater species are often larger and more powerful, necessitating specialized rods for effective control and casting distance.

Can I Use a Freshwater Fly Rod in Saltwater?

Using a freshwater fly rod in saltwater is not recommended for the reasons mentioned earlier. The corrosive saltwater can cause irreversible damage to the rod’s components and compromise its performance. Additionally, the lighter action of freshwater rods may not provide the strength and control needed to battle saltwater species effectively.

What Should I Look For in a Saltwater Fly Rod?

When shopping for a saltwater fly rod, there are several key factors to consider:

  1. Material and Build: Look for rods constructed from corrosion-resistant materials like graphite or fibreglass. Saltwater rods should also have high-quality, sealed guides and reel seats to prevent saltwater intrusion.
  2. Length and Action: The length and action of the rod should align with your target species and fishing conditions. Longer rods offer greater casting distance, while faster action rods provide more power for fighting larger fish.
  3. Line Weight: Choose a rod with an appropriate line weight rating for your intended saltwater pursuits. Refer to the earlier guidelines for specific recommendations.
  4. Handle and Grip: A comfortable and durable handle is crucial for extended casting and battles with strong fish. Many saltwater rods feature specialized grips designed to provide better control in wet conditions.
  5. Price and Warranty: Consider your budget, but also be aware that investing in a quality saltwater fly rod is a smart long-term decision. Look for rods with warranties that cover potential damage caused by saltwater exposure.


Selecting the right saltwater fly rod is a pivotal decision for any angler seeking success in the ocean. Remember that your choice of rod should align with your target species and fishing conditions. By investing in a well-designed saltwater fly rod, you’ll be better equipped to conquer the challenges of the sea and enhance your saltwater fly fishing experience.

Fish jumping out the water
Fish jumping out of the water

Fly Reels for Bass Fishing. 

This to me is another no-brainer. I mean 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.

Click here to view fly reels

fly fishing for bass
Fly Reel

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 sinking lines but generally, for bass fishing, 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.

Click here to view saltwater flylines

Leader or tippet.

Well, there are numerous manufacturers of tippets 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 you’re 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 you’re wading in the water. 

Click here to view the landing net

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 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)

Chest Waders

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 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. 

Click the image to view waders on Amazon

Click the image to view waders on Amazon

Click the image to view waders on Amazon



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