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Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...

By ben_beyer
I'm thinking about purchasing a fly rod or for use on the coast to go after redfish and maybe even some trout. Both rods would 9' for wading and sight casting or going out with a guide.

I found a review of the Scientific Anglers Mastery Redfish Cold on YouTube from Texas Fly Caster and I was wondering what would be other good lines to have?

I would think in the summer you would want a warmwater line so would you go with Redfish Warm for example or Bonefish?

What about sink tip lines?
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By karstopo
The SA Mastery Redfish Warm-water ought to be good for sight fishing. It’s like a 8.5 weight line at 225 grains versus the 210 grains for the 8 weight standard. I like heavier, shorter head lines in general for sight fishing redfish.

My MO is to scout around for the fish standing from the kayak which is a lot like if you are in a skiff on the bow being polled around by a guide. Both are fishing from an elevated position allowing for good visibility. Normally, the fish get spotted from some distance and then an ambush is planned. If you are instead wading, you won’t be as mobile or quite as elevated, but there will be still often be ways to close the distance for relatively short casts to the fish.

A lot of times I’ll have 20 feet or so of line out beyond the rod tip then make the cast to 40 or so feet where the fish is. It will be a single back cast to final forward cast type of deal. Shorter, heavier heads seem pretty tailor made for these situations that are likely in sight fishing for redfish around here.

I like floating fly lines for sight fishing.
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By Ron Mc
Ben, sink tip lines suck - they hinge when you try to cast, similar to a heavily weighted fly on a long leader.
For sight-fishing skinny grass, you want floating line, nylon mono leader - I like furled mono leaders (Not furled thread leaders) to stay out of the grass, and flurocarbon tippet to drop your fly into the grass.
Two good floating lines, the Rio Redfish has a long front taper that works very well on a long fast rod (e.g. RPLX).
It gives you a soft presentation in close, and shoots well on a long fast rod.
This is go-to for wading with a long fast fly rod.
Image I also found with a CGR 7/8, the front taper of this line fishes very well in close, but the CGR can't shoot the long front taper out to distance.

A better floating line for slower, shorter rods (e.g. CGR 7/8) and gettting off quick casts at any distance with the Fewest False casts on any rod is Cortland Salt Guide taper.
The advantage to this set-up using the shorter glass rod is fishing right now from seated in a kayak without false casts - very quick presentation to visible fish sign
If you're looking for one fly line for all salt situations, this is the one I'd recommend.
Of course I've been doing this awhile, but I found with the Cortland Salt Guide 7-wt line and the CGR 7/8 glass rod, I could have the full belly out on the 2nd stroke, and shoot to 70' on the 3rd stroke. I can fish this rig anywhere from beside the boat to 70'+leader in a couple of heartbeats.
Of course it doesn't handle big wind, but you probably won't be fly fishing in big wind, anyway.
Two other lines I Always take out are a clear intermediate sinking line (neutral density "slime line"). This is my go-to line for anything knee- to waist-deep.
(e.g., Airflo Beach Clear Intermediate - may want to drop a line weight on this exact line., e.g., fish a 6-wt on your 7-wt rod, etc.)
Because of smaller diameter, it always casts farther than a floating line, always puts an unweighted fly in the zone, and never yo-yo's on the retrieve.
Go-to line for dock fishing (count down to depth) and surf fishing.
The third line is a Teeny TS-250 spliced shooting head for bottom bouncing passes on a strong tide current. Also the go-to jetties line.
This thin line will shoot out to 100' easy, and slices any wind. It will also haul up every blade of grass in the pass.
Killer choice for flounder on sandy bottom.
Last edited by Ron Mc on Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:29 am, edited 4 times in total.
By ben_beyer
Thanks for the feedback!

I have a CGR 7/8 that I plan to use out of my kayak but I haven't had a chance to take it out yet. I may try also standing and casting it and then also see about taking a 9' rod with me.

Both of my current fly setups use SA lines currently but I'm game to try other brands. I plan on getting one of the Lamson-Waterworks 3 spool combos so I can have a couple different lines as needed ready to go. But I want to make sure any lines I get will be of use. Also being mostly shallow water I plan to start out with floating weight forward lines and since if I needed an intermediate sinking line.
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By Ron Mc
Ben, for CGR 7/8 do not pass go on the Cortland Salt guide taper 7-wt.

for an intermediate sinking fly line on the CGR7/8, make sure the belly weight is 180-220 grains.
(rules out Airflo Beach for your rod)
The rod won't shoot lighter, and is difficult to shoot heavier.
Go with SA Mastery Bonefish 8-wt Intermediate - the 210-gr belly should be perfect.
I have the Mastery Bonefish Intermediate from my first salt setup, but I believe that's an older Airflo core-less Intermediate in my photo above.

I tried this rod with 7 different lines to zero-in on the taper and specs of the Cortland Salt guide 7-wt.
Last edited by Ron Mc on Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:59 pm, edited 3 times in total.
By ben_beyer

I went with the SA Mastery MPX 7wt line for the CGR. I had planned a trip on the Colorado with the wife but international visitors for work cancelled those plans for this year. I'm hoping to try again next year.

Part of my plan for the coast is to fish conventional gear for now and look at hiring guides to learn more. I don't plan on doing any guided trips until next year but I am interested in also doing some guided fly trips.
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By Ron Mc
If a S. Padre trip interests you (I recommend spring or fall), Capt Eric Glass gets my highest recommendation, and he's a nut for snook.
Around AP, tough to beat Billy Trimble.
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By karstopo
Might be. I’m one that’s never had line and rods optimized by anyone other than myself and I’m definitely one that has never had the latest and greatest. You can always try what you currently have on lines and see how it fits the fishing situations you come across and your tastes. I’ve used at least 10 various fly rods to get at redfish and probably at least twice as many fly lines. My 7/8 weight CGR currently has an 8 weight SA Titan Taper on it. That’s a 10 weight line if you go by the standards. The eight weight Titan is 280 grains for the first 30’. 210 grains is standard for an 8 weight line. That line with that rod has taken a lot of fish. Do I have reasons I like that line with that rod? Yes, I do. I like the overall feel and feedback I get with that heavy, shorter headed line on that rod and I’m able to adjust my stroke accordingly to avoid overloading the rod or slapping the water with the fly line or anything else that might be a detriment to making a good presentation. YMMV, as it is with almost all things fly fishing related.

I think getting out there and mixing it up with the fish will inform you on the gear and lines that are best suited to you better than any other source, not that coming on here isn’t a great wealth of viewpoints and information, even and probably especially if the views and opinions might vary on things. The more I’ve fished, the more I’ve been informed on what particular lines and rods suit me. Coming on TKF is good, if anything, to read about the wide range of fly rods, fly lines, leaders , flies, etc., that are used successfully for the same fish. There are many ways to get it done. Something somebody has shared here or more likely something you experience for yourself will click for you.
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By Ron Mc
hmm, don't think the editorial is justified, since I bought one new fly line using the exercise of comparing how the rod loaded with 7 old ones, which included 20- and 35-year old lines - different tapers from 130-gr to 300-gr - long-belly floating, long front taper floating, 2 slime lines, 2 shooting heads (would be pointless to try heavier), 9-wt rocket taper.
If you ask me, I'd say it's a smart way to spend your money.
At least 4 of those lines were bought on close-out back when - the 9-wt Cortland salt rocket was a long-ago gift from a friend who thought I had a place for it - sure enough - 2nd cast of the morning in the back of Allyn's Lake on a Fisher Natural 9'9-wt progressive taper - 1st cast was a larger spec that tore the hook out on her 2nd run.
The CGR 7/8 is going to load exactly the same for anybody - the taper is characteristic of the rod, as are the lines.
I found early the rod with the right slime line was exactly what I wanted to do, starting with a foot of taper outside the rod tip - staged to pick up and fish - shoot twice the belly on the 3rd stroke, with exactly one false cast between to feed out the full belly.
I set out to duplicate this result in a floating line, and tried many line configurations I already had, focusing in on what worked best and why - it was a valuable exercise for anybody who owns the same rod. It answers Ben's OP question.
It was also to accomplish the one niche I have for this rod - sitting in a kayak and fishing as soon as possible.

I specifically found the CGR 7/8 would handle any over-weighted or under-weighted line great in close, but the mid gave up trying to shoot an over-weighted line to distance - characteristic of only that rod. The rod would not shoot an under-weighted line - different result from many of my long fast rods, and even the 1960 glass Harnell shown with the slime line above. (The shortcoming of the Harnell is the skinny guides won't fit a modern floating line - the rod is too nice to alter, and it shines with the slime line, so it's my dock-fishing rod ).
The CGR 7/8 would shoot a short-front taper over-weighted line, but only with perfect loading rate and timing, which you're unlikely to be able to repeat under the pressure of trying to set up a cast to visible fish sign.
My 45 years experience doing this counts for something.
I can also consistently shoot my TS-250 on RPLX-7 to 140' (including that much backing and my Allbright knot).
Though the 9' RPLX-7 is an unforgiving para-taper rod, and the reason they over-weight so many salt fly lines in the market - to make fast graphite rods more forgiving.

Also got the chance to try the Cortland Salt Guide on one of my longer fast para inshore rods (kayak as wade taxi), and found it behaved exactly as I described above - fishes any distance with the fewest possible false casts.
Though I still prefer the Rio Redfish line on my longer fast rods. I also stated the Rio Redfish cast wonderfully in close with the CGR 7/8, it just wouldn't shoot to distance.
The one line I've never liked was the 35-y-o Mastery Bonefish floating, which was a joke trying with the CGR 7/8 (a result that googles on many reviews of the same rod).
The Mastery slime line, however, works great on the rod.
Last edited by Ron Mc on Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:05 am, edited 4 times in total.
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By karstopo
No editorial, just pointing out other some lines not previously mentioned and outside of the weight ranges specified have been good for me in the salt paired with the 7/8 weight CGR. Airflo Bruce Chard tropical punch, the 8 weight version, is another one that works well with the 7/8 weight CGR to make casts and successful presentations to sighted redfish. So do the 8 weight Rio Quick shooters. Those lines are all over the 8 weight standard.

The rod will load exactly the same for two people providing those two people apply the exact same forces at the exact same times.
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By Ron Mc
I stated several times the CGR 7/8 fished any under-weighted and over-weighted line, including long leader, perfectly in close.
But it will not shoot an under-weighted or long-front-taper line at all, and will not shoot an over-weighted line to distance without perfect timing and loading rate, which may not be possible to duplicate standing over fish sign.

My longer faster inshore rods don't share this shortcoming for shooting line, unless you count the timing factor on the RPLX.
In the case of the RPLX, it's a skill and form question on one of the most powerful and unforgiving rods ever made. In the case of an overlined CGR 7/8, it's a skill and form question on an otherwise forgiving but not so powerful rod. But you can eliminate the window of difficulty by picking the right line - I went through the exercise for everybody.
The advantage of the CGR is always the quick start and control in close.

The long fast rods suck for sitting in a kayak, because they require too many quick false casts to get the line out to working length - this is the reason I bought the CGR 7/8, and it works perfectly for this niche with the correct line.
Where the long fast rods shine is wading, with working line pre-staged - something you can't do paddling a kayak, unless you're dragging a length of line behind you - effectively trolling.
By The Angler
The cold water redfish line is more of a situational tool. Great for quick, close quarters accuracy. It’s a cold water line, so it is prone to tangles in warm weather, but it’s s also very pleasant to cast. It unfurls into tight loops with ease, but is very unforgiving with bad casting habits, which may lend itself well to learning fly casters.
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By Ron Mc
The Angler wrote:The cold water redfish line is more of a situational tool. Great for quick, close quarters accuracy. It’s a cold water line, so it is prone to tangles in warm weather, but it’s s also very pleasant to cast. It unfurls into tight loops with ease, but is very unforgiving with bad casting habits, which may lend itself well to learning fly casters.

Modern line coatings aren't as sensitive to weather/temperature as old lines were.
In particular, you don't see a problem with tropic lines coiling in our winters, or coldwater lines becoming tacky in our summers. Both used to be a big problem.
The Rio winter redfish line has slight difference in the front taper (more weight in the taper) and I guess the grey color blends in foggy winter days.
The turtle grass blades disappear on many shallow flats with lower winter tides, sprout and turn the flat green again in the spring and summer.
Rio specifically states their Winter redfish line is made for throwing larger mullet flies.
By ben_beyer
I went ahead and bought a TFO Mangrove 8wt and I have a guided trip setup with Captain Scott Null on mid-October. Should I go ahead and get both the SA Redfish Warm and Cold or should I just get one of them for now?
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By karstopo
I’d get the warm and call it a day. Not likely to ever really need the cold line here. I have that SA redfish warm and it’s fine even in somewhat cool conditions.
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By karstopo
If you do a lot of fishing in water below 60 degrees and days in the 50’s or under, I’d say get the coldwater line too. There just aren’t a bunch of days like that along the Texas Coast and probably half or more of the ones that fit the criteria are too windy to fish. I think I have that SA mastery Warm redfish on my 6 weight Quickshot. I don’t often take out the six weight into the saltwater, but periodically cast it off the dock including this winter and never remember it getting too stiff to handle well.
By ben_beyer
It probably wouldn't be much under those conditions to be honest. I'm going to buy a spare spool if I don't get the Waterworks Lamson Liquid 3 pack. I'm looking at other options right now and will figure out what I want to get sooner or later.
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By TexasJim
karstopo and bb: I looked into Monic flyline at karstopo's suggestion. I asked for guidance in selecting a line for coastal marsh fishing for a newbie. Their suggestion was the Skyline Plus WF8F, a warm-water line that would cast well in wind. I bought it and spooled it, but have only practice cast it so far, but I think it's gonna work well for me. It was "on sale" for $69.95, plus postage. They also sent me a bottle of their flyline dressing, gratis. I mailed my old line to them and got a rebate check for 25%, including postage! I hope their line is as good as their customer service! YMMV, TexasJim
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By Ron Mc
I'll add this about salt lines in general.
Since saltwater has increased specific gravity, a denser line, meaning a thinner line, can function as a floating line.
What you gain with a thinner line is longer casts for the same effort.
Neutral density sinking lines are even yet thinner and easier to cast farther - they also have fishing advantages when you're not in skinny grass and fishing deeper than knee-deep water.
So there are reasons to go with salt-specific lines for fly fishing the salt.
Last edited by Ron Mc on Sat Mar 28, 2020 8:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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