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Bonefish Fishing Tackle, Gear & Equipment

Bonefish Fishing

Known for their elusive nature and speed, bonefish are a prized catch among saltwater fly fishermen. Successfully targeting these silver torpedoes requires specialised tackle and a unique set of skills. The thrill of sight fishing for bonefish on the flats and the challenge of delicately presenting the right fly to these wily creatures an exhilarating and sometimes frustrating experience.

A 9’ 7 to 9-weight saltwater fly rod is commonly recommended. This weight range strikes a balance between being light enough for delicate fly presentation and having enough power to handle the long powerful runs bonefish are famous for. A fast-action rod is preferable for quick and accurate casting it will offer, often in windy conditions. Paired with a quality saltwater fly reel featuring a smooth drag system, the setup should accommodate everything bonefish will throw at it.

Quality saltwater fly lines designed for tropical conditions are required crucial for bonefish. Weight-forward floating lines with a tropical coating are ideal for casting in warm, saltwater environments. Leaders should be long and tapered, typically ranging from 9 to 12 feet, with a tippet strength of 10 to 16 pounds. The longer leader aids in delicate presentations, while the strong tippet ensures you can handle the power of a hooked bonefish.

Bonefish are often found in shallow water, cruising the flats in search of food. Due to their excellent eyesight and skittish nature, stealth is key. Flies that imitate the natural prey of bonefish, such as shrimp, crabs, and small baitfish, are popular choices. Gotcha, Crazy Charlie, and Bonefish Bitters are among the effective fly patterns used by anglers.