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Preferred Big Game Fly Equipment

Sailfish and Blue Marlin on the fly is quickly becoming a popular demand here in Guatemala. Mainly because of the number of chances in a given day, all year round.  As far as recommended equipment goes we have some very simple guidelines. For starters we would plan on a 12 wt to 14 wt set up for both the rod and reel, nothing less. The reel is much more important than the rod. I suggest the following: Abel super 12, Abel big game 4, and select models by Tibor billy Pate.
The rod doesn't need to be anything special, just fast action and heavy. It will feel funny at first (like a broom stick), but you will see why this stiffness is needed. Temple Fork, Cam Sigler & Orvis is what we use.


The Fly And A How To Tie It

The fly used here is the Cam Sigler popper heads with PINK chicken feathers.

We will also provide the fly hooks free of charge, but bring size 5 octapus hooks. The choice is yours. If you want to tie it yourself direct purchase of the popper head from Blue Bayou Sport Fishing will save you greatly.


How to tie a Cam Sigler Fly





Note that the backing is one of the most important parts in fly fishing for billfish. I recommend gel spun by Orvis, Rio & Scentific Angler.  We put anywhere from 400 yds to 600yards of 35 lb to 45lb gel spun on our reels. With lots of backing in the water and high speed runs with sails the pressure on the backing is immense. So that’s why backing is the greatest investment if you ask us. 

**Please see the following article & picture about rigging your sailfish fly reel**



Here is a system to set up for Billfish.  We use Suffix Key Lime for the mono and cut back Rio Leviathan flylines.  Other brands will work we have used these brands over much time with great success and just happen to like them.  We also prefer sinking lines or heads for the reason that you can easily load big rods without having much more than the head or sinking portion out of the rod to make a quick and easy cast, and their diameter is smaller than floating lines and thus creates less drag in the water.  You will note that we use bright backing and use mono in between the backing and the flyline.  This length of mono allows some stretch in the system and avoids breaking your flyline off at the juncture to backing and also takes some stress off of the class tippet.  We use bright mono so that the Capt can always see the line, and also use this mono for the butt section off of the end of the flyline that you can loop a bimini leader or other leader into to easily and quickly change flies and by looping the mono to the backing.  This allows you to change the mono and flyline out quickly if it gets broken or abraided.  We also use this system when setting up for other big pelagic fish like tuna, however we would leave the flyline full length in case you need to cast some distance and would change the butt section of the leader to fluorocarbon as non billfish species can be leader shy .


4 Strand Double Overhand Loop Knot

We use this knot to attach backing to Mono or flylines with loops when using spectra type or small diameter backings.  The only trick is to make all of the loops the same exact length. With the 4 strands, this displaces the pressure across all strands and does not allow the backing to cut through mono or flyline cores.  This knot, with a little practice, even with all the strands, is easy to tie.

Start by creating one loop over your index finger and pinch the tag end with opposite hand over main line  (about 7” Loop).  Using your finger with the loop over it, go back in a hand over hand motion looping around your finger and pinching the main line again until you have 4 loops.  You will now have a tag end and 3 tag loops pinched onto the main line and 4 loops over your finger.  Now simply tie a double overhand Surgeons knot.  Be careful to pull evenly when tightening and keep the loops over one finger so they stay the same length.  Dab some type of pliable glue over the knot when done to keep it from slipping back out, but allowing it to tighten more if necessary.

For live help and past references join our sail fish on the fly facebook page.  You will find lots of helpful past clients, and future clients requiring the same information.  An easy way to get ready for your trip, and to know what to expect.



Sail Fish On The Fly Page

Useful Products


Orvis Gel Spun

Wind on leader:

Bass Pro Wind on Leader

Rio Lines

Rio Big Game Shooting head and running line Combo

Any Questions please contact

Capt Starrs

Contact Capt. Starrs click here


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