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Costa Rica fly fishing on a budget

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  • Costa Rica fly fishing on a budget

    Hey y'all,
    I'm headed to the northwest coast in the middle of March.
    We're going to get a couple of charters, inshore for roosters and offshore for pelagics. Know any good captains in Papagayo Bay that can deal with fly fishermen?

    I'm gearing up for the trip and want to pick your brains for any knowledge I can soak up. A couple of items for you salty dogs...

    I'm bringing an 8, 10(s) and a 12.
    Rods all TFO:
    Ticrx, (Impact or Ticrx), BVK respectively.
    what 10 wt do you prefer, Impact or Ticrx? And, would you upline the Impact to 11 wt? I have 9 wt line on my ticrx 8 and it performs well. I'm not sure if the Impact 10 wt has the backbone and fast action that needs the 11 wt line.

    Reels:
    Sage 3280, (Lamson litespeed 4 or Sage 4210), BVK respectively.
    What are your thoughts on Lamson or Sage 4210?

    Also, is this 12 wt. BVK stout enough to handle pacific sails? I've never thrown it. Or do I need to rustle up a 15 wt. so I don't get down there and get outgunned by a big 'un? What kind of leader should I use? Any good billfish fly tiers & riggers you can recommend?

    What's the right backing for these saltwater outfits? Braid, gel spun, dacron, etc.? There's so much noise on this topic that I can't read any more on the web about it.

    Thanks for hanging with me on this long post and drop some 411 in the replies if you have any.

    tight loops,

    Taylure

  • #2
    I'd suggest taking all your reels to the fly shop and tell them what your planning. I had a borrowed reel for a trip one time and had to run to a shop to pick up supplies. Had them flip it to left hand wind while I was there. Turns out the guy I borrowed it from had the line crossed about 5 times. Would have popped many times over. I think the biggest decision on backing is capacity and strength greater than the fly line. Bimini loop. I had a ticrx 10wt that was more brittle than a British soccer player. I didn't trust it to make it to and from the river let alone air travel


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    "I don't hate trout fishing, just the people who trout fish."
    -Our friend Nam, but secretly Ret

    "Stop Whining"

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    • #3
      Also, I've never done it but from the guys I've talked to who have caught sails on fly say it's a super rare phenomenon. No harm in preparing but you may need to plan to fail in order to succeed if you know what I mean


      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
      "I don't hate trout fishing, just the people who trout fish."
      -Our friend Nam, but secretly Ret

      "Stop Whining"

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      • #4
        Thanks Troutbum.
        My 8 wt ticrx is bullet proof, hoping the 10 is too. Horsed big stripers with it, bounced clousers off it in the wind on the surf and countless other potential calamities.

        The pacific sails are suckers for the bait & switch with a pink & white cam sigler. I've read their atlantic brethren are much tougher customers. They'll take a close look on 1 pass but the pac sails will chew on a rubber squid to 10 feet off the stern. Hoping to test that theory.

        Not sure how your bud's backing got messed up, but "crossing" the backing every so often keeps small diameter backing from digging further into the spool under a high drag load. At least that's what I'm reading. Not sure how to do that with my pinky levelwind while reeling in something that just stripped 200 yards. Hoping to figure that out too.

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        • #5
          I would think a 12 Should be OK for sails, just cross your fingers that they jump, if not it can become a long battle if they don't wear themselves out. Figure out what size Tippet you will be fishing. IGFA goes up to 20# now, so If you plan on fishing IGFA leaders, there is no reason to use 100# gelspun. I would say 300 Yards would be a pretty safe amount of backing for a sail, However, I have never fished for them. 50# braid would also be a good size for backing, you'll get plenty of compacity. Have the fly shop either tie a double bimini, furrled bimini, or somethinlg like an albright knot, or the gel spun will cut through your fly line.

          As for reel. I would go lamson. The litespeed doesn't have the strongest drag, but a reels drag is seldom if ever locked down to begin with. The lamson drag is smooth and USA made. I have had a bad taste in my mouth for sage reels. The first one I got, I believe it was an older 4000 series, clicker quit working almost as soon as I got it. Sage reels are made overseas. Another sweet reel is the lamson cobalt, but its a little bit higher dollar reel.

          I would go Axiom 2 or TICRX for the 10wt. The impact just doesn't seem to have that much Oomph! Another bombproof option is the redington predator. I own 3 and they aren't the lightest rods in the world, but very, very strong and lots of backbone.
          Last edited by ferrulewax; 02-19-18, 05:53 PM.
          Jackson Dockery
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          Unicoi Outfitters

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          • #6
            Very helpful ferrulewax, thanks for the info.
            Agree with you on the Impact, the Lamson also looks better on the Ticrx.

            I hope this 12 wt BVK can lift. I haven't rigged it up yet. Picked it up for a song over at STP (not sure if I can reference that. Mods, please delete if i've run afoul of a rule). Will be a decent backup Tarpon outfit anyway.

            Guess I'll be learning a double bimini knot. 'bout time I got around to it.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Taylure View Post
              Very helpful ferrulewax, thanks for the info.
              Agree with you on the Impact, the Lamson also looks better on the Ticrx.

              I hope this 12 wt BVK can lift. I haven't rigged it up yet. Picked it up for a song over at STP (not sure if I can reference that. Mods, please delete if i've run afoul of a rule). Will be a decent backup Tarpon outfit anyway.

              Guess I'll be learning a double bimini knot. 'bout time I got around to it.
              Here is a little piece about the knot. It just helps to spread the pressure over more area to keep the know from cutting
              https://www.deneki.com/2016/02/the-double-bimini-twist/ Jake at the Shop (Unicoi Outfitters) is one of the best knot tyers I know, reguarding double furled biminis, nail knot welded loops, ect. Especially if you need a lot of backing wound, it may not be a bad idea to stop by the shop. We also have a couple thousand yard spool of courtland 50# yellow braided line for the sole reason of loading up bigwater setups.
              Last edited by ferrulewax; 02-19-18, 05:57 PM.
              Jackson Dockery
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              My Instagram
              Unicoi Outfitters

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              • #8
                Thanks ferrulewax. If I'm up that way in the next little while, I'll have y'all spool 'em up. Will definitely stop in the next time in the neighborhood to say hello.

                I'm probably headed down troutbum's prediction about failing fast & learning but I'll take it. If me or my kids snap a rod or get spooled by a monster that event ensures our next trip and more good times!! Hell we live in Atlanta and are accustomed to the big one getting away.

                Right now tyin' my first bimini twist. Sounds like a good boat drink...think I'll have a double.

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                • #9
                  Fish Hawk Salties

                  I have not rumbled around the Fish Hawk salt water section of late, but they have an excellent selection of gear and informed personnel.

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                  • #10
                    Costa Rica Flyfishing on a budget

                    So, you should really consider using the outfitters’ equipment if they provide it. You are going to be fishing for some tough fighting fish that can easily tear up equipment. I went out for jack crevalle with a guide and used his stuff. Caught 5 in a couple of hours and broke a fly line and a Hatch reel. I felt bad, but neither was my fault and it was his equipment. Those guys have a special arrangement with vendors which helps when stuff happens. It is always nice to have your own stuff, but if you are buying new stuff or have not used it before, you might as well use the tackle that the guides provide. It is usually tried and tested. Just a thought, since you may only use the stuff you buy once or twice.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Tomcoo2 View Post
                      So, you should really consider using the outfitters’ equipment if they provide it. You are going to be fishing for some tough fighting fish that can easily tear up equipment. I went out for jack crevalle with a guide and used his stuff. Caught 5 in a couple of hours and broke a fly line and a Hatch reel. I felt bad, but neither was my fault and it was his equipment. Those guys have a special arrangement with vendors which helps when stuff happens. It is always nice to have your own stuff, but if you are buying new stuff or have not used it before, you might as well use the tackle that the guides provide. It is usually tried and tested. Just a thought, since you may only use the stuff you buy once or twice.
                      I think that is excellent advice. If they are fly friendly/experienced captains, they likely have the right equipment. Good luck and post photos.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by AllTimeLow View Post
                        I think that is excellent advice. If they are fly friendly/experienced captains, they likely have the right equipment. Good luck and post photos.
                        We fished conventional blue water charters that were open to us giving it a try.
                        Not enough sailfish numbers this trip to try on the the fly. We did catch 15 mahi mahi though. They usually hit the long lines and were not open to teasing up to fly distance. Our rooster fish charter was bunk.
                        Attached Files

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                        • #13
                          Call the Tackle Box Marathon Fla. Get the former owners number David Still who lives in Costa Rica Tell him Steve Cofield sent you or hit him up on FB .
                          He will set you strait on needs.
                          Catch the energy
                          Release the potential

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