Landing Bonefish While Wading

Landing Bonefish

Louis Cahill Photo

Trying to land salt water fish, even smaller ones like landing Bonefish, if done incorrectly can result in a lost fish or even a broken rod.  Let's talk about the does and don'ts.


  • Try to leave at least the whole leader and a couple feet of fly line outside the rod tip when making the attempt to land a bone while wading

  • Make a large arc with your rod high over your head.  To achieve this, extend your rod arm straight and upward behind you. Bend your wrist backwards to create a nice arc.  This helps to not stress the rod or rod tip which can cause breakage.
  • Reach for the leader with your line free hand while you guide the fish in towards you with your rod hand.  Sometimes using your rod hand thumb as a support to add guidance and direction is a great idea.
  • Once you get the leader in your line hand you can then relax your rod hand and allow the rod to straighten.
  • Then you can bend over while keeping the bonefish in the water and roll the fish over on its back.  This will calm the fish and make it easier to take the fly out.

If you try to land a bonefish with not enough line outside the rod tip, this action can put too much stress on the rod tip and may cause it to break.  Remember that the top half of the fly rod is designed to cast the line.  The bottom half of the rod is designed to fight the fish.  If you put the bend of the rod to close to the tip the rod might break.

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