Salt Water Fly Fishing - Tuesday Tips - Week #2
Ever had that fly line wrapped around your knees, or caught on every hinge or bitt on the boat deck? How about just doing figure-8’s on the gear you have hanging off the front of your vest, or your own sandal buckle!?
We’ve all been there and some have developed a love (or hate) relationship with stripping baskets, barrels, buckets; whatever you use to contain that gnarly line that just finds any place to get caught up.
The tangling always happens when attempting to clear your line as the fish of your dreams screeches to the next zip code. Thus, the long-distance release (ie., break-off or loss of that fish) because we were too busy de-tangling while said Fish is free to be!
Yup, been there, and possibly so have you.
There are three basic kinds of baskets, each with its specific application:
The stripping baskets (shown above) holds the fly line upon retrieval, preventing it from falling into the surf or on the jetty rocks.
Wear it fairly low on the waist so you don’t have to shrug your shoulders up to get to the thing, and in moving surf with significant wave action you’ll love how this keeps the line from wrapping around your legs.
When a fish hits, simply guide the line out under tension until you can fight it on the reel with your drag system. Line is “first in, last out” and hopefully will smoothly leave the basket without tangles! A basket that is worn is nice when you’re moving around a lot, like you might be when stalking stripers on a coastal beach.
The oceanfront basket is used when you are shooting a line into the surf. This basket is designed with holes in it. Any water that spills into the basket from the crashing waves will flow out easily. If you use a basket without holes, the splash from the waves will continually fill your basket with water and you will have to dump it regularly. In some instances, the waves will even rip the basket from your waist.
The bay basket is a solid design without any drainage holes. This allows you to wade deeply without any water entering the basket.
Often on a boat, a stripping basket/bucket like pictured below is used to gather fly line and keep it from tangling on everything in sight.
Simply strip placing each handful of line into the bucket; line going in first comes out last so should neatly leave the bucket as your GIANT BULL RED is sprinting for the opposite bank! They can be pricey but check online for scores of innovative ways to make your own.
Baskets come in various forms and can be home-made from tubs, dish pans or even boxes. A stripping basket can be made at home for around $20.
How to make you own stripping basket:
How to use a stripping basket
Meet the Author - Sue Daignault
Sue Daignault is originally from Massachusetts and been living in southern Maine since 1989. Shes predominantly a saltwater angler, fishing for striped bass in New England and enjoys winter tropical angling for bonefish, tarpon and permit. When not on the salt she enjoys Maine trout and salmon fishing as well. A FFI Certified Casting Instructor, she works part time at LLBEAN as an instructor and guide.
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