What NOT to bring bonefishing.

Sample Question: What doesn't fit?

Things that don’t belong on a flat.

  1. iPods w/ headphones or any derivative thereof… I mean, really?
  2. Orvis wading booties (that cost twice what they should and 100% more than they’re worth… do the math).
  3. Boga Grip® or any derivative thereof. Why? They kill fish.
  4. Sandals. I don’t care what you call them or what brand they are—Tiva®, Keen®, or whatever—you’ll regret it.
  5. Grey polarized sunglasses (unless you’re legitimately color blind, then maybe).
  6. Rod tubes… I mean, why?
  7. Cell phones (that are turned on). I suppose having one is a good idea in case your buddy gets drunk, falls in, and is mauled by a cormorant, but otherwise, no.
  8. Jet Skis… death to the infidel. (Are you allowed to say that on the internet?)
  9. Dogs. (They’re for hunting, kids, and playing frizbee. Much like most healthy, well adjusted cats, bonefish aren’t fans.)
  10. Fly lines that claim they float, but don’t… they will Severely Affect your sanity, casting ability, and general good nature toward the universe in general, making you want to throttle all CEO’s, jet skiers, cormorants, inventors of crappy fly gear, and possibly yourself (but not dogs, cause they’re cool and don’t really know any better).

That’s the top 10. In no particular order, although sandals, dogs and non-floating fly lines are up there. There are others, but these are my personal pet favorites. Have any to add (or disagree with). Feel free below.

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  • dave

    What do you wear on your feet then?

    • Reply

      Hi Dave,

      Well, flats’ booties, ideally. You know, those rubber/neoprene deals you can get from BassPro for like $30. Old sneakers work great as well. In fact, I have it on good authority that a pair of ‘Chuck Taylors” are the perfect cheap flats shoe. Just make sure you wear socks with whatever you choose, otherwise the sand will eat your feet alive.

  • Jasper

    I love the list, but do not agree on the flyline, as it’s my favourite bonefishline….
    Cuts through wind, very accurate, when treated it does float.

    • Reply

      Thanks for the comment, Jasper. And I agree! Super casting line. Fast, slick, accurate, everything… and if I fished from a skiff it’s probably what I’d use, but I strictly wade, mate.

      Tears of testing (many editions since 2000) have shown me that when wade fishing they simply sink. It’s also happened to all my mates that have refused to listen to me and brought them down to fish. You’ve maybe got a week of moderate floatation before the coating (or whatever) wears off and they begin their inexorable downward journey toward the bottom.

      Also, “when treated”? Com’awn. I don’t need to treat my Rio lines, or Cortland, or Wulff. I’m all about reliability w/out time-consuming maintenance. I rinse my lines (on the reels) daily and clean them about once a month (if I remember). They usually last me a season, easy. That’s daily use, in high UV (10-11+ extreme), sitting in (or more properly “on”) saltwater for months on end. No worries. To me that’s what a flyline should do.

      Finally, I’m open to persuasion. If someone wants to send me another line to test I’ll do so, gladly. But I’ll never pay another dime for the things.

      Thanks again for stopping by.

      • Jasper

        I have only bonefished with my line for 12 days, only wading in sometimes supershallow water with very little wind. And I haven’t treated it it with anything yet. As mine floated. My mate used the same line for 2 more trips and is still very happy with it. Maybe you had a bad model?
        If I’m going again, I am truly buying 1 or 2 extra for other rods…

        • Reply

          Glad to hear it, Jasper. I’m glad someone’s had a good experience. Like I said, it’s been a couple years since I’ve fished one, so I’m open to try them again. Would I pay money to do so? Nope. Why? Simple: it wasnt’ “a bad model”. I’m talking maybe 6-8 lines over as many years. That’s each years model (including the much touted textured line that cost $100). I gave that one away after a single day of fishing it. I’ve got a pic somewhere of it sitting on the bottom in a foot of water. On. The. Bottom. I don’t even know what the dude did with it. Maybe he burned it in his fall woodpile as a sacrifice. Anyways, thanks for stopping by again and I’m (seriously) glad you’re enjoying your product. Tight lines.

  • Reply

    […] another cool fishing blog, put up an awesome post a ways back in June about what not to bring flats […]

  • Reply

    I think you’re allowed to say Infidel or just about anything you want. You can even say it anonymously. Hooray.

    I would add the trout set. Instant fail.

    • Reply

      Dang, good one, Pete. Can’t believe I left that one out. Should have been first on the list, right up there with any mention of walleye fishing.

  • Reply

    Looks like someone had an issue with mediocre fly lines…

    I would put jeans on my list. I cannot fathom wearing jeans in temperatures above 15°C. I watched a guy wet-wade wearing jeans last summer & thought he should be institutionalized.

    • Reply

      Institutionalized. Nice… and I agree.

      … and, yes, I hate crappy lines that cost too much. Their makers (and marketers and sellers) should be flogged. I volunteer to administer it with my 10-weight, a sinking line, and a short piece of 80-pound… or have I gone too far?


  • Reply

    […] There are lots of things that you SHOULD consider bringing with you on your bonefishing trip (I love Desitin, for example).  Flatswalker had some thoughts about what you SHOULD NOT bring with you. See the full list here. […]

  • Reply

    Yeah… I agree with most of that, although when I was on my last trip the guy who has about 1,000 more saltwater hours than I do brought his tunes while we waited for tarpon. It was nice… I have to say.

    How about an old-school fishing vest?

    Fly Line Straightener.



  • Jb

    A duffle bag
    Soft bread
    A Tilly hat

  • Reply

    […] cormorants, inventors of crappy fly gear, and possibly … … See the article here: What NOT to bring bonefishing. – Flatswalker: SaltWater Fly Fishing … ← Roccus Writing » Blog Archive » Tying the Gartside Gurgler Slideshow: Killer […]

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