Got back last night from a few days of musky fishing in Wisconsin and wanted to throw together a quick run down of some gear we used. All of this gear besides the RIO Pike and Musky line and Pike/Musky leader was gear we own.
To start with, the SmithFly boat bag. It holds a giant box full of musky flies, gloves, and all the other gear you can fit in it for a full day of fall fishing. Mine has all the other bags made by SmithFly attached to it because I’m a pack rat and carry everything but the kitchen sink with me when I float. You just never know when you’ll need an entire spool of 50lb mono and a full bottle of advil. This is the type of gear that you buy and it becomes part of you.
The RIO Pike/Musky leader. Not a bad leader at all. A little long for my liking with big musky flies, but that’s easily remedied. I would say you need to make sure you double check the knots on them just to be safe. We tested the knot on the one I had and it popped under a little strain. Definitely be sure to give those knots a good once over. I re-tied on the leader with my own knot and cut about a foot and a half off of it and it was nice after that.
The RIO Pike/Musky WF10F/I fly line. Holy crap. Jordan and I spent most of a day discussing this line. We both had a spool lined up with it and agreed that it is a seriously amazing fly line. If you’ve ever spent hours upon hours casting heavy line on heavy rods, you know the toll it takes on you. This line is money. Straight up easy to cast line. Pick it up, pull it back, and shoot it out. Every time. You really don’t have to false cast with this line and that makes life awesome when you’re after the fish of 10,000 casts. It’s pretty accurate too considering the size and the half a chicken you’re casting. After fishing this line I am convinced it’s worth every penny.
Prepping for the trip, Jordan told me he had picked up 2 Sage Bass II rods 390 grain 4 3/4oz Peacock model. He said they were 7’11” and rocked out line like nobody’s business. When Jordan says something is good, I believe him. He knows his stuff better than most anyone I know and can throw a fly further than most as well. I trust his opinion on gear and after fishing these rods I agreed wholeheartedly. When I first saw them I thought they’d be a bit light for a big musky fly. They look like 8 weights and feel like an 8 weight rod in your hand. They definitely don’t cast like an 8 weight though. The short rod can be disconcerting if you worry about your cast being too close to you. The cool thing about the short rod is figure eights are easy as hell. They also have a lot more backbone than you’d expect from such a small feeling rod. There’s no waiting on loads, it’s loaded as soon as you haul back, and rockets line out. A word of caution and this goes with it being a short rod, if your casts get sloppy, it will show you really fast. If you get a chance to cast one of these rods, do it. I kind of want to add the 290gr Bass II Smallmouth rod to my arsenal because if the Peacock bass model performs this well, that one will too.
Here’s the links to the gear in this review.