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bonefishing hawaii:

the sage tcx switch.


got my hands on the new sage tcx 6119-4 switch rod, so naturally i had to take her out for a spin a couple of times this week to see what these rods were all about.  i fished one on the grande ronde last fall, but never got the chance to really “get to know” it.  the sage 7126-4 tcx is an absolute cannon (and one of my personal favorites) so i expected nothing less from the “spawn” of the deathstar. 


after a few sessions on the water, all i can say is wow!  i have a number of switch rods in my arsenal, but this one became an instant favorite after the first full day of casts.  it is exactly what many out there are calling it, a baby spey rod that can throw some line.  the rod, like all switch rods will launch a single hand overhead cast, but where this rod really impresses is in the two handed arena.  i lined it with a rio skagit short 375gr. and liked the set up so much that i haven’t had a chance to line it up with anything else yet.  perhaps i will try a scandi on it this week, stay tuned.


i chose to get the six weight for possible smallmouth bass and trout this summer and smaller water summer steelhead in the fall, but i can see this rod becoming a go to stick for bones around these here parts too.  it may become my hi kai bomber of choice.  the rod performed extremely well with the critters that i have caught with it so far.  it probably won’t be the best for big bones in sketchy reef places (the seven or the eight may fit that bill), but the sage 6119-4 tcx is perfect for the little micro/rat bones that have been out and about lately (talk about a kick in the pants).  i’d say this rod is perfect for bones under five pounds in places with “breathing room” like hi kai.  it will certainly handle larger fish but i have a feeling it may be a little light to land bigger fish in the time that i prefer to land them.


the only drawback i’ve found with this rod so far is that it leaves you wondering about and wanting the five, seven, and eight. i’ve only been doing this two hand stuff for about two years now and casting skagit style with skagit lines even less, so i’m no expert on the matter (just an average guy looking for a good time and constantly working on getting better).  however, when a rod is such a pleasure to cast that it actually dictates where, how, and what you fish for rather than the fish and conditions dictating where to go and what to use... it's pretty safe to say, "the girl's a keeper."


rod: sage 6119-4 tcx (spawn of deathstar)

reel: abel 3n (deep green, of course)

backing: power pro 65lb. white

running line: rio powerflex core shooting line .30 intermediate

line: rio skagit short 375gr.

tip: 10ft. clear intermediate

leader: 5ft. 20lb. fluorocarbon

fly: orange charlie and tan charlie

get used to seeing this set up, i have a feeling it will be in quite a few blogs to come.



to the pics...


what the locals call "pan size".  baby spey meets baby omilu (bluefin trevally).


also got the giant aha (giant needle fish), though this one was kinda missing the giant part.  not bad size though and super fun on the tcx switch, jumped all over the place.


watch that beak and teeth.  these guys go crazy and have been known to cause injury.


micro bones are a hoot on this rig.


rats are too!  i actually had to move a little to get this guy under control quickly... that tells me the rod may be a bit light for bigger creatures (as many of you know, i hate to move)... we shall see.


an ultra sweet, ultra crisp, ultra light weight two hander from sage.  the funnest thing on the water since the advent of the giant squirting rumba cucumba.  good times.






bonefishing hawaii:

the goings ons.


my good friends harold and grant were just in town from the o.  so we, along with brother harry and doug have been out checking on locales pretty much all around the island, just taking whatever the gods were kind enough to give out (including an absolute beating on k bay when the last front rolled through).  between guiding fly fishermen from afar and serving newlyweds and their entourages, e.t. was not able to fish with us.  hickam is apparently still fishing extremely well, grant went out with deano the first day he was here and reported catching the most and biggest fish of his trip.  the rest of the time we fished hi kai, ke’ehi, and k bay.  the upside is that for the most part we all managed at least some fish everytime out.  no spectacular days by any means, but okay enough to keep it fun for all involved.  the down side is that i don't have many good pics of the guys for this blog.


when fishing, we kind of just hit a certain area, spread out, do our own thang and report back as we pass each other during the day or when the whistle blows.  this combined with the oregonites not sending me any pictures as they said they would when they left, leaves me to blog with what some in the photo industry may call a less than ideal pictorial representation of the events that unfolded.  i think the technical industry term is “crappy pictures”.  anyway, i do believe strongly in keeping the pics current rather than using good stock photos of big fish caught ten years ago, so i’ll just go with what i got. 


clays rigs this week:


rod: g. loomis classic glx 8wt. (best casting rod ever made.)

reel: abel super 6 (deep green w/ yellow drag plate... get it?)

backing: 30lb cortland micronite

line: airflo ridge bonefish

leader: hand tied with (approximately) 6ft. .021 mono with a perfection loop looped to the fly line, 3ft. .019 mono joined with a blood knot.  3ft. .015 fluorocarbon tippet joined with an albright knot.

fly: orange charlie

all around sight fishing/bombing set up... perfect... so sweet to cast.




rod: beulah classic switch 6/7

reel: abel 3n. the best abel ever imho.

backing: 30lb cortland micronite

running line: rio slickshooter 35lb.

line: rio skagit short 325gr.

tip: 10ft. clear intermediate

fly: small banger... natting (nothing) chucking this but sometimes gotta try just in case.

this set up was okay but i wouldn't say it was completely dialed in, at least for me.




rod: sage 7126-4 tcx (the deathstar!)

reel: pate bonefish direct drive... a nod to old skool.

backing: 30lb cortland micronite

running line: rio powerflex core .030 intermediate shooting line.

line: rio skagit flight 575gr

tip: 12ft. clear intermediate

leader: 5ft. 20lb fluorocarbon

fly: gold/tan charlie w/pink tail... yeah i'm still stuck on this one.

this rig is the bombarama special for those times and places when you gotta (or just want to) reach out and launch intercontinental ballistic missiles.




dougie and a borderline micro/rat.


sometimes you just gotta play the hand you are dealt and take what they're givin'.


another victim of the "deathstar".


and another from the far reaches of the hi kai galaxy.


i guess you could say the story of the week was rats.


doug, the thunder stealer, got this day saver at the twilights last gleaming.  it also turned out to be the biggest fish of the week.


grant swung his 14 ft. winston all week...


and ended up this trip with a handfull of bones as well as a nice awa 'aua.


we ended the week with the traditional gigantor barbeque at daryl's (harolds brother) house.  pretty crappy pics... pretty good times.








bonefishing hawaii:

quickie at the bay.


the other day (wednesday, i think.) doug and i stuck our heads over the koolau’s to see what all was what over at k bay on the windward side of the island.  we didn’t get on a whole lot of fish, but we made the relatively few shots we had count (as i always advocate is the most important part for successful sight fishing), caught a few nice fish, and made it back before traffic.  perfect.  i’ve decided to start including the rigs we used from cork to fly partially for those inquiring minds out there who wanna know and also so that i can remember too.  i use all kinds of different stuff and combinations of stuff and it gets hard to remember everything (or anything for that matter).  so here goes.


clay’s rig.

rod: sage tcx 8wt.

reel: abel super seven (desert sky without the desert, it makes a difference you know... just kidding).

backing: power pro 65lb. white with a single bimini loop looped to the fly line.

fly line: airflo bonefish

leader: hand tied with (approximately) 6ft. .021 mono with a perfection loop looped to the fly line, 3ft. .019 mono joined with a blood knot.  3ft. .015 fluorocarbon tippet joined with an albright knot.

fly: gold and tan charlie with a pink tail tied on the tippet with a non-slip mono loop.




doug’s rig.

rod: redingtion cps 8wt.

reel: ross canyon big game 5

backing: 30lb. dacron with a double bimini loop looped to fly line.

fly line: scientific anglers mastery redfish 8wt.

leader: hand tied (approximately) 5ft. .024 fluorocarbon with a perfection loop looped to the fly line, 3ft .020 fluorocarbon joined with a triple surgeons knot. 2ft. .016 fluorocarbon tippet joined with a triple surgeons knot.

fly: orange and tan charlie tied on with a non slip mono loop.



now don’t get all goo goo over this.  it’s just what we happened to be using on this day.  as you will see, or have already seen, i change what i use all the time and there are many many ways to skin (or should i say fishcake) a bonefish.  part of the fun of this whole sick game we play (at least for me) is waking up in the morning and thinking what shall i use to go after these guys with today. or, as e.t. always says, what am i going to "play around with" today.  i never know when, where, or with what i'll be fishing the next time out.  all i know for sure is that it's gonna be fun and i can hardly wait.



cowboy vest man with a k bay boney bone.


you gotta yoy'em when fishing gnarly places.  this guy never even got all the fly line off the reel... believe it or not.


doug with another bone... nuff already, let's go home.


what can i say... k bay... fishing was okay... we had a great day. guaranteed... when you roll with good times and clay.







bonefishing hawaii:

in between fronts... the bite is on!


i don’t have much to say.  the “front a week”  weather pattern has still pretty much been the deal this winter.  fortunately for us all, the bite between these fronts has been solid to really good.  some friends from the mainland were in town so the crew and i have been out poking around the island, both sight fishing and blind casting, in between (and sometimes during) these fronts and it seems that there are fish just about everywhere.  still a bit spotty but much better than the shut down that e.t. and i were predicting earlier...  just goes to show you never know unless you go.  so get out there before that next front rolls on in.  sorry this blog is so short but, i gotta get back out there.



sean with a couple of nice fish from the bay.


the kirksta, whitney, and i checked out the lake one afternoon.  we managed a few nice peacocks and a bass, but it was like pulling teeth... pretty slow up there in wahiawa, at least when we went.


then the gang made an all out assault on the hickam flat from left to right nick curcione, craigy, e.t., some bum the guys picked up off the street, brother harry, brother harold, harold’s buddy jeff, doug, and deano (behind the camera).  we also ran into the crew from the trinity fly shop (herb, scott, and kit), they hit it early and reported some crazy tailing fish action.  hickam’s been fishing really well... i’ve only been out there a few times this winter but have been impressed with what i’ve seen and heard.


harry with a hickam rat. more about brother harry later.


nicky's first (but far from last) hawaii bonefish.


the hickam guru, deano.  yet another bone falls prey to the bamboo spey.



even the bum caught fish... must’ve been biting up!


came off?  what happened doug?


...now that’s more like it.


then it was out to ke’ehi, e.t. giving this fish lickin’s.


a word about brother harry.  this guy lives here but fishes only once or twice a year (when our friend harold’s in town).  still he somehow always catches fish.  in addition to the two bonefish he caught on this day, harry hooked a stonefish which was subsequently grabbed by this tako (octopus).  the lesson to be learned?  a good attitude goes a long long way when it comes to fishing... brother harry has one of the best.


i got this guy right under the gun... the front hit, fishing shut down and we were outadare! 


over the past four days the crew caught well over fifty bones around the island... to me that sounds a lot like a good bite and, definitely, good times.



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