Thursday, March 24, 2011

How I Roll (My Fly-Carpin Kit)

A recent comment / question made me realize that I have never made any mention of gear or setup in this blog.  I considered keeping it that way because I am not much of a gear-head, but for fun this is my typical kit:

Rod:  9' 8-weight St. Croix Avid.
Reel:  Billy-Pate Bone Fish Anti-Reverse Reel.
Line:  A cheap (about 50 bucks or so) weight forward 8weight of some brand or another.
Leader:  9' 2X (8lb) RIO FlouroFlex tapered leader.
Tippet: Once the tapered leader gets cut back about a foot I add 1 to 2 feet of RIO FlouroFlex Plus 3X (8.5lb) attached with a Bimini Twist.
Net:  Pronar Collapsible Trophy series net.
Pack:  A really cool fanny-style pack I found on a super-sale with magnetic latches (no zippers).
Flies / Fly boxes:  A truly embarrassing variety.  I think I have issues.
Misc (Valuable):  Needle nose pliers, cuticle scissors, fabric tape measure, fishing license.
Misc (Wasted Space):  Hook sharpener, thermometer, various indicators.

If you look carefully the only top-of-the-line items are the reel and the leader / tippet.  The reel is probably over-kill (left over from a past Salmon / Steelhead addiction) but does seem to help land fish.  I feel the expensive leader / tippet makes a little difference for very difficult fish but that may be paranoia.

The Bimini Twist connecting the tippet to the leader is absolutely critical if you are using light tippet for big Carp.  For big Carp you really have 4 options.  Learn this or one of the other 100% knots, use significantly heavier line, use a straight tapered leader or get comfortable with the fact that you are going to break some fish off at the leader / tippet connection.


  1. pretty solid list. i go a little lighter on the rod (gloomis native run glx in a 9 ft 6 inch 7 wt). but otherwise, i'm basically the same. two items i add are a camera (and gorilla pod) and a digital scale.

  2. Nice blog! You got your bases covered. About the only thing I do different is always lug a camera and usually only pack a couple of dozen bugs in 3-4 patterns that i'm confident they will eat and a few drys just incase. The promar nets are awesome!

  3. Forgot about the digital camera. Its only been in the kit for about 8 months.

    I used to only carry 3 or 4 patterns in one small box. I was really proud of that. Not sure how everything went so wrong!

  4. Luv it that you use the Bimini ... now that's serious!

  5. Great info, McTage. My list is similar, but I usually just use a tapered 9 ft. 2X leader with a few extra feet of tippet attached via a double-surgeon's knot. Haven't had any issues, but most of the carp on my flats are small - 4 to 6 pounders. May have to rethink that set-up if I find bigger fish.

  6. Ty - At 4-6lbs I agree you are totally safe with that setup. Nothing to sniff at though, 6lbers are great fun! Starting to get up there in strength but still have some agility.


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