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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I'm fairly new to this and I've been wondering about something: we choose our fly line, then rod based on the size and weight of the fly we want to throw. So what is the appropriate size fly for various saltwater setups? I haven't found anything definitive on this and that probably means there is no definitive answer so what are your thoughts / suggestions?

To be more specific, what is the largest or heaviest fly you would throw on a 6wt, 8wt, 10wt?

Most of what I throw are:
EP baitfish on size 2, 1, and 1/0 - snook, trout, reds, baby tarpon up to 40lbs
Clousers with x-small db eyes on size 2 - snook, trout, reds
Clousers with small db eyes on size 2 - snook, trout, reds
Merkin style with small db eyes on size 2 - reds, sheepies
Merkins style with med db eyes on size 2 - reds
 

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Opinions may vary and none of this is carved in stone, but...

I'm generally starting out by determining my target species, and size range I'm likely to encounter. Little snook, reds, baby poons, peacocks etc, sure, the 6 is fine and I'm likely to be going for a smaller fly anyway. Those 1 and 2 ep flies, xs clousers, etc..

bigger snook, reds, trout, juvie poons etc, I might still be throwing small flies but I want more backbone in the rod, so 8 or 9. And a bit more weight or a bigger fly is manageable if necessary.

Bigger harder fighting fish get bigger guns, so to speak. It might not be necessary to throw the fly chosen but it may be needed to get the fish in. And again more weight, bigger more wind resistant flies are manageable.

So basically, that's my approach in a nutshell. Pick your target, know the conditions (depth, current, wind etc) and arm yourself accordingly.
 

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Houston, Pandora’s box has been opened. Run for cover!!!!
All jokes aside opinions will vary greatly on this one. I’ll set the bar with slot size fish. Not little dinks we somehow hook nor our pb either. So with the baseline set, here we go.... snook/reds/trout/tripletail, Macks, you will see most guys tie on a #4 up to a 1/0. Most bone flies will be #4-#6 along with sheep flies. Different brands and shapes will be different in size. The sc15 runs small When compared to the mustad version. So in other words 99% of flies for those species can be thrown from a 6wt up to a 10. You can get bigger flies to turn over better if you enlarge the butt section of your leader. Hope this helps
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the replies. Sounds like: pick your target and gear up appropriately, given you can still turn over the fly.

Lately I've been throwing the 6wt mostly with the largest fish being tarpon in the 30lb range. Quite fun on the 6wt. I land them in about 10 min and the water is deep (relatively - it's 6 ft or so) so the fish release ok.

When the wind blows or when I'm throwing a gurgler I use the 8wt.

Trial and error seems to be working. I'm catching some fish so I guess I'm doin alright!

Thanks again for the input, this place is great for information.
 

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Your fly size has the same relation a nail does to a hammer - trying to drive a big nail with a tack hammer won't work at all (and a great big heavy hammer isn't exactly what's needed for a one inch wire brad..). When I'm fishing a 7wt I try to keep my bugs to size #1 or smaller (but have done okay with a size 1/0 when the wind allows...). For 1/0 and 2/0 bugs I'm wanting an 8 or 9wt... the 9wt if the fly is bulky and needs a bit of work to get out there... !0wts are for any fly up to around a 3/0 - but better with something in the 2/0 range. By the way out in open bays we've done well with tarpon up to 80lbs on just a 10wt... (most that see an 80lb tarpon on the fly swear it's a 100lb fish....). Bigger fish, as well as bigger flies - then you're in 11 or 12wt territory as far as I'm concerned.....
 
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