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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,
I booked my first trip to Christmas Islands. And I never fish for GT but I will be trying soon! :)
I fish 8, 9, 10 rods but to be honest I am a little scare to buy and and cast 12 weight.
Of course chances that I hook a monster are rather slim (I am realistic) but If I do I do not want the stick to brake!
So, can I fish for GT safely with 11 weight or SHOULD I buy 12 weight definitively???
What brakes and what does not??? For example I am VERY happy with new Winston Air Salt in 8 and 10 but they are new toys on market and I have not idea how heavier Win Salt would handle some monster fish???? (wishful thinking :) )

Reel? I have few Nautilus and I believe I should be fine with CCCFX-2 10-12 or MOnster or Silver King... But I relay like new traditional cork drag Abel Super 12 or 12W.. Would it hold? Any thoughts?

Third problem is leader: I have Seaguar ACE but it is 60lb (0.74mm=0.029"). Perhaps I should use even ticker. Or just straight mono Mason (around 50-60lb/ 1mm). I also bought some nice stiff and cheap nylon Kastking. Feels nice, strong and stiff, but a little slippery.
I am thinking to fish mono leader with FC tippet but I tested some connecting knots and I have some reservation. Should i use unnecessary connections?

I have also issue with Perfection loops on thick butt. I am able to brake with hands (on two metal ring in hands). Any better connection of but and home made line loop.

Lots of questions bit please, whoever went to Kiribati and hooked some GTs, please send your suggestions/information/tips....I read all the books and articles but still need to make rod/leader decision at least. Is 11 sufficient most likely?.....

(as for lines I decided on SA Amplitude Big Water rather then RIO)
 

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Are you on foot? You either need a stout 11wt or 12wt. If you get a big one any of those reels will work but plan on using your palm for some extra drag. Make sure your knots are solid and know the exact core strength of your fly line. I live on the west coast and a lot of guys here fish the pacific for those things. The real giants are usually on traditional gear from boats. If for some reason you are going after those on fly then for sure 12wt.

My friend fishes big ones and he uses a 12wt and a big older islander reel. I think he gets the big ones around the marshall islands somewhere.
 

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Fly-By-Night
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I have a trip there planned in 2020, so I cannot speak from experience.

My philosophy is this.

I am not going to spend that kind of money, to go someplace under-gunned I will be taking rods in 8, 10, and 12wt with a back up for each, I will also have a backup reel for each rod weight. I will be taking Tibor reels (Glades/Riptide/Gulfstream) with enough spare parts and tools (penny,grease,screwdriver) to service the drag/guts/dogs on-site for each reel. I will also have spare fly lines in each weight, and backing in case something bad happens. There's a really good chance I will not need the backup or the parts, but I would hate to go there to fish and end up dropping that money on a sight seeing tour.

Cork drag Abels will give you the same capability, Nautilus will not because you can't take them apart.

Have not decided on my leader setup yet but will be watching ths for the responses. I was thinking I'd mimic my Tarpon setup or something close. Bimini to backing, permanent butt section leader (double nail knotted), and blood knots/improved blood knots the rest of the way down.

When are you going?
 

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If you are going on a trip of a lifetime to try and catch a fish of a lifetime I wouldn't cut any corners with gear. While I like sealed drags around home waters I would want a reel that I could work on like an Abel or Tibor. Don't cheap out on leader, find material that's proven. That's probably the cheapest part of the entire rig, might as well make sure it's as good as it can be. Test and break all your connections at home before you go so you know what it takes to make it fail.
 

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If you are fishing on a sponsors dime forget everything I said.
 

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Not an expert, but done Seychelles 2x and Christmas Island once...

If you had an 11 already, I would say just fish that and it will probably be fine.

If you are going to buy a new setup anyway, then I would buy a 12 (assuming you are a guy, but if you are a woman you might choose an 11 just for castability purposes).

For reels, again if you have something already (Gulfstream, Pacific, Abel Super 12, etc.) you will be fine. I have settled on fishing Makos for GTs personally. I would get something serious though...not skimp and buy something. If you are looking to keep the costs down would find a used Abel or Tibor on eBay.

For leaders, I would go a lot heavier. I fish 130 or 150lb Sufix straight. I would not go below 100lb. I don't think fluoro is necessary.

For fly lines, I have used Rio, SA, and Cortland. I have switched over to the Cortland for now...(there was another good discussion here a few months back on this topic).

For fly line connections, create a spliced mono loop (there's another thread in here on this topic) using 50lb Cortland braid. Worst case, do a triple nail knot with the fly line looped over itself.

Also, not to burst your bubble on Christmas Island but would temper expectations on # of fish. You are likely to only get a handful of shots in a week there for GTs. The week I was there, there was one big fish caught and a handful of smaller ones. I had one big one on that came unbuttoned and caught a few smaller fish but it's not a crazy GT fishery.
 

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When I decided it was time to go get my bucket list GT I did a ton of research. For CI an 11 wt is probably the way to go. Most GTs there are on the smaller side of things. They certainly do get some monsters there but in general they are not real big. A buddy of mine was there a year ago and he got a couple of shots and got one about 15#. So might as well be more comfortable casting. In fact a lot of guys are using 11s even in the Seychelles.

Leaders - straight 100 or 130# fluoro is what they use in the Seychelles. Its what I am throwing next month. The issue is you have to keep them from getting to the reef edge or its game over.
 

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there are some big fish in CXI, no doubt. there's a lot less overall though from what I could tell vs Seychelles. I hooked a >1meter fish and one guy caught a slob.

you are much more likely to hook a big GT in a very favorable fishing scenario in CXI, however. Outside of the Korean Wreck, most of the fishing is in the lagoon so a lot less treacherous and can let one run a bit more. Seychelles (mostly, or more likely) you are fishing the surf and the reef edge so I think you need more stout tackle there.

From my trips fishing Alphonse and Astove, they aren't usually using fluoro. Just Sufix 130 or 150.
 

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@Gorma is it ok if these guys post up their fly selections from these trips?

If not I understand, not trying to hijack your thread. Figured that is something else you'll be considering and I am definitely interested in.
 
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Hello,
I booked my first trip to Christmas Islands. And I never fish for GT but I will be trying soon! :)
I fish 8, 9, 10 rods but to be honest I am a little scare to buy and and cast 12 weight.
Of course chances that I hook a monster are rather slim (I am realistic) but If I do I do not want the stick to brake!
So, can I fish for GT safely with 11 weight or SHOULD I buy 12 weight definitively???
What brakes and what does not??? For example I am VERY happy with new Winston Air Salt in 8 and 10 but they are new toys on market and I have not idea how heavier Win Salt would handle some monster fish???? (wishful thinking :) )

Reel? I have few Nautilus and I believe I should be fine with CCCFX-2 10-12 or MOnster or Silver King... But I relay like new traditional cork drag Abel Super 12 or 12W.. Would it hold? Any thoughts?

Third problem is leader: I have Seaguar ACE but it is 60lb (0.74mm=0.029"). Perhaps I should use even ticker. Or just straight mono Mason (around 50-60lb/ 1mm). I also bought some nice stiff and cheap nylon Kastking. Feels nice, strong and stiff, but a little slippery.
I am thinking to fish mono leader with FC tippet but I tested some connecting knots and I have some reservation. Should i use unnecessary connections?

I have also issue with Perfection loops on thick butt. I am able to brake with hands (on two metal ring in hands). Any better connection of but and home made line loop.

Lots of questions bit please, whoever went to Kiribati and hooked some GTs, please send your suggestions/information/tips....I read all the books and articles but still need to make rod/leader decision at least. Is 11 sufficient most likely?.....

(as for lines I decided on SA Amplitude Big Water rather then RIO)
Gorma, If you don't mind sending me your contact info, I can have someone at my shop contact you [he just got back last week from his 7th trip to Christmas Island].
 

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Discussion Starter #11
First - THANK YOU and keep the tips cumming PLEASE.
Yeah, Of course I would like to see your flies and ask about size.. more like 4-5" or more like 8-10".. Would be happy to see flies that produced but I was afraid to ask way too much..

(MIke P- Of course I am sending my info via PM!!!!)
 

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Fly Fishing Shaman
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Hello,
I booked my first trip to Christmas Islands. And I never fish for GT but I will be trying soon! :)
I fish 8, 9, 10 rods but to be honest I am a little scare to buy and and cast 12 weight.
Of course chances that I hook a monster are rather slim (I am realistic) but If I do I do not want the stick to brake!
So, can I fish for GT safely with 11 weight or SHOULD I buy 12 weight definitively???
What brakes and what does not??? For example I am VERY happy with new Winston Air Salt in 8 and 10 but they are new toys on market and I have not idea how heavier Win Salt would handle some monster fish???? (wishful thinking :) )

Reel? I have few Nautilus and I believe I should be fine with CCCFX-2 10-12 or MOnster or Silver King... But I relay like new traditional cork drag Abel Super 12 or 12W.. Would it hold? Any thoughts?

Third problem is leader: I have Seaguar ACE but it is 60lb (0.74mm=0.029"). Perhaps I should use even ticker. Or just straight mono Mason (around 50-60lb/ 1mm). I also bought some nice stiff and cheap nylon Kastking. Feels nice, strong and stiff, but a little slippery.
I am thinking to fish mono leader with FC tippet but I tested some connecting knots and I have some reservation. Should i use unnecessary connections?

I have also issue with Perfection loops on thick butt. I am able to brake with hands (on two metal ring in hands). Any better connection of but and home made line loop.

Lots of questions bit please, whoever went to Kiribati and hooked some GTs, please send your suggestions/information/tips....I read all the books and articles but still need to make rod/leader decision at least. Is 11 sufficient most likely?.....

(as for lines I decided on SA Amplitude Big Water rather then RIO)
You decide!
 

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^^^ don't be like that guy please (chumming geets = not cool)
Hopefully they have figured out that chumming is a short term win but a long term mistake. Most places have stopped doing it unless specifically requested by the anglers. Some won't chum at all. There is, IMO, nothing wrong with chumming for species that require that for the fly angler to realistically get shots such as sharks off San Diego. But GTs are flats cruisers and you don't need to chum them. Wade and stalk or blind cast off the edges is the game for me.
 

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Hopefully they have figured out that chumming is a short term win but a long term mistake. Most places have stopped doing it unless specifically requested by the anglers. Some won't chum at all. There is, IMO, nothing wrong with chumming for species that require that for the fly angler to realistically get shots such as sharks off San Diego. But GTs are flats cruisers and you don't need to chum them. Wade and stalk or blind cast off the edges is the game for me.
yea, I don't think the major lodges (Villages, Ikari House) will chum for geets anymore but I know some of the mom and pop and independent places are still doing it. On my flight from CXI back to Hawaii sat next to another guy who had been fishing at a smaller/new lodge and we were talking...he said they fished all week without chumming and didn't catch any so the last day they chummed and caught a bunch of fish (i think he was a freshwater guy and didn't see anything wrong with it). so, I know for a fact it's still going on.

i also remember going buy one spot in the outrigger boat where I spotted 2 big fish and was pointing frantically at the guides and they were like "no those fish dont eat there, old chumming spot"

in addition to the chumming, they also have no issues popping or spin fishing in the lagoon which I bet has at least as much, if not more, of an impact as the chumming.

it is, of course, very short term thinking but it's hard to police there. it's a big island with a lot of people that have to eat...and many lodges. not a monopoly operation like seychelles where they can easily control the standards (barbless, no chumming, no spin fishing / popping, etc.)

edit: CXI was still great, hope it doesn't sound like I am bashing. but that's also part of the reason that the Seychelles are 4-7x more expensive...
 

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My boss at elk river guiding co. was in CXI in November. He used a 10 wt. Meridian for GTs. He hunted them all week and got into two or three, check out the shop's instagram feed or give them a call if you have questions.
The hardest part for him was not casting to the 8 pound bones that were swimming by on a regular basis. If you start doing that you know a GT will come within range as soon as you put away your big rod!
 

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My boss at elk river guiding co. was in CXI in November. He used a 10 wt. Meridian for GTs. He hunted them all week and got into two or three, check out the shop's instagram feed or give them a call if you have questions.
The hardest part for him was not casting to the 8 pound bones that were swimming by on a regular basis. If you start doing that you know a GT will come within range as soon as you put away your big rod!
This is why I don't feel like CI is a place to go for GTs. Go there to fish for bones and if you get a GT then great. But if you are specifically targeting GTs then you have better options.
 
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