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Devils River rig

Posted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 2:37 pm
by bigmurph
Hello all,

I'm heading out to the Devils River at the end of the month, and am already day-dreaming about catching big smallmouth out there. I've done this float before, so this post isn't so much about the river itself as it is rigging for bass in general, but here's a picture to keep you interested...


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I have two rod/reel combos big enough for the Devils. Last year I brought a rod/reel with a floating line and a Rio bass leader. I let my cousin use my other set up that had an intermediate line. The first day was filled with some great top water action during which my rig performed well. However, the bite on top tapered off as we went down river so I switched to some big streamer patterns (mainly crawfish). I had little luck on these streamers, but cousin with the intermediate line was doing pretty well. My guess is that once my fly finally got down, I would strip it in at various speeds, and I could watch my fly follow the fly line towards the surface instead of pulling it along the bottom. The amount of quality time my fly spent in the strike zone (deep) was seriously limited by not having an intermediate sinking line. another picture...

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I'll be going again this year and unfortunately I still only have the same two rigs available. I've been looking at some interchangeable-tip systems. I want something that I can throw onto my main floating line that can make it act more like an intermediate line. I've especially been eyeing the product below:

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I can't find much information about the product above, but since it has loops on both ends I think I should be able to loop that intermediate tip to the floating line, then the leader to the end of the intermediate tip. Ex: Main line-----intermediate tip-----leader----tippet----fly. Would that be more trouble than it's worth? I'm worried having a double-jointed rig might be difficult to cast. Should I just get a sinking leader to attach to the floating line?

Any and all advice on this would be greatly appreciate. And for all of those nice enough to read my entire post, for your viewing pleasure here's a smallmouth that smashed a deer-hair popper during my trip last year...

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Thanks!

Re: Devils River rig

Posted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 3:21 pm
by weightforward
Congrats on your trip! It's been far too long since I've been to the Devils.

I say get an extra spool for one of your reels and slap a sinking line on it, that way you'll have it all.

I like the Teeny and Rio sinking lines, and use both a Teeny 5' mini sink tip and Rio 24' 200gr sink tip on my 6wt. My fav is a Teeny 100gr on my 3wt. The dark line isn't as sneaky as a clear intermediate (a real asset/consideration on the Devils), but a type 5 or 6 ips line will sink much faster, and does a better job of keeping your fly down, especially with faster retrieves. I tend to use longer leaders and lighter lines in clearer waters with super spooky fish.

For the add-on tips, I would try before you buy, if at all possible, as casting / hinging / line marriage may be an issue. I've also experimented with the weighted leaders (versileader), and while they do get your fly down faster, a floating 6wt can pull them up out of the zone with a moderate or faster retrieve, depending on the weight of the fly.

Oh, and a deer hair popper or slider or *dahlberg diver* on a sinking line is one of my fav ways to fish for bass.

Re: Devils River rig

Posted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 3:55 pm
by bigmurph
Great advice Weightforward. I knew in the back of my head the best way to go was a completely new line, but I was hoping to take the easy was out! :mrgreen: If I did decide to purchase an intermediate/sinking line for this Devils trip, I would also want to use it on the Lower Colorado below Austin. For use beyond the Devils, would you still recommend the Rio 24' 200gr sink tip?

Thanks again!

Re: Devils River rig

Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 10:29 am
by weightforward
bigmurph wrote: If I did decide to purchase an intermediate/sinking line for this Devils trip, I would also want to use it on the Lower Colorado below Austin. For use beyond the Devils, would you still recommend the Rio 24' 200gr sink tip?
Yes, I even have 300gr full sink too, and caught a state record smallmouth buffalo on it near Webberville in October - max'd out a 25# scale. :) Glad I brought the 8wt that day.

I also use the 200gr in the salt (surf and guts), and in lakes (Lake Austin, Travis), and it can be **particularly effective on White Bass runs**. I try to use unweighted or floating flies (deer hair muddlers, etc) and/or flies that ride hook up (clouser), and/or lighter tippet if I know there is a lot of big sunken debris in the area, because you will get hung up a bunch. (I have only one trip down the LC without loosing a fly.)

Lighter fly, shorter leader (4-5'). Heavier fly, you can stay short or go with a longer leader (7-9') for spookier fish (Devils).

I have sinking lines in 3wt & 6wt 5' Teeny mini tips, a Teeny BS 100gr, a Teeny 130gr, a Rio 200gr 24' tip, and a Rio 300gr full sink, and I use them all over the place to get & stay deep. Teeny's are a bit cheaper, and have a wider range of lines, but I like the Rio coatings better. I also have a clear intermediate Rio Aqualux line that I like, and is the slickest line I have. Maybe others will chime in on the other lines and brands they like.

Re: Devils River rig

Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 10:58 am
by lhill
At Troutfest, Frank Smethhurst said that a non-slip mono loop knot will allow a fly to sink twice as fast as a tight fitting knot since it allows the fly to turn eye down instead of staying flat on the decent. Might help keep the fly down.

Nice pics, by the way.