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Thread: Kenai Flippin for Reds

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    Default Kenai Flippin for Reds

    I've been to Alaska a couple times now fishing for Salmon and this coming July will be my first time flippin for Sockeye in the Kenai. I'm looking for advice on rod and real gear (size, type, line) for this type of fishing in the Kenai near Soldotna.

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    Welcome to the site. There is a wealth of great information here. For this topic, I would recommend using the search function as it has been discussed many times before in other threads. More posts about flipping on the Russian but the gear is much the same. Enjoy your trip in July. I'm sure you'll have a great time.

    Scott

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    Quote Originally Posted by hoenshell View Post
    I've been to Alaska a couple times now fishing for Salmon and this coming July will be my first time flippin for Sockeye in the Kenai. I'm looking for advice on rod and real gear (size, type, line) for this type of fishing in the Kenai near Soldotna.
    "Must read" thread for any newbies to Kenai sockeye...
    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...es-for-sockeye
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
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    I have used it all, fly rod with mono and fly line, spinning, and bait casting. If I had one rig it would hands down be an 8"6 medium baitcasters with an Abu bait casting reel. 25 lb mono with a 4-6 foot leader and circle hook yarn fly. You can buy pretty much everything you need at trustworthy and believe it or not its cheaper up here than down in the lower 48.

  5. #5

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    I'm going to vote for an 8 to 10wt flyrod, a decent reel, spooled with straight 40lbs mono. But that's personal preference. The disclaimer is I am a meat fisherman when it comes to reds. The single action one to one reel allows me to point the rod at the salmon and just crank it in when snagged or hold on. Otherwise it's a great fight on the fly rod. Much better balanced, no handles to tangle your line in when flipping all day. You NEVER have to cast as far as you can reasonably flip for reds with a 8'6" or 9' fly rod. The balance makes it perfect for all day fishing.

    The other piece of advice is to NEVER use the coho flies that are 39 cents each or whatever. If you have to, keep a hook sharpener. Use premium hooks but make sure if you are fishing the upper Kenai or Russian that the Gap is acceptable. I have yet to try the circle hooks but I plan to. Remember it;s the line that hooks the fish. The actual hooks just make sure they stay hooked.

    The last piece of advice if you are new, is to visualize what is happening to the leader and hook. As you "flip" out, the sinker first sinks and hits the bottom. As it does that and you do nothing, the leader and hook fall towards the bottom but directly behind the sinker as the sinker snags bottom and hops around. Even if the fish strikes the fly (one in a hundred on anything but clear water) you still won't feel the strike until the sinker bounces past the fish and the line goes taught.

    What I believe you have to do is once you feel the sinker hit bottom, you must slowly pull the tip of the rod into the shoreline. What you are trying to do is keep the line between the sinker and hook as perpendicular to the shoreline as you can. I need to draw a diagram. But suffice it to say that if you flip your line out, and do nothing, the leader and hook will be directly downstream of the sinker. You are NOT going to line many fish (sorry that;s what happens on the Kenai) that way. The hook up ratio is directly proportional to the perpendicular footage between the sinker and hook that is at the right depth. ARGHHH... who else can explain this concept better. At any rate. Without doing math, my recommendation is to flip the gear out. once you feel the bottom with the sinker or a tad before, start sweeping your rod tip to shore. How fast depends on the current. For novices, a short leader helps to keep the fly in the right zone (say two to three feet). For the experienced angler's with the right "touch" a 8ft leader leader will out fish a 3 foot leader except in situations where the current is so fast that the fly can't get down properly with a long leader.

    Hmmm.... not sure I make any sense. Maybe someone else can help with the concept. But there is no doubt the 80/20 rule is true here. 20% of the anglers, catch 80% of the fish. Let's just say there is a reason. Observe and learn is probably the best advice.

  6. #6

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    I think you did a good job explaining it...the angle between the sinker/hook is what it's all about.
    Personally, I tend to use my baitcaster setup with 30 lb on the lower Kenai, and break out the flyrods up at the Russian.

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    Quote Originally Posted by live4chrome View Post
    I have used it all, fly rod with mono and fly line, spinning, and bait casting. If I had one rig it would hands down be an 8"6 medium baitcasters with an Abu bait casting reel. 25 lb mono with a 4-6 foot leader and circle hook yarn fly. You can buy pretty much everything you need at trustworthy and believe it or not its cheaper up here than down in the lower 48.
    Thanks, what model of Abu do you prefer? I've been to that Trustworthy's and I like it a lot!

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    Kardinal, thanks for all the great information! I do like the idea of a flyrod for all day action. I know baitcasters and will bring one with me, but I want to try the flyrod. What rod/reel would you recommend? Thanks again!

  9. #9

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    My main rod and reel is a mid end set up. Since I also use it for kings in smaller streams. It just happens to be a 10wt st croix with a scientific angler system 2. It all depends on how big of a crowd you are fishing in. It's a blast on a 6wt but in a crowd you are going to bum people out battling a red all day. I'd say 8wt at the light end. A 10wt combat fishing. With the reds in the mainstream of the Kenai, you could use 60lbs test and a 12wt and it won't be over gunned. Lol. You'll know when a fish is snagged after a fish or two. Better to just clamp down, point the rod at the fish and hope the hook comes out. Be careful though. Eye protection is mandatory. An oz of lead coming right back at you can definitely do some damage.

    Ditch the flyline, the big diameter just slows the sink rate down.


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  10. #10

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    True that; youre really matching your equipment more to the waters you'll be fishing than the fish themselves. Big fast water ( mainstem kenai) and busier spots means more muscle. I do have a two handed 12 wt i use in the lower river sometimes, w30-40 lb mono.
    Up at theRussian i still use a 10 wt... I dont see any reason to go lighter. Ditto the eye protection, its a must.


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