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Thread: How do you fish beads? Technique, rigging, rod choice, etc...

  1. #1
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Default How do you fish beads? Technique, rigging, rod choice, etc...

    I am heading to the Upper Kenai in mid Sept for some rainbow fishing. Figure I will be fishing beads a good bit, but this is a new technique for me. To date, I have only limited experience fishing beads. I wanted to ask how you fish beads. Surely there are different approaches used. Perhaps by sharing some insights here we can learn something. By we, I mean I, but you get the point

    Feel free to include...



    How you rig your bead/hook/strike indicator?


    What type of fly line and leader do you use?


    What rod you prefer for bead fishing? (wt/length)


    What basic technique you employ?


    What types of water you look for?


    What size bead do you use most often?


    How long do you fish a non-productive bead before changing color/size?








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    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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    Member G_Smolt's Avatar
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    Beads - the bare naked truth.

    The rest of your questions are either personal preference (rod wt/sz) or impossible to answer in short form (the last 3).

    Short story for beads: a lot of folks have a lot of different methods, but past the "peg a bead on a line, with a hook and some shot; make a cast; if it stops, jerk" advice, there is a lot of room for personal expression.

    Basic Kenai rig is 10ft leader, 18" tippet, with lb/test a personal preference sorta thing...Splitshot goes on at the leader/tippet connection. Hook make/style/size is personal preference, but you don't need larger than sz4. How you tie on your hook and peg your bead is also personal preference...once again, some ways are better than others, but they all work to some degree. Slap an indicator on at the flyline/leader junction, and you are off to the races. Indicator choice? Personal preference once again.

    I had good success in last year's high water with a 12' 14-12lb full-fluoro leader, no indicator, sz 7 shot, 24" 8lb tippet, 6mm handpainted bead pegged 1.5" above a snelled sz6 Owner ssw cutting point on 8# sunline fluoro fished on a 7wt 11' winston bIIx with 7wt sharkskin magnum taper. My boat rig was identical leader-wise, 1" thingamabobber indicator, sz 5 shot, 18" 10lb tippet, same bead setup, fished on a 7wt 10' winston bIIx with 7wt Rio grand.

    Check out the article if you haven't already...Mike lays it out pretty well.

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    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Ill give you the scoop around the fire the night before we hit the river the 1st time together. My first thing is. fish them in the water. I run 10ft of leader. Straight mono, 12lb test. Bead 2 inches above the hook pegged with a toothpick. Strike indicator/bobercator where my mono and fly line meets.

    Flip drift mend
    flip drift mend
    Set the hook
    Take picture
    release fish
    flip again

    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alaskachuck View Post

    My first thing is. fish them in the water.

    There is one in every group

    I will look forward to it man. Just bored now and in need of something to read. I have worn the lettering off my G, O, O, G, L, and E buttons lately. Hit a dry spell it seems. I did order Gunnar Pederson's "Kenai River" book and a map of the Upper Kenai from the forum store just tonight. Gunnar is the man. His "Alaska Fishing" book is among my all time favorites. Can't wait to get another one of his books. Might help keep me sane till spring.




    G Smolt,

    Good info as always man.

    I do appreciate it and the link to www.alaskaflyfishinggoods.com

    They have the nicest website I have ever seen for a fly shop.

    Brad and the guys at that fly shop in Juneau are awesome. Just no better place to buy flies from. Their egg sucking Hareball leech is THE fly for trophy dollies.






    .
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  5. #5
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    thread bead on line, tie on hook put some splitshot somewhere, maybe an indicator (usually not) mend mend mend.

    pegging is overrated, its all about mending and getting a good drift, the only time I peg is when I am fishing to a fish that I need a weighted nymph below my bead to get a good drift, or if I want to fish a nymph and a bead in single hook waters.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    Member TYNMON's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak_powder_monkey View Post
    thread bead on line, tie on hook put some splitshot somewhere, maybe an indicator (usually not) mend mend mend.

    pegging is overrated, its all about mending and getting a good drift, the only time I peg is when I am fishing to a fish that I need a weighted nymph below my bead to get a good drift, or if I want to fish a nymph and a bead in single hook waters.

    Lets just say I would fish against anyone with a pegged bead vrs a unpegged and hands down the pegged bead will out fish any unpegged bead.

    Other thoughts... The less weight the better, the smaller the shot the better, evenly space the shot, and try not to exceed 18" of leader and maximize the distance to the hook from the bead (2" is legal 3" is perfect, oh well). Long light leaders minimize the amount of leader needed, use heavier tippets then the leader and use light long butt sections to minimize taper to leader diameter.

    While just any bead will work there are magic colors of course, but more importantly bead fishing is a very very technical type of nymphing and very subtle changes in leader diameter, length, amount of weight used, and of course how well u mend will all effect success rates.

  7. #7
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TYNMON View Post
    Lets just say I would fish against anyone with a pegged bead vrs a unpegged and hands down the pegged bead will out fish any unpegged bead.
    I'll take that bet
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  8. #8
    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    YOUR ON I want in on this one and I am a pegger
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

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    Member jakec5253's Avatar
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    Default unpegged

    If you don't peg the bead, doesn't it slide the length of your tippet? Wouldn't that make it more likely to hook a fish outside the mouth, possibly the eyes or gills? Or is there something I am not seeing here?

    Jake
    All the romance of trout fishing exists in the mind of the angler and is in no way shared by the fish.

  10. #10
    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jakec5253 View Post
    If you don't peg the bead, doesn't it slide the length of your tippet? Wouldn't that make it more likely to hook a fish outside the mouth, possibly the eyes or gills? Or is there something I am not seeing here?

    Jake

    Im on the same thought as you Jake. Alot of guys will tie a "knot" a couple of inch's above the hook and let the bead slide up from there. If we are talking the kenai too remember guys, as was stated in an earlier thread, 2 inches minimum bead above hook pegged or not.

    I dont think they are getting any bad hook up with the bead floating as long as it cannot get down to the tp of the hook
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

  11. #11
    Member jakec5253's Avatar
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    Default 2 inches

    You mean 2" or less above the hook?

    The following is from page 11 of the sport fishing regs

    In flowing waters of West Cook Inlet, Kenai Peninsula, Anchorage Bowl,
    Knik Arm, and Susitna River drainages (Cook Inlet drainage flowing
    waters) attractors (beads) when used with a fly, lure, or bare hook must
    be either fixed within two inches of the hook or free sliding on the line
    or leader


    Jake
    All the romance of trout fishing exists in the mind of the angler and is in no way shared by the fish.

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    Member big_dog60's Avatar
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    What do you mean by "mend"?

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    Member jakec5253's Avatar
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    Default mending

    mending is keeping the belly of your line upstream of your indicator/fly, which gives a more drag free drift.
    All the romance of trout fishing exists in the mind of the angler and is in no way shared by the fish.

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    Member TYNMON's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak_powder_monkey View Post
    I'll take that bet
    "Oh how unwise of choice that is."

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    Member TYNMON's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big_dog60 View Post
    What do you mean by "mend"?
    Drag free drift, keep the line directly above the indicator upstream and pace the rest of the line for the speed of the drift. Overmending is a non indicater technique, called greasing. So, don't have all you line above your indicator tight, a series of "S" is prefered.

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    Member G_Smolt's Avatar
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    There is no point in making a good cast, setting up a good drift, mending carefully and watching your indicator if your bead is riding against the hook.

    I have beaded for trout, dollies, and steelhead in many regions of AK, BC, WA, and OR, and if I have learned one thing over the years, it is PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR BEAD PLACEMENT. If it has slid down against the hook, you are not fishing effectively. Wary fish will approach your bead, intent upon eating it, but will balk at the last second. The only explanation that I have for this is that the hook is the "unnatural" aspect of the rig, triggering the refusal. This theory has been tested countless times while sight-fishing...fish doesn't take, doesn't take again, still refuses...check the rig - dang. Ok, slide the bead back up, make another cast, and Whammo.

    Pay attention to your bead. Keep it 1-2" from the hook. If it is painted and it chips, switch it out. If the bead itself chips, switch it out.

    Will you catch any fish at all if your bead is unpegged? Sure, there are dumb fish out there...But why be a dumb angler?

  17. #17
    Member TYNMON's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by G_Smolt View Post
    There is no point in making a good cast, setting up a good drift, mending carefully and watching your indicator if your bead is riding against the hook.

    I have beaded for trout, dollies, and steelhead in many regions of AK, BC, WA, and OR, and if I have learned one thing over the years, it is PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR BEAD PLACEMENT. If it has slid down against the hook, you are not fishing effectively. Wary fish will approach your bead, intent upon eating it, but will balk at the last second. The only explanation that I have for this is that the hook is the "unnatural" aspect of the rig, triggering the refusal. This theory has been tested countless times while sight-fishing...fish doesn't take, doesn't take again, still refuses...check the rig - dang. Ok, slide the bead back up, make another cast, and Whammo.

    Pay attention to your bead. Keep it 1-2" from the hook. If it is painted and it chips, switch it out. If the bead itself chips, switch it out.

    Will you catch any fish at all if your bead is unpegged? Sure, there are dumb fish out there...But why be a dumb angler?
    G smolt u hit the figurative G spot on the above post... nice work and well said!

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    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jakec5253 View Post
    If you don't peg the bead, doesn't it slide the length of your tippet? Wouldn't that make it more likely to hook a fish outside the mouth, possibly the eyes or gills? Or is there something I am not seeing here?

    Jake
    in my experience the hook and bead are an inch or two apart unpegged and I've never hooked a fish on an unpegged bead anywhere but the inside of the lip or corner of the mouth, I cannot say the same for pegged beads
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  19. #19
    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    I can HONESTLY say I peg my beads about 2" above the hook and so does my wife and so does everbody I fish in my boat. "I fish a lot of newbies". In the 5+ years on the Kenai all but maybe 3 have been hooked in the mouth. The other 3 were dollies that slammed the bead and it was a late set and they got snagged below the jaw. I can live with those Odd's without losing sleep at night
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

  20. #20
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by G_Smolt View Post
    Will you catch any fish at all if your bead is unpegged? Sure, there are dumb fish out there...But why be a dumb angler?
    Fishing beads unpegged works just fine, if you make a good drift, its all about the drift, I've watched hundreds of trout while fishing beads I have yet to see one charge at the bead and reject it last second if the drift is good, if the drift is bad then that happens. And this is sight fishing to some of the most pressured trout in the state.

    You are right though when your pegged bead is pegged against the hook it doesn't catch as many fish, not pegging your bead solves this problem, as your casting will not pin the bead against the hook.

    Lastly an unpegged bead saves you time and frustration allowing you to keep your rig in the water longer. The more time spent fishing the more fish you will catch. If anyone is keen to test these theories I'll be fishing the Russian in late august see you suckers there
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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