Thumbing it to Andros South

It’s about quality over quantity. Unless you’re standing on a flat with an empty fly box.

With all the chatter about what a pain in the rear it is to fly nowadays, I decided to stack the deck in my favor by doing FIBFest with the minimal amount of stuff possible. I’m carrying just one bag, a 2,600 duffle, and going as cheaply as possible on everything besides rod, reel and line. The goal is to do the entire week without borrowing a single item from either the other FIBFesters or our gracious host (other than maybe a little CPU time). Here is the packing list:

bonefishing gearThe Essentials

  • Scott S4S rods(1) in #6, #8, and #10, in a heavy duty postal mail tube
  • Lamson Litespeed reels in 3X, 3.5X, and 4, plus some spare parts for each(2) (’cause I often leave reels directly behind the tires of trucks that are about to back up)
  • RIO Bonefish 6(3), Rio Tropical Clouser 8, Rio Redfish 8 (for when I trash the Tropical Clouser in the mangroves), and Rio Saltwater Tropical F/I 10(3)
  • Roughly 1,100 yards of 30# gelspun backing (don’t be a sissy, you fingers are going to get cut anyway)
  • A leader wallet with roughly a dozen tapered flouro and Toothy Critter jobbies in it, and spools of CFX flouro in 6#, 8#, 10#, 12#, 15# and 20#
  • A hundred flies in a five buck Plano box that doubles as bass bug storage, and another small ($3) Plano box for when we’re on foot

I’ll note that I’m carrying way more flies than I’ll probably need, but it’s a pretty wide assortment, including some weightier stuff for deeper water. Last time around Norman gave me a nice ribbing for not being prepared when we shot over to the West Side, and goodness knows I cave under pressure as it is.

The Essential Non-Essentials

  • Two pairs of lightweight nylon pants, one of which has been to China and back
  • Two plain white long sleeve shirts I picked up at the Sport’s Authority outlet, and have already bloodied up on a trip
  • Two pairs of white poly socks I picked up at the same place
  • One lightweight fleece pulled out of the reject bin at TJ Maxx
  • One pair of shorts, and one quick-dry button-down fishing shirt with a big rip down the side (the shirt needs to be quick dry for when I spill my Jack ‘n Cokes on it)
  • Two poly t-shirts I snagged off of Sierra Trading Post the day after the website opened
  • A packable rain jacket
  • One pair of Simms flats sneakers, model year circa 2005
  • A 320 cu. in. fanny pack I found on Amazon closeout
  • A pair of clamps and a fifty-cent nippers
  • A camera that doesn’t take very good pictures, but has survived saltwater excursions
  • A Seal Line Black Canyon dry bag the doctors put me in when I was born
  • A couple of Buffs, a tube of SPF 50, and a ratty cap I tore the logo off of
  • A toothbrush and some toothpaste (if the other participants in this party are lucky)

I’m stuffing these meager stocks in a Fishpond Prairie Grass Kit Bag(4). It’s the type of bag usually reserved for day trips to tailwaters, but I think it is capable of a week’s worth of work. And I’m wearing a silk bathrobe on the plane.


You forgot the laptop! No I didn’t. I’m leaving it behind, despite the fact this is a media affair – I’m going to use an iPad for blog updates instead. In the interest of full disclosure, I ordered the unit with this shindig in mind, but between the time I hit the buy button and the time it arrived I wandered into the local Best Buy and played around with one for a bit. The unit was larger than I’d imagined, but despite that size I found myself fumbling on the virtual keyboard – in other words, there was immediate buyer’s remorse. Add the need for a case and a camera adapter, and I was loathed to take it out of the box. Eventually, however, I did, and once I got the right applications on it (like an RSS reader, a photo editor, and an FTP client), as well as tweaking email for IMAP access, I was able to at least feign impression.

If all else fails, there’s always WordPress for Blackberry.

MG signing off (hoping I didn’t forget anything)

NOTES: Thanks to (1) Scott Fly Rods, (2) Waterworks-Lamson, (3) RIO Products and (4) Fishpond. Also, very special thanks to Kara Armano of Backbone Media.

UPDATE: I’ve aced the postal mail tube in favor of a four-inch travel tube, and have added a stick of insect repellent. What a whussie, eh? And, I tied up a half-dozen leaders and aced the spare spools.


Ummm…underwear? Please?

Uh…airlines have a weight limit. And I think I might be close to it even without my Hanes.

Bjorn says:

Ah… bold move… going all minimalist, but looking at your vice, I should expect nothing less, I suppose. I saw the flats boots, but what do you put between your boots and your skin?

You are clearly way out in front in terms of your packing… time to step up my game.

Those poly socks. Anything more might be comfortable!

Kyle says:

Since we’re on the same flights, and you’re wearing a robe, you better either look like ‘the dude’, or I’m not sitting anywhere close to you.

No worries…I’ll be out like a light ten seconds after takeoff. Just don’t think that’s an opportunity to go rifling through my fly box.

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

– da Vinci

Impressive, but I’d have to agree w/Andrew. And I’d still need to find a place for Backwoods and whiskey.

I’m siding with Windknot on this one pal.

WindKnot says:

Leave the flouro behind. Go mono and save a few bucks for a bigger tip (or to settle up at the bar). Either way, the bones don’t care. Plus there’s that article in Salwater that said how flouro has less abrasion resistance, not more.

Oh, and underwear in entirely overrated… until you do a bumpy crossing in those mesh “hangalls” that are inside fishing pants and have to stand or lay sideways for a week. Bouncy boat + loose nuts = bad time.

The Dude would never own an iPad.

I’d happily try something else for leader, but I already have stocks in hand. And the stuff I’m using hasn’t failed me yet. In fact, I’ve never really had failure problems in this game, except when it comes to failing to keep the hooked fish out of the shark’s mouth.

The Dude would immediately trade the iPad for a new rug, a fact that haunts me every time I turn the thing on.

WindKnot says:

I didn’t mean to sound judging. Just saying that the actual fish don’t care. After that folks should fish whatever they want.

Fishing, like Scotch, should be enjoyed any way you like it. In the immortal words of the online sage I once read, “If I enjoy my scotch blended with strawberry kool aid from the navel of an asian hooker, then by George that’s the right way”… or something to that effect.

Anyone likes flouro, or just has a shit load of it lying around, they should fish it. Period.

As for a new rug, I’d hang mine on the wall to avoid all the pink kool aid stains.

Bjorn says:

I’ve never tried scotch like that… I might like it.

Me neither. But I’d probably leave the rug where it is, and hang the bottle on the wall. The question is…

With flouro or mono?

WindKnot says:

I say it doesn’t matter, just like it doesn’t matter whether you fish one of those new magic Hardy Sintrex rods for somewhat over 1/2 a grand or a hundred dollar Wallyworld stick. You might care, but the fish almost certainly don’t.

My personal feeling is other than being a little stiffer (and sure, sure, smaller in diameter for it’s breaking strength) it’s no different than mono…except for costing more. No wait, it also doesn’t stretch as much and is supposed to have a refraction index closer to that of water. Still it is certainly not invisible. There’s a LOT of math involved (which I found here: and click on “Download Fluoro_present”) but being as I’m an artist and angler, I’ll trust the scientists. From what I understand it’s because line is a cylinder, and therefore magnifies the light passing through it, rendering it visible.

WindKnot says:

ooooh, wait, you were talking about the rug… couldn’t help myself.

Yea…now I’m actually thinking of tying the kool-aid mix packet to the wall with mono, and tying the gal to the rug with flouro.

And saving the scotch for the purists.

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