30- Hunting the Top Predator - Pike Fly Fishing

 Get yourself ready to go out and hunt the top predator in our freshwaters. With the change in the season upon us it is time to rearm ourselves for the coming challenges of some Pike Fly Fishing. For those of you who are very familiar with the tell-tale shake of the head on hook up with a Pike it is clear that big lines, rods and flies are a must. The first visual take on the fly will never leave you. So give it a go and hopefully we will see you on the bank soon.

For those of you that fancy a go at pike fly fishing here are a few simple steps to help get you on the way and consider when planning a Pike Trip.

  1. Stripping Basket

Where are you going to be fishing? Wherever you are it will make a big difference to have your line dropping somewhere you know. Stripping the line into a basket will allow you to concentrate on the cast and the water rather than untangling from the weeds and vegetation. Especially useful when fishing the banks of canals and stillwaters where the weeds and vegetation can be dense.

  1. Strong Forceps

Don’t get caught out. Long strong forceps are very important when handling pike. The slightest nip from a Pike with its teeth can draw blood and keeping the fingers out of the way is certainly aided by the use of good forceps.  

Despite being large robust fish, Pike need to be handled with care. Make sure their weight is well supported if out of the water and give them time to recover. Avoid overhandling and minimize time spent unhooking. A good set of forceps will help this.


  1. Tough Tackle - 9# Rod and deep reels

Change up. Light tackle is not an option when going after big pike. It will take tough gear to make sure you are best equipped to handle any hook up. Larger rods are best with reels capable of holding lot of line giving you the option to play out the intense runs from a pike.

Some strong backing line is another core item to ensure your set up is read.

The Fairplayfly fishing outfit features a 4 piece composite blank which is perfectly matched with our preloaded graphite matrix composite reel. The strong, lightweight rod is fitted with a hook keeper.  The reel has a solid drag system and a quick release spool button. The kits are preloaded with 65 feet of WF floating fly line and 150 feet of backing. Perfect for the beginner fly fisher or as that extra combo you might pack for a spare.

Stong backing is very important. 

  1. WF Line - designed for heavy flies

For calmer waters a floating line will do a great job. For those waters where the flow is heavier and the river has been swelled by rainfall a sinking line can help get the fly to where it is needed. If you are looking for a lighter feeling on the cast perhaps an intermediate line with a weighted fly will work.

Don’t forget to change the length of your leader with the type of line you use. Shorter leader in general for sinking lines and longer for floating. A shorter wire will help prevent your sinking line going down quicker than your fly.

cast to the middle of the river mending the line to give the fly chance to sink in the flow and let it drift into the margin followed by a very slow retrieve



WATER: Freshwater

LINE: Floating

LENGTH: 90ft

CORE: Braided Nylon Multifilament 

  • Weight Forward
  • Ultra Supple
  • Front Welded Loop
  1. Stong Fluoro leader - 4ft

When fishing for pike leader material is one of those bits of kit that needs special attention. Not only do Pike get big and strong, and live in places that are ideal for snagging, but they have incredibly sharp teeth. For this reason it is essential to use an absolute minimum strength of 15lb leader materials. Better still is to use 20lb fluorocarbon- since pike are not line shy and there is no benefit to go any lighter.

  1. 25lb Wire Trace - 16 to 18" long

With incredible strength and a mouth full of sharp teeth a strong wire trace is very important. This will help you avoid breaking off during the midst of the fight. Keep the wire trace longer than you might think. This gives you flexibility in reworking the line after a few fights when ironing our any kinks or damage and not loose the overall length. A longer wire will also help avoid the pike wrapping itself up and cutting off.

  1. The Pike Fly - 4" to 9"

Make sure you have a good range of pike flies in the box. Some natural flies suited to the location you are fishing is ideal. This will match what is in the water and what the Pike are feeding on. Another thing to keep in mind is the type of water and weather you are in. On those darker days try some flies that will provide a nice silhouette on the surface and a bit of flash and colour will add some attention-grabbing movement in murkier water.




Stupid Boys


  1. Tips and Advice

Before you set out try to hook up with someone that knows a bit about pike fishing or watch a few pike handling videos, its no good catching these wonderful creatures if you cant handle them and return them safely to fight another day.

Titelines all.