Some anglers prefer to use a small swivel to connect the leader to the wire tippet, or some form of snap link to
connect the fly to the trace. It is vital to make connections which will stand up to the rigours of repeated fly
casting, and the strain of playing large fish. Snaps and swivels should be of the best quality you can obtain and
should have a minimum breaking strain of 30 lbs or more.
It is possible to use knots to make all the necessary connections. The leader should be connected to the fly line
with a needle (or nail) knot and the wire tippet connected to the leader using an Albright Knot. Depending on
your choice of wire, there are a number of methods by which you can attach the eye of a snap link or a hook
to the wire tippet:
Uncoated 49 strand wire, 'Pike fly' wire or Braided wire; Bowline knot.
Most pike flies are tied on large single hooks. To aid unhooking, use barbless hooks. You can remove barbs by crushing
them down with pliers, or filing them flat. Some flies have a weed guard, which minimise the risk of snagging up in weedy
Many saltwater fly patterns will catch pike. However, it is best to avoid stainless steel hooks as these will not rot away
in the event that you unable to retrieve a fly.
A large landing net is vital. Although many pike anglers land their fish by hand, the length and flexibility of a fly rod makes
this less practical for the fly fisherman. Round or pear shaped nets (as often sold as Lure nets) should have a diameter
of at least 30 inches. Alternatively a bow framed triangular net with 42 inch arms may be used. The net should have a
soft knotless mesh.
It is important to carry a pair of long nosed forceps for hook removal. 'Hook-out' tools are a good alternative, and many
pike anglers find that long nosed pliers give good purchase on the hook shank. In the event that a fish is awkwardly
hooked, a pair of side cutters will enable the hook to be cut and removed in two pieces.
Personal and Public Safety
Always wear suitable eye protection when fly fishing.
Always wear a life jacket or buoyancy aid when going afloat.
Always be mindful of the presence of others; especially when casting.
Pike Handling and Welfare
You can find detailed information about pike handling and welfare, and the need for pike conservation elsewhere on this
To find out more about the finer details of fly-fishing for pike visit www.pikeflyfishing.co.uk