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Fly/ Bubble fishing
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Chris Melhuish
(ckm554) - F
Fly/ Bubble fishing on 09/28/2010 15:14:54 MDT Print View

Hi, I'm new to fishing and I want a simple cheap setup for sierra fishing in lakes (mostly backcountry) and an occasional stream...I understand the "fly and bubble" method is good but have no idea what equipment is necessary. What kind of rod/reel would I need for the bubble and fly fishing (link would be great ).As you can see I don't know much about fishing equipment and there are so many types of rods out there its hard to find what you need........ Thanks!

Paul Gibson
(pgibson) - F

Locale: SW Idaho
Re: Fly/ Bubble fishing on 09/28/2010 16:00:40 MDT Print View

Hey Chris, I have been playing with the fly and bubble game a bit this year with great success here in Idaho. You really don't need anything special to make it work. Any rod and reel combo will get it done. If yo are not looking for a super compact rod then hit walmart for a $20 set, they have some bubbles as well. I like the kind that have a bit of silicone tube inside that twist into place. Looks like this:


Then a few dry flies and a few wet ones and you are set. I rig it up kind of like this but ship the swivel to make it a little easier to set up and take down.

set up

Here is a little brook I took out of a lake a couple weeks ago with this set up and a black woolly bugger.brook

You can find colapsable or short section rods a fishing stores and out door stores like Cabelas or sportsman's warehouse for reasonable (20-50 bucks) and then just find a small reel. I picked up a small Shakespeare reel for under 20 that is only about 3.5 oz.

Curt Peterson
(curtpeterson) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Fly and Bubble on 09/29/2010 09:15:16 MDT Print View

I've been using a fly and bubble setup almost exclusively the past few years. It really is a great setup for alpine lake fishing - especially with shoreline brush like we have in the Cascades and Olympics. If we had a lot of stream or river fishing I'd be all over a Tenkara setup, but for mountain lake fishing the fly and bubble is hard to beat. Paul's setup is a pretty good one.

If you can find a fly rod to use this system with, you'll get some shocking casting distance. An 8 or 9 foot rod with a pretty soft flex can launch a bubble so far you'll clear the spool on a lightweight spinning reel. I use the more traditional bubble below for two reasons: 1) It seems to fly a little better. The tubing one Paul shows is awesome for being able to keep your rod rigged. It can stay attached and collapse with the rod. I've found it "tumbles" on the cast, though, and I'm more likely to get tangles and it almost certainly reduces distance. And 2) when you hook a fish the fish will pull the bubble underneath the water so it's fighting you and the bubble. No big deal if it's just about catching fish, but the traditional bubble that doesn't attach to the line like the tubing bubble does will stay on the surface and the fish pulls the line through it as it runs, dives, and fights. This gives a much better "feel". All the twists of and turns of the catch are between you, the rod, and the fish. The submerged bubble can dampen that quite a bit depending on the size of the fish and the size of the bubble.

Both work great, both have advantages and disadvantages. If you can find it, there's a great book called "Fish Don't Think" that is easily the best fly and bubble publication I've ever seen. Tailored 100% for mountain lake fishing with this method.

Traditional Bubble:Bubble

Paul Gibson
(pgibson) - F

Locale: SW Idaho
Re: Fly and Bubble on 09/29/2010 10:02:13 MDT Print View

Curt makes some good points that I believe I have noticed as well. I do think you can get greater distance with the style bubble that he shows. What I did not like was the amount of rigging that goes into using the swivels to rig the line. Cutting off some line to set up the fly and tying on the swivel is not to big of deal if you are going to be at one lake for the day, but breaking it all down and then setting it all back up 2 or 3 times in an afternoon got tiresome to me. The other think I did not like was having all those swivels loose in my box, inevitably they got spilled. Picking up a few flies is one thing finding all those little swivels in the dirt sucks. The other issue I had with the second style bubble is that they seem a bit lighter duty in the way they are maid, I broke a couple of them when the line bumped a rock and it split open at the center joint, the ones I pictured above seem heavier duty.

But I am still really just experimenting with how to really make it work and am still trying out different set ups. Still looking for the best one for me. So far I have done quite well with it and have caught more fish than any other way I have tried in alpine lakes.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Fly/ Bubble fishing on 09/29/2010 11:28:02 MDT Print View

My Dad made us start fishing with a fly and bubble exclusivly in the early 70s. I can't see any reason to do anything else, especially at a lake. I only do it when the fish are hitting the surface, and use a spinning rod. I've never used the kind of bubbles with the rubber band in them, and never had one break. The swivel can be a pain if you take everything apart a few times a day, I just leave it all rigged up, wrap the fly and leader around a piece of cardboard, and collapse the rod.

David Passey
(davidpassey) - F

Locale: New York City
Re: Fly and Bubble on 09/29/2010 16:25:49 MDT Print View

I also use the more traditional bubble. Filled with water, you can fish wet flies quite deep, when the fish are deep. This works with very small nymphs and large wet flies.

I do like that red bead, though. I think I will add that to my typical set-up. A flash of red is always a good thing.

Edited by davidpassey on 09/29/2010 16:33:04 MDT.