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Thread: Pongolo River Tigers: Budget fishing style.

  1. #1
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    Default Pongolo River Tigers: Budget fishing style.

    Hi guys.

    Planning a (budget) trip to the Pongola river somewhere in Sept-Oct this year. Not wanting to fish the dam itself, after hearing the distances involved casting and having to buy a 8wt for that far distances and the famous strong winds on the dam, and used to fishing the Vaal, so rivers are my favourite haunts vs. dams.

    I have a Horizon TRS 9ft 7# wt rod, and looking for a back-up, as the closest I have is a Xplorer classic 2 6/7# wt...... I know Urban's have a special on their Featherlite whisper rods, would a 7wt be alright? A TFO Axiom, BVK and profesional would be out of my current price class (went and bought a Sage VXP 5 wt and 3-tand TF50 reel) so back-up rod, if xplorer is not enough be not more than R2000. I have a Redington Rise 7/8 reel with floating line and will buy a extra spool for sinking line. Normal sinking or would a DI5 be better there? What size flies would work, 1/0 or smaller, and what patterns and colours?

    Many thanks.
    Dirk Human

    Flyfishing for yellows...the most fun a man can have, with his clothes on, while standing up, holding a bar of gold in your hands.

  2. #2
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    I think a 7wt should be fine. I don't think an 8wt will cast any further than a 7wt, unless you are going to be using large flies, but I think the standard run of the mill tiger flies, such as weighted clousers and decievers, should work fine. For tigers, forget about the rod and reel as the critical part of your tackle, sure, you need a decent rod, with a reel, your Horizon will be fine, but spend your money on the right line. For tigers you need a very heavy sinking grained line, the fastest sinker that you can find, perhaps a 30 grain shooting head sink tip should be the business. DI5 isn't ideal, you really need a faster sinker than that. I timed my sink tip line with an index of 16, which is more than 3 times faster than a DI5, so theres something to think about. Don't bother with a floating line, unless you see the fish working the surface and you decide to throw some poppers at them. Also learn how to rig up a wire trace , if you don't already know, and have some fun.
    Quote Originally Posted by Barbus13 View Post
    Hi guys.

    Planning a (budget) trip to the Pongola river somewhere in Sept-Oct this year. Not wanting to fish the dam itself, after hearing the distances involved casting and having to buy a 8wt for that far distances and the famous strong winds on the dam, and used to fishing the Vaal, so rivers are my favourite haunts vs. dams.

    I have a Horizon TRS 9ft 7# wt rod, and looking for a back-up, as the closest I have is a Xplorer classic 2 6/7# wt...... I know Urban's have a special on their Featherlite whisper rods, would a 7wt be alright? A TFO Axiom, BVK and profesional would be out of my current price class (went and bought a Sage VXP 5 wt and 3-tand TF50 reel) so back-up rod, if xplorer is not enough be not more than R2000. I have a Redington Rise 7/8 reel with floating line and will buy a extra spool for sinking line. Normal sinking or would a DI5 be better there? What size flies would work, 1/0 or smaller, and what patterns and colours?

    Many thanks.
    Last edited by Andre; 18-07-14 at 11:16 AM.
    Disclaimer.... none of my posts are intended to be "expert advice"..just opinions from someone who is willing to help where he can.

  3. #3
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    Hi Dirk...i dont think you need a very fast sinker.From what ive seen on tv,its a small river...so i would even think you get could away with an int line...they were catching fish on surface flies...I personally wouldnt fish less than a 2o....not sure what the natural baitfish is in the area..if you can find out copy that with clousers and brush flies you should be sorted...
    stephen is wishing he was fishing location x right now.......



    Stephen Smith

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andre View Post
    I think a 7wt should be fine... For tigers you need a very heavy sinking grained line, the fastest sinker that you can find, perhaps a 30 grain shooting head sink tip should be the business.
    So, you're going to chuck a 300grain line on a 7WT? Comfortably?

    Good luck with that.

    This isn't the Zambezi, it's a smaller river, during it's lowest flow of the season. Floater will be fine when sighting fish (the river is not that clean) but you need a DI5 full sink most of the time. A sink tip will work but as I said, it's not the Zambezi, the style of fishing is different.

    Leader : 5' 50lb Fluoro stepped down to 4' 26/22/20lb Fluoro with a swivelled trace of around 20-30cm to your fly.

    Your flies need to be properly weighted, if you battle with casting you will have a really trying time with keeping 2/0 Clousers with 5.5mm dumbbells aerialised on a 7WT, even on a canon of a rod, so your best bet would be 1/0 with 4mm dumbbells, however in the last few years I've spent there our take on fly sizes has changed, you definitely get better fish on bigger flies and I currently have an arsenal of 6/0 & 8/0 baitfish that regularly see swim time with the majority of the fishing being done in bigger Clouser patterns.

    In my opinion it's pointless to fish that river with unweighted flies, even in low flow conditions.

    Most importantly, you should take a boat, there are huge volumes of Crocodile in the river. It's not the Vaal, you don't wade it.
    "Hierdie drol het baie vlieŽ" - Ago 2014.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andre View Post
    I think a 7wt should be fine. I don't think an 8wt will cast any further than a 7wt, unless you are going to be using large flies, but I think the standard run of the mill tiger flies, such as weighted clousers and decievers, should work fine. For tigers, forget about the rod and reel as the critical part of your tackle, sure, you need a decent rod, with a reel, your Horizon will be fine, but spend your money on the right line. For tigers you need a very heavy sinking grained line, the fastest sinker that you can find, perhaps a 30 grain shooting head sink tip should be the business. DI5 isn't ideal, you really need a faster sinker than that. I timed my sink tip line with an index of 16, which is more than 3 times faster than a DI5, so theres something to think about. Don't bother with a floating line, unless you see the fish working the surface and you decide to throw some poppers at them. Also learn how to rig up a wire trace , if you don't already know, and have some fun.
    Thanks Andre.

    I was thinking of placing order for a few flies with Urban's once I know the right size and colouration, and maybe head up and see how to rig a wire trace, as I have never fished with a sinking line or wire trace.
    Dirk Human

    Flyfishing for yellows...the most fun a man can have, with his clothes on, while standing up, holding a bar of gold in your hands.

  6. #6
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    No I didn't say that, basically, the heaviest sinker you can find, if a 7wt cant cast it, well then obviously use a different rod...duuuh.
    Quote Originally Posted by Scythe View Post
    So, you're going to chuck a 300grain line on a 7WT? Comfortably?

    Good luck with that.

    This isn't the Zambezi, it's a smaller river, during it's lowest flow of the season. Floater will be fine when sighting fish (the river is not that clean) but you need a DI5 full sink most of the time. A sink tip will work but as I said, it's not the Zambezi, the style of fishing is different.

    Leader : 5' 50lb Fluoro stepped down to 4' 26/22/20lb Fluoro with a swivelled trace of around 20-30cm to your fly.

    Your flies need to be properly weighted, if you battle with casting you will have a really trying time with keeping 2/0 Clousers with 5.5mm dumbbells aerialised on a 7WT, even on a canon of a rod, so your best bet would be 1/0 with 4mm dumbbells, however in the last few years I've spent there our take on fly sizes has changed, you definitely get better fish on bigger flies and I currently have an arsenal of 6/0 & 8/0 baitfish that regularly see swim time with the majority of the fishing being done in bigger Clouser patterns.

    In my opinion it's pointless to fish that river with unweighted flies, even in low flow conditions.

    Most importantly, you should take a boat, there are huge volumes of Crocodile in the river. It's not the Vaal, you don't wade it.
    Disclaimer.... none of my posts are intended to be "expert advice"..just opinions from someone who is willing to help where he can.

  7. #7
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    Well in the context if Barbus13's post it would have been inferred, seeing as he was talking about his 7WT, so duuuh right back at you, braniac.

    Saying find the heaviest sinker he can manage without allowing for the rod required to be able to cast it is akin to a comment you made on the forum a few weeks ago where you were saying casting is a negligible part of flyfishing.

    Duuuh...

    Quote Originally Posted by Andre View Post
    No I didn't say that, basically, the heaviest sinker you can find, if a 7wt cant cast it, well then obviously use a different rod...duuuh.
    "Hierdie drol het baie vlieŽ" - Ago 2014.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by swsmith View Post
    Hi Dirk...i dont think you need a very fast sinker.From what ive seen on tv,its a small river...so i would even think you get could away with an int line...they were catching fish on surface flies...I personally wouldnt fish less than a 2o....not sure what the natural baitfish is in the area..if you can find out copy that with clousers and brush flies you should be sorted...
    Hi Stephen.
    Many thanks. I also saw some pictures and articles. Seems to be between 30-70meters at it's widest. Some pictures the viz really looked awesome, so you should be able to cast a distance because of the clarity of the water it seems. I will tie a few myself but buying a few flies as a back up....not leaving anything to chance.
    Dirk Human

    Flyfishing for yellows...the most fun a man can have, with his clothes on, while standing up, holding a bar of gold in your hands.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scythe View Post
    So, you're going to chuck a 300grain line on a 7WT? Comfortably?

    Good luck with that.

    This isn't the Zambezi, it's a smaller river, during it's lowest flow of the season. Floater will be fine when sighting fish (the river is not that clean) but you need a DI5 full sink most of the time. A sink tip will work but as I said, it's not the Zambezi, the style of fishing is different.

    Leader : 5' 50lb Fluoro stepped down to 4' 26/22/20lb Fluoro with a swivelled trace of around 20-30cm to your fly.

    Your flies need to be properly weighted, if you battle with casting you will have a really trying time with keeping 2/0 Clousers with 5.5mm dumbbells aerialised on a 7WT, even on a canon of a rod, so your best bet would be 1/0 with 4mm dumbbells, however in the last few years I've spent there our take on fly sizes has changed, you definitely get better fish on bigger flies and I currently have an arsenal of 6/0 & 8/0 baitfish that regularly see swim time with the majority of the fishing being done in bigger Clouser patterns.

    In my opinion it's pointless to fish that river with unweighted flies, even in low flow conditions.

    Most importantly, you should take a boat, there are huge volumes of Crocodile in the river. It's not the Vaal, you don't wade it.
    Thanks Scythe.
    So a DI5 line would be enough then, and I need to get 1/0 size Clousers with 4mm dumbell eyes, as I fish my #8-6 largie flies on the same rod and it casts it out far enough with 4-4.5mm dumbells.....i think. I'm going to make use of Pongola River Company, they supply the guide, boat, transportation, food and rustic tented accomodation. Any need for malaria precaution needed? Bilharzia in the river?
    Dirk Human

    Flyfishing for yellows...the most fun a man can have, with his clothes on, while standing up, holding a bar of gold in your hands.

  10. #10
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    I read somewhere that you can actually fish a DI line a weight up and down a size due to it build, is this true? Meaning if you buy a DI5 6# line it would also work on a 5wt and 7wt rod?
    Dirk Human

    Flyfishing for yellows...the most fun a man can have, with his clothes on, while standing up, holding a bar of gold in your hands.

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