LOCATION // Baja Mexico, Coastal USA
As offshore anglers around the world discover more fly eating species of all sizes, the term bluewater is being redefined. In my opinion bluewater is now a category like flats, spring creek, warm water. This is great, because it adds a lots of fishing possibilities that go far beyond traditional billfish. Dorado and several tuna species such as black skipjack, little tunny are some of the smaller species commonly found throughout North America and Central America. They can all be caught on the same outfit and often the same fly.
TARGET SPECIES // Dorado, Black Skipjack, Little Tunny
ROD // SAGE X 1090-4
This rod delivers the goods in all conditions and preforms for everyone. The SAGE X can pick up large flies off the water, including poppers and re-position them on moving fish at a far distance from the boat. While also needing to turn over bulky flies into the wind. The X is a light weight fish fighting machine that will not “bottom out” on stubborn tuna. In Baja we find dorado and skipjack together, so its great not to change outfits mid blitz! (Its also an ideal Baja rooster outfit.) This power tool has a lot of “hand feel” which helps novice casters improve timing and lets advanced casters adapt drastic fly size changes. The1090-4 is light enough to be cast comfortably all day and day after day.
REEL // SAGE 6210
I've become a huge fan of reels that have detents and numbered drag knobs, especially for bluewater species. The 6200 Series delivers exactly that. Drags can be adjusted incrementally during the fight depending on fish size and exhaustion level. It's also more comfortable to strip line off the reel with a light drag, then click back up into "warp drive" when fishing to get smooth startup on those smoking runs. The 6210 is a super sturdy, especially for a lightweight large arbor reel. They hold up to daily beatings delivered from fish, boats and over packed Suburbans.
LINE // RIO Tropical OutBound Short Intermediate line is the best option as it cuts under the waves and gives anglers better connection to the flies. It doesn't sink too aggressively so you can also pick up and re-position with relative ease on the bluewater.
This is my perfect setup for fishing the bluewaters of Baja.