Long-nose Gar - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-18-2019, 01:00 PM Thread Starter
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Long-nose Gar

Hey folks,

I had a planned outing for some long-nosed gar with a good friend and just a week before, it came to our minds that we should be equipped with two-handers. Since time & money wasn't on our side during that time, getting one made on a rushed order was out of the question. So I decided to convert our 9'8wt Echo Solos to two-handers. When you've already got all the necessary tools, why not. It also gives me some good practice boring, gluing and turning cork. Good thing all the epoxy had dried just in time. Obviously, Meiser's rods have some influence on me so I shaped the cork in his style with a bit of my own. It's so important to find 1 1/2" dia cork for butts. I find using standard 1 1/4" dia cork look kind of weird for butt ends when shaping your grip in this way. From now on, 1 1/2" cork on the ends of both the fore & rear grips for more design flexibility.
We partnered them with 350gr & 375gr scandi line overhead casting and they performed admirably. I threw some big musky flies as well. Not only did they need a trailer hook, but they were too heavy and I had a hard time with them.
Nothing big was boated but still, so much fun.

Roland
















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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-20-2019, 03:50 PM
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Congratulations. You guys did good work on those rods. Looks like you had fun. Where were you fishing?
I had always wanted to catch a gar on fly gear. I had heard the popular "fly" was a 6" piece of braided rope that had been un-braided a bit. No hook required as they would get their teeth caught in the rope. I couldn't get them interested. There were big ones around to be had though. So in desperation, I slung a live shiner under the proverbial red & white plastic bobber, on spinning gear. The one that took the bait was 43" long & bottomed out my scale. Pulled me (& the rental boat) around the lake like we weren't even there. This was Lake George Fl.
They have something that looks kind of like what you caught in Hawaii. Don't know what they are called. I called them pita, not worth the effort on a 7 wt single hander. lol I seem to recall also catching them in Fl brackish water. I think they called them needle fish.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-20-2019, 07:18 PM
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Those handles turned out very nice
Well done on the build !!

I forgot how freakish those Gar can get ... and yet they are gorgeous !!
Very cool to target a forgotten fish.
I imagine those bony jaws are tough to get a hook to stick !!


Mike
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-20-2019, 10:58 PM Thread Starter
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Congratulations. You guys did good work on those rods. Looks like you had fun. Where were you fishing?
I had always wanted to catch a gar on fly gear. I had heard the popular "fly" was a 6" piece of braided rope that had been un-braided a bit. No hook required as they would get their teeth caught in the rope. I couldn't get them interested. There were big ones around to be had though. So in desperation, I slung a live shiner under the proverbial red & white plastic bobber, on spinning gear. The one that took the bait was 43" long & bottomed out my scale. Pulled me (& the rental boat) around the lake like we weren't even there. This was Lake George Fl.
They have something that looks kind of like what you caught in Hawaii. Don't know what they are called. I called them pita, not worth the effort on a 7 wt single hander. lol I seem to recall also catching them in Fl brackish water. I think they called them needle fish.
Thanks, it was on the east end of Lake Ontario in the Bay of Quinte. Needle fish look kind of similar but are chrome and have blue blood. These particular gar can be found in both salt and fresh waters and are not shy to make a b-line for a pike fly. We drove around in our boat looking for them in and around bays. I did catch one with just the fluff of the fly without any hooks engaged. For some reason, most lock their jaws once tangled and in you reel. But I was also using larger musky/pike bucktails and lost a few. That's when I decided to tie on a trailer hook which kept them on.

Cheers,
Roland
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-20-2019, 11:08 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by GR8LAKES FLYER View Post
Those handles turned out very nice
Well done on the build !!

I forgot how freakish those Gar can get ... and yet they are gorgeous !!
Very cool to target a forgotten fish.
I imagine those bony jaws are tough to get a hook to stick !!


Mike
Thanks Mike!
They are also very slimy and their skin is like armour with scales that sliced through my 65lb braided leader (I switched right away to a thin metal leader). Using a small treble hook as a trailer guarantees the hook to stick. But the fluffier flies (Icelandic Sheep) worked better with or without any hook engaged but very difficult to remove from all their teeth. Also, these prehistoric fish are apparently very tasty. But you'll need a reciprocal saw to cut them in steaks and then cut out the fillets.
Roland
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-21-2019, 10:03 AM
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Thanks Mike!
They are also very slimy and their skin is like armour with scales that sliced through my 65lb braided leader (I switched right away to a thin metal leader). Using a small treble hook as a trailer guarantees the hook to stick. But the fluffier flies (Icelandic Sheep) worked better with or without any hook engaged but very difficult to remove from all their teeth. Also, these prehistoric fish are apparently very tasty. But you'll need a reciprocal saw to cut them in steaks and then cut out the fillets.
Roland
I know the are a prehistoric fish. They are able to breath air as well as take oxygen from the water. But armor plating? Does that also mean cartilage rather than bones, like shark & sturgeon? I never thought about the eating aspect.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-21-2019, 04:45 PM
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Nice rod builds! Well done.

I wonder if those needles would be better smoked than prepared fresh. My brother catches pea-mouth, whitefish, and pickeral/pike in MT, and never eats them fresh. He smoked them all, and says there's nothing better.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-21-2019, 06:06 PM
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I have yet to catch a gar, well done boating one.

With respect, would not your 9' rod remain a single handed rod albeit with a longer handle, often called an 'extension' or 'fighting grip' rather than morphing into a double hander, which would have the benefit of being longer with a different action.

Working back from the fish and the bulky fly, would not the single hander, with or without the extension handle, coupled with a hefty weight forward line, be more suitable for overhead casting. I am not sure how a shortish 9' rod, held with both hands while casting, be able to achieve much distance, when line speed is missing, not being double hauled. Maybe it was, but then why a double handed style handle. In any case, I presume the rod would still be held and the fly stripped with the other to impart some action, would that not be tricky with that design handle (which was well put together by the way).

Looks like it is nice and calm, not sure about that treble trailing hook if there would be a breeze blowing, casting overhead, with two in the boat. I know that's big water.

Again, just a couple of observations.

Malcolm

I think that pike are also prehistoric.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-21-2019, 06:40 PM Thread Starter
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Nice rod builds! Well done.

I wonder if those needles would be better smoked than prepared fresh. My brother catches pea-mouth, whitefish, and pickeral/pike in MT, and never eats them fresh. He smoked them all, and says there's nothing better.
I've heard their fillets are tasty just fried in butter with or without bread crumbs.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-21-2019, 07:19 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MHC View Post
I have yet to catch a gar, well done boating one.

With respect, would not your 9' rod remain a single handed rod albeit with a longer handle, often called an 'extension' or 'fighting grip' rather than morphing into a double hander, which would have the benefit of being longer with a different action.

Working back from the fish and the bulky fly, would not the single hander, with or without the extension handle, coupled with a hefty weight forward line, be more suitable for overhead casting. I am not sure how a shortish 9' rod, held with both hands while casting, be able to achieve much distance, when line speed is missing, not being double hauled. Maybe it was, but then why a double handed style handle. In any case, I presume the rod would still be held and the fly stripped with the other to impart some action, would that not be tricky with that design handle (which was well put together by the way).

Looks like it is nice and calm, not sure about that treble trailing hook if there would be a breeze blowing, casting overhead, with two in the boat. I know that's big water.

Again, just a couple of observations.

Malcolm

I think that pike are also prehistoric.
Thanks Malcolm.

I haven't experimented with adding an extended handle before but I should consider that next time. But keeping it at 9' and no longer was the aim.

Distance wasn't really a factor. We were sight fishing and only needed to cast 30' at most. I did do some dbl hauling but it was unnecessary and quickly turned to two. The flies were either stripped in and/or 'jerked' in with the rod tip 12 to 6 (longer rods make this a bit more cumbersome including figure 8s) which was working better for particular flies. I tended to jerk in the faster sinking flies to keep it deep whereas the surface ones were just stripped in. The beauty of this setup is it can either be used as a single hand or two. For this application, the two was employed more often simply because it caused less fatigue and we were out there for about 8hrs. But if and when I use it for bones on the flats, I'm sure I would prefer to start dbl hauling to get further out.

Roland
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-01-2019, 08:59 PM
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That is so awesome! I need to try for some spotted gar here in Florida based on your post.
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