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Orvis Saltwater Fly Fishing Festival 2024 - Kit List

Your choice of kit will be determined by your target species. There are a variety of saltwater fish that can be targeted on a fly rod but the two principal species in Hampshire are bass and mullet.

There is a paradox here - bass are not fussy and will gladly chase and eat a baitfish pattern but locating bass is not easy. Mullet is the opposite - they are easily located, often in shallow water and can be found in a range of locations including open beaches’ estuaries and harbours but, unlike bass, they are notoriously difficult (but not impossible) to catch.

There will be a selection of tackle and consumables (including flies) available to purchase in the pop-up shop during the course of the event, however we do recommend coming prepared with everything you need for the weekend. 


Please bring a packed lunch and plenty of drinking water with you on all days of the event. We suggest bringing a sandwich, water and any other sustenance as the shops on Hayling Island are very limited.

We do not have a specific time to stop for lunch, so please bring your packed lunches with. 


Free parking on Hayling Island is very limited. It is likely that you will need to pay for parking in some locations so please remember to bring small change for car parks and/or download any relevant car parking apps. 

Spinning Rods

At the Orvis Saltwater Fly-Fishing Festival, we would appreciate it if anglers did not carry spinning rods during any of the tutorial sessions, as to avoid confusion and prevent distractions. In addition, we operate a zero-tolerance on spinning rods set up during the Saltwater Festival competition sessions.


Please bring your own measure to measure your catches caught during the competition. Each competitor will be given an item to include in the photo which is required to make it valid for submission at the festival. This will be handed out on Friday morning at registration. You must attend registration to collect this, or you will not be able to take part in the competition.

Kit List
  • We recommend a 9-foot 8-weight rod with a suitable reel and line as the go-to outfit for saltwater fishing for bass, but you can get away with lighter tackle depending on your location, wind and size of flies.
  • Standard trout fly fishing rod and reel set-ups also work well, these are perfectly capable of handling UK saltwater species. A 10’ 7# reservoir set-up could comfortably be used in the salt. Although lighter outfits can be used, the key is being able to cast heavier flies; A 5# rod can handle a bass, but it would struggle to cast a baitfish fly
  • A 9-foot tapered leader with a breaking strain of 16lbs. Fluorocarbon is best but nylon can be used
  • One spool of 16lb tippet material
  • A weight-forward floating line and an intermediate or sinking line should cover most situations
  • Selection of at least 6 saltwater flies in sizes 4, 2 and 1 will be adequate; Consider 2 Baitfish, 2 Clousers and 2 Deceivers in any of the following colours: chartreuse, blue, white, grey or orange. A surface fly such as Blue Slider or a gurgler would be useful
  • 9’ 6-weight rods offer the ideal set-up when paired with a reel with that has a good drag. A 9’ 5-weight trout set can be used
  • A tapered leader of 9-foot, with a breaking strain of 12lbs, plus a 5' length of 10lb tippet added via a loop-to-loop connection. Fluorocarbon is best.
  • One spool of 10lb tippet
  • Weight-forward floating line
  • Shrimp patterns in size 12 or 14
Other kit
  • Fishing net
  • Rucksack, sling pack, or waist bag
  • Sun cream
  • Nippers and hook removal tool
  • Chest waders are recommended but thigh or waist waders will do. If you have neither of these then wet wading will be possible provided the water is not too cold and the weather is favourable
  • Closed-toe shoes, particularly for wet wading
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Fleece or pullover
  • Cap or Hat
  • Eye protection is essential, polaroid sunglasses offer eye protection and improved visibility. 
Looking after your kit

Salt crystals can shorten the lifespan of your kit: It is essential to always rinse down rods and soak reels thoroughly in freshwater after using them for fishing in the sea, before drying them off and storing away. This ensures that the salt is rinsed away before it has chance to crystallise and cause problems with your gear. You should also wash down flies and anything else that encounters saltwater, including any jackets, waders and boots.


30th August-1st September

Langstone Quays Resort

Northney Rd, Portsmouth, Hayling Island PO11 0NQ

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