Offshore Tip: A Better Tandem Fly Rig

This rig allows both hooks to swing freely under the fly to maximize hookups.

When fly fishing for billfish, you need every advantage you can get. There are so many details that can blow up in your face that it pays to use the best possible rigs to ensure success. I developed this double-hook fly rig with the help of globetrotting fly fisherman Jeff McFadden of Winter Park, Florida. McFadden used this rig to win the Billy Pate Fly Fishing Tournament in Costa Rica.

This rig allows both hooks to swing freely under the fly to maximize hookups, and the razor-sharp Owner cutting-point hooks can even penetrate bone.

Start by using 90- to 130-pound fluorocarbon for your shock leader. This material can only be 12 inches long, including knot lengths, if you are following IGFA rules. Attach one of the hooks using a 1.2-mm crimp to the end of the shock leader, leaving enough of a loop to allow the hook to swing freely. Cut a piece of 1.5-mm plastic-coated chafing gear to the length you want your hooks spaced apart and slide onto the leader (optional). Thread the forward hook onto the shock leader and make a loop in the leader with the forward hook eye inside the loop. Slide a 1.7-mm crimp over the loop and main line and crimp tightly, again leaving enough of a loop to allow the hook to swing freely. Now slide your popper fly down over the hook-set and attach to your tippet length in your preferred manner.