I like 6 pound test Fireline the best for these baits, with 5 pound PowerPro next in preference. The FireLine has amazing knot strength, softness, and good breaking strength. The 6 pound test rating doesn’t even compare to the actual breaking point of the line. You can put a hurt on the fish with 5-6 pound braid, which fishes more like 10-12 pound monofilament. I have gone all the way down to 3 pound test and it worked however its knot strength is not strong enough to keep from snapping on hook sets after 2-3 fish. I never broke a fish off at the main line with 3 pound braid it was only the knot with 3 pound test.
All that matters is that it is a spinning reel. A smaller version is best. I say this mainly as most braid line comes in 125 yard spools and 5 pound and 6 pound test are 2 pound diameter and that allows you to fill it to the top and then some. A larger spool means too much line is needed if not backed by another type line. The small diameter spool allows for the line to come off with very limited friction so the casting distance increases greatly. If spooled correctly on the reel it will not uncoil, twist or do any of the things we all hate about spinning reels.
What reel then? Any brand reel with stable gearing and stable frame design and good working drag system should do fine. I use a Shimano Stradic Ci4 1000 series.
You need a longer rod to help in casting this light bait. I use a 6’10” GLoomis, but any quality medium action rod in the 7′ range will be great. Shorter rods will mean too much effort casting and you’ll lose valuable casting distance.
- Tie the line directly to the hook with braided line, do not use a leader. My favorite hooks are 1/0 and 2/0 Gamakatsu EWGs. I use the 1/0 when I want to fish the bait on top, and the 2/0 when I went it to sink.
- Rig the Clone Fry flat-side or sideways “texposed” which allows for the bait to float a bit more before slowly starting to sink. It works like a topwater bait rigged flat sided and wakes very well that way.
The Clone Fry comes in a variety of colors, they’ll all work at some point so don’t be too picky. They have two versions, one which is very much natural looking and lifelike in every way — those are my favorite. The other version is less natural looking, but still has lifelike eyes and a scale wrap on the back of the bait, but they still work well.
The Shopping List – Quick Links to Buy Online
- Jackall Clone Fry
- Berkley FireLine or PowerPro braided lines
- Gamkatsu EWG hooks
- Shimano Stradic Ci4 Spinning Reel
- GLoomis GL3 Spinning Rods
Now that we have all the tools we need…let’s take a look at the techniques where these baits really excel!
Click on page “3” to continue…