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Fly Fishing vs Lure Fishing – Whats the Difference?

‘’Fly fishing, lure fishing, spin fishing, bait fishing, bait casting, trolling, spinning, and Spey fishing. It is all fishing. What matters is you made a chase or a catch’’ brags a proud novice angler who is elated to find himself amidst a group of buddies with tools that resemble his. His ‘true to him’ statements are followed by sarcastic laughs from the others. Seemingly, they are a crew that has tasted the sweet and bitter waters.

At ChuckingFluff.com, we find the new chap humorous, zealous, and all set to learn. We love to hold the hands of novices through this journey so we will do right by him and others who’d love to distinguish each term. Today we clarify the difference between fly fishing and lure fishing.

Fly Fishing vs Lure Fishing

Fly Fishing: What is Fly Fishing?

Bring your stools closer and let’s have a learning session here.
Fly fishing is one of the angling techniques where one uses an artificial ‘fly’. The fly attracts and tricks fish into taking a bite. For this technique, the primary factor that sets it apart from the rest is that the fly is virtually weightless. As well, the techniques that anglers use to present these flies during casting differ significantly from all the other types of angling.

Angling is a type of fishing using an ‘angle’ in this case, a fish hook. You attach the hook to a fishing line that is attached to a fishing rod that is fitted with a fishing reel.

In fly fishing, it is almost impossible to cast a lure with a fly rod and fly line. This is applicable to spinners and plugs too. What enables the fisherperson to cast and present these lightweight flies is the weight and the taper of the line itself.

Fly fishermen and women anglers use flies that bear a resemblance to baitfish aquatic insects or prey sources in this line. Creating them involves tying usual feathers to hooks to imitate the authentic subject of fish’s attention. The replication is in natural form.

What are the Roots of Fly Fishing?

There exists no clear hypothesis about the roots of fly fishing. The same way we presume about the roots of the wheel or creation of fire. The inventor and period of the invention are scanty. However, for the purpose of recognizing history and documentation, the majority acclaim Roman Teacher and Author Aelianus Claudius for writing the first comprehensive observation of fly fishermen.

From his deduction, the fishermen on the Aestraeus River were Macedonians in the 2nd Century and used red wool land feathers to imitate a natural fly the fish were feeding on. You can drop by our beginner tips to learn how to fly fish with us to find out more.

Dapping is a prehistoric form of fly fishing documented by some Egyptian hieroglyphs. What was carried forth to modern times is Tenkara fishing from the Japanese. However, it uses no reel but maintains a rod and line. It is possible to agree to fly tying being a thing from over a thousand years ago. So besides nets and pens as traps, fly fishing is an ancient form of rod angling.

Fly Fishing and Modern Times

We must say that fly fishing is nowhere close to what it was in the olden golden days. The basicity of everything has been maintained. However, there have been tremendous advancements since then to date. Technology is playing a primary role in all the developments and the impacts are wholesome.

Best flies for brown trout

To think that the ancient fly reels were the works of watchmakers, we have come a long way. Modernity has silk fly lines replaced by plastic-coated ones. Line manufacturing took a revolution after the advancements during World War 2.

That doesn’t mean that we buried what the starters used. In tippet stems and leader measurement, we see the use of the x-systems to distinguish minute components-1x, 2x, and 3x. Technology has seen us shift from the bamboo fly rods to nicely-crafted and durable graphite and carbon fly rods.

Basic Purpose-built Fly Fishing Equipment

These are the necessary tools that you must have for successful fly fishing:

Fly rod
Fly reel
Fly line

We have a whole section up on the site that guides beginners on combo outfits. You can pass by here to take down some pointers. Don’t assume the other sections since they are vital in equipment and gear purchase and maintenance.

The Art of Casting

Practicing and mastering casting art is basically one of the most crucial aspects of fly fishing. Pro anglers will confirm that there are a few techniques still in fly fishing that don’t need much casting. However, it is fact that casting is a must-learn skill.

You might be tempted to get into pike or bass fishing with larger flies. Nevertheless, their weight is still very negligible. This is contrary to casting a traditional bait or a spinning lure. How do you present the fly to the fish? The fundamental concept is in the fly fishing line. In casting, the fly line becomes the weight.

Mending fly line to control speed

The primary technique is getting to use a fly rod to work in conjunction with a fly line. The line’s weight carries the fly out right at your front by transferring the built-up energy down through the line towards its end. The loop in the line is what is formed as the transfer of energy through the fly line. We have a whole section dedicated to fly casting and will provide more info.

Different Materials used in fly tying for fly fishing:

Fly tying can or can’t be your pastime. You can either make them for yourself or buy professionally tied flies. Fly imitations can be created through a variety of different natural and artificial materials. However, not everyone can tie a fly and successfully strike a catch however it is much sweeter when you catch on your own flies.

Here are materials often used in tying standard flies:

Bird feathers-pheasants, ducks, etc.
Animal fur and hairs-moose, elk, deer, muskrats, beavers, etc.
Synthetic materials-plastic, foam, yarn
Tungsten, brass, and glass beads
Hair or thread
Wires, tinsel, and different ribbing materials

Common Types of Flies

Designed like baits to imitate fish fodder, small animals, crustaceans, baitfish, insects, and other invertebrates, there are some types that you can’t miss to spot on the shores. Categorically, we will group them into 5 sections like below:

1. Dry Flies
You fish this category of flies on the water surface. They imitate emerging or adult insects such as damselflies, grasshoppers, midges, stoneflies, caddisflies, and mayflies. These ones need very accurate casting and more delicate presentations. For this reason, using the medium to slow action fly rods will execute this pretty well.

2. Wet Flies
As in their name, you fish these types below the water surface. Their imitation is of the nymph and pupal stage of the aquatic insects, freshwater shrimps or scuds, worms, crayfish, and eggs. When using techniques like nymphing, wet flies are ideal and for cold water species, it does pretty well. Using a 9-foot one-handed rod, or longer mends easily in this case.

3. Streamers
Streamers are wet flies that are larger and imitate crayfish, leeches, baitfish, and some small animals. You typically fish streamers like lures. The best rods to use here are one or two-handed rods.

4. Poppers
We can call them scoop-headed or blunt flies fished on the water surface in twitches and quick strips. They imitate frogs, mice, wounded baitfish, and tiny prey animals. Common target species are warm-water fish and largemouth bass.

5. Saltwater Flies
These are flies for marine fishing and come in a wide range of shapes and sizes. Most of them are wet flies that imitate shrimp, crabs, and baitfish. You can agree that they primarily borrow from poppers and streamers but are larger.
Within the above categories, there exist a plethora of patterns and pattern variations. You have to choose a type of fly with regards to the type of fish you intend to go after, the region, season, and water.

Lure Fishing: What is Lure Fishing?

Lure fishing is a technique of angling where the fisherman uses an artificial bait which is generally plastic or wood that is basically hooked, cast, and then twitched through the waters. The bait has to be kept in motion to imitate a small live crab, worm, fish, or bug. From their hiding places, large fish are lured, tricked, and proceed to bite or attack the artificial lure. They end up being caught on the hook. Besides movement, they use vibration, color, and flash to bait the fish.

Currently, in the US, Europe and other parts of the world, the technique is being embraced and is a huge success. You don’t have to attach bait to a lure. Fish get attracted to lures depending on the day or species. However, the fish that hooked by a lure is usually convinced that the lure is a sumptuous fish food or is infuriated by the lure’s presence. Fish have no limbs and the only way that they can attack something they dislike is by eating it up.

The History of Lure Fishing

In the 2,000 B.C., the Egyptians and Chinese used lines, rods, and hooks to fish. However, the majority had hand lines for fishing. Initially, hooks were made from bronze which was petite yet strong and less visible to their prey. In the 8th to 13th century AD, Nordics made spoon lures from bronze, copper, and iron. At that time lures were of varied sizes and shapes. From the 19th century, the lure production business grew tremendously with many English and Asian tackle shops stocking variety.

A few recorded makers during this period were Riley Haskell, Julio T. Buel, Enterprise Manufacturing Company, and W. D. Chapman. Heddon and Pflueger Companies were among the first crafters of modern fishing plugs commercially in the States in the early 1900s.

Lure Fishing in Today’s Era

Lure fishing in modern times brag of convenience. First, you need not prepare any baits. It saves you time spending hours digging them up or traveling miles to purchase a few. You don’t have to make rigs in advance. Forget about carrying rod rests, bags, and bulky boxes. Simply a lightweight rod of your choices and a tiny bag of lures.

There is so much freedom when it comes to lure fishing today. It is possible to reach the furthest areas which aren’t fishable with baits or traditional tackle.

Basic Equipment of Lure Fishing

Here are the fundamental tools you need for successful lure fishing:

Monofilament or fluorocarbon leader

Note: Before making up your mind about these tools, there are a few things to consider to ensure that you don’t flop.

A longer lever arm rod is essential for longer casts. Anything less might be futile.

The rod’s casting weight determines the optimum lure weight for making casts. For instance, if your lure is 10g, the recommended rod casting action should weigh between 5g and 15g.

For novices, it is advisable to choose a versatile rod between 1.8m and 2.4m long with a casting weight ranging from 10g to 30g and a tip action rod.

Choose a reel with plenty of bearings for smoother reel rotation since reels take up more strain during lure fishing.

A line retrieval rate of between 20 and 70cm in calm water is ideal for more accuracy. In areas with currents, higher rates will do. Something above 75cm to prevent the line’s slack from being carried by the currents. A taut line allows you to feel the lure.

For lure fishing in the lakes and rivers, a reel capacity of 2500 to 3000 is superb. Sea fishing with lures requires more reel reserve of over 4000.

The reel and rod MUST balance perfectly. There shouldn’t be any tilting during assembling.

Choose a nylon line for its versatility with regard to fish species. A recommended all-around size is 30/100. It boasts elasticity and ideal for starters. Braid lines are stronger than nylon lines, enable you to feel the bite well. It is a perfect choice for experienced fishermen.

Carelessness with braid lines makes you lose the catch and your line tangles. Work with a diameter of 16/100. Fluorocarbon lines are almost invisible in water since it has light refraction co-efficiency like that of water. It has reduced instances of breakage. When targeting fish with sharp teeth, it is the deal. A diameter of 40/100 will do well.

Briefly on Fishing with Lures

The setup is different from that of fly fishing. In lure fishing, the line is very thin and made from a lightweight material. The lure becomes the heaviest part. Once you let the cast loose, your lure carried the momentum in the air. It trails the line behind it. The lure’s weight is what is vital in this scenario.

Materials used to make Lures

Other materials like hair, tinsels, fur, feathers, and string

Types of Lures

Once you use these lures rightfully, you might opt to have it as a fun sport too. Their effectiveness in saline and freshwater is undoubtable. Below are the commonest:

1. Flies
These are what are used in fly fishing and spin fishing. Lures for fly fishing only have a skirt and one hook. Fly tying isn’t easy and like in the section above, the same is what is done here. However, once you try fly fishing it becomes immersive and addictive.

2. Soft Plastic Lures
They are flexible baits with a rubbery feel to imitate various water critters. These range from lizards, worms, crawfish, minnows, and frogs. They are ideal for bass fishing. For clear days, brighter colors blend well with nature. The lure has to sink to the bottom as to twitch the rod.

3. Spoons
Spoons take a curve design, are concave and made from metal. The shape and material allow them to wobble and shine as they move in the water. A bigger curve gives a wider wobble. They resemble injured baitfish as they wobble. You are sure to catch game fish with them. It is easier to troll or cast it. A depth of 10 to 20 feet below your target area is recommended.

4. Spinnerbaits
Spinnerbaits move horizontally through the water. They are available in various shapes and colors. This is dependent on the target species and depth. One side has a skirted hook and one or a few metal blades that spin or propel on the other side. Spinning causes vibration and their pretty color imitates baitfish and minnows. For pike, bass, and perch, this one will not fail you.

5. Jigs
These have weighted heads on one side and a hook on the next. They have either plastic grubs or feather skirts. Jigs sink pretty well making them ideal for bottom feeders.

6. Plugs
Crankbaits or plugs are from hard plastic. They are colored and shaped to imitate baitfish or any other prey. The plastic can be hollow or solid. They can either have a thin metallic or plastic sheet attached to their front. The sheet is referred to as a lip. The lip can be adjusted to make the plug wobble. They have either 2 or 3 treble hooks. Plugs can hover, float, dive, or sink depending on the design.

What Next?

So, you got it already. This sums up the basics of fly fishing and lure fishing. There is more information that we will keep sharing soon. So keep stopping by. Current patterns of either type of fishing have their specific means of deployment. They are effective in fish catching as long as you use them correctly.

Nowadays, many fishermen have given up on baits. Almost every fishing shop or store is decked with walls that are full of fly and lure options from boutique players and major manufacturers.
There is no shortage of choices either when fly or lure fishing.

The patterns look pretty striking and you’ll often want to try them. If you are new to angling, it is vital to try one technique at a time. Learn it, and have a good mastery. It may shock you that with a little patience, there is more you could do. We’d love to hear from you in the comment section. Share with us your fly fishing and lure fishing experiences, your recommendations, tips, pointers, and photos too.

Until the next time, tight lines!


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