Both lure fishing and fly fishing are popular fishing methods and whilst the two methods have similarities they are many differences. Fly fishing is a technique that uses a hook wrapped in silks and material that is used to float on the surface of the water or hang just below the water’s surface to replicate an insect, such as a mosquito, to entice a fish to feed.
It is a great method for trout, although other species of fish can be caught with a fly. Lure fishing is a technique that uses a piece of metal, usually in the shape of a fish that is retrieved through the water. It is used for predatory fish, such a pike, and bass amongst many others, where the angler uses the lure to provoke an attack to catch the fish. Lure fishing has many advantages over fly fishing, which includes:
Other than the lure itself, which is readily available and cheap to buy, no specialist equipment is required to lure fish. Whilst there are rods on the market specifically designed for lure fishing, in reality, these are not required and any rod and reel combination will suffice. This means an angler can lure fish at any time during a session, and if the target fish aren’t biting then it is possible to change tact and attempt to catch a predatory fish instead. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about fly fishing where a specially designed fly rod is required with a center pin reel and special fly line, which is heavier than a normal monofilament line to cast the fly to the water.
To be a successful fly fisherman it is important to master the casting technique. Casting a fly requires a unique technique that takes a lot of practice, and many people will give up. The technique required for fly fishing also means it’s not suitable for young anglers or beginners. In comparison, lure fishing is much easier and the casting technique is standard. Because of the technique and the tackle involved casting a fly is hard work and casting it out has to be done in stages. This makes fly fishing quite physical, and whilst lure fishing involves a lot of casting it does not require as much as fly fishing.
Fly fishing relies on sight rather than feel to catch fish. In fly fishing, you have to be able to see the fly and then strike as the fish takes it off the water. Losing sight of the fly may result in missed fish. When lure fishing the angler relies wholly on feeling for fish, therefore there is no need to strain your eyes looking at a small object floating on the water’s surface. Because of this lure fishing is ideal for those who are partially sighted or cannot focus for long periods on small objects.
A lure can be used effectively in all types of water. From still lakes and ponds to small streams and fast-flowing rivers to the ocean a lure can be used to catch fish. The same cannot be said about a fly and there are specific types of water, such as the sea, where a fly cannot be used. A change in water conditions, such as ripples if the wind picks up may also mean the end of a fly fishing session.
With a lure, it is possible to explore much more of the water than you could with a fly. A lure is heavier than a fly and can be cast that much further. In addition, a lure is worked below the water, and varying the retrieval rate will make the lure dive deeper or come closer to the surface. Changing the retrieval method allows the angler to explore the water from the water’s bottom to the surface.
A lure can be used in all weathers quite easily, whereas it may be difficult to use a fly. Strong winds are likely to make casting a fly impossible although a lure may still be used. Choppy water will make it difficult to see the fly, whereas a lure will be below the water’s surface anyway.
Lures are used to entice a predatory fish to attack rather than feed, whereas a fly will only be taken by a feeding fish. If the fish are not hungry you will not catch whilst fly fishing, even if you land the fly right on top of the fish. With lure fishing, there is the chance of catching fish that aren’t even hungry.
Lure fishing is much easier to learn than fly fishing therefore it is a great technique to introduce youngsters and new anglers to the sport.