Dapping Q and A

Do I need special hooks for dapping with live insects?

No, but fine wire hooks with small barbs are preferable.

How strong a line and how big a hook can be used before they intrude?

A 6 lb length of nylon is a standard weight for dapping, but among submerged branches or similar snags, 8 lb would be better. Hooks for small insects like bluebottles can be size I 2 or 10, size 8 for mayflies and craneflies, and size 6 for big moths, grasshoppers and beetles.

Do I need a special reel?

A simple centrepin or fly reel is easier to use and less prone to tangles than a fixed-spool—beyond these considerations there’s no need for specialist equipment.

Are real insects much more effective than artificial flies?

They are for coarse fish such as chub and dace. For trout there is little difference between real and artificial, provided tied flies are good ones.

With rods as long as 14ft, isn’t it difficult to bring fish aboard a boat?

Co-operate with your boat partner; get him to net your fish and you net his. If you are in the habit of boat fishing alone, you’ll have to invest in a long handled net.

Suppose I am dapping for trout from a boat and the wind drops. What do I do?

Put the dapping rod away and get out your ordinary fly fishing tackle.

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