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The Backstage Pass

Seychelles Fly Fishing Gear Guide: Everything You Need

July 20, 23

For most travelers, The Seychelles is a long way from home. Taking a trip to one of its remote atolls is often a "Bucket List" adventure, sometimes booked years in advance. Given the enormity of both traveling to and fishing in one of the world's finest saltwater destinations means ample preparation is key. 

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The key for packing rods, reels, and flies is going to heavily depend on what you as an angler want to focus on--but we strongly recommend anglers pack for the staple targets found in The Seychelles: Bonefish, Indo-Pacific Permit, Triggerfish, Trevally, and Milkfish. 

To shop for destination-specific fly fishing fly and gear for The Seychelles, check out our dedicated Seychelles Equipment List

+ Seychelles Equipment List Video Series

What Rods Should I Bring?

Rods are easily packed by species as there is an abundance of crossover. While the Seychelles is home to one of the most diverse saltwater fisheries on earth, a couple of rods can cover a range of different scenarios. 

Bonefish, Indo-Pacific Permit, Triggerfish, Milkfish & Other

A fast action, 9' 9-weight is your go-to rod here, with plenty of versatility. Punch flies through the wind with ease, deliver heavier flies with speed and precision, and have enough backbone to stand up to powerful fish. Experienced bonefish anglers might question a 9-weight, but the average bonefish in the Seychelles is larger than those found in the Caribbean. 

An even better option would either be two 9', 9-weights OR a 9 and 10-weight. It is not uncommon to encounter multiple species on the same flats, so an angler can have a dedicated 9-weight for bonefish, and a 10-weight geared toward permit and triggerfish. Additionally, if a front pushes through and the flats are really windy, a 10-weight will allow anglers a slightly greater edge for overcoming unfavorable conditions. That 10-weight could additionally be your best friend if you intend on pursuing milkfish, a species renowned for gut-busting runs and a stubborn refusal to give up. 

Trevally Species

Giant trevally have developed a reputation around the world for their insane level of predation, compounded by footage of them bursting from the water in pursuit of fleeing birds. The "gangster of the flats" is an apt nickname, routinely bewildering anglers with their aggression towards flats prey. 

A fast-action, 9' 11 or 12-weight is the preferred all-around rod for giant trevally. Flies for trevally range from 4/0 - 8/0 in size, and are six inches in length or greater, so a heavy rod is needed to quickly and easily deliver a large and often bulky fly. Additionally, giant trevally are absolute brutes, so an 11 or 12-weight offers enough pulling power to help even the playing field. 

While giant trevally are generally the most sought after for travelers, there are other trevally species just as eager to demolish a fly. Bluefin, golden, and other trevally are also commonly found on the flats--and they have the same personality as their bigger cousin.

Finally, there are some fantastic blue water opportunities for anglers who want to target pelagic species on fly. Alphonse is perhaps the best destination in the region for anglers hoping to incorporate this into their trip, and your giant trevally setup is perfectly suited for this scenario.

Selecting the Right Reel

Your 9 and 10-weight setup should have a high-quality, anodized, large arbor saltwater fly reel. Between 200-250 yards of 30-50# backing will cover you across the gambit of potential species you'll encounter.

For giant trevally, bumphead parrotfish, and bluewater species, the stakes are much higher. Investing in a reel designed for big game with the very best drag system is important for applying the brakes to a sprinting giant trevally. To view some different options, check out our recommended giant trevally reels page. 

Choosing A Fly Line

Fly lines for the Seychelles are not complicated -- floating, tropical lines are the bread and butter. However, selecting the right taper is important.

For your 9 and/or 10-weight, you will be looking to delicately present shrimp and crab patterns to bonefish, permit, and triggerfish. While these fish they see less pressure than fish in locations such as the Yucatan or Bahamas, they are still smart and often spooky! A longer taper is encouraged as a shorter taper means a heavier head, increasing the likelihood of splashing the water when it lands, likely spooking the fish and upsetting your guide. 

For trevally and pelagics, the line must be specifically designed for giant trevally/big game. These lines have a heavier taper to allow for ease of turning over large, heavy flies. Additionally, they are engineered with a stronger core than a traditional saltwater fly line, allowing them to stand up to the strength of a giant trevally. Your standard tropical line designed for bonefish, permit, or tarpon could easily snap from the force of a charging trevally!

We strongly encourage anglers bring a backup line for both setups. Triggerfish and permit are commonly found around coral beds and routinely making runs into the coral for protection when hooked, therefore scraping or potentially breaking your line. Giant trevally will do the same, and a damaged or broken line can be a cost of doing business with a fish of its size and strength. 

Exploring the deeper water is a fun way to mix up the trip, and though not for everyone, a ton of variety lurk along the reefs. Anglers hoping to dredge the depths should bring a 500-700 grain saltwater fly line, though this is not necessary for fishing the flats. 

Leaders & Tippet

Leaders and tippet are quite easy for the Seychelles. Instead of having to bring a large assortment of tapered leaders for all the different species, the best approach is to instead bring spools of tippet. 

The guides in this region prefer to build their own fluorocarbon leaders, with fluorocarbon offering more abrasion resistance than its nylon counterpart. Bring one to two spools of 15# or 16# (approximately 60 yards total) for bonefish and permit, and an additional spool of 20# for triggerfish. 

A single spool of 25-40# fluorocarbon is not nearly as important, though can be useful with triggerfish, milkfish, and if targeting bumphead parrotfish. 

Finally, giant trevally are going to require a straight leader of fluorocarbon or nylon, but the key is breaking strength: leaders for giant trevally should be at least 80# and up to 130#. Guides will use smaller diameters depending on the location, so having a lighter alternative is ideal.

Building Your Fly Box

For an all-encompassing, hand-picked selection of flies, head over to our Seychelles Fly Assortments

If you prefer to build your own box or tie your own flies, we can provide some recommendations by species below. The key for ALL flies is to invest in high-quality hooks. 

Bonefish, Permit, and Triggerfish

There is a lot of crossover between the flies anglers will use as all three species are voracious eaters of crustaceans. A mix of crab and shrimp patterns ranging from #2-6 are ideal for permit and triggerfish flies in natural colors such as tan, olive, white, and mottled. A few #8 patterns are also recommended, especially in shrimp patterns for bonefish. 

Shrimp Flies

The same bonefish flies that work in the Caribbean will work well in the Seychelles. The key is to have a variety of weight--a mix of beadchain and lead eyes. 

Crab Flies

Crab patterns will primarily be utilized for permit and triggerfish, and a solid crab profile is recommended. The alphlexo continues to be the primary crab pattern guides in this region utilize, so having them in a variety of both weights and size is key. For triggerfish, crab and shrimp patterns with an abundance of movement or "wiggle" are strongly recommended. 

  • Alphexo (White, Tan, Olive)
  • Kung Fu Crab
  • EP Descendent
  • EP Soft Shell Crab
  • Contraband Crab
  • Strong Arm Merkin (Tan, Olive, White)
  • Belly Flop

Finally, a weed guard is always a good idea--if you are fishing over sand flats for bonefish, snip it off if you prefer. However, it is a must-have component of a triggerfish or permit fly in the Seychelles as they are routinely found over corral or turtle grass.

Giant Trevally & Other Trevally Species

Trevally flies are most often imitating baitfish in the 4 to 8-inch range, and need to be tied on 5/0 - 8/0 hooks of the highest quality. Large topwater poppers are also an incredibly exciting means of targeting trevally. Some popular patterns are:

Other Flies

Milkfish are algae eaters, so the milkfish snack imitates just that. If you are hoping to target pelagic species, bring an assortment of bluewater flies


Apparel, Packs, and Must-Haves

  • Clothing: A key factor to remember when packing for the Seychelles is the weight limit on the domestic flights. The inter-island flights are private charters that are operated by IDC. For all flights, the IDC will enforce the 15 kilograms (33 pounds) main luggage / 5 kilograms (11 pounds) hand luggage rule for all passengers boarding aircraft to Alphonse Island, Farquhar, Cosmoledo, and Astove Atolls. With that said, anglers need to pack with precision and care to ensure they have everything they need, without exceeding those limits. 

    Fishing days in the Seychelles are long--and often, underneath a glaring sun. Anglers need to stay covered up from head to toe--with a hat, a face covering such as a buff, a quick-dry sunshirt, and shorts or pants. With anglers primarily wading, anglers are prone to chafe, so over time more anglers are opting for a pair of compression shorts/leggings with a pair of shorts on top. We recommend two to three pairs at most, as there is laundry service at most destinations. 

  • Wading Boots: This is a non-negotiable item. Anglers need durable and comfortable saltwater wading boots with a gravel guard system. The atolls of the Seychelles are some of the most remote fisheries in the world, so keeping your feet protected from coral or encounters with wildlife is paramount. Bring a pair of sandals or flip-flops to get your feet plenty of air after a long day of wading.

  • Waterproof Pack: As previously stated, anglers will be doing a lot of wading. Having a fully submersible backpack is crucial to keeping your gear close by and free from corrosive saltwater. A day pack can consist of your flies, terminal tackle, any medications and essentials, camera gear, sunscreen, sunglass wipes, and any additional items you need for a successful day of fishing. Additionally, the straps on your waterproof backpack are super helpful for harnessing your second rod setup. 

  • Pliers/Nippers: A good pair of saltwater pliers and nippers are a must have for releasing fish, tying on flies, and managing your leaders and tippet when your guide isn't nearby. A lanyard system for your nippers are helpful for keeping them close by. 

  • Polarized Lenses: AT LEAST one pair of polarized lenses, but two pair are recommended. One or two pair of amber, copper, or green lenses are ideal for sunny conditions, and a pair of yellow or silver lenses for potential cloudy/lowlight conditions is recommended. 

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