The Ghillie

150 km either way from Durban (Commonly known now as DIRTBIN!!) isn't the friendliest of coastlines for fly fisherman to be honest. Yes we have a plethora of rocky outcrops strewn along its shores but are only accessible during low tides which gives us a very short window in the day to go chuck some fluff around. Coupled with that, many of our beaches have such steep inclines from the constant battering of waves that casting becomes a ball ache as they hinder any decent back cast from being achieved. Also 80% of our river estuaries are silted up at the mouth and only open and run into the ocean during heavy inland rains so there is very little chance of tidal fish moving in and out of them regularly.

So I’ve had to turn to what I call “The Darkside” of fishing and resorted to taking a spin rod along just to whittle the time away while I wait for the low tide to appear. I know!! I feel ashamed to admit it but unfortunately this is how I roll these days. Anyway some years back while living in Scandinavia a fishing buddy in the States “John Mathews” sent me his self-manufactured double rod holder called “The Ghillie” which I used religiously while wading out in the Baltic Sea and it worked a treat as it allowed me to carry my 5wt for smaller species when the pike weren’t playing nicely.

Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that the second rod I drag around with me would be a 8 ft surf spin rod. Such is the nature of the beast I suppose! In all honesty though “The Ghillie” has been a godsent! Depending on which arm you cast with, one can set up the rod holder tubes which slide freely around the belt to suite your needs keeping the spare rod facing the opposite direction away from your casting arm. Having a second rod tube holder also allows me to make running repairs to leaders or traces or change to a different fly or lure with absolute ease……. Result!!!

Am not sure if there is anything available like this here in South Africa but they can’t be that hard to construct. The belt can be obtained from most camping shops and the tubes, well any builders wholesaler will stock plastic piping. All one would need would be a Dremmel tool to shape the piping and cut the belt slots at an angle.

#Equipment #TheGillie

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