Casting uptide and away from the boat is the only way to effectively fish areas with fast flowing tides. It was devised exactly for this reason, but an added benefit is that water noise on the hull can create a scare area that the fish move away from. Casting 30yds away from the boat puts the bait in an area where fish are more likely to feed.
A line bow is created by feeling for the lead hitting the seabed, then releasing 10 to 25yds of free line to form a downtide bow. The bow in the line sees the lead weight pulled directly backwards deeper into the ground for maximum anchorage. When you stop releasing line, the rod tip will bend over and hold. Bites are detected by the rod tip pulling downwards, then springing back straight as the fish pulls the weight out. Simply wind in the slack line until you feel the weight of the fish, then let the rod tip pull over to fully secure the hook.
Uptide fishing rods need to be 9ft 6in in length up to 10ft, but the shorter length is optimum in most situations. Uptide rods are designed with a supple tip to help induce that pulled over tip to enhance bite detection, but with power quickly coming into the mid-section and then a very stiff but to provide the rod power to play fish that are fighting using the very fast tide flow against their body masse. For winter fishing and very fast tides, a rod rated to cast 4-10ozs or 6-10ozs is ideal. In shallower water up to 60-feet or so, and when the tidal flow is lessened, a lighter rod rated around 2 to 6ozs will give ample casting distance and power but give more sport.
Some anglers still like to fish multiplier reels and mono lines when uptide fishing. A more effective approach is to choose a large 8000 sized fixed spool reel, like the Tronixpro DV8 loaded with 30lb to 40lb X8 Power Braid. The advantages are that the large fixed-spool reel has a rapid pickup and retrieve rate of line, enabling the angler to feel the weight of the fish quicker, helping to improve the hook up ratio. The advantage of fishing braid lines is that the braid is much thinner in diameter for the same breaking strain than mono is, so it reduces tidal pressure on the line and requires less lead weight to hold bottom. Furthermore, the braid is virtually non-stretch, so bite detection is much improved.
If you choose 40lb to 50lb braid, then for average boat casting, which is a simple above the head or sideways flick with the lead and bait outside the boat, then you don’t need a shock leader even with 8oz leads and big baits. However, more experienced uptide casters will use a 60 to 80lb braid shock leader to help combat any seabed abrasion on the main line when fishing 30 to 40lb main line braid. The leader needs to be no more than twice the length of the rod.
For 80% of uptide situations, you’ll need no more than a 6oz grip weight. If you find the 6oz is not quite holding, then release more line to increase the bow size and effect in the line, which usually cures the problem. An additional trick is to carry heavy duty elastic bands with you and wrap the bands around the locked in release wires. This increases the grip of the lead weight. If you want to turn a release wire lead into a fixed wired lead, just put a small-sized cable tie around the locked in wires and nose of the lead and pull the tag end tight with pliers. In areas where very fast tides occur, fixed wired leads up to 8ozs maybe needed and these, called Sputniks after the early Russian satellite, have oversized fixed wires to increase their grip.
Simple sliding ledger rigs are normally quoted for uptiding, and they are the most effective. Slide a Tronixpro Zip Slider boom onto the main line or leader, then a 5mm plastic bead and tie on a size 2 Tronixpro Coastlock Snap Swivel. Tie on a size 2 Rolling Swivel to 36” to 48” of 30 to 40lb AXIA Fluorocarbon and clip this to the snap connector on the Coastlock Swivel, then add the hook. The Fluorocarbon is very tough, much tougher than mono, and will better resist the pin like teeth of cod, the abrasive lips of bass and rays, also huss and even conger, also seabed abrasion. The lead weight then goes on the connection clip of the Zip Slider.
Hooks need to be stronger Viking patterns such as the Tronixpro Beast Uptide in 3/0 to 6/0.
Winter cod, also summer smoothound and bass, also rays can come through in small groups or shoals. By having your rigs made with a swivel at the top of the Fluorocarbon, you can have two spare rigs ready baited and simply clip one off and reclip on a new one to the Coastlock Snap Swivel and recast. This maximises the amount of time you have a bait in the water and will dramatically increase your catch rate.
A top tactic when casting away from the boat is to imagine a narrow cone in front of you that is your personal space to cast into, but without encroaching on the anglers to the side of you. Cast short, medium and longer range across the width of the cone and explore the ground that you have available to you. You’re looking for areas that will give you a greater percentage of bites. These are small areas of stone or boulders, depressions in the seabed, a rise in the general level of the seabed and anything else that breaks up the ground feature. You can mostly guarantee that if you search hard enough, you will find one area that produces a significantly greater number of bites.
A good tip to further increase your bite ratio is to slide on to the hook trace above the hook a 5mm bead, then a Tronixpro Double Rattle Bead, and another 5mm bead. Above the top bead and below the lower bead, onto the hook length, tie on sliding stop knots from a separate section of Tronixpro Rig Gum using a 5-turn Grinner knot. Position the rattle bead about 10-inches above the hook, but reposition it closer to and further away from the hook to increase the frequency of bites by repositioned the stop knots that will slide on the hook length. Typically, on calmer days with less tidal flow, the rattle bead needs to be closer to the hook, and in faster tides, further away.
It's impossible to hold the rod when uptiding. Most charter boats have rod holders either fastened to the metal safety rail or set into the tops of the gunnels. However, this puts your rod tip high up and near vertical in many cases which is not ideal for bite detection. Far more effective is to have a pair of Tronixpro Wire Rod Wraps. These are a length of flexible wire coated in a soft sponge material. They can be wrapped around the top of the safety rail, then wrapped around your rod. They are ultra-tough, lightweight, but fully secure rods in place from even the most savage of bites and have saved many a rod from going over the side. They are a must have for the serious uptide angler.