1st Dec 2018
LAWN CASTING THE OCEAN STICK - what a kick! this rod is a canon! can't wait to try it in windy conditions on a lake.
THE PLACE: My backyard - approximately 80' wide between fences. I stand atop a retaining wall that buts up against the south fence so that my backcast can easily clear the top of the fence. No wind today... it is sunset and calm outside. Getting set up allowed me to see the rod in daylight for the first time. Realized that in addition to the iridescent stripper guides it has blackened line guides. Very cool! No "guide flash" to startle spooky fish. Everything about this rod shows practical purpose in it's design. For me good design means "form follows function." The blackened line guides are oversized = great for shooting line - and also convenient at the end of my lawn casting session. I was able to leave the fat knotted yarn on the end of my leader and pull it thru the oversized tip top and guides.
THE LINE: The heaviest line I own - a Scientific Anglers "Frequency" Boost WF8F line "a half size heavy". The 40' head probably weighs in at 290-300 grains.
I didn't have time to remove a line on a reel and reload this line so I used the line right off a plastic spool that fly lines come on in the store. I lined-up the rod and stripped off 70' of line onto the grass at my feet - tucking the plastic spool into my right jacket pocket.
This rod carries that 300 grain head with ease - and frankly didn't start to load until most of the head was airborne. I did 60' casts with a large practice yarn on the end of short 5' leader - no problem... but what really blew me away was when I started to try my double haul. Bear in mind I am not a saltwater fisherman - yet. I got this rod to be one of my first saltwater rods, to use on Pike & Carp while I wait & save to go bonefishing one day. My point: I am learning how to throw bigger weighted flies... and am still learning the double haul.
So... I decide to try my novice double haul. The line kept on going until it tugged on the spool in my jacket pocket! WOW! I'm generating enough line speed to shoot 70' of line and had power in reserve to yank on the spool in my pocket. I wish I could have peeled off the whole fly line and tried casting farther but my neighbor's fence was in the way and I didn't want to snag my barely used line on the rough cedar planks.
Even though the rod is fast it is forgiving - much needed room for error as I learn how to tweak my freshwater trout fishing technique to optimize casting performance.
I'll have fun figuring which WF lines to use with this rod for throwing big streamers. I think I'll try some shooting heads in the 9wt neighborhood.
I imagine the rod will pick-up floating lines with great ease allowing me to water load and shoot my next cast with only a single backcast.
Might work great with a spey shooting head in the 300-350 grain range perhaps?
CONCLUSION: This rod in my hands felt slightly heavier than a Scott Meridian or Sage X, but performed as well for about $600 less! I never fished the Scott or Sage... sold them both. I plan to keep and use this Ocean Stick SEA WOLF for fresh and salt water.
Colorado Springs, CO
1st Dec 2017
Also wanted to say our last trip out this year was what its all about for me, a great day at first light just in a weather window, fabulous memories of a good days fishing in the stillness of the early morning, finding, stalking and catching, it compares to fishing in Loch Corrib Galway, with a Gillie a few years back catching and using your own May flies and dapping for some brilliant Loch Brown trout.
Thanks for a brilliant day out, also wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy Prosperous New Year ahead.
3rd Aug 2016
Justin leant me his series of SeaWolf rods for a trip I had organised... the 12 weight was superb. Everything from dispatch through to receiving the kit was seamless.
28th Aug 2014
Me and my son Craig booked a day in august 2014 with Justin. We were on the boat at 5am and straight into shoals of Bass with reels screaming and rod tips bent over touching the water, that was the order of the day for the next 5hrs .
We are both trout fishermen but Justin soon had us double hauling in no time. He has an incredible knowledge of the area and put us on the fish time and time again. We had 70 fish in total and all of them returned. It was a red letter day for us both and Craig didn't stop talking about it for the 3hrs trip home!We will certainly be booking again.
21st Aug 2014
"I used the 8/10 Seawolf S which has an uprated clutch system in the South Pacific for GT's and Bones. I was seriously impressed by the ultra smooth drag which coped admirably with several GT's to 15lbs and bonefish to 8lbs. 150m of backing stripped off and I felt completely in control with the clutch which is beautifully adjustable.
Lightweight with a decent arbor. It is perfect for tropical monsters but equally happy on bass here at home. It will also be my primary Salmon reel next month. Thoroughly recommended."
8th Aug 2014
"What a blast, from first cast to the last!
My day on the water with Justin produced loads of fish, all of a good size. Traditionally a fresh water fly fisherman I was a little intimidated at the thought of Sea Bass on the fly, but there was no need to be concerned. Justin filled me with confidence told me what to do, when to do it, I listened, it worked. Justin’s knowledge, experience and sharp wit set him apart. I have no doubt you will enjoy your day!"
1st Jul 2013
Two of us booked a day out in July 2013 with Justin, and what a day it was…..we lost count of the bass we caught both on sinking and floating lines, but it must have been well over 70 - all safely returned I’m pleased to say.
We cannot recommend Justin enough - he is a really knowledgeable guy and is totally committed to giving his clients a fabulous day catching fish. We had both caught bass on the fly before but learned so much more during our time with Justin. Needless to say we’ve booked to go again in 2014.
12th Feb 2014
I can highly recommend a session out bass fishing with Justin. I returned for my second trip in August, having had gales spoil my first attempt at catching bass on a fly. Justin was there ready for me even though I was somewhat early – it being difficult to predict how long a trip from Bristol would take me. The boat was shipshape and the second angler soon arrived and so we set off.
Our first couple of marks produced odd follows and plucks at the fly, but no hook ups. It is probably a fishing guide’s prerogative that he starts you in areas that are not heavy with fish, as that gives the angler a chance to get the rhythm of the retrieve. Let me tell you – it is certainly something different from trout retrieves! More on that later.
Justin knew that there were plenty of fish about and so he kept moving and looking, moving and looking. Any gulls were especially keenly studied. I was surprised to find out that it was not those birds that were diving that were the key to finding bass on or near the surface, but the gulls that were “walking on the water”!
We caught a fish or two here and there, but then had the instruction to get the flies out of the water rapidly and we headed over a few hundred metres – at first rather quickly, but then when nearer whatever Justin had seen, we slowed down, skirted the area and set up a drift. It was soon apparent that there were several large shoals of bass feeding right on the surface and so we soon were into frantic sport with the bass. Nothing big came to the flies, though once I grew accustomed to spotting the fish I saw two or three decent fish off to the side. I pointed them out to Justin and he agreed that they were indeed larger fish and so I fired a shot at them. Unfortunately, a couple of schoolies saw my fly first and soon I had one of those fish on the hook. So, the “blackbacks” were not to hit our flies on the day! WE had somewhere around fifty bass that day, and thoroughly enjoyed the fishing and the overall experience.
Interestingly, even though there were large shoals of fish they apparently disappeared as quickly as they appeared! I guess they were boat shy! We would set up the drift, see the fish a hundred yards away, drift towards them. Hook a fish or two, and then struggle to see any more! I cannot wait to get another attempt at them! Especially if they are up on the surface! Next time I will make sure that I have a second rod set up with a surface lure, as there is just NO CHANCE to take time out to change flies once the action starts!
Do NOT expect an easy day afloat sipping tea or coffee and lazing about. Justin wants his clients to catch fish…and he makes sure that they keep working once he has found them. The retrieve is energetic. The fishing is fast and furious. The language is something different too! You will learn a completely new vocabulary. Bustin’ fish, blackbacks – and many more!
Give it a go…it is great fun!
Martin Cottis (Orvis endorsed guide)
1st Sep 2013
I had the good fortune to be invited on a trip to fly fish with Justin in July 2013 having spent fruitless hours chasing bass in the cornish surf with flies over many years, I was itching to give it a go. My host suggested that we would not need any tackle as Justin had a set for each of us covering all eventualities. This was a wrench for me as like many fly anglers I have amassed a mountain of tackle over the years, none the less I travelled light and had the delight of finding first class tackle matched to the conditions and quarry waiting on the boat ready for our use.
We had a picture perfect summers day as we left the mooring in Itchenor for a late afternoon tide, while the fish remained elusive for the first couple of hours Justin remained transfixed on the horizon for signs of life, I haven't enjoyed the thrill of spotting gulls feeding since sport fishing in the Indian Ocean in the 80's so when the gulls finally betrayed the presence of feeding fish we tore off again in pursuit.
We encountered a frenetic non stop hour of sport towing bass flies behind bubble floats on account of the wind and tide direction together with an exposed bar which the fish were feeding beside. What sport it was, fish after fish came to the boat all range of sizes but all returned to maintain and improve stocks for our future sport.
I thoroughly enjoyed the day and Justin's dedication to the pursuit and protection of the quarry is an example which others could follow. I will certainly be booking again.
8th Aug 2013
Waking up the morning after my first days fly fishing for bass I feel like a ruined junkie. Desperate for my next fix, consumed by the need to hook up again as soon as possible.
By far and away the most exciting days fishing I have had. Justin's set up is outstanding, he took us straight to the action and kept us there all day. With only two people on the boat you get all the attention and help you need. As a relative novice and having never caught anything on a fly at sea before, I certainly needed help. I got it in buckets together with a new understanding and appreciation of the species. We caught upwards of 30 fish between us and every one went back. I cannot think of another type of fishing in this country that is more sustainable or more exciting.
Fly fishing for Bass with Justin Anwyl should come with a government health warning…."Highly addictive, may cause insomnia".
7th Aug 2013
"A friend and I have fished with Justin for a few years now and he always works really hard to put us on fish and his local guiding knowledge is absolutely invaluable.
The gear he has for us to use is also first class, always a really good day out which we look forward to, assuming the weather is good to us…"
5th Jul 2013
What a fantastic day I have just had with Justin Anwyl. I started the day as a complete novice to salt water fly fishing for bass and by the end of the day my arms were aching with the amount of fish we brought to the boat. Justin did a tremendous job explaining about the tackle we were using and the tactics to employ to induce takes and keep your fish on. He has an incredible amount of local knowledge which ensured we were on the fish all day over numerous marks in the Solent. The highlight has to be watching the sun rise over Chichester Harbour and catching my first bass on the fly at the same time, priceless.
D Summers (Hants)
6th Aug 2013
I have been fishing with Justin for quite a few years now, for very good reason: if you want the best chance of catching bass on the fly, then Justin is the person to go fishing with. His guiding experience and knowledge of the waters around the harbour and this end of the Solent are unrivalled. He will teach you what to look for and how to vary your tactics to maximise the chances of catching. On top of all of that his enthusiasm and humour ensure there’s a smile on your face all day!
S Johson (Surrey)
1st Aug 2013
Having fished with a number of guides in my travels overseas and at home i can fully endorse
Justin’s skills as a guide and as a friend to share your fishing experiences with.
Excellent at pointing out small details in your fishing and giving you the confidence to go alone.
Thank-you for that.
Just listen to his Podcasts and you know what i mean.
Good quality tackle for the novice and experienced bass angler, this stuff does the job at the right price.
26th Jul 2013
I spent an afternoon with Justin learning how to double-haul to the extent that is required for fly fishing in the salt. Time and money well spent in my opinion as it’s essential when dealing with often windy conditions on the coast. Even if you are an experienced caster, you probably haven’t “power-hauled” like you need to – both forward and reverse - so I’d recommend investing some time with him. A down to earth, no-nonsense, common sense kind of a guy who has the experience you can learn from.
I bought the Justin Anwyl Seawolf 9ft 8wt rod for all-round wading and drift fishing in the UK. 3 years on and I’m as happy now as when I first got it. It’s super-fast and when loaded right, just the sweetest feel that you’ll ever get from a fly rod. Nowadays, I tend to use a 9wt line – seems the optimal balance of rod & line – that loads quickly on a couple of false casts and shoots, with or without wind.
I’ve been out many times with Justin, wading and drifting the Solent, and every time he’s put us on the fish. It’s no coincidence – he works hard to ensure that his clients are successful and is committed to ensuring their day out is memorable. He’s a good guy, spend a day out with him but be prepared to work hard. Great fun!
1st May 2010
“Justin has an incredible knowledge of the local area and I have always been amazed by the variety of fishing. Shore fishing, Wading of remote sand banks, drifting within the harbor and visiting off shore marks. Every day can be different and a true fishing adventure but characterised by Justin’s enthusiasm and his commitment get you on the fish in a stunning natural environment”.
A Purcell (N England)
16th Jul 2013
"Having heard about fly fishing for Bass in the sea and living only 40 minutes from Chichester harbour, it was a very interesting opportunity to give this a go.... Read various books, viewed You Tube clips, read magazine articles and read Justin Anwyl's book and watched his DVD... Off I went and completely blanked.....!! Just couldn't seem to get it right. Decided that I need to get some more advanced advise, so arranged my first trip out with Justin..... The rest they say is history.....
This is my third season with Justin and he never fails to amaze me the amount of effort he will go to, to make sure you have the best opportunity to hook up with a bass. He will never take any risk in connection with the weather and is always very honest and up front about what is possible and what's not. I have had some hard days, difficult days, cancelled days where we been blown off and of course some absolutely amazing days where one day in particular with 2 of us fishing we hooked up from first cast and ended up with over 100 bass between us... A red letter day and will be remembered for a long time.
Justin is never shy in passing on information, tips and areas and times to fish, what to look for and encouraging you to get out there and have a go. Since fishing with Justin my bass fishing has just got better and now I fish with confidence from the shore, kayak and wading on the sand flats around Hayling Island and Chichester harbour entrance. Enjoying my birth right to fish for free without the need for a licence. My next stage in fly fishing for bass, is to book up with justin and travel across the pond and go for the big stripers on the East Coast of the USA... Cannot wait.... It's been a well worth while experience and I'm glad I chose Justin Anwyl..."
25th Jul 2013
Just unwrapped the reels. Thank you very much - I'm thrilled with them. You're so kind to source these for me and more or less for a give away price. They are stunning value for money.
21st Jul 2013
Justin is a very knowledgeable and experienced guide. The trip was well organised with clear joining instructions and a clear equipment list. He worked hard to ensure we all caught fish and gave individual tuition to improve technique.
The safety aspects of the trip were handled in a professional way and did not intrude on the overall enjoyment. Overall a great guide - enjoy your trip.
13th Jun 2013
This is professional guiding at its best. Justin offers ethical fishing and a wide knowledge of bass habits, where to find them and how to catch them.
Justin is generous with advice and information which has been of particular value to me since I am local to the area and I now find I fish with increased confidence and my success rate has increased considerably when fishing solo.
Since the beginning of last season I have fished with Justin 5 times and each occasion has been different from all the others. I have experienced my two largest hauls and my two largest fish. (Even made it onto the gallery). Oh, and it has always been fun.
Can't wait until my next trip next month.
M Bedford, Hayling Island
15th Jun 2013
Thank you for a fantastic couple of days fishing. My guests and I had a tremendous time! What better way to spend a glorious summer’s afternoon. Having been for several years the experience just gets better and better.
1st Apr 2013
I've fished with Justin for a number of seasons and his knowledge of bass are second to none.
Every trip is a lesson on bass and the waters we fish on the south coast and tides.
Having used Justin's fly lines for the past four seasons I would not use any other line, very slick and beautiful to cast and having used his 8wt sea wolf on the last trip I can definately see me purchasing a rod and reel at that entry level price.
Great marks, great company and every trip is great fishing experience, recommended to all"
J Edwards (West Sussex)
17th Jul 2012
It would be amiss of me not to say thank you for yesterday, probably the best day's fishing I've had since I was fifteen!
We learnt so much about bass and bass fishing and your patience and coaching was really appreciated.
I am not sure we can replicate yesterday but I think we're going to have a bloody good go next season, so see you then! Meanwhile I'll practice double-hauling......
16th Jun 2012
I've fish ed with Justin as a Client for nearly 10 yrs, I now not only value him as an excellent guide but also a lifelong friend, his knowledge about Sea Bass and the marks they haunt in the Solent has grown immensely, ensuring you always have a great days fishing some very exciting marks, Justin has a wealth of knowledge that he is happy to share, quite simply if you are looking for a SWFF guide on the south coast who is passionate about what he does then Justin is your man!
I can also highly recommend his Saltwater fly fishing kit, reasonably priced tough reliable kit, platinum product - entry level price.....it's the best kept secret out there.
R. Schnapka (London)
23rd Jul 2012
Apart from an uncanny knack of randomly picking up a rod and hooking a fish when everyone else is catching f**k all, swearing, and getting clients shredded on hosted trips, I cannot recommend Justin highly enough. A hugely knowledgeable guide who works hard to put you on to the fish I've been fishing with him since he started guiding and will continue to do so both overseas and in the UK.
23rd Jul 2013
Having fished with Justin for a number of seasons now I can fully endorse his skills as a guide. With an encyclopaedic knowledge of the area and passion and skill in fly fishing for bass you can be assured that he will put you over the fish. Justin has fully converted me from an experienced trout angler to a SWFF enthusiast – including furthering my fly fishing skill set in mastering the double haul and other salt water techniques. Justin’s experience and knowledge of kit is also extremely valuable to beginner and experienced angler alike, the products now available in his on line shop are of superior quality and performance, and I would wholeheartedly recommend you take advantage! Even in the grimmest of conditions I have caught bass with Justin which is testament to his skills as a guide, and boy when the fish are on you are in for a good time and some aching arms! Skills learnt in the UK with Justin have allowed me to saltwater fly fish all over the world with confidence. You will have a great time, approach with an open mind and enjoy the banter and the bass…
21st Jun 2013
Justin's knowledge is unsurpassed as one of the UK's first saltwater fly fishing guides. He has used this specialist knowledge to assemble a full range of high quality tackle but at more affordable prices.
More specifically, his fast sinking line handles far better than many of the expensive brands I have used and has helped me to catch lots of bass.
Line management is critical and this line behaves itself underwater, in the air and in the boat.
21st Jul 2011
Justin is not only a highly focussed and effective guide, he is also the most technically accomplished fly caster in the business. If you are lucky enough to go out with him, you will not only hook up but also get invaluable advice on casting technique. If you fly fish in Southern England and mean business then book him