Tailwaters has been visiting Ascension Bay for twenty years. Whether this is your first saltwater flats experience or you fiftieth dedicated permit mission, we know exactly what gear, tackle, and clothing is required to maximize your comfort level as well as success on the water. Below you will find a wealth of information regarding the primary categories within any Ascension Bay packing list. You will also see recommended assortments of the latest and greatest products we carry in the shop; as well as custom fly selections with flies that your guides will actually use! You can shop below, or give us a call for a private outfitting appointment (by phone or at the shop) and we can assist you in filling your shopping cart.
- 7-8 wt. rod/reel with floating warm water fly line (bonefish)
- 9-10 wt. rod/reel with floating line (permit & tarpon)
- 10-12 wt. rod/reel with floating line (summer tarpon only)
- Polarized sunglasses and hat
- Fly selection
- Leaders and tippet
- Tropical weight rain jacket
- Sandals, water shoes or zippit booties (easy on and off for permit fishing)
- Wading boots and hip/chest pack (if you plan to wade for bonefish)
Custom Fly Selections for Ascension Bay
Fly Rods for Ascension Bay
Fly Reels for Ascension Bay
Fly Lines & Backing for Ascension Bay
Leaders & Tippet for Ascension Bay
Wading Boots & Footwear for Ascension Bay
Boat Bags & Packs
Hip packs are great for carrying fly boxes, a camera, leaders and tippet etc. while wading. Consider buying one that can hold an easily accessible water bottle. Fishpond, Patagonia and Simms all make practical packs in different styles, sizes, and price points. Hip packs are really not needed for permit fishing... but do come in handy on extended wading sessions for bonefish. A boat bag is important for carrying your tackle and gear with you on the boat each day. Running in the boats over open water oftentimes sprays saltwater mist into the boat, so you should have some type of waterproof or water resistant bag with you in the boat for storing cameras, lenses, tackle, flies, extra reels, spools, sunscreen, rain jackets, spare reel parts, bottled water, snacks, or anything else you don’t want to carry on you while fishing. Everything stays dry, salt free, and out of the humidity.
Clothing for Ascension Bay
The Yucatan Peninsula is almost always hot and humid regardless of the season or time of year. When packing, keep in mind that the lodge dress code is extremely casual. Clean and dry fishing clothing is always acceptable at the dinner table. Other than your fishing related clothing, a couple of tee-shirts, and a pair of casual shorts or pants, we recommend only one set of street clothes for travel days. Pack lightly! The key to staying comfortable on the flats is to remain cool while protecting yourself from the sun. Lightweight clothing with plenty of ventilation is recommended. Odds are you will continually get wet all day long while wading, running in the boat, or during a rain shower. You want your fishing clothing to shed water and dry quickly.
Fishing shirts should be cool and dry quickly, have breathable flaps that allow air to circulate through, and should be easy to pack and maintenance-free. Howler Brothers, Patagonia, Free-Fly, Flood Tide Co and Simms make several different models and styles both in short and long sleeves. If you are bothered by the sun, we recommend the long sleeved versions, especially in late Spring and early Summer. Proper fishing shirts also should be equipped with chest pockets for storing small items like tippet material or a cleaning cloth for sunglasses and camera lenses.
SHORTS & PANTS
Fishing shorts should also be made of a synthetic quick dry material. We suggest shorts with pockets and belt loops for accommodating pliers. Sun protection, rather than warmth, is the primary function of long pants when fishing in the tropics. Biting sea lice can also be deterred by wearing pants while wading. They will protect you from the sun, are wind resistant, and dry quickly. Some pants have removable pant legs that zip off to become shorts. Howler Brothers, Patagonia, Free Fly, and Simms make excellent models.
Rain Jackets for Ascension Bay
A high quality, lightweight rain jacket is another essential piece of clothing while on the flats. Howler Bros, Patagonia and Simms make great lightweight jackets that will keep you dry during tropical rainstorms or while crossing choppy water on a lengthy boat run.
Sunglasses for Ascension Bay
Sun Protection for Ascension Bay
The tropical sun is very intense even on cloudy days. Pack some sun block and lip balm with a minimum of 30SPF. We carry a number of great sunscreen products at the shop. Make sure to check out our selection of Tailwaters branded hats. Head and neck tubes by BUFF or Black Strap are a comfortable, lightweight, and breathable garment that functions similar to a bandanna and will keep UV rays off of your head, neck, and ears. We carry several models and styles. Sun gloves are also a must have for many anglers on the flats.
Tools & Gadgets for Ascension Bay
Items like nippers, hemostats, and hook hones are necessities in every fishing pack. The tools can be kept on a retractor or on a lanyard. Although your guide should be equipped with pliers, we recommend a quality pair of corrosion resistant pliers as an essential tool when fishing the saltwater... especially for big game. Quality pliers aid in hook removal, cutting heavy monofilament, and tying big game knots. All pliers should be kept in a sheath and have a check-cord to avoid dropping them overboard. Don’t forget to bring a synthetic belt to be worn in order to accommodate your pliers’ sheath.
Luggage for Ascension Bay
We recommend roller style, soft-sided duffel bags for nearly all our travels. Ideally you have a bag that adheres to airline size restrictions but it still large enough to fit a couple of rod tubes, tackle, boots and other gear. If you have a particularly large bag, we advise you to communicate with your commercial carrier as well as the TSA regarding any baggage weight restrictions that might be applicable. We carry many excellent sets of luggage by Patagonia, Simms, Sage and Fishpond. These bags are the ideal size, bulletproof, and are equipped with efficient roller systems. Some models also have separate compartments for storing wet boots and/or waders or even rod tubes. Don’t forget to mark your luggage with appropriate personal identification bag tags.
Misc. Accessories for Ascension Bay
There are multiple accessories often overlooked when planning any angling adventure. Items like a headlamp, lens cloth, first aid, packing cubes, stripping guards, insect repellant, water bottles and measuring tapes are just a few.