Official Derby Fly Rod Division Rules

NOTE: Registrants in the Fly Rod Division will abide by all applicable Derby rules and regulations, as well as Fly Rod Division Rules. If submitting a catch to the IGFA for a possible record, the angler is responsible for knowing the latest IGFA rules for record submission and abiding by them. Derby Fly Rod Division rules are based on, but NOT identical to IGFA Fly Fishing Rules.

Equipment Regulations

Any type of fly line and backing may be used. The breaking strength of the fly line and backing are not restricted.

Leaders must conform to generally accepted fly fishing customs. A leader includes a class tippet and, optionally, a shock tippet. A butt or taper section between the fly line and the class tippet shall also be considered part of the leader, and there are no limits to its length, material, or strength. A class tippet must be made of nonmetallic material and either attached directly to the fly or to the shock tippet if one is used. The tippet must be at least 15 inches (38.10 cm) long (measured inside connection knots). With respect to knotless, tapered leaders, the terminal 15 inches (38.10 cm) will determine breaking strength. The terminal 15 inches of the leader (if no tippet is used) or tippet breaking strength cannot exceed twenty (20) pounds. There is no maximum tippet length limitation. A shock tippet, not to exceed 12 inches (30.48 cm) in length, may be added to the tippet and tied to the lure. It can be made of any type of material, and there is no limit on its breaking strength. The shock tippet is measured from the eye of the hook to the single strand of class tippet and includes any knots used to connect the shock tippet to the class tippet. In the case of a tandem hook fly, the shock tippet shall be measured from the eye of the leading hook. A single, small "powerclip" style clip may be used to attach the knotless tapered leader or shock tippet or tippet to the lure.

Regardless of material used or number of sections, rods must conform to generally accepted fly fishing customs and practices. A rod shall not measure less than 6 feet in overall length. Any rod that gives the angler an unsporting advantage will be disqualified.

The reel must be designed expressly for fly fishing and cannot be used in casting the fly other than as a storage spool for the line. There are no restrictions on gear ratio or type of drag employed except where the angler would gain an unfair advantage. Electric or electronically operated reels are prohibited.

A conventional fly may be dressed on a single or double hook or two single hooks in tandem. The second hook in any tandem fly must not extend beyond the wing material. The eyes of the hook shall be no farther than 6 inches (15.24 cm) apart. Treble hooks are prohibited.

The lure must be a recognized type of saltwater artificial fly, which includes streamers, bucktail, tube fly, wet fly, and popper. The use of any other type of lure or natural or preserved bait, either singularly or attached to the fly, is expressly prohibited. The fact that a lure can be cast with a fly rod is not evidence in itself that it fits the definition of a fly. The use of any lure designed to entangle or foul-hook a fish is prohibited.

Gaffs and nets used to boat or land a fish must not exceed 8 feet (2.48 meters) in overall length. When fishing from a bridge, pier, or other high stationary structure, this length limitation does not apply. The use of a flying gaff is not permitted. Only a single hook is permitted on any gaff. Harpoon or lance attachments are prohibited.

Angling Regulations
  1. The Angler must cast, hook, fight, and bring the fish to gaff or net unaided by any other person. No other person may touch any part of the tackle during the playing of the fish or give aid other than taking the leader for gaffing or netting purposes. One or more people may assist in gaffing or netting the fish.
  2. Casting and retrieving must be carried out in accordance with normal customs and generally accepted practices. The major criterion in casting is that the weight of the line must carry the lure rather than the weight of the lure carrying the line. Trolling a lure behind a moving water craft is not permitted. The craft must be completely out of gear both at the time the fly is presented to the fish and during the retrieve.
  3. Once a fish is hooked, the tackle may not be altered in any way, with the exception of adding an extension butt.
  4. Fish must be hooked on the lure in use. If a small fish takes the lure and a larger fish swallows the smaller fish, the catch will be disallowed.
The following acts will disqualify a catch:
  1. Failure to comply with equipment or angling regulations.
  2. The act of persons other than the angler in touching any part of the rod, reel, or line either bodily or with any device during the playing of the fish, or in giving any aid other than that allowed in the rules and regulations. If an obstacle to the passage of the line through the rod guides has to be removed from the line, then the obstacle shall be held and cut free. Under no circumstances should the line be held or touched by anyone other than the angler during the process.
  3. Resting the rod on any part of the boat, or on any other object while playing the fish.
  4. Hand lining or using a hand line or rope attached in any manner to the angler's line or leader for the purpose of holding or lifting fish.
  5. Intentionally foul-hooking or snagging a fish.
  6. Shooting, harpooning, or lancing the fish being played prior to landing or boating the catch.
  7. Chumming with the flesh, blood, skin, or any part of mammals.
  8. Using a boat or device to beach or drive a fish into shallow water in order to deprive the fish of its normal ability to swim.
  9. Attaching the angler's line or leader to part of a boat or other object for the purpose of holding or lifting the fish.
  10. If a fish escapes before gaffing or netting and is recaptured by any method other than outlined in the angling rules.
The following situations will disqualify a catch:
  1. When a rod breaks (while the fish is being played) in a manner that reduces its length below minimum dimensions or severely impairs its angling characteristics.
  2. When a fish is hooked on more than one line.