I’m getting a little bit in to this ray business. But it is extremely tricky in the surf. I have learnt a few things over the last few trips namely;
To minimize foul hooking:
-A fast sink line must be used to ensure the leader is FLAT on the ground.
-A tungsten bead on the leader helps keep it down
-Flouro beats mono (negatively buoyant)
-Circle hooks are the ONLY option
-The fly must be wide and sit flat (the ray musn’t be able to push the fly on its side when it takes it, turbulence from the turn often does this)
Now there is a massive reward for a proper hook up. A fouled ray doesnt fight at all as it loses all directional stability. They will usually just swim straight to you. A ray properly hooked in the corner of the mouth will run hard. Into the backing. You can generally tell if a person has caught a ray or sand shark properly by their remarks on fighting ability.
I landed 5 in my last session in the space of an hour. 2 were fouled where the fly turned upside down as the fish hit the leader. 1 was hooked outside the mouth and 2 were hooked perfectly. Not striking takes getting used to. Just strip to get up any slack and wait to feel the pull. Its an awesome feeling.