Strip-striking large predatory fish is hard on your skin, especially when the fish, such as trevally and large tigerfish, bolt off into the opposite direction at pace, creating white burn marks across the index and middle fingers. Then there are also textured lines, which may not be new on the market, but lines, such as the Scientific Anglers Sharkwave Saltwater floating line, which I’ve only recently started using. Textured lines wear through the skin on your fingers when stripping in flies during longer fishing trips, and especially those to tropical flats destinations. The thinner the skin the more strip-striking hurts too, which will cost you fish towards the end of your fishing trip if you can’t come up with a solution to cover your fingers.

Scientific Anglers textured fly lines are great to cast and ‘feel’, but they have a tendency to wear through skin like fine sandpaper.

I used to own a pair of felt finger gloves manufactured for protection against line burns; however, the felt was too slippery when wet and it actually resulted in missing more fish than aiding in the strip strike. I then moved on to zinc oxide tape that climbers use for finger injuries, but the adhesive on the tape made a sticky mess of my fly lines…What could be the solution then!?

VetRap! I was introduced to this flexible bandage material, available in most pharmacies, on a trip to the Red Sea and it really is magic and the final answer! Several brands are available, but the more expensive ones work better, even when wet. The flexible tape clings to itself and doesn’t contain glue that may grime up your hands, tippet and fly lines. It is also handy as a bandage for covering wounds on legs and arms and should form part of your emergency kit.

VetRap is one of the more expensive brands, but you get what you pay for.
VetRap is one of the more expensive brands, but you get what you pay for.
Happy strip-striking!
Leonard Flemming

Leonard Flemming

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3 Responses

  1. Hi Guys,
    Thanks for this – I have also suffered from blood dripping off my fingers all of a sudden – especially with the textured lines. I looked in the local pharmacy for VetRap, but only saw other brands. Where can you buy VetRap in Cape Town?

  2. Hi Niel, unfortunately I found out now that VetRap was recently discontinued; the more expensive brands in pharmacies should be the same quality.

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