View Full Version : If I were to start???
02-20-2011, 08:24 PM
If I were to start "Fly Fishing"....Where would I start???
I want a breakdown:
1. What wt pole?
2. Fly line?
3. Backing material?
02-20-2011, 09:01 PM
No brands to suggest. I'll let others do that. This is more of a what to look for post.
1.If you want to fish for speckled trout, bass and bream, a 7wt. will do fine. If you plan to fish for redfish mostly, go for an 8wt., but I'd start with 7wt. You can catch anything with it but you just have to be careful. Heavier weight rods: 10wt-12wt take more practice to throw, are heavier, and unless you plan on fishing only for bull reds, mahi, dolphin, tuna, etc. don't bother going over 8wt. 8-1/2 to 9 foot rods are best. Look for IM6 or IM7 graphite, 2-piece rods. Like conventional rods, make sure the grip fits your hand right, and the rod has at least 1 guide per foot in length, preferably 1 more.
2. Find a matching weight fly line for the rod you buy. Ex: 7wt. rod needs a 7wt. rated flyline. Best thing for what we fish is a weight forward, floating tip line. They are the easiest to learn to cast when you start.
3. Dacron is the industry standard as a backing material, but there are other options. Most will use 20lb. - 30lb. test depending upon the weight chosen.
4. Leaders can be made from regular monofilament for topwater and slightly submerged presentations or sometimes fluorocarbon, so it will sink more. Premade ones are rated by max. weight expected to be caught. There is a chart that tells you what the numbers translate to somewhere. There are redfish leaders and bass leaders and of course trout leaders. What I learned is that redfish need shorter, stronger leaders than catching trout, which normally like a longer leader and of course, lighter test. I buy several kinds at Academy, etc. but end up making my own, too, since they only last a day or two fishing.
5. Two things to make sure of when you select a reel: A. make sure it has a REAL drag and not just the click pawl version. B. buy one with a large arbor spool because it will be faster picking up line when you reel your first red in. Of course, saltwater versions are better but you can get away with a freshwater reel if you take care of it: rinse it off every trip and regular maintenance.
6. Buy line dressing and cleaner. It'll help the line glide through the guides MUCH better and it protects the line from salt, sun and rot. Clean it often.
6+ Buy a floatant spray or jelly to put on any hair poppers and on small floating flies, if you freshwater fish.
Buy a couple of DVDs from Scientific Angler which teach you how to set everything up and how to cast, too.
6+ Go ahead and buy and use VOSI, whether it's the stick on foam or whatever you are partial to.
6+ Don't let other people's preconceived notions on the whole "flyfishing world" change how and what you fish with. As long as you catch fish and are happy, who cares, right? You'll see what I'm talking about. Or just ask Catch.
If you just want to try it, go mid-priced. You can always buy better. If you don't like it, at least you didn't break the bank. Once you figure you do like it, buy the best rod you can and a decent reel. More money should be spent on the rod, as that's what will make you enjoy your time fishing. The reel is secondary mostly because you spend most of your time stripping line by hand between fingers or letting it fly through the guides after double hauling.
Hope this helps Joe. Good luck. Try to get into one of those classes mentioned on the BackCast thread. Getting help from a pro will seriously help you enjoy fly fishing faster. I was lucky enough to be taught as a child by one of my uncles who knew what he was doing.
Be careful where you buy flies, line, etc. Some places have stuff that's been collecting dust and dry rotting on the shelves for years. Carefully inspect anything you buy at big box stores and especially small local stores. I like Puglia's, but I've bought some dry rotten flies (my fault) from them, for example. Still go there. Still like them, btw. Just more careful.
02-20-2011, 09:10 PM
what about tippets? are those important?
02-20-2011, 09:21 PM
What I have done is buy the tapered leader say 9' 12lb and fish with it as is. As I fish and change flies, break off, whatever, the leader will be shortened from the terminal end. When I lose enough of the leader material that the diameter starts to increase, I'll tie on a piece of tippet to bring me back to the original length of the leader or a little bit longer. I don't know where I got this from, but if I am using a 12lb tapered leader I'll usually tie on a 10 or 12lb tippet. My thought is that if it is going to break, I'd rather tie on more tippet than have to replace the whole leader.
My personal preference is for fluorocarbon leader and tippet. I'm sure there are times when mono would be better, like maybe for poppers since mono doesn't sink as fast as fluoro, but I like the abrasion resistance of fluoro.
02-20-2011, 09:35 PM
tippet is overrated and over priced IMHO. Your regular mono or fluoro is fine as a replacement tip. Just learn the smaller line to line knots, the nail knot, palomar knot, surgeons knot or the famous uni to uni knot. You can buy and use the tippet. I just think it's not that big of a deal to not use something from a tiny pocket sized 20-30 yd roll of mono that is the same cost of 250 yds of the same test. HMMMM. Unless you are in waders in a stream, you can use whatever. I've fished with some frankenstein looking leaders, but never pop them. Knots are everything. having said that, watch out for oysters which, as yak-aholic said, will abrade your leader and cause a cut off and lost fish, and watch out for wind knots which reduce your test strength of your leader by 1/2 or more.
02-20-2011, 09:44 PM
What I have done is buy the tapered leader say 9' 12lb and fish with it as is. As I fish and change flies, break off, whatever, the leader will be shortened from the terminal end. When I lose enough of the leader material that the diameter starts to increase, I'll tie on a piece of tippet to bring me back to the original length of the leader or a little bit longer. I don't know where I got this from, but if I am using a 12lb tapered leader I'll usually tie on a 10 or 12lb tippet. My thought is that if it is going to break, I'd rather tie on more tippet than have to replace the whole leader. My personal preference is for fluorocarbon leader and tippet. I'm sure there are times when mono would be better, like maybe for poppers since mono doesn't sink as fast as fluoro, but I like the abrasion resistance of fluoro.
@yak-aholic: The terminal end of the tapered part is 12lb. test, not the butt end, that's more like 20lb. or 25lb. Most people tie on matching tippet to replace the part that's cut off or lost when changing flies. You can even make leaders that have a "shock" part or add lighter or heavier test depending upon your quarry du jour. Fluoro is great to get down those extra feet even when using a floating tip line. it slightly dulls your popper, though, with the water friction as you strip the line. Mono leaders will normally sit on top the surface with a popper.
@PJ: when you start stripping line in, make sure your rod tip is almost in the water or actually slightly in the water for best control of your flies and your presentation. Always remember to follow the line down with your final cast so the line won't plop down in the water in a big bird nest.
02-21-2011, 06:53 AM
Looks like good info guys. I feel that for redfish, your leader should not be any longer than 5 ft. Tippet is unnecessary down here. If you find yourself fishing deeper for trout, I would switch to a mini sinking tip and still keep a short leader. I use 20lb flourocarbon for most all of my fly work, even bass. With the longer rod, you will find that it has alot of bend in it. That extra bend can be tough to make a good hookset for a rookie. Keep the line tight and pull back with both the line hand and the rod hand at the same time.
02-21-2011, 08:24 AM
Great info everyone, thanks.
02-21-2011, 11:13 AM
If I were to start "Fly Fishing"....Where would I start???
I want a breakdown:
1. What wt pole? 8 weight for Redfish, 6 for Trout, 5 weight for Freshwater
2. Fly line? Weight Forward Floating Cabelas Prestige Plus for Saltwater Good Not too expensive
3. Backing material? Dacron 100 yards is PLENTY
4. Leader? More on this later......
5. Reel? 8 wt. - Cabelas Prestige Plus is Not Too Bad. I want a Lamson with sealed bearing though. 5 wt - who cares. Drag is seldom used.
I think the leaders are more important than you might think, especially, with a bulky - wind resistant flies that we often use for Redfish. The thick stiff butt section of the fly helps the fly "turn over" when you cast. Especially if there is much wind. You can find them at Walmart in Mono pretty inexpensively. You want to go Loop to Loop IMHO....... No Loop in flyline - no problem - you can make your own......... same thing with Leader Loop.
Come to Acadia Fly Fishers Conclave this weekend chat with Pete Cooper - (he'll probably point you towards a 9 wt though) OR Red Stick Fly Fishers Day March 5th. There will be LOTS and LOTS of very experienced salt water fly fishers at both.
02-22-2011, 06:27 PM
PJ, why not get both a 5-weight (fresh) and an 8-weight (salt)? I see where Bass Pro is having a sale starting this weekend on their Intruder and Dogwood Canyon fly rods and outfits. Cabelas also has their 3-Forks - one of my favorite bream rods is the 8-ft, 5-wt model - on sale. All these are graphite rods with stainless guides and aluminum reel seats.
The money you save by buying one of these inexpensive freshwater outfits can then be used to buy a good quality (but not expensive) 8-weight saltwater rod, like the TFO, which has a lifetime warranty. As for saltwater reels, all you need is one that won't corrode. It doesn't have to be machined, but it does have to be anodized. I'd get the 8-weight rod. Although I've caught countless specks and reds on as light as a 6-wt, it's not what I recommend for beginners for the following reasons: wind and the growing number of bull reds, aka redzillas, now roaming the inside marshes. Hooking up with a 20-pound red with that light a rod will whup your butt!
But I wouldn't go up to a 9-weight either. That's because the industry now looks at 9-weight as a "nearshore" rod for bigger species like jacks, bonito, small kings and cobia. You'd notice the difference in casting an 8-weight and a 9-weight, I can tell ya'.
As Valvguy1 says, take advantage of some of these spring flyfishing events. You'll be glad you did when April gets here and the flies start catching fish!
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