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panfisher45

Sneaking in a gear question

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I apologize for posting this question, but i've seen so much expertise and experience here that I just can't help myself.

I bought my first fly rod combo about 3 years ago, almost totally ignorant of what I was doing. Now I'm thinking about upgrading when we get on towards spring.

 

What i have is an inexpensive Berkeley graphite rod, 6-7 weight and only 8 feet. The reel is a Scientific Angler. I have no immediate complaints about either, but then I doubt I have enough experience to judge, at least not the rod. I'd like a 9-foot 5-weight, as this seems to be a better trout/panfish choice, I definitely want a "full-length" rod. I'd like something in the $100-$200 range, plus a serviceable reel, Suggestions, warnings and feedback welcome. Thanks, guys!

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What you have is more of a bass pond fishing rod. Nothing wrong with it.

 

For an inexpensive trout setup, Bass Pro Shops White River is a decent combo. Also, if you can find the $25 off coupon, the Orvis Clearwater combo would be good. A step up from there would be a TFO 4wt or 5wt (2-piece) for a bit less than $100. You'd still have to pick up an inexpensive reel and some fly line, but you should be able to keep the total down under $120. For most trout fishing, the reel is just a line holder, so look for cheap, serviceable and on-sale.

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You don't say where you fish or what the conditions are, so any help is more guesswork.

 

A 9' 5wt can be a bit overpowering and less enjoyable with the all-too-common 9" trout or 6" bluegill. It's a fine tool if you need a bit of oomph for casting weighted nymphs, indicator rigs, large dries/poppers, or small-med streamers; you're fishing on larger rivers; or if you need the capability of handling some wind or bigger fish. If you're rarely cast larger than a #10 or #12 in smaller waters with little wind, then don't rule out a 4wt.

 

As for "which rod?," the best thing would be to get to a shop to handle and cast them. The Imperial series from St Croix is at the top of your budget but has been popular for many years. TFO and Echo are good brands with some models a bit lower in your price range. If you want a rod with a medium action (vs med-fast to fast), you might look at Redington's Classic Trout series. Cabela's has these for 50% off right now. A 4pc rod with bag/tube with warranty for $75 would spare up more cash for a good line and decent reel.

 

 

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A 5wt is a good all round rod size. For pan fish and small trout I absolutely prefer a 2 or 3wt. There is not a huge difference between a 6 and a 5wt. Not enough to spend money to get a lighter rod. I personally recommend moving 2 line wts if you are looking for something different. I own 9, 7, 5, and 2wts and would like to have a 0wt. Rod length is a whole other discussion and is beat to death with very little facts backing up statements. If you like your current rod there is absolutely no reason to second guess the wt or length. If you believe that a 9'er will benefit you then get a 9'. If you are fishing streams with a tree canopy then try a 6 or 7' rod. I just love my short rods but I also use 9'er in the right places. A 10'er works well for nymphing in streams where short casts are the norm. The bulk of my fishing is for smallmouth and sunfish in smallish creeks with a heavy tree canopy and 6' 2wt is perfect IMO but a 6' 5wt works just as well. TFO sells a 6' 2wt for just a little over $100. I don't buy from Cabelas anymore because of shipping prices after 40 years of being a customer but I do have a couple of their rods and I have no complaints with their products. BPS rods are just fine as well.

 

If you would like to try a short rod for just a few bucks look for an Eagle Claw featherweight glass for about $20. It will be the best $20 you will spend on a short light rod. They have a 6 1/2 and 7' version and they cast very well. I like the 7'er with a 6wt line best but a 5 works fine. The shorter rod seems to work just as well with a 3 or 4 wt line in my hands. IMO opinion they are the best buy in the fly fishing world today. That and one of Steve's custom rods.

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Lots of good advice so far, so here's my $.02...

 

Okuma SLV 3/4 wt. $71 shipped via amazon. The only rod I have that I bought sight unseen, and I like it a lot.

 

It's less expensive than what you want, but a very capable rod as-is with a great warranty---I know firsthand :)

 

Anything more $$$ and I'd want to cast it first.

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Don't forget to type to Steve at Midwestcustomflyrods.com. You can find him here on this site. He is constantly putting deals on "The Trading Floor" forum and on E-bay (they're much better here). I've got one of his that ran just over $110, and it is sweet. If you're not in a hurry, check his site out and PM him on this site.

 

I have been fly fishing since the 60s ... and I am still quite satisfied with my $100 Boxwood Canyon combo from BPS. Experience with different rods might make you appreciate an expensive rod, but base line rods still do the job just fine.

 

With your budget, you can find a lot of very satisfactory deals with rods and reels.

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TFO (Temple Fork Outfitters) have great rods in your $ range. I'm fond of the St Croix series, and I believe their Rio Santo is well in your budget, the Imperial series is a few dollars higher but good. Orvis Clearwater reels are fine and pretty cheap. Hopefully you'll buy by casting and see what feels good to you.

I have 8-7-5-4 wt rods; I echo ditz2's comment - 2 wts between multiple rods is good advice. I waver between the 8/7 all the time when I head out for smallmouth (the 8 does throw my bigger flies better, but the practical diff isn't worth bothering over). Now my fast action 9' 5 wt is much better with larger trout flies and in wind than the 4. My 4 wt is 8'9" and soft, it is my brookie rod.

Because I fish avidly for bass, pike/musky, trout, and bluegills, I don't think I could live with just one rod.

However, if I did a little spring cleaning (and probably will), I would sell the 7 (I'll stay with the 8) and 4. I'd like to then add a 3 wt 7'6". I fish a lot of small brushy creeks, and though the 4 does fine, I'd like to have a smaller and lighter outfit for the little guys.

For the money you mentioned you'll have no problem finding a quality outfit. Make sure it feels good to you.

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Just out of curiosity, has anyone here ever found a rod, or other fly stuff for that matter, in a yard/garage sale? In Florida we have many (way too many) estate sales where an elderly family member has passed on, and their possessions are being liquidated. I would be surprised to find fly equipment in Fla., but I'd think it's more likely up here in North Carolina.

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I love my 4wt 8'6" TFO Professional. I have used it for both trout and bass and it gets the job done in just about any small to medium size river fishing situation. It casts small and medium size dry flies and nymphs well and with careful casting I can even get a heavily weighted wooly bugger out to the 40-50 foot range (not really what the rod is intended for though).

 

It was the first good quality fly rod I purchased and I have fished it something like 200 days in tiny streams, medium size rivers, ponds and lakes in the last three seasons I've caught little brook trout 8-18" rainbows and some pretty good size small mouth bass on it and I have never had a compliant about how it casts or plays a fish.

 

As for a reel there are a lot of good quality lower price reels out there. I would suggest a mid or large arbor reel while most trout and bass fishing never requires getting onto the reel it is nice to have a decent drag system and decent line pick up if you need it. I have a greys GX300 reel on my 4 weight if I remember correctly it was around $50 and it is a better reel than my $170 Hardy CC.

 

As said before the Orvis Access would be a great value also. Also check out L.L. Bean's fly rod outfits. Both are great brands with great reputations that make excellent equipment.

 

 

Good Luck!

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I have 2 TFO rods, 5 wt bvk and just picked up 8wt mangrove. While I am a novice who has tried for years to fly fish, TFO makes a great rod at a great price with a warranty that can't be beat

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Put me down for TFO, too. I have the 8'6" 3wt. Professional but that might be a little bit noodley for you if you're used to/haven't casted a faster rod.

 

So I'll turn you onto this:

http://www.tforods.com/fly-fishing/rods/signature.html#.VGT93PnF-So

 

That's a lifetime rod (like all TFO) for $120. I'll let that sink in for a second. LIFETIME.

 

There's 2 things I recommend to people who are looking to upgrade in tying and fishing: Dyna-King and TFO, respectively.

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Just out of curiosity, has anyone here ever found a rod, or other fly stuff for that matter, in a yard/garage sale? In Florida we have many (way too many) estate sales where an elderly family member has passed on, and their possessions are being liquidated. I would be surprised to find fly equipment in Fla., but I'd think it's more likely up here in North Carolina.

On Craigslist, but I don't frequent estate or garage sales.

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Just out of curiosity, has anyone here ever found a rod, or other fly stuff for that matter, in a yard/garage sale? In Florida we have many (way too many) estate sales where an elderly family member has passed on, and their possessions are being liquidated. I would be surprised to find fly equipment in Fla., but I'd think it's more likely up here in North Carolina.

On Craigslist, but I don't frequent estate or garage sales.

 

I don't intentionally go to garage sales, but if I pass one, I always look. So far, I've never found anything but busted up old spinning and bait casting gear.

I'll be having a yard sale (actually at my M-n-law's) and I'll have some conventional gear on sale. I have one fiberglass fly rod ... bought it last year in Illinois, that I might put out ... but it won't be at "yard sale" price.

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