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fishinorhuntin

Best beginner fly rod length, WT and action

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A moderate graphite rod, something that gives him feedback and isn't a dog to cast in a 6 or 7wt at least 8.5' should do it. Even a decent panfish will put bend in a 6 wt. A 7wt weight will push larger flies easier.

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Yep, I stick by my 6 wt moderate action thought. But if 5's are working for Rob in his area, they will work for the boy too ! I know my son bought his (at the time been a couple of years now) 11 yo son a White River 5 wt and he got along with it right away. I was teaching another grand son to cast on a 5 wt, he got on just ok with it but was younger at the time. When we got home from Maine after that trip I put him on a 4 wt and he instantly fell in love with it in the yard here. But I know he would fight with that on our windy ponds. So now he is 13, we will see what we do this summer for him. He's had two years off of course, he tore a tendon in his heel last year that went most of the summer and now he just came out of a cast a month ago , broken arm so oh boy this guy might be a klutz !

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The problem with rod action is that one man's moderate action is another man's slow action is another man's moderately fast action. A moderate action rod bends the upper two-thirds of the rod during a cast of 30 feet of fly line.



Here is how GLoomis defines rod action. I happen to agree with this chart.



G%20Loomis%20Rod%20Action%20Chart_zpsejb



It is my opinion that the best rod for teaching beginners is a moderately fast action fly rod as defined by G Loomis. It is slow enough for the beginner to feel the rod bend, and not so slow that timing or stroke adjustment is too difficult.



Please follow my logic as to why this is true.



The slower the fly rod action, greater the fly rod bends for a given cast. The more a fly rod bends, the closer the rod tip comes to the casting hand. The closer the fly rod comes to the casting hand, the more variation in the effective rod length (the distance from the casting hand to the rod tip). The greater the variation in the effective rod length during the cast, the greater the caster must adjust the casting stroke to get the rod tip to move in a straight line path for a tight casting loop. The greater the adjustment the caster must make, the more difficult the cast.



Similarly, the slower the rod, the longer the caster must wait between the forward and backward casting motions for a given casting length. The greater the variation in timing, the greater the potential for mistiming the cast.



Slow rods require more adjustment for both the rod stroke and timing for a given cast.



The problem with very fast rods is that they do not bend enough for beginning casters to feel the rod bend.



The easiest rod for the beginner is one that bend enough for the beginner to feel the rod bending, but not so slow as to need more stroke and timing adjustments to feel the rod bending during the cast. My opinion is that this is a moderately fast rod.



See the following illustrations 5 and 6 by Simon Gawesworth illustrating the how the geometric chord varies much more greatly with a slower fly rod for a given cast. Hence a medium action rod requires a wider casting arc, a slower rate of acceleration, and a longer stroke than a faster rod.



The question is what rod action allows the beginner to feel the rod bend but not so much as to require a greater than necessary variation of casting stroke as casting distances vary?





SimonGawesworthLoad-Loop-2.gif



chord_of_an_arc_zps78fa7eac.png




Note that both the stroke length and stroke arc must change as casting distance changes if a SLP of the rod tip and a tight loop is to formed. The question is what rod action allows the beginner to feel the rod bend but not so much as to require a greater than necessary variation of casting stroke as casting distances vary? My opinion is that the best all around rod is the moderately fast action rod and also that this is a slow enough rod action for the beginner to "feel" the rod but not so slow as to require as much stroke variation as a medium action fly rod.



adjustments3.jpg

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Great charts SilverCreek ! Hmmm, wonder where a Dogwood Canyon outfit fits in there, I never casted one !

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Bass Pro Shops usually have fly casting classes two or three times a year. If you're at the store and it's not too busy, you might even get one of the guys to give an impromptu class right there.

Look your closest store up, online, and see what their calendar looks like.

 

Dave,

I've got two Dogwood Canyons, two Buggers and one Cricket. I have never photographed the tips to see where they fit on the chart ... but I can honestly tell you, they are all fun to use all day long.

Light enough to cast all day, strong enough to bring everything I've caught so far to the boat.

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Wow, and thanks for the book. The gentleman asked as simple question, and you have to write a thesis on it. While a lot of it is very informative, it is way above the needs of the OP. I think Steeldrifter more than adequately answered the question. All your charts and graphs just lead a person to more complications in solving the question at hand. If he is going to have a custom one built, then that info could come into play.possibly and he should get with a professional builder who will line him out on the best and most feasible choice for a build. Aside from that for his application he simply needs to go to one of the stores check out several different models . that will fit his style and abilities.

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Wow this is more information than I was expecting!! All great information and I really appreciate the responses.

 

I went on Green Tops website and noticed a 3 piece 9' 5/6 WT fly rod on sale for $40. It is a Plueger Medalist, seems kind of cheap to me. I have a 9WT Plueger Medalist and love the rod, but I didn't pay that low for it! I don't want something that will be falling apart either. I think I am going to get one of the rods Mike suggested at Bass Pro and like some have said aftaer using it for a year or so, we can upgrade to a better rod. Or I could get off my butt and learn how to build my own rods. Always wanted to get into that!

 

Again, thank you to all for all the great information!

 

Rob

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Bass Pro Shops usually have fly casting classes two or three times a year. If you're at the store and it's not too busy, you might even get one of the guys to give an impromptu class right there.

Look your closest store up, online, and see what their calendar looks like.

 

Dave,

I've got two Dogwood Canyons, two Buggers and one Cricket. I have never photographed the tips to see where they fit on the chart ... but I can honestly tell you, they are all fun to use all day long.

Light enough to cast all day, strong enough to bring everything I've caught so far to the boat.

I could ask my son, Mike. He would know, he bought the 5 wt for his kid and said it casted pretty nice but I never asked him what the action was like.

 

OT: My Sage II has a busted tip right now, I need to send it in I guess . I emailed them to get a tip section because really I'd like to rebuild the rod, it's getting pretty worn, needs a new reel seat and stuff. It's been worked and worked and pounded over 20 or more years and I doubt they will do all that on warranty. I haven't heard back from them. But that is absolutely my favorite 6 wt ( I own 3-6 wts). The thing is, Mike, it will nymph well and cast a streamer pretty well too. And that fine tip is both forgiving yet hold larger fish. My wife landed a 24" LL Salmon on the same rod, though in a boat so we could go drift after it.

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While I am in the business of selling custom rods ( and have been for over 50 years) My suggestion is to get him something inexpensive to start and learn with. A lot of the new generation of kids take to it, a lot of others do not. One can always progress forward after the initial encounter and find that they are really into it, others is just isn't their passion. We experience this a lot in the rod building industry. A person thinks it will be great to jump into it, goes for all upper level building tools and components, then the nex thing you see is a ad or ebay post where the stuff is for sale, at a substancial loss. Is he going to do or like it any better with the 40 or 50.00 kit, or the 850.00 Sage or Winston. I really do not think so. Start conservative and progress from there

 

I can assure you that fish he is trying to catch does not know the difference in either rod

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I don't know a whole lot about that Pflueger rod but I do know that a few guys around the forums here have liked the Pflueger action. Any Pflueger I picked up to test cast was pretty whip like in action but I never took one fishing. I liken the following of them to that of the people who always liked Fenwicks. Not that they are the same type of rod but the following is. And both names probably aren't what they once were anyway ( whether that be bad or good).

 

The big thing is a decent blank, IMO. And most are today. You can't expect the best hardware on a $50 rod if that is what you go for.. I already mentioned that my sons first rod became our backup rod for Maine trips and later got stripped and rebuilt with new grip, seat and guides. It's a whole different rod today but still around 30 years later and still fished too. Well what I didn't say is that it was just a cheap rod, the guides wore and started tearing up expensive fly lines ( peeling them). The same thing happened on my stepsons entry level Corland rod, he rebuilt that one too after a few years of use, with hard guides etc. Nothing wrong with the blank in either case, I mean they caught salmon right along side everyone else on the river. I still have the next level up Cortland all in original condition, it's my stream rod in 3-4 wt. Not worn except the discolored grip from years of use. So sometimes it's worth just that few bucks more to get better components. I want to say back then, those outfits the kids got were around $59 and my Cortland rod alone was about $80. There were no big discounters back then, no big box fishing outfits like Bass Pro and rods were built in england and USA etc. You didn't have the cheap Chinese influx of stuff, so inflation may not count all that much. These were bought in full price fly shops.

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I've always preferred little bit heavier weights as far was ease of casting. I would probably with a 6 weight should be enough to handle most fish and if he's fishing for Bass with it it will have more options for big fly surviving lines and shooting heads than a 5 weight.

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The fly rod action that a caster prefers seems to correlate a bit with their personality. So consider whether your son is laid back or a more agressive personality. It will tend to mirror the rod action that will fit him best.

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Dave,

I've got two Dogwood Canyons, two Buggers and one Cricket. I have never photographed the tips to see where they fit on the chart ... but I can honestly tell you, they are all fun to use all day long.

Light enough to cast all day, strong enough to bring everything I've caught so far to the boat.

That would be the pink cricket right Mike ?

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The rod matters not. By far the main thing is to have fun catching fish with whatever rod you choose. For that reason I would tend to pick a rod the was more suitable for bluegill, crappie, and smallmouth; fish that are easy and fun to catch.

 

No one rod will fill all of his needs. If he just has fun catching fish, nature and time will take care of the rest.

That applies to some adults too not just kids. My 40 year old brother will happily fish if they are biting , doesn't matter what is biting or how little they are as long as the bite is on. If it slows down he wants to leave and would rather be on the computer. He hasn't changed in that respect since he was little.

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Dave,

I've got two Dogwood Canyons, two Buggers and one Cricket. I have never photographed the tips to see where they fit on the chart ... but I can honestly tell you, they are all fun to use all day long.

Light enough to cast all day, strong enough to bring everything I've caught so far to the boat.

That would be the pink cricket right Mike ?

 

No, Brian ... they said they were saving the last one of those for you. I got the green one.

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