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Suggestions on a starter rod/reel/line?


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40 replies to this topic

#1 PeachySteph

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Posted 13 June 2015 - 09:35 PM

I'm new to fly fishing, and was wondering what everyone's thoughts are on a good (and affordable) beginner rod/reel/line?

 

 

We fish for trout in the Chattahoochee river, and also anywhere from the bluegill, crappie, smallmouth, largemouth, spotted, and the striped bass in Lake Lanier.

 

 

I will be using it the majority of the time (small hands), but I'm sure my fiance would like a go at it too.


"If at first you don't succeed, keep on suckin' 'till you do suck seed" -- Curly (The Three Stooges)


#2 saltydancindave

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Posted 13 June 2015 - 10:07 PM

Haven't fished the 'Hooch in Roswell for years, but took a 9' #6 weight to cast bead head GRHE ( bead head gold ribbed hare's ear ) nymph fishing & some BWO's ( blue wing olives ) dry fly fishing. Would be a good size for bass, panfish & shell crackers too with flies ranging from # 20 - # 8 & with a shorter leader for larger size #6 or #4's. 



#3 Gene L

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Posted 13 June 2015 - 11:56 PM

That's a large range, from bream to stripers.  I don't think there is a single rod will do it all, especially on the upper end of fishing.  As a fellow Georgian, I believe I'd target one species and go from there. For trout in the Hooch, a five weight will do the job, but probably for larger LM bass, you'll want to throw bigger flies and use a bigger rod.

 

I don't know what to tell you.  There is no an universal rod (I wish there were).  Maybe a 6 or 7 weight to comfortably fish for larger fish, but I can't say for sure.  I've caught a lot of fish on a 5 wt and a smaller fly, but felt undergunned for larger pond bass.  Never fished Lanier for those big fish. But I suspect you'll throw a lot of line at them, and larger flies.

 

Good luck.  Rod/reel choices are myriad and mostly depend on your checkbook.  Line?  I don't think it matters all that much, especially starting off.  An inexpensive line from Academy will work just fine. At the end of the season, you can also get some cheap no-name rods in the heavier weights, 7-8.  A couple of years ago, I got a satisfactory rod for $11 in October, after the season on close-outs.  Cheap reel seat, bad cork, but it throws a good line.



#4 PeachySteph

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Posted 14 June 2015 - 07:39 AM

I figured I would need two separate rods. Thanks for the info. I see them occasionally at pawn shops around here too. But the last one I saw was HUGE (must have  been for saltwater).


"If at first you don't succeed, keep on suckin' 'till you do suck seed" -- Curly (The Three Stooges)


#5 FIN-ITE 34

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Posted 14 June 2015 - 08:13 AM

Maybe a trip to Bass Pro. They have a number of entry fly outfits at various price points. You can't go wrong with the workhorse all around 9' 5wt rod. You can nymph, dry fly and throw medium streamers with that rod. It can also be used for bass. crappie and panfish. Get a reel that can hold 100 yards of backing and I would not be afraid to tackle an occasional linesider with it either.



#6 artimus001

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Posted 14 June 2015 - 08:25 AM

a combo is the best way i think to start fishing. everything is balanced to work together as a unit. plus it will help cut the cost of getting started. with the majority of your fish and flies on the smaller side i would suggest a 5-6 or 6-7 wt rod/ combo.


i'm the ghetto fly guy; enjoying the sport of kings, on a pauper's budget

 

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#7 Adam Saarinen

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Posted 14 June 2015 - 09:49 AM

If you didn't mention that you had a fiance, i'm shore this thread would be 10 pages long already with helpfull information & someone wanting to send a unused rod, someone wanting to send a unused reel, someone wanting to send a unused line & the rest posting a SBS on how to put it all together!:-) All complaments aside, forget the budget & buy a Hardy zenith sintrix 5wt 8,10' one piece rod!:-) All jokes aside, listen to artimus! But if the combo has a rio line? Go with it!

#8 kentuckytroutbum

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Posted 14 June 2015 - 11:02 AM

Cabela's is having a "Father's Day" sale on fly fishing gear. Most of the fly fishing sales associates are also fly fishers, so they're pretty knowledgeable about gear, and could help set you up properly.

 

Also, check out Little River Outfitters in Townsend, TN (near GSMNP), they're helpful also.

 

You're close to some great trout waters in E. TN, about 2 hours north of you. LRO can give you some great info on fishing the tailwaters.

 

Good Luck, and Tight Lines.

 

Bill



#9 FlaFly

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Posted 14 June 2015 - 12:05 PM

The suggestions for BPS and Cabelas are good for starters.  I'd start anyone, especially one fishing lakes, with an 8 ft, 5 wt, level line, floating.  If you don't spend too much on reels, get two, one with level and one WF.  You're going to be fishing for bluegills and bass mostly on or near the surface, at least to start. 

Gene is right, though in that fishing for trout is a whole 'nuther game, depending on where and how you fish for them (streams or rivers/lakes, wading or boat/canoe/kayak, dry flies or sinkers like midges/streamers).  Some streams might call for a shorter rod for example.  If you're fishing a big river I assume you're in a boat, and my rod suggestion would seem OK for a start.  Also, if you're a hand-stripper, as most folks who fish for panfish are, you probably don't need a big arbor reel with heavyweight drag... an inexpensive reel will do fine.  After all, all it is is a place to store your line after you're through fishing.

Having said all that, this is the place to get a hundred different opinions, and you'll have to sort them out as to what sounds most reasonable.


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Their names were what? and why? and when? and how? and where? and who?"
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#10 Gene L

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Posted 14 June 2015 - 12:07 PM

I figured I would need two separate rods. Thanks for the info. I see them occasionally at pawn shops around here too. But the last one I saw was HUGE (must have  been for saltwater).

 

Yeah, you got to know what you're buying and the weight (the weight line it's designed for) of the rod.  Ebay has some pretty good buys on used rods, but you need to do your homework. Also on reels and line.

 

I'd recommend a book on fly fishing, probably at your local library or on Kindle.  There's lots of information out there.



#11 PeachySteph

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Posted 14 June 2015 - 12:54 PM

If you didn't mention that you had a fiance, i'm shore this thread would be 10 pages long already with helpfull information & someone wanting to send a unused rod, someone wanting to send a unused reel, someone wanting to send a unused line & the rest posting a SBS on how to put it all together!:-) All complaments aside, forget the budget & buy a Hardy zenith sintrix 5wt 8,10' one piece rod!:-) All jokes aside, listen to artimus! But if the combo has a rio line? Go with it!

 

ha! 

 

I'd be interested in buying a used rod from someone, assuming it's in the "budget".

 

 

Cabela's is having a "Father's Day" sale on fly fishing gear. Most of the fly fishing sales associates are also fly fishers, so they're pretty knowledgeable about gear, and could help set you up properly.

 

Also, check out Little River Outfitters in Townsend, TN (near GSMNP), they're helpful also.

 

You're close to some great trout waters in E. TN, about 2 hours north of you. LRO can give you some great info on fishing the tailwaters.

 

Good Luck, and Tight Lines.

 

Bill

 

eesh.. Honestly, I'm not willing to travel all the way to TN to look at and possibly purchase fishing gear. 

 

 

The chattahoochee is a fairly large river. I fish it just below Buford Dam (right at the dam). I've seen many fly fishermen wading out into the middle, when the dam isn't released. When it's released, the only option would be a boat (which we don't have) or from the banks. Other than that, we stick to Lake Lanier and it's many little coves/bays. We recently found a creek/stream with some nice bass, etc. in it that I would like to try.


"If at first you don't succeed, keep on suckin' 'till you do suck seed" -- Curly (The Three Stooges)


#12 mikechell

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Posted 14 June 2015 - 04:32 PM

$100.00 from BPS.  

http://www.basspro.c.../product/96504/

I just looked.  Actually, it's on sale right now for $89.00.  I have two of them and couldn't be happier.  Comes with rod, reel and fly line ... 5 weight ... very versatile and I have a blast with mine.


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#13 J-Kno

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Posted 14 June 2015 - 04:39 PM

For budget friendly rods I would contact steeldrifter on this site. He'd likely be able to make you 2 rods (maybe a 5 & 7wt) for the price you'd pay for one "budget" rod at the retail stores... and his work is beautiful.

 

Keep in mind that even on a 7wt rod, the reel mostly holds line. I use the cheaper Okuma reals as I just palm the exposed ring anyways if I need more drag. 



#14 FlaFly

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Posted 14 June 2015 - 06:41 PM

The BPS Mike posted is a pretty good starter rod (that you probably will use for years).  If you want to contact Steve (Steeldrifter), the good thing about him is that he will tailor your rod to your particular needs, and offer lots of help/advice (you can't always trust the advice you get from store personnel).  

You should also become familiar with the difference between glass rods and graphite.  They each have their merits, and their own followers who will convince you theirs is best.  Steve can help you, whether you buy from him or not.


"Good advice is always certain to be ignored, but that's no reason not to give it."

Agatha Christie

 

"No one wants advice -- only corroboration."

John Steinbeck

 

"I had six faithful serving men, they taught me all I knew.

Their names were what? and why? and when? and how? and where? and who?"
Rudyard Kipling
 


#15 Gene L

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Posted 14 June 2015 - 07:18 PM

The Bass Pro special is a pretty good deal.  The thing about the OP is I think she's a beginner and doesn't really have any particular needs at this time.  She undoubtedly will develop these later on.  (Correct me if I'm wrong on this.)  If Steeldrifter can beat that price, go for it.  He makes a much nicer looking rod custom built with a lot better components, but I don't see how he can beat the price for a basic fishing rod. That's $90 for rod, reel, line (I think) and backing.

 

Glass and graphite.  Love them all.  They're all good for different reasons.  There was a time a few years back when you could get a used good older fiberglass rod pretty cheap, but those days are over. Generally, glass is a bit slower than graphite and a bit heavier unless you get the upper tier of glass, and they're $$$.  Some say they will present a dry fly more delicately, but I don't think so.  To me, fiberglass offers more of a challenge, but I like that.

 

As I said before, I bought three End Of The Year 9 ft 7-8 wt graphite rods for $11 each at Academy Sports a couple of years ago.  They ain't much to look at, aluminum down-locking seats and cheap cork, but I use them for bass with a Pflueger 1495 reel and a $12 WF line and they cast just fine. I kept two, gave one to my fishing buddy.  I fell on one on a rock, wrapped it on the stress mark, and epoxied it near the handle. So far, so good. If I'd fallen on a more expensive rod, I'd still be crying.

 

You can still get a new Eagle Claw Featherlight glass rod for $40 or so from Walmart, store pickup.  They're butt-over, heavy, and butt ugly, but fish just fine but aren't available in longer lengths.  But were it me, I'd get a graphite rod, which amounts (Bass Pro) for about the same price rod alone.  And you've got an outfit.