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Suggestions on a starter rod/reel/line?


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40 replies to this topic

#16 tidewaterfly

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Posted 14 June 2015 - 07:25 PM

Steph, I sent you a PM with some contact info for a fellow in your area that may be able to give you some advice on rods & fly fishing in general. Fact is, all of us have our favorite brands & weights.

It's probably best if you can get some casting instruction then try some different rods to see what you like best. We all cast differently, so even the same model rod will not always feel the same to everyone, and how it feels when casting is as important as how it performs. 

 

As has been noted, the range of fish species you wish to chase would require at least two rods. I don't know the area, but do know Striper fishing, and you might do well with a 9 wt for that end of the spectrum. But, talk to that fellow & see what he suggests since he's in GA. For the trout end, I like the 5 or 6 wt suggestion, but again have no experience so ask about that too! 



#17 saltydancindave

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Posted 14 June 2015 - 07:39 PM

Drive down into Buckhead as the Fish Hawk & Orvis stores are only about a mile apart. There's new & used rods & reels equipment ( on the website ) & the other has starter outfits as well as just about every new rod offered; both shops with knowledgeable employees which can get you better equipped with flies, hooks, leaders, tippet, fly tying thread & materials too. 



#18 Gene L

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Posted 14 June 2015 - 09:31 PM

Here's another choice, a Pflueger 1894, a rod, and line for $50 at Academy.

 

http://www.academy.c...combo/pid-11457



#19 FlaFly

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Posted 14 June 2015 - 09:41 PM

Gene

That's a good find.  If I didn't like the rod I'd throw it away and keep the medalist.  I LOVE Pflueger Medalists.  I have two... one I bought bat in 1959.


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

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Their names were what? and why? and when? and how? and where? and who?"
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#20 mikechell

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Posted 14 June 2015 - 10:16 PM

Those $49 dollar combos at Academy are okay in a pinch (Like when you want to go fishing but you left your stuff at home) ... but the rod is heavy.  It's not real good for a full day of fishing.


Barbed hooks rule!
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#21 Gene L

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Posted 14 June 2015 - 10:56 PM

I remember seeing the outfits at Academy.  They're in bubble packs.  I'm not sure you can find new Medalists outside the kit combos. They've become minor collectibles. Especially the American made ones.

 

I like Medalists as well. I heard rumors that someone is making a all-machined Medalist, but until I see it, I'll treat it as a rumor.  They are, as Mike said, kinda heavy but were and are good, honest reels with an effective drag. They were a working man's reel, American made and were the working man's choice and possibly the only choice back in the 40s that had a drag. My first fly reel was a Bronson, IIRC, and had no drag at all.  Still, I caught a fish or two with it.

 

The Korean and Japanese Medalists will interchange parts with the American made ones.

 

The older ones came RH retrieve and were convertible to LH, except for the 1492, which was RH only.  I'm a reel freak. You can find them around for $40 or so on Ebay.  The ring guard ones are pretty collectible and are priced more.



#22 Dave G.

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Posted 15 June 2015 - 04:01 AM

Last year my son went to Bass Pro and bought his son his first flyrod for a trip tro Maine. It's a White River 8'6" 5 wt.outfit and it fishes fine. He caught his first brook trout on it and that photo resides on my cell phone screen. there were LL salmon in the area too, the rod would be fine for LL salmon, He just happened to get trout. The rod For a starter rod is a good deal. We all start someplace. Both my boys staarted on the same no name rod outfit that I think cost $60 at the time. My oldest later took that rod and stripped it putting on good compents and it's a great fishing trout rod. For year before that rebuild, that rod resided in my camper I used to own and it was everyones backup in case of catastraphy. i had to use it myself one year, catching salmon right next to everyone else. but ya, that rod still is around to this day, that was more than 20, near 30 years ago the boys learned to flyfish on that rod. I believe that blank is a glass infused with graphite blank, it really has nice trout action to it and will last forever with these new components on it. It had cheap wire guides that got worn early on etc...

 

With a 5 wt ( my preference is a 9ft. rod) you can run the gammut of trout and larger pan fish, even limited bass fishing. It will hold the bass fine but if you get into big wind dragging poppers and bass bugs you may want a 7 wt or even 8 wt. for casting that. But ya know what? Bass hit the smaller pan fish bugs too, especially smallies. I generally use an 8 wt for bass but I've caught 3 lb bass on a 4 wt too, all the more fun !! I used small muddler minnows. There is a local tyer who used to tie this silly looking chartreuse deer hair bug. Small, shaped like an egg, or a WWII bomb, the bass love it. Get in a good bass pond and they jump this thing, any weight rod can cast it because of it's shape, So the 5 wt. to me is a perfect starting spot unless you have a lot of wind out your way, then I would bump up to a 6 wt. rod. For decades I caught trout here on Cape Cod with 6 wt rods, we have a lot of spring time wind here.

 

Where you fish the lake a lot I'd go minimum 9ft on the rod length. it will hold better form on longer casts than a shorter rod can, better line control in rivers too. Just sayin.


John 7:38 ESV  is about "Rivers of Living Water"


#23 artimus001

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Posted 15 June 2015 - 11:38 AM

winner, winner; chicken dinner.

 

as a first time caster, and working with a budget; you can't go wrong with either of the two combos that have been posted.

 

my favorite rod is a CTC rod. it is the only rod that they carry (8wt/sub $70), and gets fished far more than my TFO 8wt/$100 plus)


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

 

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#24 Gene L

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Posted 15 June 2015 - 11:56 AM

I've caught a lot of bass on a 5wt rod.  They don't throw a larger bug with grace, but they'll do the job.  A six may be better, if one is offered.  But I believe a five weight rod is never a mistake for general fishing for non-targeted species.

 

Beating the banks on Lanier probably won't pick up enough large bass to worry about it.  Lanier is such a huge lake, the fish have been in my limited experience hard to locate without a fish finder.

 

Just use a heavier tippet and you'll wrestle them down.  Last month, with a 5wt bamboo rod,  I lost the biggest bass I've ever hooked because he broke my tippet. I still kick myself for that, and it was a relatively strong 4x tippet.



#25 Dave G.

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Posted 15 June 2015 - 02:12 PM

Gene it happens, I hooked a rocket ship of a Salmon on 5X tippet, too dark to change out tippets I had all I could do to tie on this crazy big black marabou and chuck it out to this big fish that had been rising out there all evening out of the zone I had been fishing in.. Some guys were up that way but nobody was reaching it and if they did the fish wasn't taking the offering. Those guys left as it darkened outside.Well course wham, he took this thing and toppled off down river with my reel screaming and rod literally shaking and vibrating at each surge he took. I knew no way I was holding him, so a matter of when it broke off rather than if. That tippet lasted till about the 4 th tumble in and that was that but wow, exciting while it lasted !! Funny, I had tied that chunk of marabou on a number 6 bait hook , letting all the marabou stream behind. It had to be inviting to any big fish. So that became a pattern for us guys up there right at sunset, last light of the day. We caught a lot of nice big brook trout on that over the years but never a salmon like that one.


John 7:38 ESV  is about "Rivers of Living Water"


#26 djtrout

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Posted 15 June 2015 - 02:43 PM

Rod preference is so personal. Great recommendations above. I say go cheap, you can get great starter rods/reels (Bass Pro, Cabellas) for under $100. I wouldn't worry about it - they will feel fine and give you great service.

In your situation I think it might be important to have at least two rods ... the issue with 7/8 wt rods for bass is not the size of the fish at all, a 3 weight line will easily handle a big bass (with appropriate leader, but the fly line and rod would do the job and I'm not recommending this ...), rather it is the bulk and size of the fly. I have shad imitations 4-5" long that simply have to be cast by my 8 weight. Even the 7 wt is a little awkward with them. I fish poppers and flys/streamers for gills and smallmouth all the time with both my 7 and 8. I also bust bluegills with my 5. My 5 is my main trout rod, though I like my 4 weight for brooktrout.

A great 2 rod start would be the 6 weight (the first post was spot on I think) - that will do it for any of your species using smaller flies for bass than maybe you will ultimately, and an 8 for the bigger stuff.

That said, I'd stay with the 6 and develop for a while before deciding what your rod array should look like.

I too soon started collecting rods and would have done it differently if I gave myself time. To wit: after a couple decades lay off I came back to the sport in VA. My first rod (replacement, my rods were lost in a move a ways back) was an 8 because I wanted to target smallmouth and largemouth bass, and wanted the flexibility to have a decent striper rod (had friends who loved to striper fish and there was a possibility of steelhead trips). I love that rod still. Then I found great trout fishing in VA and got excited about getting a trout rod. Jumped too soon, got a 5 wt, followed a few months later by a 4 wt. Then I won an Orvis 7 wt in a raffle.

What that left me with is too many rods. There's not enough difference to matter; I love the 8 for big river fishing, bass/pike. I do like the 5 for big trout fishing on VA's larger streams. I would prefer a 7 or 7-1/2 foot 3 wt for my mountain brook trout rod over the 4 wt I have now. I like fishing the 5 for the bigger rainbows and browns, many people prefer to stick with 4 wt. Some right where I live swear by their 7 wt for big brown trout. It's all a matter of personal preference built on experience and learning. My 7 wt (granted, it was a raffle win) is just superfluous.

So, if I'd let life and times guide me, I'd have spent much less money and I'd have a short 3 wt, a softer than what I have 5 wt, and my 8 wt, and I'd be in rod nirvana. I don't have the budget to redo anything, and I'm not dissatisfied with what I have, but I always recommend to newcomers that they slow down and learn to use and love one rod and a set of techniques and target fish first. Thas' just me.


All types of fishing challenge, inspire, and energize me; but a day of solitude on a brook trout stream reconciles me with the world.


#27 Gene L

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Posted 15 June 2015 - 04:00 PM

Amazon.com has a combo 7-8 set for $22!  Plastic reel seat and a foam handle, but we're talking $22. Including the line.  Personally, I wouldn't buy a foam handle rod at any price, causes blisters, but there you go.



#28 saltydancindave

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Posted 16 June 2015 - 07:09 AM

Atlanta craigslist fly fishing search has a few rod-reel outfits for sale at below sale prices; or if Orvis fly rods, which just emailed a weekly sale ad doesn't fit in your choices.



#29 mikechell

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Posted 16 June 2015 - 07:44 AM

Amazon.com has a combo 7-8 set for $22!  Plastic reel seat and a foam handle, but we're talking $22. Including the line.  Personally, I wouldn't buy a foam handle rod at any price, causes blisters, but there you go.

You get blisters with foam handles?  

I've got several conventional rods that have foam handles, never got a blister from one.  I've got two fly rods with foam handles, also with no blisters.

But I would be very careful buying a $22 dollar rod unseen.  It's probably a $49 combo from a blister pack.  Again, those are very heavy rods, by comparison.  


Barbed hooks rule!
My definition of work: Doing something in which effort exceeds gain.
Ex-Marine ... quondam fidelis
 


#30 Gene L

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Posted 16 June 2015 - 02:09 PM

I don't like heavy rods, but I have some that are relatively heavy old glass rods.  Especially with Pfluger 1895 reels hung on them.  If I fished from daylight to dark I'd worry about it more, but three or four hours on the river is enough for me.

 

Early to mid 20th Century fishermen seemed like they could handle the weight before graphite.  I suspect they didn't fish all day or had stronger arms or simply could tolerate more than we can today.

 

I haven't fished foam handle rods enough to get a blister, but have heard they are rough on the hands.  So I'm repeating something I heard of butt not really experienced.   :)