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Dusted off my fly rod


35 replies to this topic

#1 Bill_729

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 06:18 PM

Hello,

 

This is my first post here.

 

I was an avid tyer and interested fisher in the late 70's. Taking an "adult education" tying class at the local community college back then increased my skills several levels. I had been tying without a bobbin prior to that with my $9.99 tying kit. My grandfather contributed his Thompson Model B vise after he found out I was interested. 

 

I dusted off my Daiwa fiberglass fly rod and reversed my AirCel DT7F line this week. No complaints about my Olympic fly reel (I noticed that they don't make them anymore). I live in central Indiana now.  I caught an admittedly small sunfish on my 2nd cast yesterday (at an "old pond"), but at least it was encouraging. 10 minutes later I had a small bass (I didn't know that they made them that small).  Replacing my 40 year old homemade size 14 calfs-tail streamer with a size 8 popper, I got continued interest by fish, but apparently none big enough to take it. It would have "boggled my mind" to know that the fly I tied back then would entice a few fish for me 40 years down the road, with a wife. Patrick F. McManus was my favorite author. He would probably say "you should be careful what you fish for!".  There's a small nugget of fishing wisdom for you! Maybe that's why they call it a half hitch? : )

 

I would say that my Daiwa fiberglass rod has medium action. It actually replaced my first rod which had a slow action. I think I paid about $30 for the Daiwa rod, and maybe $20 for the Scientific Angler's AirCel line (way back then).  The "unused end" that I fished yesterday floats better. I would guess that the line has a bit more than 100 hours of use on it.

 

My Question is whether there would be an appreciable advantage to replacing the line (with Cortland 444 "classic", DT7F), which costs $60. Or I could possibly start over with a graphite rod. I have noticed that the price of fly rods and reels has, at the very least, kept up with inflation. For me, the fly reel has never been much more than a line holder. At least, I never spent time wishing I had a better reel (so I am not eager to spend $100+ for one).   I have thought that a firmer rod my help me pick up the line off of the water easier. But I don't blame my tackle when I make a mistake. I made at least 2 yesterday, but I didn't snap off any flies from my 4# tippet.  I can occasionally make a lovely (delicate) 40' cast.  I don't cast into the wind as well as I would like.   I've thought of assembling a 5-weight outfit, but it seems unreasonable to expect it to help me cast bass bugs better than my 7-weight.  I worry, perhaps unwarranted, that a WF line would keep me from make as delicate a cast. Old habits die hard.  I am getting ready to throw some money at the Hook & Hackle Co. catalog. They appear to have an interest in helping the "price conscious" fly-fisher, which I appreciate.  After all, I took up fly tying (and wood working) to save money (ha ha!).

 

Thanks for reading (sorry for such a long introduction!),

Bill_729

 

 

 

 

 


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#2 mikechell

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 07:27 PM

Welcome to the site, Bill.  I can't answer your question, as I've never spent big money on equipment.  I've got 8 or 9 fly rods with reels, and most of them are combos that cost less than $100.00.  Bass Pro Shops is where I've purchased those, and I love them all.

I don't like fiberglass rods, so my recommendation would be to "upgrade" to a "Dogwood Canyon" or similar BPS combo.

 

PS ... I was morn and raised in Logansport.  We have a member from Lafayette.  Where in central Indiana are you hailing from?


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#3 Flicted

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Posted 19 July 2019 - 07:43 AM

Welcome Bill. In my opinion, you can't go wrong with Hook and Hackle. I have never seen customer service even close to them. They have unbelievable specials and right now, they have free shipping. I built a 5wt travel rod recently. $149.00 blank marked down to 44.50. Components cost me around 60 but you could get by with cheaper in some of their kits. Glad you got back into it.

#4 steeldrifter

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Posted 19 July 2019 - 09:07 AM

Welcome aboard Bill. Sounds like you had a fun day at the old pond and are ready to get back into the sport full bore. When it comes to modern rods, they are head and shoulders above the feel of the old low cost glass rods of the old days. There's no need to go crazy on spending money, but a new graphite rod, even something like Mike suggested with the BPS rod, plus a new decent line (BPS also has some good quality low cost lines) will make the jump back into fly fishing much more enjoyable for you.


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#5 mikechell

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Posted 19 July 2019 - 11:22 AM

OH ... and if you have just a little over $100.00 to spend on a rod ... get a custom built one from Steve (steeldrifter) above.

better'n all the store bought ones at prices that are a steal.  Steve truly short changes himself on every rod he sells on this site.


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#6 Poopdeck

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Posted 19 July 2019 - 08:03 PM

^ I couldn't agree more with this.

Welcome back to fly fishing.

#7 Bill_729

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 01:26 AM

Steeldrifter wrote: "There's no need to go crazy on spending money, but a new graphite rod, even something like Mike suggested with the BPS rod, plus a new decent line (BPS also has some good quality low cost lines)"

 

Mikechell's suggestion made an impression on me.  I've been comparing BPS and Cabela's for two days now (I am pretty sure that BPS is being absorbed into Cabela's, though I don't know any details).  Their web sites are slightly different. Cabela's has a "White River Dogwood Canyon Fly Outfit" for $99.99 andthe "Cabela's Big Horn Fly Combo" for the same price.  Not sure how these are really different from one another (FWIW, I've been looking at  9', Wt-5 rods).  I assume that the line on the White River outfit is the same as the White River line for $19.99.  Is that line in your category of "good quality low cost line", or were you thinking of something else? I don't need to buy the cheapest thing available.  If I spend $100 or $125, it doesn't make that much difference to me, but I wasn't looking to spend $250, for instance.   Though I noticed in one review (of a different rod) where the reviewer wrote that his rod rattled a little. I think that would be a deal-breaker for me, even if it were free...lol

 

It's been over 90 degrees here for at least 4 days now, and the fish wouldn't show their faces today (I think they are tired of it too).

I snapped off a size 6 (?) (Mustad 79580) streamer off of my 4# tippet.   I figured it was due to a bad cast, but I have to ask whether bigger flies like that should be used with heavier tippets?   I used to use 2# tippet (not for a big streamer, like I mentioned), but it was costing me in flies..., I upgraded to 4#, as my default size.

 

Thanks for the welcome and the suggestions that you all have provided!

 

Bill_729


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#8 Bill_729

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 03:49 AM

"Sounds like you had a fun day at the old pond and are ready to get back into the sport full bore."

 

I wouldn't mind living "where the weather suits my clothes...", but Indiana isn't really like that. I guess it's true that fish don't mind if the temperature of the air isn't 60 or 70 degrees, but they do seem knowledgeable about geography.  I mean, for starters, without pouring over the details, they like water!  smile.png

 

I can appreciate looking at a well-tied fly, whether I tied it or someone else did--certainly typically the latter (I was looking earlier at photos from the "Ray Bergman Collection" on this site).  It represents inspiration, history and craftsmanship (as does woodworking, for instance, which I think picks up some of the nuances of "culture" even more effectively, but I could be wrong).    I appreciate listening to a good fiddle tune even though I don't really play.   I don't consider myself even a "very good" tyer, but occasionally a fly comes out nice by accident and amuses me. One popular tyer wrote that he once tied 20 dozen flies in a day.  I doubt I have tied that many in my tying career (which peaked when I was in high school). But "production" was never my main goal. I'm not afraid to take a razor blade to my "work" and retrieve the hook.  I know from experience that the 3rd try usually comes out better and faster than the 1st try, the same as in most things.   If you regard "the sport" as an incarnation of inspiration, history and craftsmanship, then I never left it.  If you include the spirit of Patrick F. McManus into the sport, which I will (since this is my post), or Robert Traver (author of "Trout Magic", "Trout Madness"), the cutting humor of the writing of the former, and the cutting elegance of the writing of the latter, never left me either. They both helped prepare me for some of the trials and tribulations which awaited me...LOL    

 

Hope you had half as much fun with this as I did.  I suspect that I'm among some like-minded people--people who are pretty sure that Izaak Walton didn't have a brother named Jim-Bob or John-Boy!  ; )

 

Cheers,

Bill_729


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#9 tjm

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 06:57 AM

I've tried some "better" lines and some some graphite (including one Orvis) and now am back to fishing with glass rods and DT lines very similar to the Air Cell that was top of the line then and may still be under a new name. I think the 444 Peach I use is still the same line that competed with AirCell and currently retails ~$60 on Amazon

I think I'd like your old Daiwa, I thought they looked nice back then but never owned one.  As I age I find the long stiff  carbon rods stress my body a great deal more than 8' 'glass doing the same job. High gloss technology is often just high gloss and marketing. I had almost quit fishing a few years ago til I came into a yard sale Fenwick from about 1969 and rediscovered the fun of fishing shorter softer rods. 

The Dogwood Canyon (Bass Pro house brand, I think)  rod is pretty nice for the price point, at least the one I used was, the reel wasn't much and the line wasn't either. If I was looking at that store though, I'd be buying TFO stuff.



#10 Dave G.

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 07:19 AM

For bass poppers and larger top water streamers and such I use straight mono fishing line. I like the Berkley Big Game I think it's call ( the green stuff from Walmart). I make a two section leader from that. I keep a loop tag off my fly line, then the upper section of my two section leader is 15lb test or so ( think I'm using 17 now actually) and the lower section is something between 10 and 12lb test. Bass are not leader shy, nor are they particularly splash shy, they might even poke their heads out when a fly hits the water and jump on it.  This whole leader is about 6 ft long or so, with a loop at the top, then it goes loop to loop to the fly line loop. Most modern lines have a loop built into them fwiw. Anyway I've never fished for bass on line less than 8lb test, 10lb is better.

 

I wouldn't specifically get a 5 wt for bass fishing, it can be done with a 5 wt but a 7 would be more suited, or even an 8 if it gets weedy where you are ( most bass ponds are weedy). Plus the 8 wt can toss a good 5-6inch streamer tied with synthetic fibers resembling small perch or sunfish well, You might get a 5lb bass or larger on one of those fished just under the surface in a stop suspend, twitch, stop suspend retrieve.. A 5 wt makes a good general rod for fishing search patterns, covers trout to small bass comfortably, just a nice all round wt rod, good in moderate sized rivers too.. So is a 6 wt on ponds, I fished ponds for 20 years with nothing but 6 wt rods actually. But when you're aiming for bass and want a rig that is bass specific, I suggest a heavier rod like 7 or 8 wt. I have a good snappy 7 wt and toss an 8 wt line with it, it puts a popper out like launching a rocket, then wind is less of an issue too. Just my nickles worth.


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


#11 tjm

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 09:31 AM

 

suggest a heavier rod like 7 or 8 wt.

x2

I would only use 5wt and under for tiny flies, < #14, trout specific,  but I'm not a very good caster and the standard 6wt or heavier covers/compensates for some of my casting faults. A 7 1/2 foot 7wt is getting a good bit of use on my small mouth river lately.



#12 mikechell

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 10:13 AM

I'm not disagreeing with the above comments on higher weight rods, but most of mine are 5 weights.  I've caught plenty of hefty fish and pulled them out of the weeds ... but I use 10# test for my tippet.  14# test leader and a foot or so of the 10# is all I use.  Actually, one of my largest fly caught bass was taken on a 5.6" 3 weight Steve built for me.  It also has 10# test tippet.  I use it for the length and the ease of throwing under overhangs/docks, etc.  

All of my store bought combos were fished with the accompanying line.  Most of them went 3 or 4 years before needing to be replaced.

I know I am cheap ... but I can't imagine having MORE fun fishing just because I paid more for my equipment.  (I did get a chance to fish [for several days] a $1000.00 rod a couple of years ago ... I didn't like it, at all)

 

Three main reasons for breaking off a fly, in my experience. 

1.  Air knots that weaken the line and go unnoticed until the line breaks.  Indicated by a "J" bend at the break.

2.  Not retying the fly after a few fish, snags or a while of casting.  The line gets beat up near the fly.  Indicated by frayed, rough looking line at the break.

3.  The knot used to tie the fly on.  If it's not tied correctly (overlaying where it's not supposed to) or it's not tightened down all the way, sudden pressure can snap it.  Usually indicated by a sharp, broken end, or a curly end.  (Depending on where, in the knot, it broke)


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#13 steeldrifter

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 10:18 AM

Cabelas has in fact been bought by Bass Pro, you are correct in that. They still operate separately but they are both owned by BPS now. The $19.99 line that BPS sells is under their name is not a bad line at all. It is actually made for them by Scientific Anglers and just sold under the BPS name brand. The Dogwood canyon rod that BPS sells is a pretty decent rod for the price, the reel that comes with it is pretty bad though, so if you go the combo route be ready to replace the reel rather quickly.

 

5wt can catch a bass, but I do agree that a 7/8wt is a much better choice if bass are the target species. Not just because it will handle the fish better, but if you throw larger streamers that are wind resistant and absorb a lot of water than it's gonna be much easier to do that on a 7/8 than on a 5wt. So just depends on exactly what sort of fishing you plan to do as to if the 5wt is gonna be the right choice or something heavier.


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#14 fshng2

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 10:31 AM

Hope this helps.

What are you fishing for chart:
http://www.fishingin...rodsuggest2.htm

Selecting a fly rod:
http://www.fishingin...odselection.htm

#15 tjm

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 10:38 AM

if you throw larger streamers that are wind resistant and absorb a lot of water than it's gonna be much easier to do that on a 7/8 than on a 5wt.

This.

Sure you can get there with lighter line, for me it takes a lot more work. Breaking off hooks or fish is strictly a tippet factor in my opinion, rod line weight doesn't matter to me at that point. fish species does not matter in line selection think of the flies and what it takes to drag them through the air, pick the line for that and select a rod that matches the line.





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