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Thread: Getting started in fly fishing

  1. #1

    Default Getting started in fly fishing


    I have compiled the "Beginning Fly Fishing Answers" to date. This should be considered a group effort because it is composed of both good questions and excellent answers. If I have missed any posts, it was simply an oversight and if there are any other contributions that others wish to add, Please feel free to contribute. I will ask that any contributions be directed to me via Private Message so that this thread does not become too long, I will add all constructive contributions.

    I will continue to add to the thread as I see fit or by recommendation by other members. Please feel free to do the same by Private Messaging me so I can include it in the appropriate post. I can see this with more sections (e.g. bass, pike, lines, tippets, links etc.)


    P.S. Some posts had all images, including emoticons, removed because they were messed up when I pasted them into this thread.
    Last edited by apiman; March 31st, 2009 at 05:13 PM.

  2. # ADS

  3. #2

    Default General fly fishing

    Carp Starter’s post dec 18 2008

    The only way I can reply to your post is with questions. What I will write below is my approach and my opinions. But I think that my approach is very logical. But if anyone does not agree with my approach, I would like to hear from them – in life, everything is a learning process.

    Temptation today, will usually cost you money later because of mistakes.

    Your request for “suggestions for beginners fly rod/reel” is a bit vague. Are you looking for rod/reel makers or characteristics in a fly rod/reel (length and etc) or are you looking for specific rod/reel combos that you could buy - I cannot give you an answer for any of the above.

    Before I can give any answers, I must get answers to 3 questions.

    Which specie of fish will you be fishing for most of the time?
    What size of the water will you be fishing most of the time?
    What size fly will you be using most of the time?

    With the questions answered, I would be able to give about 3 possibilities of fly line weights that might be acceptable for your kind of fishing. Yes, one decides on the fly line weight first.

    Next. it would be in general terms – which types of fly rods (length, action and etc) might be acceptable for your kind of fishing. Reels – like someone said before, the reel I just for storing the fly line – so leave the reel to the end. Your
    choice of a reel will be one step before you decide on the cost - $$$$$.

    You might be able to buy a used combo for $50.00 and you certainly can buy a fly rod for over $3,000.00. So, price will be the final obstacle.

    But, I think that you would be able to buy a good rod/reel/line for under $200.00 (before taxes).

    See, I have not stated any specifics – rod/reel makers or rod length or line weight or whatever because I DO NOT KNOW WHAT YOU NEED.



    A Selection of Wongrs post Dec 18 2008

    Good suggestions. Species and body of water will almost entirely dictate what size of rod you should get.

    the bigger the fish, the more important the reel becomes. specifically, you'll want a better and smoother drag on your reel for fish that can bust a move.


    Baker wrote dec 18 2008

    if you want to get into fly fishing the best thing to do is to go to a store that specializes in it.

    One of the worst things you can do is buy from somebody who doesn't know what they are talking about. ie Canadian Tire or any spin tackle shop where the owner isn't a fly fisher or has nothing but pre packaged "deal" rods..

    trust me.. talking to some one with real knowledge is very important.

    I started with a 5wt temple fork and an Orvis Battenkill BBS II. Bit expensive but I definately got what I paid for.

    __________________________________________________ ___________

    Pike chaser Dec 18 2008

    i agree about rod/reel/line can be $$ lol this is true thou "1st thing think of the main fish u want to fish for" next i'll be hinest goto good tackel shop let em know type of fish ur targeting mainly. Don't be afraid of rods/reel combo's that are a bit $$ its worth it to tell you, truth!! its simple my 1st fly combo was $20 from the bargin hunter 8.5' Mitchel with line alone the rod was... lets say $29.95 reel...$25.00... line $25.00! im happy pig in %$^# now castin away doing ok learnin as i go so on... Still the rod is not all that i wanted but it was a starter kit now im hooked big time lol. anyways i saved up went to the shop got me a rod/reel/line combo for $159.00+ tax $189 not bad really. anyways its a 9" St. Croix Large Arbor Reel /w 8wf line 1 yrs of 20lb backing, has a "Disk Drag"of about 15 settings the rod is, made for Bass/Saltwater fishing!! The last flyrod it had only a "single Tick Drag" meaning not much drag @ all lol its my daughter rod now the rod itself was too much wieght off a bit cause used but ya im happy now i paid the $$ for the St. Croix trust me! the fact that it is made for saltwater is why i bought it cause this means it has the back-bone for Pike. an great for smallies/perch small trout im sure. so ya think 1st off find out what u want to fish for when it comes to fly fishin u'll be glad u thought about it a bit lol. btw a few extra $$ in the flyrod is worth it!! ur rod is the tool not the fly really

    "Rod" = main thing
    "Line" = other main thing lol
    "Reel" = a means of lettin line out lol go with the disk drag hehe.
    or buy a $20 bargin hunter speical an come back later an say man hes Right
    happy castin!

    Pike Chaser:
    __________________________________________________ ____
    Wongs Dec 28 2008

    as was noted in the other thread that was mentioned, your choice of fly rod depends greatly on the body of water you're fishing and the species of fish. fly rods come in different 'weights' that are geared towards different species of fish. typical weights of fly rods are between a 3-weight (used for panfish or small trout) up to around a 12 weight (for salmon/steelhead or for saltwater applications).

    if you're planning to use it for trout that are below say 20", then i'd recommend a 4 or 5 weight set up. if you're bassing around cover, then i'd recommend an 8-10 weight. if you're river smallmouthing, then i'd recommend a 5 or 6 weight. for big pike, you'd obviously need some heavy gear.

    as for makes/models, there are enough to make your head spin. i've had good luck with temple fork outfitters (TFO) who have a lifetime warranty. i've also recently purchased a number of albright rods (who have a christmas sale on right now with a web order). st croix also makes some decent lower end models. you could also look into buying a used combo or a premade combo somewhere such as bass pro shops. the only place i wouldn't recommend for purchasing a rod/reel combo would be wal mart or canadian tire. they didn't seem to have decent gear there.

    you should be able to get set up with a decent rod/reel package by TFO, Albright or St Croix for less than 200 or so.
    Last edited by apiman; January 23rd, 2009 at 06:56 PM.

  4. #3

    Default Trout information

    Carp-Starter Dec 23 2008

    DropTine, I did not see one word until now – “bows”. So, my reply will come in 2 parts – one for steelhead and one for resident trout.

    I am sorry to say that you will require two fly rods unless you are willing to do a lot of compromising – a lot.


    For this type of fly-fishing, you will need a rod for line weight #7. This weight will also be good for bass fishing out on the lake. If you end up fishing for steelhead, I see no reason why you would not fish for salmon. So, for salmon, I would say that #8 line would be better. I think that it also would be better for bass and still good for steelhead.

    I have an 8 or 8 ½ foot fly rod for 7 weight fly line that I used for about one hour in 1998 and I would have been happier with a #8 line. Fishing for steelhead/salmon does not matter how large/small the creek/stream/river is - you will need a #7 or a #8 line.

    The purpose in having a #7-8 line is that the matching rod has to be capable of STOPPING a steelhead/salmon. You will need a powerful rod to stop a 20 pound salmon.

    Unless you are experienced, you should get a reel with a good drag system.


    For resident trout, I can suggest 3 areas of fly lines.

    Area #1 – line weights of 0, 1, 2, and 3.
    Area #2 – line weight of 4 and 5.
    Area #3 – line weight of 6.

    AREA #1

    The only line weight I would recommend is #3 but you will have to compromise a lot especially since you will have only one rod. . When it is windy, I give up even with a #4 line. Or I simply find an area where it is calm. I would use #18/20 dries and smaller.

    The main purpose of these rods is – delicate fishing with small flies and especially when the water is low.

    I would recommend a double taper line and not a weight forward. Your flies would land in a more delicate fashion because of your line – less splash.

    AREA #2

    Area #2 for 4 and 5 weight lines has the same purpose as area #1 but perhaps starting with flies that are one or two sizes larger. Line #4 would be just as fun as #3 line. Line #5 would give you a bit more control and you will be able to cast longer distances. Five weight lines should be better in the wind.

    Double taper line is also recommended in this area.

    I would suggest area #2 rods. I think that you would have more compromises with area #1 rods than you would have with rods in area #2.

    AREA #3

    Line weight #6 line would be good for wide and larger rivers or streams. The starting point would be dries in size #8 to 20. You could use smaller flies than #20 dries but the presentation would not be as delicate.

    With this rod, you will be able to fish bass using larger flies like a muddler or a woolly worm and other streamers and larger nymphs. This rod is good for larger fish but you will not have as much fun as with the rods in area #1 and #2.


    Most fishers will cast no further than 30 to 40 feet.

    Unless you want to cast further than 50-60 feet, stay away from rods that have a fast action. These rods will not be good for casting short distances that most fishers will make. If you want to be macho man and brag that you can cast 100 feet, go ahead and buy a fast action rod.

    There are 3 actions in fly rods – fast, medium and slow. I like slow (limber) action fly rods. A good starting point would be to buy a medium-fast action rod or perhaps a medium action rod. Today, fishers want a stiffer rod.

    A rod that is slow or medium action is more capable in presenting a small dry in a more delicate manner than a fast action rod.

    At the end of the day of fishing, you will be a lot more tired with a fast-medium action rod than one with a slow action. The reason is that you will have cast many more times – possibly a ratio of 4 or 5 to 1.

    The longer the rod, the more tired you will be at the end of the day. My #1 favourite rod at 6 ½ feet, 2 oz feels like it is an extension of my arm. My #2 favourite rod at 7 ½ feet feels like I have a “tool” in my hand.

    Two rods, one has a fast action and the second has a medium action, and both having a length of X feet, will not cast the same. One will be better for shorter casts while the other will be better for longer casts. It is just that you will have to have more line out of your reel to get the distance with the fast action rod.

    Double taper line will last twice as long as a WF line and for the same price. This is because of the taper of a DT line and so the physical construction is the same from both ends until the middle of the line – just reverse the line. Both DT and WF lines weight the same (for the 1st 30 feet – I think it is 30 feet) and if you cast no more than 50 feet, the results will be the same as for a WF line. Because of the taper of a DT line, you will be able to land the line more gently on the water and as a result the fly will land more gently. A roll cast can be made better with a DT line than with a WF line. Usually, when a rod that is rated for a line weight WF, the next DT line down would also be perfect for the same rod.

    You had to answer 3 questions and each question ended with the words “most of the time”. No matter what you buy, there will be compromises to be made unless you own fly rods as a golfer owns clubs – one tool for a specific function. The objective is to have the least number of compromises and fewer compromises in the area of fishing that you do MOST OFTEN. So, the objective is to buy an all around rod with fewer compromises. But, when I started fly fishing I went out and bought specialized rods instead and I am very happy I did. Why should I fish for 50 years with a rod that has enough backbone to hook and land that 5/6 lb brown on the Grand River? I do not know if I would be able to land that 5/6 lb brown on my 6 ½ rod but I am having a lot more fun. Should I ever hook into that 5/6 lb brown, I will worry about the problem then – but on the other hand, I might never hook him. So, if you think the same as I do/did, buy something that you will enjoy using NOW and forget about the “IFs”.

    If you want info on what to buy and the benefits and negatives in using various lengths of fly rods, let me know. I hope you have enough to think about.

    Right now it is the day before Xmas Eve.


    I do not associate the length of a trout with what fly line weight I should use – I use what I like best and worry about a large fish when that happens.

  5. #4

    Default reels

    anglersvoice Jan 15 2009

    whatever you buy, GO LARGE ARBOR.. the line is much less coiled and the retrieve must faster.

    __________________________________________________ ________

    A Selection of Wongrs post Dec 18 2008

    the bigger the fish, the more important the reel becomes. specifically, you'll want a better and smoother drag on your reel for fish that can bust a move.

    __________________________________________________ _________

    Carp Starter posted Feb 5 2009

    If you will not be fishing for steelhead or salmon, you can buy a reasonably decent reel for about $50.00.This reel will have the click-click drag.

    If you will go after steelhead/salmon, you might want to have a good drag. Such reels will go for more $200.00. You can buy some reels for less, but remember the saying - "you get what you pay".
    Last edited by apiman; February 7th, 2009 at 11:17 AM.

  6. #5

    Default Knots

    Here are some links to knots

    Albright knot (may be considered complicated, back-up knot may be benificial)

    Blood knot

    Nail knot

    Arbor Knot

    Improved Clinch

    Perfection loop (recommended by Carp-starter)

    surgeons loop
    (recommended by Carp-starter)

    double surgeons loop (recommended by Skyman)

    (recommended by Carp-starter)

    Uni-Uni knot (recommended by Skyman)

    Fisherman's knot (recommended by Skyman)

    orvis hook knot (recommended by muddler)

    orvis tippet knot (recommended by muddler)

    Here's another good link to some animated knots, although some knots are not above many are repeats from above. This is another way of presenting knots that bay be useful.

    Orvis Animated Knots (recommended by Carp-starter)
    __________________________________________________ _______

    Carp-starter March 16 2009

    apiman, in addition to the ones you have listed, I also use the ones below.

    perfection loop –
    the main purpose of this is to connect loop to loop, the leader to the fly line. The end of fly line has a 3-4-5 inches of 20-30 lb mono with a perfection loop. The 3-4-5 inch mono is attached to the fly line using the nail knot.


    === - is the fly line
    ll - is the nail knot
    -------- - is the 20-30 lb mono, 3-4-5 inches
    ()() - are the loops. Connect the loops correctly - there is the right and wrong way.
    ____ - is the leader

    This can also be used to attach a streamer to the tippet.

    surgeons loop -
    Similar to the perfection loop.
    used to tie loop in end of leader. Stronger and easier to tie then perfection loop, but not quite as small or neat.


    Last edited by apiman; March 21st, 2009 at 07:16 AM.

  7. #6

    Default Links

    Casting (and more) link suggested by anglersvoice March 2 2009

    Last edited by apiman; March 14th, 2009 at 04:20 PM.

  8. #7
    Getting the hang of it

    User Info Menu

    Default has good articles for beginners and experts alike. Click on 'flyfishing basics' in the left-hand margin. Articles there on rod selection, leaders, tying, knots, flyfishing terms, entomology and casting.


  9. #8
    Just starting out

    User Info Menu


    Pretty cool idea of you to do this.

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