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I'm a hardcore rod n reel fisherman that's intrigued by fly-fishing. Truth is , I know next to nothing about it. For starters,

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  • I'm a hardcore rod n reel fisherman that's intrigued by fly-fishing. Truth is , I know next to nothing about it. For starters,

    I'm a hardcore rod n reel fisherman that's intrigued by fly-fishing. Truth is , I know next to nothing about it. For starters, what's the difference in the wieghts of the reels/rods? Also, what are some of you experienced fly-fisherman's setups, and what do u fish w/them?

  • #2
    Well, the best all around setup is a 5wt rod and reel with a matched 5wt floating line. you can catch trout, panfish, bass, and carp with this rod, and these are just the basic ones.

    Now to explain what the "Weight" actually means:

    rods go from 00 to 16 wt, its like a normal "spinning rod" 00 would be an ultra light, while a 16 would be like an xxheavy action. the reels just have to match you're rod, they say the size on the side of the reel or the box/ packaging. Lines match the rod that you use, in fly fishing you cast the line and not the lure, so you have a thick (usually orange or yellow) line that is the "weight" and the leader/ tippet that you would tie the fly (lure) to.
    flys can immatate bugs, minnows, leeches, worms, crayfish, and more. you should try to "match the hatch" if possible, if not, use a woolly bugger or some type of streamer. I would suggest going to a bass pro or Cabelas, or best yet a local fly shop and asking what you would need for the local species around you're area.


    • #3
      Best way to explain it: " I would like to begin by stressing the fact that flyfishing is not difficult. Unfortunately, this myth seems to be the main reason why people are reluctant to give it a try. With the appropriate equipment and proper instructions, you should be able to cast the line reasonably well within a few hours. Another misconception is that flyfishing is just for trout. This is simply not true. You can flyfish for bluegill, bass, pike, tarpon, stripers, or anything else that has fins. Now that we cleared that up, let's jump right in and get our feet wet. Since most people are familiar with spin-fishing, I will try and make analogies between flyfishing and spin-fishing to help you better understand what flyfishing is all about.

      When spin-fishing, you cast a lure attached to a very thin line with a spinning rod. The lure has weight and this loads the rod to propel it towards your target. The fishing line is just along for the ride. When flyfishing, you cast a flyline attached to a leader and fly with a flyrod. The fly is almost weightless. The leader it is attached to, which is usually around 9 feet long, is very similar to standard spinning line. This is attached to a flyline, which is usually about 90 feet long. The flyline is made of a flexible plastic and is much larger in diameter than spinning line and much heavier. This attaches to the flyrod, which is usually between 7 and 10 feet. When flycasting, the flyline provides the weight to load the rod and propel itself towards the target, with the leader and fly just along for the ride. It is very important to understand that you are casting the line, not the fly. The line and the rod have to be matched to each other in order to work properly. In spinfishing there is a large tolerance between what works and what doesn't. You could put 10 pound test on an ultralight and 6 pound test on a saltwater rod and they would both work. Flyrods and flylines have to be matched carefully, but I will save these details for a little later in the section titled Equipment.

      The whole purpose of all of this, besides the grace and beauty of it, is to cast almost weightless flies and present them in the most delicate manner. It would be impossible to cast most flies with any other kind of gear, and to match the delicate presentations you can achieve with a flyrod would be just as impossible. This is why most people think of trout when they hear the word flyfishing. The flyrod is the tool of choice for most trout fisherman, especially in streams. Trout in streams need to be fooled with realistic imitations of their usual diet. And most of their diet consists of small stream insects. So now you might be wondering why you would want to use a flyrod on something like a bass that likes a big meal? The flyrod can still be more productive in certain situations because of the delicate presentation, but most people do it for the challenge and the joy they get from using such a marvelous tool."

      try this site:



      • #4
        I love to flyfish but I also enjoy spin fishing. Alex is 100% correct it is not hard to fly fish. I have taught quite a few friends how to properly cast rather quickly. Lefty Kreh and Orvis have excellent books for beginners I would reccomend both. Most importantly don't be scared just get out and get started.
        Not knowing what you are fishing for it is hard to reccomend a good setup but I use a 6 wt St Coix Legend elite with a Ross CLA reel and wt forward line.
        I use dacron backing connected to the line then 9 1/2 ft tapered leader connected with loop to loop connecters. I would not recommend using any "gimmicks" to connect the leader to line loop to loop is the best because it is quick to change out and does not jack up your presentation.
        Knots are very important these are also covered in the Orivs book.
        I good fly shop in your area will be happy to help you if not then they are not good.
        Also you do not have to start out with 1 $500-800 setup. Cabela's, Temple Fork, St Croix and Orvis all make nice low priced rods. Or crazy expensive if you want.
        Make sure your reel of choice has a good disk drag.
        Most importantly the web is filled with tips and hints so do not get confused with weight forward(wf) vs sinking line etc start out with wf line and a dry fly like parachute adams or a royal coachman and catch some bluegills on a pond this will help with the form and most importantly confidence.


        • #5
          I use short (7' and 7'6") full flex 1 & 4 wts for small trout streams and creeks, an 8' 3 wt for dry flies and small nymphs when the wind is calm (fun with panfish), a 8'6" 5 wt mid flex for most everything (my go to rod), a backup 5 wt, a couple 6 wts for streamers and windy days, and a couple of 8 wts for bigger fish. Still want a 9' mid flex 4 wt for dries and a 10+ wt for salmon (thinking spey).

          As Alex says a 5wt (mid flex) is an excellent all-around rod. Also, best to start out with a forward taper floating fly line. No need to spend a lot of money to start.

          By the way, in general, mid flex rods tend to be a good compromise. Tip flex rods have a lot of backbone for long casts and fighting big fish, but can be difficult to work close up and require extra attention when using light tippets. Full flex rods are at their best for more delicate close presentations and protecting light tippets.


          • #6
            There is not much to add to the great comments above. The books mentioned are worth every penny. I would also emphasize that you don't need to be intimidated by the complexity, it is only as hard as you make it. Also you may encounter some "purist" attitude especially at fly shops so if you feel like you are getting that just go to a different shop. Some fly fisherman look down on people who don't "do it right". If you are having fun and catching fish you are doing it right! My attitude is any fish, any way, anywhere, any time. That being said, any fish on a fly rod is more fun, in my opinion.
            I use 5 wt for trout and panfish, 8 wt for bass, carp and northerns.
            Two minor bits of advice are to get a reel that makes that clicking noise (there are some that don't) when you pull line out. The screaming it makes when a fish runs is way cool!
            No matter what anyone says to you, try carp! They will make that reel scream and they will take any bug you use for trout or small minnow or crayfish imitations so you don't need special flies. Good luck it is a lifetime of fun!


            • #7
              Got back a couple hours ago from a local river they stock with rainbow every April. Used the 5wt and some nymphs. Hooked into a nice one that broke off in some brush, and then brought a HUGE brood rainbow to hand. Got soaked reaching down to pull it out between some sunken logs. Unfortunately, forgot about the Canon G7 in my vest. Would have been okay if I had remembered to stuff it into its waterproof sack. Expensive mistake if it doesn't dry out right. Pick up a waterproof pocket digital camera for times like this.

              But anyway, just wanted to let you know that the 5wt mid flex did just fine with a 5x tippet on a huge trout that broke surface and rolled several times and put her weight into it.

              Opening day is 2-weeks away! Great to get out for the first time this year and get the kinks out with stockers before going after wild trout.

              By the way, ALWAYS wear a wader belt on the outside of your waders.


              • #8
                I'm with you on this question i've always been intrigued by fly-fishing but never knew how to do it more in depth.


                • #9
                  Thanks for all your help and pointers. It's great to get such knowledgable info on a subject I have NO knowledge about, and multiple points of view to boot! I appreciate it! Now I just gotta' save a little coin to purchase an inexpensive outfit and a couple of books I've actually got a small fly collection that was my Grandpa's, though I never even knew he fly-fished, so it'll be cool to hook somethin' w/ one of his flys someday.


                  • #10
                    If your grandpa left you some large streamers that look really elaborate you might want to check them out before using them.


                    • #11
                      Thanks, it's an old zip-up leather pouch w/his name stamped into it, and it's got probably 2 doz. little bitty flies. I have read an article about valuable elaborate flies, but I don't think there's any of those in there.




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