Mattyice572

New to fly fishing, need a rod. Please help

24 posts in this topic

Hey guys, so i spend every possible free minute on the water fishing, but somehow in almost 30 years of fishing, i have never once tried fly fishing. So this season im putting myself to the challange but i have no flippin clue wtf im looking at. The other day i stopped at a local fishing shop and picked up the water works lamson guru 1.5 reel with a pack of rio fly line and backing, tippets and leaders and a few basic flies to get me started. The salesman didnt want to let me walk out of the store without spending over $400 on a rod and wouldnt show me anything more moderately priced so he lost the sale. Im looking to get a 5 weight rod, and was looking at the st croix imperial and the orvis clear water... any thoughts on these or something better or similar within a $250 price range? Im not opposed to spending less lol but i own many st croix rods and love them, and i like the warranty that both these companies offer as well. Should probably mention this set up will be used mostly for trout, panfish, and small mouth bass. Attached is a picture of the reel and my awesome selection of flies which im sure are probably terrible because im new to this.

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Don't worry too much about the gear. What will make or break fly fishing for you is your own ability to cast and work the fly as you want to. It is not like casting conventional tackle, and takes much more practice to get good at it. Instead of spending 250 on a rod, spend 100 or 150, and the rest on casting lessons. Take it from me, you do NOT want to try to teach yourself. It'll take you months or years even to learn what you could learn in a week after proper instruction. Of all the things I wish I'd done early on when I first started, this is the biggest one. Fly casting is not a trivial task to learn but there's no reason why anybody with a measurable level of coordination can be proficient with it.

 

As for rods, much of that has been heavily discussed and argued about in the past. I'd recommend using the search function in the upper right corner, or looking through the many pages of threads to see discussions of mid to entry level rods.

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I have an older IM6 Imperial and love it still. Bought it on CL for $50. I understand the new ones are just as good. 

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Like said above, don’t worry so much about gear.  Invest in lessons from the get go.  I am self taught except for 1 hour long lesson I took after my first season of fly casting.  My casting is sufficient and I can cast 70 feet regularly, sometimes 85 with a favorable wind at my back, but I am struggling to break  bad casting habits that i taught myself.  The easiest way to break a bad habit is to never start...

On the flip side, I wouldn’t spend just 50 or 100 on a rod.  I’d spend 250 on a Clearwater and have a rod I’d never need to upgrade.

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I agree with getting a decent rod and spending more on lessons. I think fly rods are kind of like golf clubs- until you reach a certain skill/ proficiency level, a really nice fly rod is not going to make you cast better any more than really nice golf clubs will make you hit a golf ball straighter or further. You probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference between the decent and really nice rods. Just my 2 cents. Good luck.

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Starting out you will not notice the difference in a rod of 400 or 40 outside of its weight to hold. Figure out what style of fishing you’d like to start with. Nymph fishing is roll casting and a quick flip from time time to time with a little line out no greater than just over the rods total length. Streamer fishing is similar with a little extra line out. Dry fly fishing will take a little more patience and learning curve. Casting and technically more advanced. 

 

Before you even even get started remember to keep it simple. Fly fishing is not difficult unless you make it so. Keep the lines, flies and approach to it simple. You don’t need to cast 50’ or 30’ out the gate. Most of your fish will be caught within the short distance less than 30. 

 

Keep the first times simple. Bead head olive streamer and sunfish. They are the most forgiving and you will still get the concept of fishing. That fly you will get perch, bass and trout. 

 

When I was just starting out and frustrated as usual in the beginning just stop, take a breather and sit back. Relax and think of what you are doing and what’s not happening for you. If you see someone catching fish, ask them if they mind being bothered and do they have a couple minutes to spare. Sit back and watch someone fishing, you can learn a lot just watching them. You might see where you are in way of missing a step. Over time you will stop the run and jump in the water thought too. You will find yourself taking your time more. Waders will not just be jumped into. Your tie the lines and flies on them with purpose, not quick tie and cast. 

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I remember my first rod when I learned flyfishing, I had Fiberglass Shakespeare’s wonderrod got it from flea market, and some click and pawl reel for $22 best rod I ever had, ties my own wolly bugger catch 25inches trout, and that day I hooked to Flyfishing hahaha but anyway you should get cheap rod first and Good Quality Fly line. TFO, Orvis clear water, Colton Fly rod, they have some good quality rod and affordable.

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Like others said if possible definitely get a lesson. If not there are plenty of  videos and books to give you the basics . With that being said I am self taught . And  I don't think it is rocket science . As far as a starter 5 wt for trout the redington Classic trout would be a very good choice , and last I looked there was a new one for sale in the fly fishing bst forum for I think  $105. Retail is about $149 . It also has a nice moderate action which imo is better for learning to cast . I own one too.  Just my 2 cents. Good luck. Also I see you're in north jersey ,no shortage of good trout water there.

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13 hours ago, Jim McFeeley said:

I got an echo base for 96 bucks and it seems fairly nice. I think it's a good begginer rod . 

I second this too, I bought one to have as a cheap 7 wt. and I like it a lot. The price point and action would make it a good beginner rod. Also Echo has a phenomenal warranty. 

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Posted (edited)

You might want to look on fleabay and check out a used outfit. Some of the better makers fly rods can be had on the cheap used and you can find something within your budget pretty easily. I'm not fully on board with the "you won't know the difference" crowd because you already fish, you know the feel and fight already. You're going to have to focus on casting and presentation.  

Edited by Larrybudwiser

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Check out the Redington Classic Trout rod in the BST Forum.  I love it.

 

Best...

VTD48

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The best "cheap" fly rod is the clearwater. Even cheaper than that the echo base and cheap TFO's are ok. All are a bit heavy though. Cabelas or bass pro might have a few cheap ones that are good aswell. The rod doesn't really matter for casting performance, the technique is much more important. TRy to look at a few videos online, the best I've found is a video series by Paul Arden on vimeo.

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My only advice is DO NOT spend $400 or $250 or even $200 on a 5 wt fly rod as your first rod.  As others have said and recommended, spend something more like $100 - $150 (tops) and if you feel you still have money you want to spend, get a couple of casting lessons. I personally like Lamson reels (own about 6 of them) but even that is overkill.  A Okuma Sierra for $50 would have been more that adequate. 

You will get better through practice and the place to do that is NOT on the stream.  Practice in your back yard, a park or at this time of year, a local beach (without wind).  No different than golf.  

 

So technically I offered two pieces of advice.  Sorry about misleading you....

 

Quinn

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Fenwick Aetos keeps earning recognition as best inexpensive rod. Just search "Yellowstone Shootout 2017". I own one in a different size and am very impressed with the build quality and casting dynamics for the price. 

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