JPSmith29

Beginner striper setup

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I’ve fly fished for trout for just about 2 years now and am looking to try it in the salt for stripers. I’m a huge surfcaster and a few of my spots seem ideal for fly fishing and my boss recently let me try his 8wt out and it was awesome! Target species would be mostly stripers but also occasionally bonito and false albacore
So any recommendations on rod, reel, line etc.? I spoke with the folks at bears den in Taunton, MA back in early spring and they recommended the TFO PRO 2 9wt and the sage 2210 or reddington behemoth. Thoughts on this setup or other reels or rods that would make it cheaper but still a quality setup?

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Hello. I asked the same question about a month ago: https://www.stripersonline.com/surftalk/topic/794434-striper-rigs/

 

That thread might be worth reviewing. Based on the feedback there, and a discussion with the crew at the fly shop, I went 9 weight with an intermediate line. I fish from the shore, don’t plan to be out in high winds, mostly angling for stripers and, as such, that seemed like a good place to start. The decision was finalized when I went to a shop and cast a couple of rods and one clearly suited my skills better than another. I’d highly suggest spending an hour at a shop or with someone else’s rod, test casting before spending any money.

 

You’re after a couple of other species, so I’m not sure if that’s a reason to go up a line weight. This is my first season salt water fishing. I’d say ‘don’t go too cheap’ though. I have an inexpensive (<$150) fresh water rod and a moderately priced salt water rod. The salt water rod is head and shoulders better than the less expensive rod. Loads a lot easier and the reel seat is metal, not plastic. Good luck.

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Always nice to get some input from someone in a similar situation. 9wt with an intermediate is kinda what I’m thinking for the versatility it would provide and I definitely don’t plan on going too cheap especially on the rod. I’m actually in the same place you are having a cheap 5wt for freshwater mostly trout and when it comes to actually casting with it it can be somewhat difficult. Thanks for the link to your thread too, definitely helpful

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Just a comment; the Bearsden will get you on the water and match your needs. This is their business and they are one of the best at it. Hopefully you tie your own flies. The best advice I can think of is to go onto amazon and order one of those $35 stripping baskets.  Tight lines.

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My first season messing around the salt. I went with a echo ion xl combo. 9wt. Caught some bass on my first outing and many since. Got a cheapo 7/8wt fiberglass thats been fun with robins and fluke. I wouldn’t over think it. Just make sure its rated for salt so maintenance is minimal. Best bet is to go to a shop and test cast to see if anything speaks to you. You’ll quickly decide you need a floater as well as an intermediate so make sure spare spools are cheap/available.

 

I’d go with whatever your favorite shop suggests within your budget and just learn to use it. Dette’s suggested this combo to me, I have no regrets. 
 

If I had a friend just getting into fishing in general, I’d prob recommend a CGR 7/8 wt and a medalist with a 9wt floater.  Prob be around $150 all in. Definitely gonna need that stripping basket. 

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Since posting this yesterday I’ve been really thinking about it and I think I am leaning heavily towards the TFO Pro 2 9wt for the rod. Obviously I need to get to a shop and test a bunch out for the feel. Open to other options though

So I guess my real question is actually about the reel and the line. I’ve been told some conflicting things when it comes to the reel such as get a cheap one because all it does is hold the line and you can just palm the spool if need be or get something nice for saltwater with a good drag and high line capacity. With the line I’ve been told intermediate cause it’s versatile, sinking if there’s any type of moving water, and you don’t need anything other than a floating line when fly fishing for stripers from shore. I’m not too sure which way to go with either and am pretty confused in this department

 

I really appreciate any help and sorry if there’s already threads on this

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5 hours ago, JohnDe said:

. The best advice I can think of is to go onto amazon and order one of those $35 stripping baskets.  Tight lines.

 

3 hours ago, chuckbucktail said:

Definitely gonna need that stripping basket. 


I was planning on trying to make one. On a bit of a budget and I’d rather out more money into the rod itself cause I feel that’s more important. But after the one time I’ve fly fished the salt from shore I have definitely found out a stripping basket is a necessity 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

The Pro II is a decent though not spectacular rod, with a decent amount of feedback to the caster who is learning or just starting out.  Some others in a similar price range to look at are the Echo Ion XL, the Orvis Clearwater, and the Fenwick Aetos.  The Echo Ion XL is a more durable rod than the TFO Pro II in my opinion, with an equally good warranty. The Orvis Clearwater goes for a bit more money than the Pro II and apparently is redesigned to be even better than the original.  Might be able to find one of the originals used for less money. The Fenwick Aetos is a capable rod that in some people's minds gives better bang for the buck than most other rods mentioned.  It depends on what suits your developing abilities, which is hard to determine....hence casting instructions and try out some of the rods while being supervised by someone who can watch and critique your cast and faults.  No rod will make you a proficient caster.  It's learning proper control of the line.  With regard to the line, this is also difficult to predict, as many rods are not properly marked and lines vary in grains and length and design of taper.  For salt water it might be best to start off with an intermediate line, but in reality a floating line on a spare spool is a good idea.  The line should have a head length of at least 30ft for a standard 9ft single hand rod.  The two reels you mention are very different.  The Redington Behemoth is quite heavy and might match up well with a heavier rod like the Echo Ion, but even then, you might want to use the 7/8w not the 9/10w Behemoth.  But for all the other rods I mention, the Sage 2010 would likely be a better match. 

Spoiler

Can contact me by PM for more info or advice.

Note that the Sage 2010 in 9/10 size is ~7.8 oz and the Behemoth in 7/8 size weighs about the same.  The 7/8 Behemoth has a wide, deep arbor and can hold enough backing on it if you use 20lb dacron or 40-50lb braid to be able to fit a typical 9wt fly line. The drag on the 7/8 Behemoth is overkill for a 7/8 wt rod.  The 9/10 size Behemoth is a beast.  I have one but use it on a heavy two hand rod or a 10wt or 12wt single hand rod.  The 9/10 weighs around 11 oz.

Edited by Killiefish

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I'm in the same boat - been fly fishing fresh water since I was a kid but am looking to get into salt.  I took my spinning gear to New Brunswick this summer and got into some decent schoolie stripers from shore.  Would've loved to get them on the fly rod but my 5wt would've struggled with the bigger flies for sure.  

 

I'm wondering if anyone uses a 7wt for schoolies?  I generally like to go as light as possible, but would a 7wt carry bigger flies well enough?  

 

Cheers! 

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2 hours ago, EastCoastCaster said:

I'm wondering if anyone uses a 7wt for schoolies?  I generally like to go as light as possible, but would a 7wt carry bigger flies well enough?

Yes it would be fine for schoolies.  Many modern 7wts have lots of grunt and can handle bigger fish than schoolie stripers.  Some examples would be the Echo Ion XL 7wt, Redington Predator 7wt, or the discontinued Temple Fork TiCrx 7wt.  These rods can easily be uplined to an 8wt or even 9wt line to throw larger flies like flatwings and deceivers.  For larger, bulkier wind resistant baitfish patterns I'd suggest a 9wt though.

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2 hours ago, EastCoastCaster said:

I'm in the same boat - been fly fishing fresh water since I was a kid but am looking to get into salt.  I took my spinning gear to New Brunswick this summer and got into some decent schoolie stripers from shore.  Would've loved to get them on the fly rod but my 5wt would've struggled with the bigger flies for sure.  

 

I'm wondering if anyone uses a 7wt for schoolies?  I generally like to go as light as possible, but would a 7wt carry bigger flies well enough?  

 

Cheers! 

I get the “light” sentiment but I don’t think it really translates well to striper on the fly. It can handle the fish sure, they really don’t give much of a fight. It won’t handle the wind well at all and it’ll make for a very frustrating day. If you’re okay with bringing it along with your surfcasting set up and only using it in optimal conditions it would probably work pretty okay. Speaking from limited experience, deciding a target now, i.e. schoolies, doesn’t mean that will be your target by the end of the season. Coming from a trout back ground I thought I’d be content with C&R on 20” schoolies. Not the case. Versatility is the name of the game. Not to mention you wanna get these guys in fast to cut back on the mortalities.  As far as 7wt carrying the flies, depends on your ability but I’m gonna say not really beyond a waterload/tension cast.

 

PS — Im a newb sharing my thoughts after like 5 months fishing the Rockaways, so take it with a grain of salt. 

Edited by chuckbucktail

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Posted (edited) · Report post

9’ 9wt with intermediate line is the standard beach striper outfit.  
 

Try to cast a few rods if you can, preferably side by side.  It makes a world of difference and becomes very obvious quickly which you’ll prefer.  For example, in the early 1990’s, I tested a bunch of rods and ended up with a certain high-end 9’ 9wt rod (blank, built myself), spent the dough as I wanted to get something that I wouldn’t quickly outgrow.  I now fish for west coast chinook instead of east coast stripers, and still using that same 9’ 9wt (nearly 30 years later!).  It suits me.  I’ve even bought a few more, used and heavily discounted by their age, so I can have several rigged and ready with different sinking lines.  
 

Many of today’s $200-300 rods are fairly comparable to the most expensive rods 30 years ago.  I say “fairly” because the cork of low-end rods can be poor, and in some cases low-end rods still are churned out with a clubby heavy feel, or lightweight feel but lacking casting power.  The rod doesn’t have to be a stiff broomstick, but you’ll need a bit of punch in the salt.  Biggest mistake many trout guys make in the transition to salt is choosing the lightest “troutiest” feeling rod, but that isn’t always what the salt demands.  Get a rod that generates good line speed in your hands, with some casting effort, but not a ton of effort.   It’ll need to have some guts.  

Edited by SSPey

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Welcome! I started this spring and it sounds like youre on the right track.  I got a Ticrx 8wt on the BST. Rod has a ton of power and is on the heavier side but balances well with a 7/8 behemoth.  Think the 9/10 would be excessive for most 9 weights but can always check it out in the shop.
 

The reel hasn’t let me down but I can’t vouch for how long it will hold up.  It was out at least once a week this spring and regularly dunked and saw plenty of mud and sand.  I broke it down to clean re oil and grease a few times and rinsed every few trips and still feels good as new.  Other huge bonus is the spare spools are often marked down as low as $40.  
 

For line choice I’d definitely think about where you’ll be fishing.  Intermediate might be popular but I used it once and hated it.  I don’t fish the beach often and in the bays and boulder fields I prefer the ability to mend a floating line.  In stronger currents and deeper spots around inlets, outflows and river I’ll go to a S3 or S6. The intermediate has sat on the shelf since.

Edited by Bait Tailer

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On 8/14/2020 at 4:26 PM, JPSmith29 said:

With the line I’ve been told intermediate cause it’s versatile, sinking if there’s any type of moving water, and you don’t need anything other than a floating line when fly fishing for stripers from shore. I’m not too sure which way to go with either and am pretty confused in this department

 

 

That intermediate lines are still widely considered to be versatile continues to amaze. 

 

It's like calling a hammer versatile. Hammers are great for driving things, and, if they have a claw, for pulling things out, but that's about it. Not very versatile. There are two things you can do with an intermediate line: nothing (cast, then let the currents/waves take it where they will while it very slowly sinks) and strip (cast, then start pulling the line in). Again, not very versatile.

 

Full sink lines are also not versatile, but at least they excel at one thing, which is to sink, and sink fast (depending on grain weight). I find they have limited use from the shore. I like those with a floating running section since I can mend the floating line part. I use an integrated full sink maybe 5% of the time, mostly for deeper channels with current.

 

Then we have the most versatile line -- and it's not even close -- the floater. Floating lines are the Leatherman Super Tool of striper lines. You can cast and do nothing, cast and strip, dead drift, greased line swing, slip drift, present on the surface, present mid-depth, present along the bottom in current, etc. 

 

So, does that mean you shouldn't get an intermediate line? Not necessarily. If all you're going to do is cast and strip, you can catch hundreds of aggressive stripers with an intermediate line. Intermediate lines are popular not just because they're force fed to anglers; they're plug-and-play, easy to cast, and great for willing-to-chase bass. However, be forewarned: if you get an intermediate line, and you catch the striper bug, eventually you'll be back on this forum wondering why you were surrounded by popping bass and unable to get a hit. The answer is because you never learned presentation, which is at the core of fly fishing -- and a floating line is the best tool for learning presentation. :-)

 

Hope that helps,

 

Steve Culton 

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