I'm going to start my daughter flyfishing. She's 8 years old, serious and mature, seems ready.
Any recommendations for her rod? Length, weight, brand/model? This will be for trout in small to medium streams.
My initial thoughts were to look for a fairly short rod (7'-ish) since she's only 4 1/2 feet tall. But I've never cast a 7 foot rod. I also thought a 5/6 weight line would be versatile. Not easy to find a 7 foot 6 weight! I don't want to spend a fortune.
Any suggestions on the rod? More generally, any hints and tips on starting kids fly fishing?
07-24-2004, 04:39 PM
I'd take a look at the Fenwick 7'6" Fenglas 2-piece 6 wt. It is the old fiberglass design they made back in the 50's through the 70's. It is light, short, easy to cast, tough as nails (something that is good to have with kids), and a true 6 wt. The Fenglass retails for $110.00. It is a rod that I would not hesitate to get for my grandkids when they get to about age 6 or 7. I wish it would have still been on the market when my kids were that age.
St. Croix used to have a youth fly rod in their Imperial Series that was 7'6" for a 5/6 that retailed for about $90.00; but it was dropped from their line-up last fall.
I'm not aware of any other 7' or 7'6" 6 wt rods that are not fairly expensive that are decent casters. There are some real poorly made and super soft noodly rods on the market by Pfleuger that are 8' 5 wt and 8' 6 wt' but they are really very poorly designed and casting rods.
You might be able to find one of the discontinued St. Croix 7'6" rods used or new if you look around. I'd still get the Fenwick Fenglass 7'6" 2-peice 6 wt though because it is a very capable rod that is tough as nails and casts very well while being low in cost.
I'd avoid going to a rod longer than 7'6" because kids younger than about 12 lack the wrist strength the longer rod's leverage requires.
Thanks for the answer. Over at Cabela's I see Fenwick Fenglass 7'6" 5 wt and 6 wt, and a 6' 0" 5 wt. I'll think about those.
Thanks for the answer. Over at Cabela's I see Fenwick Fenglass 7'6" 5 wt and a 6' 0" 5 wt. I'll think about those.
07-26-2004, 12:42 AM
I'd go with the 7'6" 6 wt because it could be used to fish streamers and small bass bugs along with any trout wet, dry, or nymph. It will also not be outgrown by your daughter when she becomes a teen.
I had a 7'6" 5 wt Sage fiberglass rod I bought for my daughter (now 25) when she was 7 and I used the same rod with my two sons (who are now 13 and 17) when they got to be 5 and wanted to fly fish. The only reason I got the Sage was Fenwick was now longer making the Fenglass when I got is back in 1986 when Mel was 7 years old. And Sage didn't make a 7'6" 6 wt in fiberglass or I would have gotten a 6 wt over the 5 wt for the reasons I stated above.
Mel quit fishing at age 12 because her friends told her "girls don't fish unless they are geeks or weirdos". Interestingly, now that she has some kids of her own, she is starting to talk about how much fun it was to fly fish when she stops by with the grandkids. Perhaps she will take up fly fishing again in a few years after the oldest grandkid gets to be 6 or 7. He is nearly 4 and both he and his 2 1/2 year old sister are asking to see me tie flies.
At any rate, that Sage 7'6" fibergalss rod served my kids well until it got broken when my older son decided he needed to show his younger brother what he was doing wrong. The younger didn't want to give up the rod, and the older one tried to snatch it from him. The result was a 2-piece rod became a 3-piece rod. This happened when the younger one was a week from truning 10.. And since I had built a 9' rod for his big brother, he wanted me to build him a longer rod as well. He got his for Christmas that year, which will be three years ago this Christmas.
07-27-2004, 11:16 AM
For kids, stick to a longer rod, say 8.5 to 9 feet. Shorter rods are harder to fly cast. Also, upline a 5 wt with 7 wt line. It sounds like a big jump, but since they will be fishing only 20 feet of line or less, the extra is needed to load the rod. When fishing, use a short leader at first. It will turn over the fly better.
FWIW, the TFO series one 5 wt is about $90, and a very good casting rod.
07-29-2004, 08:48 PM
I bought my 8 y/o duaghter a Reddington Red Fly 7'6 4 wt last year. She learned on one of my 8'6 5wt's but to be honest the swing weight was a bit too much for her wrists and the casts were a bit droopy. The little 4wt. fits her nicely and to be honest I love the rod for small stream trout and panfish when I get the chance. The moderate action loads easily and she can feel the rod working as she learns, yet it can easily lay out 50-60 feet of line when I ask it. I got it for $75.00 and with their lifetime warranty it is a tough product to beat.