Versatilty for a beginner [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Versatilty for a beginner

07-20-2005, 07:30 PM
Hi All, while this is my first post here, I did want to thank you in advance for all the great resources and posts available for beginners. As an avid fisher (spin) for years, I've avoided fly fishing until 'I had time to do it right'. Well, as you know, that just never seems to happen, and I'm anxious to get myself into a versitile set-up that I can bring along with my spinning gear where/when appropriate.

While I seem to have a spinning rod for every occasion, i.e. trout (lake/stream), and bass (fresh and salt), I was looking for an 'all purpose' rod to start learning with (and grow into).

> My primary uses would be trout (lake/pond - occasional stream), and saltwater stripers (schoolies) / blues (choppers) from the surf. In chatting with a local shop owner, he suggested a 7wt rod. If I can keep the combo rod/reel under $300, I'll be very happy.

> In looking at some set-ups, I'm leaning towards:
o Rod: $150 TFO 7wt 4 pc 9'
o Reel: $160 TFO MK-II

Any suggestions as to whether or not I'm heading down the right path would be appreciated. If you have any other mfr I should look into, that would also be great. I assume once I get acclimated, I'll want to purchase equipment more specific to the target, i.e. lighter for small stream trout, heavier for larger salt. However, I'd like to put that off until I get some time in.

Thanks again.

Greg Pavlov
07-20-2005, 11:04 PM
I would go with an 8 wt: it will be substantial overkill for
trout, it will be ok for bass, and be somewhat light for
stripers and blues.

07-21-2005, 01:10 AM
I'd also go with an 8 wt, even though I know it is overkill for trout, just about perfect for bass, and a little light for stripers and blues.

You ought to look at Redington (they have some very nice complete outfits for under $200-$250), Echo (some outstanding values), and St. Croix (who makes some very nice rods for $200 and under) in addition to the TFO. G. Loomis also sells some nice complete outfits (rod, reel, line) for about $200 in their Piscator series.

07-21-2005, 05:08 AM
Thanks for the quick responses. While I was looking to stay on the lighter side for trout, it does appear that St. Croix has a nice 8 wt outfit available:

* PK908.4 Rod (9' 8wt 4 piece) with a CLA678 Reel for $160
> Reel comes with backing/line/tapered leader
> Case and sack included as well

Seems like this may be a good outfit to get going on for short $$.

Before I pull the trigger on this, any other considerations?

07-21-2005, 06:12 AM
Good advice from two experienced ff'ers above but let me ask this:

What percentage of trout, freshwater bass, and striped bass do you plan on doing?

In spin gear, trout = spin ultralight, bass = levelwind or spin medium weight, and striped bass you could get by with the bass rod but the trout spin would pop on the first keeper and some bass could pop the bass rod.

I feel the percentage is important as each is best suited to a rating just as you must have three rods for doing those three pursuits in the spin or level-wind design today. Fly outfits are all one basic design (except for two-handers) but the rating is a factor in more than just size of fish but size of fly, ability to defeat wind, rough conditions, etc.

You should make a purchase (just as you would with spin) knowing that you are compromising at one level to suit the majority of fishing you do at another level thus the question. Eventually you will have to have all of them or learn to be satisfied with the application with one on the various fisheries, just as you'd do with a spin rod.

Welcome to FF! You should hook up with the Forum at a conclave and meet a great gang who will help you learn any way they can. In return all we ask is that you do what you can to keep the Forum going, help out with an event, recruit sponsors or members which help keep the site growing, etc.

07-21-2005, 11:46 AM
Thanks again (everyone) for all the great advice.

Juro; In thinking about this some more, while I want to fish the surf for small blues/stripers, I am thinking that won't be until next spring.
> This Fall, it's going to be tough not to search for the bruisers with my spinning gear..

Plus, I expect that I'll spend my time practicing my techniques early this summer in small ponds / creeks chasing bluegills/small trout. I'd like to be in position to do some small creek trout hunting late summer early September.

Your comments regarding the spin gear hit home. I guess I was hopeful to find a good 'all around' rod, and not have to fill my basement with more rods! However, I know I am particular with my spinning gear, so any hopes of being happy with 1 rod for two different types of fishing most likely won't work for me.

All this said, it sounds like I need a solid trout rod to get going. I've poked around the threads and it seems like a 4wt or 5 wt would be what I'm looking for. Seems like 3wt is a bit tough in the wind. As I'm not certain what size flys I'll be throwing yet, any suggestions as to how to decide. I tend to like light-weight gear when it comes to spinning gear.
> It looks like the St. Croix packages are very suitable for both, i.e. 8' to 8'6"rods
with 4 pieces (rod / reel) for about 150.

Thanks again.

07-21-2005, 03:40 PM
With the new info you gave, I'd recommend a 5 wt over the 4 wt. The 5 wt is more versitile than a 4 wt. The 4 wt is pretty much a small trout, small stream, or bluegill outfit because it is not really up to casting flies over about #12. Not that you can't cast larger flies with it, it is just that with fly fishing the line provides the casting weight, unlike spinning or casting gear where the lure or added weight provides the casting weight. Also, a 4 wt is pretty much like a light spinning rod, not quite ultralight, but close.

The 5 wt is like a solid light spinning rod, which sounds more like what you are thinking in terms of. A 5 wt is also considered to be the standard trout rod for small streams to medium rivers.

07-21-2005, 03:57 PM

I'll second the advice to go with a 5 wt for an all-round trout and panfish rod. It's an easy size to learn flycasting with (neither too light or too heavy) and one of the most versatile fly rod sizes for small to medium-sized freshwater fish. If you really get into flyfishing, though, plan on purchasing an 8 wt (if you fish mostly largemouths and schoolie stripers) or a 9 wt (if you think you'll be spending more time going after larger stripers) as a second rod. The 5 wt really is a marginal bass rod and too light for stripers.

One other tip--if you're fishing in saltwater be sure to make sure your reel is designed to withstand the salt. You probably don't need to spend much for a freshwater trout reel--but you'll want something a little more corrosion resistant and with a more sophisticated drag system if you are fishing larger saltwater fish.

07-21-2005, 08:13 PM
Thanks for all the advice guys. It sounds like the 5wt to learn on is the way to go. Come next spring, I'll have a good excuse to pick up another rod (8 or 9wt) to chase the stripers around.

* I'm sure I'll be reviewing the forums for casting techniques and such once the new set-up comes!

Thanks again.