What to do? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: What to do?

04-27-2006, 03:13 PM
Hello all,

This is my first post (Hopefully many more to come). I love to fish but am just getting started in fly fishing. I have $200 to spend on a set up. I am from Louisiana and my family has a camp near the Gulf (which made out ok in the storm) so I'll be fishing in saltwater. I 've noticed, after a few days of perusing this site, that ya'll recommend spending the bulk of the money on the Rod, which I plan on doing. I just need some suggestions on a reasonably priced saltwater "proof" reel. Also, what is the difference in the Drag systems, Rim, Disc, Clichk and Pawl?

Line weight question: I'll be fishing in saltwater, mainly for redfish (18"-24"), but I also want to be able to practice closer to home in some freshwater ponds (Crappie, Smallmouth, Largemouth, maybe a bluegill???). I know there are some big differences there, what is the best all around weight and action to get for this variety of situations?

There is a wealth of information available in this forum, and I am sure i will tap into it many more times, thanks (sorry for the long post).


04-28-2006, 07:50 AM
Based on what I've read here you'll be lucky to get a spool for a saltwater capable fly reel for your $200. ;)

I think your best bet is to find a GOOD local fly shop. Tell them your budget and what you are planning to fish for and see what they can do to help you. Part of the reason for going to a fly shop is they will help you put together a matched outfit. This will make learning to cast and fishing a LOT easier.

The fact that you are going to fish in saltwater really makes things difficult at your budget. (Which actually is about my budget too.) The trouble is that a fly line is going to cost you at least $35 and more like $50. That is a quarter of your buget. There is a new reel from a company called Okuma called the SLV. It's only $50 and has a sealed drag. It will probably explode if you catch a really good sized redfish, but should work otherwise. (I think.) Spend the rest on the rod. Look for a discounted last years model rod. A closeout. You may be able to find something that will work for around a $100.

04-28-2006, 07:57 AM
Thanks for the info, I might save up for a little longer, (I'd hate for my reel to explode.) I didn't realize line was so expensive, How long does it last?

There is a fly shop in New Orleans, I'll check it out.


04-28-2006, 09:14 AM

As far as a "Saltwater proof" reel, there really no such thing. Even sealed drag reels are not saltwater proof. No matter what reel you buy, it is very important to take care of it. Make sure you clean it with warm fresh water whenever you are finished fishing in the saltwater. Even the high end 600 dollar reels need the TLC.

Now for the Rod. If you save some more money, you can find a St. Croix that would suit you just fine. I fished with them for years, they are great starter rods and will last for some time. As far as line weight, you should be fine with an 8 weight, it will be fine for the reds and bass, but a bit overkill for crappie and perch.

When figuring out your budget, remembe the little things too. You have already touched on the line, but don't forget leaders, a good set of pliers/forceps, flies, or fly tying materials, and a stripping basket.

I would follow baldmountains advice and talk to a local fly shop, with a good reputation.

Good Luck,

Jeff Lebowski
05-05-2006, 03:29 PM
Tiga Fan-
I too am from LA- grew up in New Orleans and unfortunately picked up fly fishing after I had moved away. But always had a great time when I would come back and fish out of Venice or Delacroix at my buddies' places. Both guys gave you good advice I think- a 7/8 St. Croix was my first rod. I made the mistake of matching it with a Pfleuger reel and don't think it lasted more than 2 coast trips. My suggestion would be either a 7 or 8 weight- that is a good saltwater/bass rod. I also like to fish a 6 weight in the salt but it has limitations if the wind picks up or if you are casting heavy flies. And I think you will find that you will be redfishing more than you will be pond fishing- especially if you are that close to good water. Tip flex would be the way to go as far as action is concerned- so when that wind picks up it will not be a problem. I worked at Orvis during my college days so I had access to some good equipment at a great price- and my first saltwater reel that "lasted" was the Battenkill Disc Drag reel- the one minor drawback is it is not a large arbor but it is extremely durable (it once flew out of the back of my truck after a bass trip and was run over by a car or two and came out relatively unscathed). Hope this helps- good luck- careful though- fly fishing is worse than most drugs out there as far as I am concerned.

05-07-2006, 03:00 PM
Thanks Jeff,

I can't wait to get started, and I think I'm going to go with the Battenkill mid arbor. Thanks again for the ino, I still have A LOT to learn.