beginner's gear [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: beginner's gear

03-22-2002, 05:29 AM

I am taking a beginning flyfishing class and need to buy gear. Our instructor went over the types of gear and recommended a 9' 6 wt rod for fishing in the Western US. He likes the four piece 9' 6wt Temple Forks rod($139) along with an Okuma Integrity large arbor reel with line and backing($96) and a BW case ($30). How does that sound? Are those good prices for that gear? Any alternative recommendations?


03-22-2002, 09:28 AM
My understanding is that the Temple Forks are a "best Value" and the big rods are well worth it so I don't think you will go wrong with that rod since I think many don't consider it a beginer rod and you will have it as you progress.

03-22-2002, 10:23 AM
Even though this Q has been here a couple days,and John broke the ice (thank you) I agree your instructor's recommendations are sufficient. Temple Fork Rods are a best value, unless you want to compare them to something in the many catalogs or really shop your brains out in the internet at places like LL Bean, Cabela, etc.

03-23-2002, 01:56 AM

Thanks for the advice. I guess I'll go with the Temple Forks rod and Okuma Integrity reel. Does a beginner need extra spools?

03-24-2002, 01:18 AM
Someone said not to get a "cast" reel. Are cast reels somehow less durable than machined reels?

03-24-2002, 06:35 AM
I think if you're not even sure that you are going to fall in love with the sport, you should just buy the most cost-effective reel you can find.

Okumas have gotten some pretty good reviews, you should be able to go back and get a spare spool from wherever you buy it if you decide you want to continue with fly fishing & add more lines to your inventory.

There are still a lot of fly fishermen/ women out there who fish with reels without any kind of drag.

Good luck & let us know how you do.


03-24-2002, 10:22 AM
I'll second the idea of a cheaper reel. Unless you are going for big game (at least in relation to the tippet size) then all a reel really has to do is hold the line when you are not using it. As for spare spools I'd say no. I'm assuming your target species is trout and 99.9 percent of my trout fishing is with a floating line. The only time I use my sinking line for trout is in a lake so I guess I should make that distinction. If you will be doing a lot of lake fishing then the sinking line will come in handy quite a bit and you will want both.

03-24-2002, 01:07 PM
I'm with Hawkeye - my sink tip only comes to play when I'm on a lake or pond, river stuff is the floater.

You're talking 6wgt so drags aren't critical - I have 3 of the same cheapo reel (one is spare parts after it hook a serious hit). All spools interchange but I usually end up brining the whole reel along.

I reccomend a reel with a rimmed spool (I don't think they make many with out). You'll be able to palm as much pressure as you'll ever need for freshweater fish...

good luck & welcome to your new consuming hobby.

03-24-2002, 02:52 PM
I agree... the drags are not that important... that is the big cork drags... for the kind of trout or freshwater bass I have done my reels for my 3 ,4 ,5 and 6 wt rods are the Abel TR-2, Hardy feather weight, the Orvis CFO lll and Orvis CFO lV... all are click and paul. So palming is the way if you latch on.. Last big trout I caught was on the Swift river at Rt.9.... 18 inchs with my 5 wt... against the

03-24-2002, 05:08 PM
Agree with above comments , I fly fished trout and bass for 20 years with nothing more that Plueger Medalist 1494. Don't need much of a drag or any for this fishing since most of the time the fish is not played from the reel. Same applies today.

If you are going for bigger stronger running fish like saltwater stripers, blues, bones, or freshwater steelhead and salmon, then you need to get a fly reel with a decent drag since you want to play these fish from the reel.

The first few king salmon I caught in the great lakes in 1980 were on that Plueger Medalist 1494 trout reel. It can be done but you cannot tire them down well without a good drag. Also when these stronger species decide to run you want them on the reel not with a bunch of fly line laying the water at your feet, like you can do for trout or bass. Have seen steelies and king salmon explode graphite rods when anglers did not get them on the reel immediatedly, and the loose line snarled when being pulled by the fish through the rod guides.

Not a pleasant sound the crack of a graphite fly rod.

Never happened to me but close especially with fresh king salmons which are virtually unstoppable freight trains.

03-24-2002, 08:38 PM

I am not sure what you guys mean when you say to get a cheap reel. I thought the Okuma Integrity was a cheap reel. With line and backing it's $96 total, so if the line and backing are $30(?), the reel is $66. Are there cheaper reels? Does it matter if it's a "cast" reel versus being machined out of a block of aluminum?

"If you are going for bigger stronger running fish like....freshwater steelhead and salmon.."

That's a possibility. A relative of mine has a place in Oregon on a river about 2 miles upstream from the ocean, and I have on open invitation to do some flyfishing there.

I am really excited about learning to flyfish. I have a few friends that flyfish and their passion is terrific and it's infectious. I wish I had my gear yesterday, so I could mess around a little bit. I plan on practicing a lot between my flyfishing classes and visiting the local areas as soon as i'm able

Thanks for the help and encouragment.

03-25-2002, 07:54 AM
Newbie - I mean my reels cost about 30 beans each. They're made by martin and have a click&pawl drag and a palming rim on the spool..

the construction is an aluminum plate for mounting the drag stuff, connect that to an aluminum "donut" with 1/4 dia. tubes - slide in the aluminum spool of a multi-piece construction (can't take it apart right now :)) done.

I think the 'cast vs. machined' argument doesn't functionally apply to reels under say, 7 or 8 wgt. - nice machine work can be appreciated in most forms but is it neede for a 2 wgt reel? doubt it.
To answer the durability question - don't play soccer with either plastic, cast or machined reels and expect them to work...bumps and dings happen just do your best to not bang up your gear.

Oregon: I'd ask your Bro what they use up there (if the guys here don't). I'm sure there's room for your 6wgt. but you might need to borrow an outfit for the bigger fish...enjoy if you go.

try to keep it simple at the beginning - if you get bitten by the hard-core bug, you're going to upgrade anyway...learn and have fun, the fish don't care what kind of gear you're using or how much it cost. They will be critical of technique first & foremost - study casting & presentation.

03-25-2002, 08:25 AM
I agree with Sprocket re: cast vs. machined.

I have a Hardy Flyweight I use on my 4 wt rod, I believe it's made of what I call "pot metal". A cheap cast but a great traditional reel.

As far as cost goes... what's cheap for some of these guys is out of my league. But may be middle of the road for you.

My wife addresses the cost/ value ratio with one simple statement, " If whatever you bought makes you happy, it was worth the price."


03-25-2002, 10:19 AM
The range of price on a low-end reel warrants doing a bit of homework. You can get out for cheap and be very satisfied with a Pflueger. Some of the Okuma Sierra models do what you want. Strictly up to you; you don't need to go high end in the low end - all it does is carry line. Pflueger reels with drag knobs operate on a phenolic fiber drag shoe that presses against the spool, just like a brake. Getting one of these with spare spool would cover you nicely as a beginner. You are limited to what you want to spend. The Okuma Sierra reels aren't wicked expensive, Cabela sells whatever in their system; Pflueger, like I said, so you might get into a reel having saved money enough to go toward backing and another line. You don't need expensive backing, all you need is 20# Dacron, whether it's Cortland GreenSpot or some other comparable item. A friend recently bought the TFO 8' 8wt. rod; he mounts a Pflueger reel on it and so what - it works.

Shop for something that appeals to your common sense and let it go at that. If that means going to a shop or sporting goods store and asking to see six different reels, broken down on the counter so you can see and feel the drag or eyeball the paint or touch the metal, then do it. What the collective 'we' know is based on all you've asked so far, and our final decisions, whether financially, dependability or aesthetically driven.

Sometimes too much information (because it becomes confusing)is a BAD thing for a beginner.