Newbie needs advice [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Newbie needs advice

01-21-2003, 11:16 AM
I've been mainly a spin fisherman since I was six, but now I'm venturing into the brave new world (for me) of fly fishing. I'll be fishing mainly salt water (for stripers) and will also be making a trip to the Florida Keys in early summer.

As such, my main question is where do I start? From my research it looks like I'll need at least a 10wt, but I'm not sure what length or make to look for. The price of some of the Redington and St. Croix rods look good to me (under $300), as does the Redington GDS reel. Are there better options for my budget? I'm also assuming that I will use primarily sinking line on the flats.

Any help is appreciated.

01-21-2003, 01:21 PM
vinny...what will you be fishing for in the keys?
if your main fishing diet will consist of stripers, then a 9 or 10wt. should meet your needs, letting you land fish in a very reasonable amount of time...and also letting you punch through on those windy days...if you are considering reddington and st. croix, also take a look at diamondback, they make great rods at a very reasonable far as reels...there are so many different opinions......i wanted a reel i could put down on the rocks or in the sand and not worry about it getting banged up....cause it will...and mine certainly has!!! i bought an okuma 9/10 for $45...and it has done a fine job. granted the reel probably couldn't handle an albie or a bonito, but i knew i would mainly be fishing for stripers when i bought it. as far as line, if you are fishing flats, you would probably want a floater or an the sinker, or shooting head for when you fish deeper waters...sinking line would just drag your fly along the bottom.... hope this helped.


01-21-2003, 02:05 PM
Vinny, if you use the search feature you will find a lot of information on this topic, including peoples personal tastes, experiences, etc.

Good luck!

01-21-2003, 07:03 PM
Hi Vinny & welcome,

rods: you implied a budget - give temple forks a try. look at the high end rods for features & finish then look at price tag. now go look at temple fork again, the fit and finish then the price tag. cast them all too (if you can, I couldn't when I bought my fisrt rod)
(edit) Look at LL Bean too - my 9wgt has served me well this past year, also light in the wallet.

reels: Tiogas are very sturdy and won't set you back much, relatively speaking. the Redington GS are also fit for duty. Of the 2 I'd buy a Tioga new (I own a used Redington). Do get a spare spool whatever you go with.

If you are shore bound, I reccomend an 8 or 9 tops - unless you're on the Cape, then a 9 or 10 for sure w/ intermediate & a 200/250gr line(8/9) or 300/350 gr (9/10).
From a boat, 9 or 10 - a 300gr line

FLA: you didn't mention a species but your starting point is on target.

Do your homework and try out as many rods as you can before you buy.

Good luck and keep us posted.

01-21-2003, 08:39 PM
You'll get lots of good advice here, but IMHO if you had to have only one rod and you plan to fish striper more than bonefish make it a 9' 9wt. You're lucky that there are pretty good starter rods out there nowadays, cast a bunch and see which ones you like. If you want to learn before you buy, Quentin has a setup for you to start out with but once you feel comfortable you'll have to pass it on to the next newbie. It's the forum newbie rod ;)

Lots of good reels out there too. You missed a good reel at the show - $99 for a new Lamson LP 4 at the booth put up by Gil's shop in Natick. They sold out quickly although they had a large number of them.

Most importantly get to know a lot of experienced anglers and pick up everything you can. The equipment matters less than the fundamental knowledge. If you're lucky you won't have to climb a long trail of equipment purchases to find the right set up for you. Hanging out with a community of 100% flyfishermen will help you get there!


01-21-2003, 09:43 PM
Vinny, welcome. Lots of good advice already. I've stuck with 9ft 9wt for most of my saltwater fishing - both here for stripers, blues, tunoids and down in the tropics for bonefish and other medium sized critters. It may be a bit on the heavy side for some conditions and a bit on the light side for others but it has stood me in good stead as my "anchor" system. You will innevitably add to the list just like the rest of us and end up owning more rods that you could ever immagine - but hey - thats all part of the fun. There are some very good products out there for under $300 - already mentioned are Redington, Temple fork and St. Croix.

Try and get along to our casting clave in March. It will coincide with the Wilmington show. I will have a bunch of 9ft 9wts and forum members will have others to try out. This is a great opportunity to feel how different rods work and have fun at the same time. With any luck you will be able to compare an 8wt, 9wt and 10wt.

Hope to see you there!

01-21-2003, 11:56 PM
Hi Vinny,

I, too, was a spin fisherman for many years. I switched to the fly rod less than a year ago and I don't miss the spinning rod one bit. Before I made the switch I was in the same bind as you -- I'd never casted a fly rod, so I didn't even know where to start. I didn't know how to cast so I couldn't test them out, and I had no basis for comparison anyway. Juro was kind enough to loan me a 9' 9wt fly rod, GregO donated an intermediate fly line, and several other Forum members offered advice, information and instruction. I caught on pretty quickly and had a great year of flyfishing.

As Juro mentioned above, I am now ready to pass the "loaner" along to the next worthy newcomer. It's a sweet-casting 9' 9wt rod that will allow you to learn to cast and give you a "feel" for fly casting so that you will have some idea of what to look for when you buy your own rod. You'll probably even catch a few fish! The loaner now comes complete with a 9/10 Redington Large Arbor reel spooled with 30# backing and an intermediate fly line. I'll even throw in a few flies! The only catch is this: once you get the hang of it and get your own set-up (and you will!), you need to pass the outfit along to the next new flycaster who needs a little help getting started. Let me know if this sounds good to you and we'll figure out a way to get the outfit to you (maybe at the casting clave in March?)

Welcome aboard!


01-22-2003, 05:22 AM
Vinny are you sure you want to do this? It and addiction of which there is no cure. What discourages most newbies is the casting. I would try and get a lesson or attend the casting clave before you buy a rod. At the clave you can test out several different rods and get first class instruction . Thigh Lines FishHawk

01-22-2003, 10:50 AM
This is great! I think that this is probably just what a newbie like me needs, because as it is, I have no idea what to buy.
I hope to see Quentin (with the loaner) and the rest of you at the casting clave in March ... and I'll just have to force myself to live with the pending addiction.

01-22-2003, 12:31 PM

I'm planning to be there, loaner in hand. Hope you can make it!


01-22-2003, 06:29 PM
Hey Vinny!!! Long time no see!!!

Glad to see you're finally taking the plunge. You've come to the right place.

Temple Fork has been mentioned a couple of times. I have one. Dirt cheap. Good starter. At Marlboro, there was a new company, Elkhorn, that I had not seen before. They had a show special for $160 (4piece rod, reel, tube). Normally around $300-400 altogether. The rod did not cast as well as the Temple Fork, in my opinion, but again, would serve as a great starter. I believe they will be at Wilmington, but am not positive. You might also check out the Bargain Bin at Orvis in Boston. I found one of their higher end rods, 1-2 years "out-of-date", and it has served me quite well. Also, if you're going to be traveling, you might want to consider a 4 piece rod.

As for reels, make sure you get something with a decent never know when she's gonna hit :eek: !
I have the aforementioned Lamson Velocity with a few extra spools and love it. Found one new and pretty cheap on eBay.

Cast as many as you can. And if you need a holdover, I have at least a couple of starter setups which you're more than welcome to.

Look forward to seeing you on the water!

01-22-2003, 09:02 PM
My two cents of advice is as follows:
Going to the keys and striking out on your own will ultimately be frustrating. If you have a specific area you are going to, suggest you find a guide and ask them as to what species are in the area and what type of rig they would suggest for maximum hook up.
Keys fishing can vary from bonefishing on flats to tarpon in the channels. If you are going to make this location a habit, then buy the gear, if a one off adventure for now, see if the guide can supply the gear. If you still want to buy something, suggest you search the Cabela's website.

Good luck. I made the switch to flyfishing from bait/reel fishing over a year ago and it has literally changed my life....for the good.
Nothing like the purity of catching a fish on the fly....


02-01-2003, 07:03 PM
Hi Vinny, welcome to the forum! There have been many great suggestions so far; the best one is likely for you to attend the clave and cast as many rods as possible to see what type action suits you best, then look for a good intermediate rod to start out with. For good value and very good performance, in my experience, the Redington 5-pc. wayfarer is a great rod (I recommend you go with the 9' 9-wt., as others have said) with a relatively fast action that will enable you to cast well on days with a moderate wind. I'd pair this with a Redington RS2 9/10 rather than a GD; the reason is that, according to Redington's tech guy, the GD won't hold up as well against fast running fish due to the fact that it's gear-driven (hence "GD"), whereas the RS2 has the "standard" guts of a high-end reel. It can handle the faster fish like albies in the NorthEast, and will be better in the Keys should you lay into a large crevalle or 'cuda, or even a bone, all of which tend to haul @$$ when first hooked. I have owned both reels, and from my standpoint the RS2 is superior. The Wayfarer retails for $195, and the RS2 goes for $150; not too shabby for an outfit that will likely last you years and years, so long as you maintain your equipment like you should. I'm not a Redington advocate per se, but I like the quality of these products, and they've done well for me. BTW, I fish coastal NJ as well as the lower Keys every year (headed there next week), and can attest to the need for quality gear in the event that you hook into a monster. It can mean a lot when a once-in-a-lifetime fish is on the other end. Good luck, regardless of which outfit you choose!