Fly Fishing Forum - Reply to Topic
Getting Started The only dumb question is the one not asked

Thread: El Cheap Start-up Help, please Reply to Thread
Title:
  
Message:
Post Icons
You may choose an icon for your message from the following list:
 

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Fly Fishing Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Additional Options
Miscellaneous Options
Rate Thread
If you like, you can add a score for this thread.

Topic Review (Newest First)
08-08-2005 07:50 PM
flytyer AlaskanAtHeart,

Sorry about not answering you before this, I was in the eastern US for two weeks visiting my 79 year old father.

I was going to suggest the knot tying tool to tie the nail knot, although you can tie it easily without the tool, the tool makes it much easier. But since you got it from the fly shop you found, there is no need for me to describe how to tie it. Also, you found out with the way your cheapo reel started to fall apart why the Walmart specials are not the best buy.

Since you got one of the high end lines, the cheaper ones made for beginners won't be needed. The SA is called the "Concept" line. I'm not sure what Cortland and RIO call theirs; but one of them uses the name "Fairplay" for it.

Sounds like you are well on your way to becoming a good fly fisherman. Glad you are enjoying the ride so far.
07-29-2005 02:41 AM
AlaskanAtHeart Wanted to post an update:

I stumbled across a fly shop today this is going out of business, went in to talk to the guy and see what they had left, walked out with new line, backing, and reels, LOL.

Everything was 40% off, I bought 3 metal fly reels (the one that came with el-cheapo was mostly plastic, and pretty much fell apart while the guy was trying to fix the drag)

We put 20lb backing on, and WF8F Rio Windcutter line on it. I wasn't sure about whether to go up above the 6/7 of the pole, but they were out of 7, and the guy working there assured me that my rod could handle it, and said I'd probably have better luck casting it. Also picked up one of the knot tying tools (and finally understand the nail knot) and some flies that are popular locally. No luck finding anything barbless in my search today :-( I'll crimp the barbs myself.

Also picked up the SA Intro to Fly Casting video, it's helpful, and the guy at the fly shop pointed me to someone who gives lessons locally.

Hopefully I'll have a chance tomorrow to go check out how my cast is with the new line and after watching the video.
07-26-2005 01:12 AM
AlaskanAtHeart
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJC
Didn't you say in your first post you had some little commandos. If you got any around 10 or 12 yrs old they will work as fly tyers. It doesn't cost that much to get a servicable fly tying outfit. Start em off with some Renegades and Gray Hackle Peacocks for the Graying. Then get them tying some Wooly Worms in black, brown, and olive.

I sent you a PM this morning.
Hmmmm, wonder if the Boy Scouts do anything with fly tying? You're right, it's probably something right up my 13 yr old's alley! They have fly tying classes around here to give people something to do during the long, cold winter, I'll look for him a class or two then.

I just read your PM, thank you, I'm checking it out.
07-26-2005 12:51 AM
AlaskanAtHeart <<As far as the leader goes, the best thing for you would be the tapered leaders of 7 1/2' with a tippet that is 3X (about 6# test). This is strong enough to land any of the fish you are targeting at present and is not too large a diameter that would put the fish off. While you are at it, buy an extra 3X tippet leader spool or two to replace the tippet on the tapered leader, which will get shorter as you tie on and take off flies. To tie the tippet on to the leader (don't do this until you have used up about 18" of the leader), simply tie a double overhand knot with the new tippet section (about 18"-24") overlapping the leader (in other words, you are going to pass both the end of the leader and the length of the tippet through the overhand loop twice). Put a little spit on it, and pull it tight while holding on to all four pieces of it. Very simple knot (you may already know how to tie this since you have been using spinning and casting gear) that is very strong.>>

Cool. I got a 9' 3X today (before I read your post) and went and cast a few times in a 'bow/landlocked King lake, didn't get any hits, but only stayed a few minutes. Need to figure out how to cast with a hill behind me, I kept wrapping my fly around the rod. Thanks for the tip about buying a spool of tippet, I'll grab that next time I'm at the store, along with the backing.

<<There are fly lines which are made specifically to help new fly casters cast better, and the best part is they are cheaper than the onces made for more experienced casters. Scientific Anglers (SA), Cortland, and RIO all make them and they sell for around $25.00 give or take a few dollars. Once of these in a WF7 would be proper for your 6/7 rod. You are thinking correctly as regards the WF line being a better choice than the DT. The WF floating line is far easier to cast over 30' than the DT.>>

Do they say for beginners on them? I see the WF SA and Cortland, and floating or sinking, but beyond that, I'm not sure.

<<Backing is inexpensive and you really ought to have some on your reels. For the fishing you are currently doing, 20# dacron backing would be a good choice. You should have between 50 and 100 yds of it underneath you fly line so that you could allow a larger fish to take out your line and not worry about running out of fly line. This will help you land more fish. I'd never fish without backing on my reel, even if only fishing for trout under 6" is small mountain brooks.>>

OK, I'll get some backing and put it on. I'm going to use an arbor knot to secure it to the reel, of course, but to secure the line to the backing, can I use loop to loop or should I use a different knot?

I appreciate your help
07-25-2005 11:18 PM
MJC
Hey Alaskan...

Quote:
As for tying my own, I don't see that happening, ever. I HATE messing with tiny objects, watching part of a fly tying class one time and all I could think was "cripes, what a pain in the rear!"
Didn't you say in your first post you had some little commandos. If you got any around 10 or 12 yrs old they will work as fly tyers. It doesn't cost that much to get a servicable fly tying outfit. Start em off with some Renegades and Gray Hackle Peacocks for the Graying. Then get them tying some Wooly Worms in black, brown, and olive.

I sent you a PM this morning.
07-25-2005 10:36 PM
flytyer I've been fly fishing for 47 years and have never thought of fly fishing as an elitist sport. There have always been rods, reels, lines on the market to satisfy any budget. One doesn't need to spend $700.00 on a rod, or $700.00 on a reel, or even $50.00 on a single-hand fly line to get a good serviceable fly fishing outfit. There are some very nice rod, reel, line combos on the market for under $200.00.

That said, you are right in thinking the "Walmart special" you got is not a very good rod; however, if that is what you can afford at the moment, use it until you can get something better. After you can affort to get a better rod, a look at the beginning fly fisher combos (they have rod, line, and leader included) would be the best way for you to go. There are quite a few very good, serviceable beginning fly fishing outfits on the market for between $125.00-$200.00 that would serve you well for many years. Some of the manufacturers of these good cheaper outfits are St. Croix, Echo, Redington, G.Loomis, and Lamiglas. Trust me, you won't need a high end $600.00-$800.00 rod any time soon, if ever (even though that is what I use).

As far as the leader goes, the best thing for you would be the tapered leaders of 7 1/2' with a tippet that is 3X (about 6# test). This is strong enough to land any of the fish you are targeting at present and is not too large a diameter that would put the fish off. While you are at it, buy an extra 3X tippet leader spool or two to replace the tippet on the tapered leader, which will get shorter as you tie on and take off flies. To tie the tippet on to the leader (don't do this until you have used up about 18" of the leader), simply tie a double overhand knot with the new tippet section (about 18"-24") overlapping the leader (in other words, you are going to pass both the end of the leader and the length of the tippet through the overhand loop twice). Put a little spit on it, and pull it tight while holding on to all four pieces of it. Very simple knot (you may already know how to tie this since you have been using spinning and casting gear) that is very strong.

There are fly lines which are made specifically to help new fly casters cast better, and the best part is they are cheaper than the onces made for more experienced casters. Scientific Anglers (SA), Cortland, and RIO all make them and they sell for around $25.00 give or take a few dollars. Once of these in a WF7 would be proper for your 6/7 rod. You are thinking correctly as regards the WF line being a better choice than the DT. The WF floating line is far easier to cast over 30' than the DT.

Backing is inexpensive and you really ought to have some on your reels. For the fishing you are currently doing, 20# dacron backing would be a good choice. You should have between 50 and 100 yds of it underneath you fly line so that you could allow a larger fish to take out your line and not worry about running out of fly line. This will help you land more fish. I'd never fish without backing on my reel, even if only fishing for trout under 6" is small mountain brooks.

As far as flies, you pretty much get what you pay for. There is a huge difference between the 55c Walmart flies and the 2/$2.00 ones. The hooks are better, they are tied better (meaning they will stay together for more fish), and are better proportioned.

Hope this has helped provide useful information to you.
07-25-2005 08:06 PM
AlaskanAtHeart <<Welcome to Fly Flishing. Don't worry, a $20 outfit will catch just as many fish as a $800 one will. It's just more plesant to use the $800 one.>>

WHEW! I'll worry about better gear down the road if I really fall in love with it, LOL.

<<You need to learn to let the fish take some line. Play him on the reel and when he runs let him pull line off the reel. Then reel him in. The leader is snapping because you are muscling him. There are folks who catch big fish on fine, lightweight leaders.>>

I really think this one is bad, possibly old. When I lost the fish on it, I was actually bringing him up from the water, and he wasn't flopping at all (and it wasn't knot failure, had that, too, but after I'd released the fish) The leader was snapping in my hand as I was tying knots. It could be that I'm pulling too hard, but I've not had a problem with that with my spin lines. I'll try a new leader of a decent brand and if it happens again, I'll know it's me, LOL. Speaking of catch big fish on lightweight leaders....heard from the guy we were watching on Saturday that a young woman caught an over 50lb king on a cheap-o fly setup, she was fishing for trout. Her boyfriend went into the water and literally did a bear hug to land him, as they didn't have a net!

<<There are a good number of folks who think the Walmart SA line is just fine. Cortland lines are fine. I think Walmart even sells an Orvis line. If the line you are using is working for you then use it and don't worry.

I'm a big fan of RIO lines, but you'll have to go to a Fly shop to get one, and a RIO line will set you back close to $65-$70.>>

AACK! I'm not ready for that yet Since I don't need backing, I'll just stick with what the set came with for now.

<<Backing is a thinner braded line the you put on the reel before putting on the line. You only need it if you hook a REALLY big fish and it runs and pulls all the fly line off your reel.>>

Thanks, that's kinda what I thought it was for, but figured I'd better check. I don't think I need that yet, then.

<<The is debatable. It's just a round pink ball like a fish egg. They work a little too well. There are a lot of Fly Fisherman who don't consider them fair and won't fish with them>>

Thanks, I had no clue what they were.

<<Not really. They are tied on cheap hooks that will break easily or straighten out and they use cheap materials. The Walmart flies will fall apart pretty quickly. In some cases while you are casting them and before a fish gets a chance to try and eat it. Any fly will fall apart after enough fish have eaten chomped on them. The $2 fly will last longer. Every sport has an item that is a consumable. For golf, it is golf balls, for fly fishing, it's flys. At some point you will start tying your own. (And have a heart attack when you see how expensive some of the materials are.)

Get a copy of "The Orvis Fly Fishing Guide" by Tom Rosenbauer. It's a guide for novices, and covers just about any question you might have. There are a ton of them used over at amazon.com, where you can get if for about $6.50 plus shipping. Once you have finished this book, try some of the other Orvis guides. There are a ton of them, and they all seem pretty good. (My wife got me the "Fly Tying Guide" for farther's day. Even though I've been tying for a long time, I learned a few new techniques, and really enjoyed the book.)>>

Is there a particular brand of hook I should be looking for flies on? As for tying my own, I don't see that happening, ever. I HATE messing with tiny objects, watching part of a fly tying class one time and all I could think was "cripes, what a pain in the rear!"

I'll get that book, thanks for the recommendation, and thanks so much for all your answers, they are much appreciated
07-25-2005 09:02 AM
baldmountain
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlaskanAtHeart
Bought a $20 fly fishing combo today (by Crystal River....I know all you pros are absolutely cringing, now that I've read most of the threads under this heading, LOL), a pack of 10 flies (no clue what kind) for $3, and we caught some fish!!!!!!
Welcome to Fly Flishing. Don't worry, a $20 outfit will catch just as many fish as a $800 one will. It's just more plesant to use the $800 one.

Fly Fishing is a bit of an elitist sport. Some people will look down on your Walmart outfit, but I say the heck with 'em. Go fishing and have fun.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlaskanAtHeart
So, the rod/reel is OK for what we want, but the leader, at a minimum has to go, it was snapping right and left
You need to learn to let the fish take some line. Play him on the reel and when he runs let him pull line off the reel. Then reel him in. The leader is snapping because you are muscling him. There are folks who catch big fish on fine, lightweight leaders.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlaskanAtHeart
1) I read a recommendation a FF site to use DT line, but I see you all seem to prefer WF, which is great, because that's all Walmart carries. Obviously I need 6 or 7w, and I'm pretty sure I want floating line. Seems SA or Cortland is the preferred? Do either of them have a better line for total blonde newbies?
There are a good number of folks who think the Walmart SA line is just fine. Cortland lines are fine. I think Walmart even sells an Orvis line. If the line you are using is working for you then use it and don't worry.

I'm a big fan of RIO lines, but you'll have to go to a Fly shop to get one, and a RIO line will set you back close to $65-$70.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlaskanAtHeart
2) What is backing? Do I need it? I went to Walmart and I saw it, but my little kit didn't come with it, so I'm not sure I understand it's purpose. My casts today were about 40' give or take, so if I use the backing, how many feet of line do I want to use?
Backing is a thinner braded line the you put on the reel before putting on the line. You only need it if you hook a REALLY big fish and it runs and pulls all the fly line off your reel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlaskanAtHeart
3) What's the best way to go for a newbie? Leader with taper (which is what kept snapping today) or using a tippet? If tippet is the best route, how do I go from line to tippet? (Is there a "Total Idiots Guide to setting up a fly rod somewhere???) If tapered leader is the way to go (and I prefer the easier route, if it works about the same), please recommend the brand and give me specifics on what I should get?
Tippet is just the thin end of the leader. You are talking about the same thing. As you use more of the leader either to breaking a fly off or it just getting used up in knots to hold a fly you can replace the end of the leader with a new piece of "tippet" (Thin piece of monofilament.) I'm going to suggest a book below that should help you with knots to replace the tippet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlaskanAtHeart
4) What is loop to loop?
It's a way of attaching a leader to fly line. You tie a loop at the end of your fly line and the thick end of the leader. Put the loop end of the fly line through the loop in the leader then put the thin end of the leader through the fly line loop. The loops in the two lines will interlock and hold the two lines together.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlaskanAtHeart
5) Is an egg pattern a fly? If it is, can someone either show me a picture of one, or direct me to a site that shows them?
The is debatable. It's just a round pink ball like a fish egg. They work a little too well. There are a lot of Fly Fisherman who don't consider them fair and won't fish with them

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlaskanAtHeart
6) Are flies pretty much created equally? Walmart has a 55pc fly set for like $10, will those work as well as the 2/$2 ones?
Not really. They are tied on cheap hooks that will break easily or straighten out and they use cheap materials. The Walmart flies will fall apart pretty quickly. In some cases while you are casting them and before a fish gets a chance to try and eat it. Any fly will fall apart after enough fish have eaten chomped on them. The $2 fly will last longer. Every sport has an item that is a consumable. For golf, it is golf balls, for fly fishing, it's flys. At some point you will start tying your own. (And have a heart attack when you see how expensive some of the materials are.)

Get a copy of "The Orvis Fly Fishing Guide" by Tom Rosenbauer. It's a guide for novices, and covers just about any question you might have. There are a ton of them used over at amazon.com, where you can get if for about $6.50 plus shipping. Once you have finished this book, try some of the other Orvis guides. There are a ton of them, and they all seem pretty good. (My wife got me the "Fly Tying Guide" for farther's day. Even though I've been tying for a long time, I learned a few new techniques, and really enjoyed the book.)
07-25-2005 05:51 AM
AlaskanAtHeart
El Cheap Start-up Help, please

The kids and I watched a guy fly fishing yesterday and thought we'd like to give it a shot. Been fishing for King Salmon for a few weeks with no luck, and the guy was pulling Arctic Grayling out of the river like there was no tomorrow

Bought a $20 fly fishing combo today (by Crystal River....I know all you pros are absolutely cringing, now that I've read most of the threads under this heading, LOL), a pack of 10 flies (no clue what kind) for $3, and we caught some fish!!!!!!

OK, so we like it, but really can't afford to invest a fortune in fly fishing stuff right after going all out for the King and spin stuff. (I'm outfitting 6 people, so I've dropped a pretty penny on fishing in the past few months)

So, the rod/reel is OK for what we want, but the leader, at a minimum has to go, it was snapping right and left

The rod is an 8' 6/7w, I'm fishing for Arctic Graylight and Rainbow Trout. Alaska F&G recommends streamers, muddlers, and egg patterns for the 'bows; elk hair caddis, ant, beetle, wooly worm, and mosquito for the grayling. The grayling are pretty forgiving, and seem to hit whatever. I think I was using a dragonfly (it looked like one anyway) today and got a lot of hits, don't have a clue what the other fly I used was, but they loved it. Unfortunately, the leader snapped off and a grayling now owns it.

So, my questions:

1) I read a recommendation a FF site to use DT line, but I see you all seem to prefer WF, which is great, because that's all Walmart carries. Obviously I need 6 or 7w, and I'm pretty sure I want floating line. Seems SA or Cortland is the preferred? Do either of them have a better line for total blonde newbies?

2) What is backing? Do I need it? I went to Walmart and I saw it, but my little kit didn't come with it, so I'm not sure I understand it's purpose. My casts today were about 40' give or take, so if I use the backing, how many feet of line do I want to use?

3) What's the best way to go for a newbie? Leader with taper (which is what kept snapping today) or using a tippet? If tippet is the best route, how do I go from line to tippet? (Is there a "Total Idiots Guide to setting up a fly rod somewhere???) If tapered leader is the way to go (and I prefer the easier route, if it works about the same), please recommend the brand and give me specifics on what I should get?

4) What is loop to loop?

5) Is an egg pattern a fly? If it is, can someone either show me a picture of one, or direct me to a site that shows them?

6) Are flies pretty much created equally? Walmart has a 55pc fly set for like $10, will those work as well as the 2/$2 ones?

Sorry for all the questions, and I appreciate any responses. I know you're all dying to tell me to go get a real rod/reel, LOL, but I just can't lay out the bucks for it right now. Once the snow and ice set in, I'll start haunting the pawns shops and classifieds for better gear, LOL.

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:05 AM.



Copyright Flyfishingforum.com (All Rights Reserved)