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Newbie55 03-02-2004 02:14 PM

A little help for the new guy...
Hi, everyone. My name's Jeff. I'm twenty years old, and I live just outside of Roanoke, Virginia in the Blue Ridge/Appalachian mountains valley. I just recently took an interest in flyfishing when my grandfather gave me a seemingly expensive brand new Thomas & Thomas rod from his collection. He won the rod at a Ducks Unlimited auction for about $150, because nobody present knew anything about flyfishing. I would like to use the rod to get me started, but with so many reels and lines and flies and equipment, I don't know where to start!

First off, I need a reel. How do I go about choosing one? Are there any specific reels that you would recommend? I plan on fishing mainly in mountain creeks and rivers, and maybe a pond or two. The rods case says "Line #7." Does this have anything to do with the kind of reel I can put on it? I'm looking for a good dependable reel to get me started, under 120 dollars. Any advice?

Besides the reel, I'm also looking for any other advice and/or recommendations you can give me on equipment/tools/etc. to get me started. Any help you can give me would be GREATLY appreciated. Thanks!

flytyer 03-02-2004 02:43 PM

The line #7 on the rod refers to the AFTMA standardized line wt designation. It means that you should buy a 7 wt (or #7) line for proper loading and best casting efficiency with the rod. I would recommend you get a WF7F (weight forward 7 wt floating line) for the rod.

Regarding your question on whether the line # has anything to do with what reel to use on the rod, the answer is a qualified yes. You need to get a reel that will hold the WF7F line and about 100 yds of 20lb dacron backing. There are many very serviceable reels available for the $120.00 or less that you set as a spending limit. You don't need to buy the expensive macined disc drag reels that many experienced fly fishers use, all you need is a reel that will hold the line and dacron backing. Okuma, Pfleuger, Martin, STH, Cortland, and Scientific Anglers (known as SA) are only some of the reel makers with reels in your price range that will work.

The best way to get a reel, line, and backing for your T&T rod (by the way, T&T is one of the premium and best rods makes on the market) is to go to a fly shop in your area. If I'm not mistaken, there is at least one in Roanoke. The guys in the fly shop will be able to help you select a reel that is less than $120.00, a WF7F line, and will even load the backing and line on the reel for you. Additionally, the folks at the shop would probably provide you with a quick lesson on how to fly cast and could put you in touch with other fly fishers in your area who could help you in your learning how to fly fish.

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