Almost ready to start fishing!
Hey again guys. Sorry for all the repetitive noob posts. I got a rod and reel today! While not the best set up in the world , I came across an old Martin rod and reel. The rod is 8' and is a 7 wt. I don't know much about the reel, other than it's all metal and has no plastic. It's in great condition, just needs some new line. So here's my question. I have no idea what to do as far as line/leader/ other tackle goes. Give me some pretty specific examples of line that I could use for smallmouth bass, bream, and trout. Will I need backing line? Also what kind of leader works well? And finally, what are your reccomendations for some good versatile flies? Thanks for the help.
The rod is going to be a bit heavy for trout and bream. You'll really want to use that for bass only. It'll work fine for trout, but it's like.... what's a good analogy... it's like using a car jack to jack up your bicycle to replace the tire. It's just too much tool for the job. Anything but the biggest trout or bream and you will have a hard time even knowing there's a fish on the line! :)
The easiest line for a beginner is a Weigth Forward Floating, which for a 7 weight will be a WF7F. Lines are classified first by weight distribution (WF for Weight Forward, DT for Double Taper), then by size (0 - 15+), then by type (F for floating, S for sinking, FS for sink tip, I for intermediate). The WF is by far the most common line, and it's also the easiest for a beginner since it helps load the road better. You'll want to match a 7 weight line to the rod, and it should be a floating line, which is also the most common type. You can use a floating line to fish dry flies, streamers, nymphs, or what have you.
You should throw some backing on the reel, though you may not really need it. I don't put backing on my freshwater reels, though I probably would if I was going after something like coho salmon. At the least the backing will increase the size of your spool so the line doesn't curl as much.
For leaders, you can either tie your own, or go the easy route like I do and buy tapered leaders. You'll want something around a 2X or so for bass fishing, and a 9' length. Any longer and you'll have trouble casting it. Good flies for bass are big poppers and Dahlberg divers. For panfish, small streamers and poppers.
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