Starting over from scratch
First off I would like to give a "Hi" to everyone....so "Hi" :)
Let me first start by saying....wow there is alot of info here to soak up. I think I could spend quite a bit of time running through the forums here....and still not dent them.
Anyway, here is my dilema:
I live in Minnesota, pretty much in the central part of the state. When I even mention flyfishing, most people look at me like a monkey staring at a math problem....with that you should know there are no locals shops around that even carry anything remotely linked to flyfishing...lol. I started dabbeling in flyfishing about 10 years ago, and ended up loving it, just didn't have the time to do it. These days I find myself having more time to go out and fish, and I wanted to give flyfishing another shot. What I am mostly going to be fishing for are panfish and trout. Unfortunatley for me, the nearest trout stream is about 1-1.5 hrs or so away, and I know I won't get to fish it as much as I like. For the time being I was going to practice on panfish untill I have a good day to take the trip. I also head up to northern Minnesota quite often, where just about every stream up there is designated trout water, and I would love to fish these as well. Most of the fish I am after will probably not be much over 2lbs, like I said, just starting off, and I'm aiming for smaller fish untill I get the hang of it. Basically I am looking for recommendations on gear, since it has changed a bit, and I never got that far into it. most of the streams/rivers around here, and upper Minnesota have alot of bushes/shrubs/trees making bank fishing pretty much impossible. So I will be wading/tubing alot of the times. I have been searching the forums for people with similar problems, so I figured I would take those ideas and impliment them, and see what everyone thought.
Here is the list of what I was looking at getting started with:
Cabela's had a kit that was about my price range and I thought I would ask about it. It's a St. Croix Premier 7'6" 4 weight rod with a Cabela's CSR reel for $165.00. I thought that wasn't too bad, but when I started reading I thought I would ask because every one says to dump money in the rod and get a cheap reel for starting. So I also looked around and found a few rods that may also work.
Redington Red.Fly 7'6" 4 weight - $99.00
St. Croix Reign 7'6" 4 weight - $130.00
Cortland Endurance 7'6" 4 weight - $139.95
Cabela's PT 7'6" 4 weight - $160.00
Fenwick HMG 7'6" 4 weight - $179.00
I have used Fenwick for years as my other rods, and have loved them....so I guess I expect the same results with their fly rods. That is why I am asking though, because I don't want to drop the $$ on it if is not any better than the alternatives. I guess I can't see that from Fenwick, but I don't know.
The reels I looked at where these:
Scientific Anglers Concept: 3.6oz 3-5 weight line - $34.99
Cabela's Prestige: 5.4oz 3-4 weight line - $49.99
Okuma Magnitude: 3.7oz 4-5 weight line - $59.99
Ross Flycast: 5.1oz 3-5 weight line - $60.00
Echo: 5.1oz 4-6 weight line -$69.99
I have no idea about the reels, so any recommendations would we appreciated :D
Lines/tippets....ummmm sure. About the only thing I know is I will be doing alot of floating presentations, so I am sure I am going to go with a floating line to start. I will go with a sinking line later on....but for now floating is the direction I am taking. I will probably get an extra spool with sinking line shortly after, but I can't spend everything all at once. One thing I saw recently is Scientific Anglers came out with a "quick change" leader of some sort. basically you tie this lil clip thing on the end of your line, and they have leaders you can just snap into place. It's supposed to have up to a 10lb break or something, and I thought that would be handy....ideas on that one?
I have rambled on far enough now, thanx in advance for your help!!!
Sorry to hear you don't have a local flyshop!
Those rods are all going to take care of you but you left out some obvious choices - Temple Fork Outfitters, Echo rods, Albright, etc. IMHO big department stores either just got into it, are about to get out of it, or the model is a flash in the pan about to be discontinued. TFO/Echo/Albright know fly rods not 10,000 catalog items. When I walk into one of these stores and ask about flyfishing it reinforces why I buy from a flyshop.
Try this - call one of the sponsor shops... Bears Den, Tightlines, etc. Ask them a few questions... you will be amazed at how much help you can get over the phone.
I second Juro's recs with regards to TFO rods and the Bear's Den website- check out the TFO Jim Teeny Signature Series rods- great rod for only $200 plus S/H. For trout and panfish I'd rec a 5wt (the 4wt rods/lines just seemed a bit too wispy; I've got big hands and like to feel the rod when I'm casting). Bear's Den also sells a wide variety of reels, lines, and leaders to fit your needs and budget.
Thanks for the input I really do appreciate it. I will have to see what I can come up with, since like I said before, there are no shops in my area. Much appreciated :)
Jubbin......I have news for you.....anyone who puts that much time and effort (as you did), researching rods and reels.....WILL get hooked big time on flyfishing. So do yourself a favor and get a quality rod and reel....in the long run, you will save money because you won't wind up buying twice.
It doesn't take that much to go from a starter combo to something that will last you a lifetime....and if you now have time....go for it.
Follow the advice that you have already received. I second the Temple Fork/Albright rods, I don't own one but I have casted one and for the buck, they are great rods. My opinion is that they perform up to 90% of the $600 rods. The five weight will give you much more flexibility, esp. if you take that 1 1/2 hr trip and go for larger fish. It also gives you some distance for the wider streams you are likely to go to. By the way.....panfish on a flyrod is nothing but fun, and you'll never get skunked!
You asked about the SA Concept reel. Everyone I know who has bought one, has never regretted it. They are not the most expensive reels, but they work very well and hold up well. They are one of the true bargains in fly reels.
The St. Croix Reign is a much nicer casting rod than the Premier, although the premier is a pretty good rod too. The Redington Red Fly has an action a lot like the more expensive Fenwick HMG, so in my mind, the Redington Red Fly is the better value and better choice. And as has been mentioned TFO, ECHO, Albright are also excellent values, much better than Cabella's branded rods in my opinion. Cortland rods have never been all the well liked by experienced fly fishermen, don't get me wrong, they are OK, just not among the best value for the dollar spent.
A call or email to one or even several of this site's retail sponsors would easily get you hooked up to good equipment within your budget and I highly recommend it.
Next question for ya. I have been looking at the rods, and I notice many of them mostly come in a 4 piece configuration. I guess with my other fishing rods I always strive for a 1 piece, maybe a 2 piece if I have to. I guess I am a bit concerned with having twist with the rod itself, but I guess I could be over worried about it. Just wondering if you guys have had any problems with this that I should be aware of. Personally I would rather take the word of people who have been doing this far longer than I :wink:, rather than soneone who may just want to make a sale. I'll probably be calling Friday to a few of our sponsers to further my expedition to the world of flyfishing, it was just a thought. I know a 2 piece is a must, because of the length, and that's fine, but I figure it may be a bit easier with a 2 piece rod to eliminate twist rather than with a 4. Am I just reading too far into this? Thanx again everyone for the replies!! :)
A 4 pc rod is great if you travel on planes allot or hike/backpack to your fishing holes. I have one 2 pc rod with all the rest being 3 or 4 pc. I'll never buy another 2 pc. Less parts but a real hassle to travel with, for sure. Once you firmly put the rods together, it tends to stay put. Not much of a drawback.
If you can stuff your rod in a duffle bag then it is less likely to be stolen also. Checking in a 2 pc rod in it's case is a real easy and common target for theft on airlines. You'll get your case back but without the rod inside.
Thanx alot for all the help everyone. I will be sure to take this all in account when looking for everything. Tou really made me think about which way to go. Thanx again.
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