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LandLocked 12-05-2006 06:41 PM

Learning to cast with what weight rod?
Hi folks, Newbie here. I am ready to take the plunge into fly fishing, but I have not purchased a rod yet, nor have I decided upon a specific line weight. I am seriously thinking about building my own rod, but not sure on that either.

I plan on fishing for panfish and trout (out of state on the trout) to start, and eventually fish for steelhead and smallmouths in the rivers. I was thinking along thelines of a 4 or 5 weight, or posiibly a 7 or 8 so I can hit the rivers next year. I intend to take casting lessons before I head out, but I was wondering,would I be better off learning on a lighter weight rod, as opposed to a heavier weight? Seems to me that it shouldn't make a difference, as the casts are the same for either one. But I do see the potential for more practice swinging a 4 than an 8, just from the heavier rod/reel/line combo with the 8.

I don't know anyone who fly fishes, so I am kind of in the dark. I am reading as much as I can-books and forums- but would just like so advice from some people in the know.

I am starting in the wrong season here in Ohio too, as I currently have 3 inches of snow outside my window. I'll have a bit of a problem finding someplace to take lessons this time of year.


FlyMan 12-06-2006 01:53 PM

Your budget may not be able to afford it at this time, but it sounds to me as though you may need two rods. The 4 or 5 weight would be good for panfish and trout and the 7 or 8 weight for steelhead and smallmouths.

If one rod is all you can swing at this point, you may want to consider something between the two, like a 6 weight. A compromise, yes, but it could get you started quite nicely. And, it would be great to learn to cast with.

When you are ready to add another rod to your arsenal, you can then move to either the 4 or 8 weight, depending on what you tend to be fishing for the most.

By the way. I wouldn't bother to learn to cast at this time of year. What I would recommend is continue to study and read a lot. Research all the various equipment out there, go to some fly shops and ask tons of questions (even if you have to travel an hour or two to get to them), and get as many of your questions answered as you can. Hit all the fly fishing forums on-line as well and ask questions there. Then, in early spring you can take a few casting lessons and make a more informed decision as to what type equipment you really want.

Hope this helps.

LandLocked 12-06-2006 06:18 PM

I plan on having a light and a heavy rod. It would be difficult at best to catch steelhead on a 4 wt, so two different rods are definitely in the future. I think I will start off with the 4 though, as I can fish the local lakes and ponds and not overpower those little bluegills.

I have some time off in March, and would like to spend a 4 day weekend fishing. My original plan was the Outer Banks for some surf fishing, but that time of year its not good at all. In my search, I found an area in Blue ridge, Georgia I would like to try for trout, with a fly rod. That is the biggest motivator for the lessons right now. Maybe we'll get a break in the weather and I'll hit up a few shops around here for lessons.


flytyer 12-07-2006 01:02 AM


It really makes very little difference whether you learn to fly cast with a 4 wt rod or an 8 wt rod. Yes, the 8 wt is a lot more powerful than the 4 wt; but the casting mechanics are the same. It really isn't any different than someone learning to spin cast with an ultralight rod or a medium or medium-heavy spinning rod.

The bottom line is neither will be harder or easier to learn with. Get the one you will use the most first, learn to cast it, and then fish it as often as you can. Then a few months later (or a year later) get the other one. It sounds like you have decided to get two rods and will be using the lighter 4 or 5 wt most, so that is what I'd get first.

Just do yourself a favor and avoid the K-Mart (or Wally World) specials, which will hinder your learning how to do it and your fishing pleasure. Instead, get a good, decent casting set up from a fly shop or catalog house (Redington, ECHO, TFO, Lamiglas, and St. Croix, and even Cabella's have rods under $100.00 and complete outfits for $150 or thereabouts that will last you a lot of years and be good casting rods, unlike the very poor quality and poor casting K-Mart specials.

juro 12-07-2006 06:55 AM

good advice above...

If your interest is casting first, I would start with a 7wt. Widely accepted by upper echelon casters as the most natural weight for men to cast.

if you want to match those fish you listed with just one rod, I would start with a 6wt accordingly - still get a wiggle from a bluegill but can land a steelhead with some effort.

Eventually you might consider an 8wt or a Spey rod for steelheading if that becomes a serious pursuit as it often will do.

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