You've seen this before.....old plug guy,new fly guy.
I've fished the southwest florida coast my whole life.Snook,redfish,(though they're impossible to catch)Tarpon.I've been a plug caster since I was 16.About 4 years ago all of my fishing buddies switched to fly and I'm the last holdout.It's finally time.
I've fished with the same tackle for years.My plug rod is a Berkley Lightening rod with an ambassadeur 5500 that i've had for over 8 years.my spinning rig is a shimano sienna with a carbomax rod that i've had for about a year longer.cmbined I've probabaly spent about 170$ on everything or years of problem free fishing.Other friends have spent tons of money on Calcutta baitcasters,stradic spinners,Fin-nors...none have performed at the same level for as good a price as i have spent on my gear.
I want to start fly fishing (in saltwater) with a 7 or 8 weight outfit with the same economic efficiency that i have applied in the past.I've looked at the Gold cup combo,St. Croix premier combo,and the Redington combo......
What route should i take?
Welcome to the dark side! :)
The first thing you should expect is that fly fishing is going to cost a bit more money than spin fishing, but I bet you'll enjoy it more. There's a reason all of your buddies have switched over!
St Croix makes excellent rods and you will probably be very happy with the Premier combo. Redington also makes some excellent rods. You should also look at TFO and Cortland. This isn't a complete list, but one of these four manufacturers should have something you like. Are there any fly shops near you where you can try out a few different rods? Everybody has their own taste in rod action so it would be ideal if you can cast a few.
I echo Teflon's welcome!
When I hear of economic efficiency two things come to mind...
1) there is some really good gear out there at low price points nowadays
2) if you buy at a certain level you will spend less in the end
Don't assume a combo is the right way to go, although it might be combos are put together to hit a price point so where you get the economy you might miss out on the efficiency. I think you'll find great rods in that range but the reels will let you down especially in saltwater.
Definitely include Temple Fork Outfitters in your short list, they are all about economic efficiency in flyrods.
When it comes to reels, if you want to start out with something inexpensive I would suggest that you find a used Lamson LP3.5 or LP4, a Scientific Anglers 8/9 or 9/10, or a Pfleuger medalist. You won't fish these reels forever but they will get you through some great times.
S/A 8/9 - don't drop it or the die cast construction will crack. Lamson - keep it out of the water or the drag may slip. Pfleuger - wash it really thoroghly and keep it lubed. Practice using your palm to slow down big fish, keeping your knuckles out of harms way, the drag is not very strong.
Economic efficiency to me is a Danielsson reel. It costs a few hundred dollars but it's machined from a single block of aircraft aluminum, has the best sealed drag system I've ever used that hardly needs palming (but I do anyway), requires such little maintenance and looks awesome. But I upgraded through a whole pile of rods and reels to settle there. If I only knew then what I know now I would have bought at this level from the very start and saved a pile of money!
Good luck and hope to hear of your successes as your adventure develops.
Again, welcome to the forum.
I think you could get a very nice setup for ~300 that will last as long as you want it to.
Teton Tioga 8 Large Arbor $155
TFO Signature Series $110 (might want to upgrade to the professional for another $40)
SA Mastery Series Floating Line $50
You can probably find all of these on eBay and save a few bucks but you probably won't get the helpful hints and tips you would get from a local shop. They will probably load you up with some Dacron backing and you are off to the races.
As for a reel, I'm backing the lower price point reels coming from the Ross guys! I've used most and they have all treated me right. In my guiding days I had plenty of clients abuse those reels and they kept on tickin for me.
Good luck and welcome to the sport!
Good call on the Tioga! Forgot all about them but they definitely make the grade in affordabilty and reliability.
Welcome to the forum!
I like Ross reels a lot but had problems with them standing up to the salt... freshwater they rock. Have you used them much in SWFF? If they made new improvements to combat SW corrosion problems I would be glad to hear about them.
I've used the Ross Big Game down in the BVI a few times. It hasn't posed any problems and believe me, I have given it the chance. I do the proper maintainence after each trip though. No corrosion probs. I will ask some of my SWFF, Ross using buddies if they have encountered anything. Sorry I can't be of more help!
From one ex plugger to another, you will never go back to spinning gear once you catch your first fish on a fly rod. I have 7 rods in my garage with bait casting reels and spinning reels that I haven't touched in 4 years.:chuckle:
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