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Old 11-10-2005, 06:43 PM
flytyer flytyer is offline
Pullin' Thread
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: NW Washington
Posts: 3,346

I grew up in northeast PA and did a lot of fishing in the type of small, mountain streams you are going to be fishing brookies in. I mention this because I disagree with the recommendation of an 8'6" rod because you will find it getting in the branches overhead the vast majority of the time in those streams. You already know how the trees form a canopy over the streams from your spin fishing, imagine what it would be like trying to use an 8'6" spinning rod on those streams.

Therefore, You would be far better off with a 7'6" 5 wt rod because it will prove to be less of a problem with the tree canopy on those small streams you will be spending most of your time on. And at 7'6", it will allow you to fish a larger river for smallmouth. When I lived in northeast PA, the rod I used most of the time was a 7'6" 6 wt because I fished those small streams 75% of the time. I used the rod on the Delaware (a very big river) and even on the Susquahanna (a huge river that is over 1 mile wide) for smallmouth.

The above is why I think you'd be much better served and happier with a 7'6" 5 wt. And you don't need a St. Croix Advid series rod as a beginner. The St. Croix Imperial series, TFO, ECHO, Redington, and Lamiglas G1000 are all very good rods that sell for between $75.00 and $150.00. Loomis and Redington (the RedStart series) sell a complete fly fishing package for under $200.00 that will include a rod, line, reel, backing, and leader (unfortunately the Loomis 7'6" one is a 4 wt) and you can often find shops (including BPS) selling St. Croix Imperial series rods or TFO rods as a package that includes reel, line, backing, and leader for under $200.00.

The Pfleuger Medalist reel at one time (back in the 50's through the 70's) was considered to be one of the best reels. Joe Brooks even used them to catch 100# tarpon. Although they are no longer considered to be among the best reels, they are still a good value. Martin is another reel make that you might consider looking into, they are excellent values as are Okuma, Scientific Anglers Concept reels, and the low-priced reels Cortland offers.

If you don't buy one of the packages that include a fly line, RIO, Scientific Anglers, and Cortland all offer an excellent beginner's fly line that are built on tapers specifically designed to help a new fly caster develop good technique. These lines sell for around $25.00 and a WF 5 to match the 5 wt rod is the way to go.
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