Most fly shops have someone who can help you out, If you buy a rod set up they may even not charge you. I know My friend here who owns a shop does not charge much at all or anything if you are a customer. He is the accommodating type & would like to see a beginner succeed so he helps out. But things may be different where you are.
A five weight is a little light for bass. You would be served to keep the 5Wt for trout & pan fish and buy a 7 or 8 wt for bass. ( 8 Wt will also work for steelhead & light salt water duty if you decide to try that someday)
The rod need not be too expensive. I fished for years with a less than $100 Bass pro shop 7-8 wt. it got the job done nicely. but as I became a better caster it was a bit soft & I eventually reached the limit it would cast. I still have it though & use it on occasion
I fish for Bass quite frequently. I now use a 7wt fast action rod or an 8 Wt. My preference is the seven. I think that the fast action rods turn over bulky flies better than slower rods, But once again that is personal preference. A Bamboo rod fisherman might disagree. Use a shorter leader( 5-6 ft) for bulky flies, it helps. I frequently use a level piece of #20 Lb floro for a leader & that is it. The seven Wt will throw a light Clouser or a big deer hair popper just fine and still have plenty of grunt to get the fish to the boat quickly.
Have a look at line selection.
There are several lines out there specifically made for Bass fishing, Scientific Anglers Mastery Bass bug taper, I think Cortland makes a bass bug line. I am sure there are others. I use Rio Accelerator WF 7F for my bass fishing. It shoots good far away & works good in close too. I can cast it 50- 60 feet no problem from my Kayak with a deer 2/0 hair popper. Maybe even farther if I had the need. I have never tried
Some fast action rods you might look at for bass fishing are as follows.
Cabelas Ft & LST Series
TFO Lefty Kreh pro series
St. Croix Avid
Higher end Rods
St.Croix Legend ultra
Orvis Power Matrix
Orvis ZeroG & T-3
These are just a random sampling of rods that would be sufficient for Bass fishing IMHO. There are other makers too. Redding, T&T, Scott, LL Bean to name a few.
I might add that for Bass fishing a inexpensive reel is sufficient as well. I have caught fish up to six pounds & never had one run off on me. I just pull em in off the reel most times unless they take all the line out then I use the reel.
Last edited by Warren; 07-10-2007 at 08:09 PM.