While I haven't taught many teens, I have spent a bit of time with a 6-7 year old and found out a thing or two that may be of use.
I found my son had a hard time with a redington I bought him because it was too slow and noodley, not stiff enough. He prefered my St Croix Imperial immediately. The line made a huge difference as well, he had great difficulty feeling the rod load with a WF line, a bone fish line shooting head style was better. The best in his opinion was a 175gr quick decent, he could feel the rod load easily and improved his casting considerably. It also happens to be an excellent line for our main target species Striped bass. I would think it would make a good salmon line as well. The bonefish line with a shooting head style taper from scientific anglers was a preffered floating line for him, although he found only the WF line any good for roll casts.
As far as the orvis rods, they sound wonderful. Although I would wait on giving them high end gear till they prove their interest over the long haul as it is quite an investment.
My son showed little interest in spending the nessary time to learn to cast properly, wanted to go fish instead. Only to get frustrated with a little wind and inability to get the line out there.
I set up a little casting contest for him like this. I placed a few hoops around 3 feet in diameter at the following distances 20,30 and 40 feet away and staggered of center. I placed a small amount of money in each, greater amounts the further away 25 cents, 50 cents and $1 . When he arrived home from school one day he saw Dad with his fly rods out and ready with no fly, and the hoops with the cash laid out. He had no problem getting interested in casting now!
Within a few minutes he landed the end of the leader in the first hoop, within another 5-10 minutes he had the second hit. He spent the next 50 minutes working on his technique trying to win that dollar, he ended up handing me the rod unsuccessful. That night we both sat down an watched Chico Rodrigous fly casting video.
The 40 footer being next to impossible to hit without the proper technique used forced him to develop the correct technique to win his prize.
The next day he spent another 50-60 minutes trying to land it in the 40 footer for the dollar still unsuccessful. He had improved his technique considerably although he couldn't shoot it straight yet. We watched the video again.
The third day after a half an hour or so he was shooting that line beautifully and was consistantly hitting his target and won his dollar prize. Now he *likes* to go out and practice in the back yard and shoot at hoops 40-50 feet away. The best part is I don't even have to put a dollar in them!
Hope this helps, good luck Dad.
Last edited by GregD; 03-03-2002 at 10:42 PM.