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Old 09-28-2004, 12:51 PM
Big E '77 Big E '77 is offline
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Location: Minnesota
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Question Need a good beginner's setup... any advice?

Hello! Recently I spent two weeks out in Washington state, and my brother in-law taught me how to fly fish. I know it sounds cheesy, but it was a dream come true! I have been wanting to give it a try for years, and I was finally able to!

Anyway, now that I am hooked I want to get my own setup. My brother in-law recommends the Redington Crosswater 9' 5/6, and since he is an avid backpacker strongly suggests the 4 piece. I have read a couple reviews online, and this seems to get good write-ups.

I live in Minnesota, and was talking with my father (who used to fly fish years ago), and he said a 9' would be too long for the midwest (he said because of the brush I should consider 7'6"-8'), and discouraged the 4 piece because because the action wouldn't be as smooth.

So, my question is two-fold, I guess. First, is the Crosswater the combo to go with, or is there something else that is a good beginner's set-up that may run comparable or even a little less $$ (but not a Wal-Mart get-up!), withou being something that I will outgrow right away? And second, as for size, will I be okay using a 9' in the Midwest, or would it be worth going shorter to begin with, and then upgrading to a longer rod down the road?

Thanks for any help you may be able to offer!

Erik Lundeen
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Old 09-28-2004, 01:37 PM
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Dble Haul Dble Haul is offline
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I can't speak to the effectiveness of the Redington rod, but I will say that the length of the rod you purchase will depend on what type and what size of water you'll be fishing. If it's spring creeks or canopied streams, then the shorter rod would be preferable. But if you'll be fishing big (read wide) rivers, then there is really nothing wrong with a 9' rod. It will help with mending line over the currents, and can be particularly useful highsticking nymphs.

Hopefully someone else will chime in with a review of the rod you've asked about here. But in the meantime, think about how what type of water you'll be fishing will determine what rod length is best for you.
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Old 09-28-2004, 01:44 PM
flytyer flytyer is offline
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We need some important information before anyone can offer good advice to you on your question.

First, what type of fish are you going to be fishing for. This is needed because there is a huge difference in what is needed to fish for trout in small to mid sized streams; that needed for large or small mouth bass; that used for pike; etc. This is because the size of the fly being cast has a large bearing on the rod you should use.

Second, how much do you want to spend on a rod? or is it rod, reel, line combo (complete outfit) you are needing to be under a specific dollar amount?

Third, how brushy or overgrown are the places you are going to fish? This is needed to properly recommend a rod length. A small brushy creek with branches overhead is going to need a much shorter rod than a lake or larger river.

There are quite a few rods that are great values for those starting out, the Redington Breakwater is one. There are also rods by TFO, St. Croix, and Loomis which are excellent value, lower priced rods. Loomis even offers 4 different rod, reel, line combos with line for around $175.00 for the complete combo, and they are a great value.
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Old 09-28-2004, 02:06 PM
Big E '77 Big E '77 is offline
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Thanks for the replies guys! I guess the streams around here are more brushy and narrow... thus my father's logic that a long rod wouldn't do. So the majority of the fish will be trout, I believe. My dad said small mouth is supposedly pretty fun to fish for, and there are alot of them up in the Boundary Waters.

So, if I got a shorter rod for the creeks and streams around here, would I be losing a lot if I were to do some fishing out west or on lakes in the Boundary Waters?

As for price range, well my wife is a little hesitant to see me drop too much money. I suppose our basement full of all my attempted new hobbies is good evidence for her case. I like what I've heard/read about the Crosswater, and as a full combo it runs $100-130. I probably wouldn't be too interested in spending much more than that at this point, unless someone can make a very good case for it. I was just curious as to if there was anything else in that price range, or less that would be a good recommendation for a beginning set-up.
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Old 09-28-2004, 02:53 PM
flytyer flytyer is offline
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For what you are looking at using the rod for, it is a very good value and you wouldn't go wrong with it. You can use the shorter rod for torut out west and for smallmouth; just keep in mind that it requires more work to cast a short rod over 45'-50' and that it takes more work with the lighter line 4 wt to cast flies larger than #12 than with a 5 or 6 wt. I'd be inclined to get a 7'6" (possibly 8') 5 wt instead of the 4 wt because it will handle the bigger flies used for smallmout and handle wind on the large western rivers better than the 4 wt. A 4-piece 7'6" or 8' pack rod is not necessary unless you are going to be using the rod a lot on backpacking trips. Therefore, I'd get the 2-piece like you dad recommended.

Welcome to the word of fly fishing!
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Old 09-28-2004, 10:32 PM
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Rods, to start

Good evening,
Big E 77, Is there a Fly shop in your area that you can visit? If there is, I would suggest going there and trying every rod that the owner will let you try! Low ball, top-o-the line, what ever you can get your hands on.
See how the rods feel in your hand, test cast it, check the action, balance. Most shops will be glad to let you do this, for free! Let the sales person explain action, types and weights of line, reels etc.
1 hour or more in a shop can give a novice a wealth of information that will help you in chosing the right set-up, whatever the price! Even if you have to drive a stretch to get to a shop, go! Make a day of it, take the wife along, heck, she might see that big grin on your face and let you spring for a little more$

There is alot of inexpensive, quality equipment out there, and IMHO you should go with a 9' 5wt. 2 piece and adapt your style to smaller situations! I do, and it's easy, trust me. Then your covered for whatever you encounter, from Sun Fish to Steelhead.
Glad to have you aboard!

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Old 12-17-2004, 02:17 PM
salt dog salt dog is offline
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Boundary water

If you'll be hiking or going regularly to the Boundary water and portaging canoe etc., you will definitely want to have at least a 3-piece rod for ease of carrying and storage while hiking with back pack, canoe overhead, and paddles, etc.(I've been there!). Rods are engineered so much better today than a decade ago regarding ferules (connectors between rod sections) and the rod transition through ferules in no longer much of any issue, especially on a shorter rod.

Purchase a rod/reel combo that will take care of the fishing you will most likely do on a regular basis while going up the learning curve. Redington or St Croix will put you were you need to be, no problem. It may be years before you can even discern the differences between the upper end rods and the combo's. Eight ft. 5 weight sounds about right for trout, medium bass, and all pan fish, but don't be disappointed if you have trouble landing a 42" northern pike on a 5wgt. rod, but they will be lots of fun while they scream out line half way across the lake before they chew through your tippet. Expect that if you pursue fly fishing with a passion you will gradually build up a collection of rods and reels to suit your needs as you understand what length and weight translate into in terms of casting and fishing. You live in great fishing country, and I envy you your experiences to come in the Boundary water with a fly rod.
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