El Cheap Start-up Help, please - Fly Fishing Forum
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Old 07-25-2005, 04:51 AM
AlaskanAtHeart AlaskanAtHeart is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Interior Alaska
Posts: 10
Question El Cheap Start-up Help, please

The kids and I watched a guy fly fishing yesterday and thought we'd like to give it a shot. Been fishing for King Salmon for a few weeks with no luck, and the guy was pulling Arctic Grayling out of the river like there was no tomorrow

Bought a $20 fly fishing combo today (by Crystal River....I know all you pros are absolutely cringing, now that I've read most of the threads under this heading, LOL), a pack of 10 flies (no clue what kind) for $3, and we caught some fish!!!!!!

OK, so we like it, but really can't afford to invest a fortune in fly fishing stuff right after going all out for the King and spin stuff. (I'm outfitting 6 people, so I've dropped a pretty penny on fishing in the past few months)

So, the rod/reel is OK for what we want, but the leader, at a minimum has to go, it was snapping right and left

The rod is an 8' 6/7w, I'm fishing for Arctic Graylight and Rainbow Trout. Alaska F&G recommends streamers, muddlers, and egg patterns for the 'bows; elk hair caddis, ant, beetle, wooly worm, and mosquito for the grayling. The grayling are pretty forgiving, and seem to hit whatever. I think I was using a dragonfly (it looked like one anyway) today and got a lot of hits, don't have a clue what the other fly I used was, but they loved it. Unfortunately, the leader snapped off and a grayling now owns it.

So, my questions:

1) I read a recommendation a FF site to use DT line, but I see you all seem to prefer WF, which is great, because that's all Walmart carries. Obviously I need 6 or 7w, and I'm pretty sure I want floating line. Seems SA or Cortland is the preferred? Do either of them have a better line for total blonde newbies?

2) What is backing? Do I need it? I went to Walmart and I saw it, but my little kit didn't come with it, so I'm not sure I understand it's purpose. My casts today were about 40' give or take, so if I use the backing, how many feet of line do I want to use?

3) What's the best way to go for a newbie? Leader with taper (which is what kept snapping today) or using a tippet? If tippet is the best route, how do I go from line to tippet? (Is there a "Total Idiots Guide to setting up a fly rod somewhere???) If tapered leader is the way to go (and I prefer the easier route, if it works about the same), please recommend the brand and give me specifics on what I should get?

4) What is loop to loop?

5) Is an egg pattern a fly? If it is, can someone either show me a picture of one, or direct me to a site that shows them?

6) Are flies pretty much created equally? Walmart has a 55pc fly set for like $10, will those work as well as the 2/$2 ones?

Sorry for all the questions, and I appreciate any responses. I know you're all dying to tell me to go get a real rod/reel, LOL, but I just can't lay out the bucks for it right now. Once the snow and ice set in, I'll start haunting the pawns shops and classifieds for better gear, LOL.
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