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Old 03-04-2006, 02:34 PM
jaymac jaymac is offline
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Yep! Another Newbie.


Looking at getting into fly fishing and need some advice.

I've looked at the St. Croix Premier combo and some others as well. Does anybody have any experience with the Gander Mtn "Guide Series" combo. The St. Croix is selling for $130-$140 locally and the Gander brand is $100. I'm basically looking for a 9ft, 5 wt for pan fish bass to fish lakes and streams here in Indiana. It seems that there's a big jump in "perceived" quality at about the $125 mark. I don' t wanna break the bank on an initial investment, but don't wanna buy junk either.

I've appreciated being a spectator for a week or so and wathcing all the discussions, so I hope I'll get some great recommendations.

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Old 03-05-2006, 08:50 AM
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teflon_jones teflon_jones is offline
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First off, welcome to the forum!

The best thing you can do is cast each rod to see which one you'll like better. If you can't, then personally I'd stick with the St. Croix. I've cast the Premier rods (both fly and spin) and own a couple of St. Croix's products and they're always excellent. I don't have any experience with the Gander Mtn products to say either way, so they may be excellent, but I just can't recommend them.
My passion for catching fish is eclipsed only by the fish's passion not to be caught.
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Old 03-05-2006, 10:22 AM
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juro juro is offline
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I don't think too many are going to have experience with a Gander Mtn fly rod. If you walk their halls they don't have anything worth buying from a FF standpoint.

I bought a nice hat there once on a business trip but a rod... not for me.
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Old 03-05-2006, 12:49 PM
Sandman Caranx Sandman Caranx is offline
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Man I know nothing about the rod you are interested in, but if I were you, and considering the fishing you mentiond i would have rather went with a 7wt, a 5 is wery light for bass if you consider the size of flies needed as well as the structure bass are assosiated with calls for some backbone. Here the okes use #7, #8 or eavan #9 for lakes (trout). Just my 2c
My aim is to flyfish, not to catch fish on flytackle.
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Old 03-05-2006, 01:45 PM
jaymac jaymac is offline
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Thanks for the help guys. Gander and Dick's are about all we got in central IN. There's a fly shop down the street from both the box shops, I've checked them out as well. I asked if the premier came in a two-piece and he said, "nope." Even though I knew it did and wanted to compare the prices. Didn't quite follow that.

So you think I should go with the heavier weight? Most everybody I've talked to round here thinks a 5/6 would be enough. Maybe we don't grow them that big!
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Old 03-05-2006, 10:18 PM
flytyer flytyer is offline
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A 5 wt is fine for panfish, in fact, it is a very good choice if all you are fishing for is panfish. However, you mentioned you are going to use it for bass too, and that means you are asking the rod to cast pretty large, wind resistant flies and haul fish out of some pretty nasty weeds. A 7 or 8 wt would be best for the bass because they are disigned to cast larger, wind resistant fliies and pull fish out of the heavy weeds bass are prone to dive into after being hooked.

In my opinion (based upon nearly 48 years of fly fishing experience for largemouth bass, panfish, pike, pickerel, all 5 species of Pacific Salmon, steelhead, trout, carp, and smallmouth bass), I think a true 6wt would serve you best. Granted it will be a little more than needed for panfish and a little less than ideal for largemouth bass; but it would work well enough for both to make you a happy camper. You can then add a larger or smaller line wt rod a few years down the road.

As to Gander Mountan rods, I'd avoid them simply because they don't have much in the way of fly fishing equipment and concentrate on outdoor clothing or camping equipment. St. Croix rods and combos have a very good reputation amongst fly fishers and I have no hesitation telling you a St. Croix combo would be an excellent choice that you would be happy with.

Also, there is a real difference in quality once you hit the $125.00 mark for a rod or combo. This is a true difference and not one of "perceived difference". A fly shop (or fly fishing specialty store) is were you will get the best advice and a fly shop would also help you learn how to fly cast, rig the line on the reel, etc. Fly shops all carry and can get if out of stock at the time you visit rods or combos of good quality in the $150.00 or less price you mentioned. I mean: Why go buy a rod and line or combo from someone who cannot teach you how to use it or answer your questions with accurate info instead of bs?
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Old 03-06-2006, 03:22 PM
jaymac jaymac is offline
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And that's why this place has been the best for advice! Thanks guys. All, really!
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Old 03-11-2006, 12:17 PM
jaymac jaymac is offline
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Well an update: I just bought a 9ft 5 wt St. Croix Premier, four piece! I got it at a great had to jump on it. Ebay, 95 bucks new! I hope to be very happy with it and will keep y'all posted on the first catch!

Till then, keep casting.
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