I have been Fly fishing off and on for 10 years (some years quite a bit, some years less or none) when i was 17, i bought my first and only fly rod, its a "Berkley Lightning Rod" LR40-8 line # 5-6, 8 ft graphite says "light - sensitive - strong" although it was used, was and still is in PERFECT shape. I figured with much experience, patience and time, id be able to cast further and more accurate.
Unfortunately, it isnt happening. I do feel comfortable with casting, sometimes even casting at night, but i cant seem to get any power from my rod. Maximum distance is about 40 feet
I have never took instructions and have only ever seen a few people cast in real life. So maybe my skill is lacking or inadequate. I fish in rivers, lakes, off docks, basically anywhere there is water.
I have tried many different lines, cheap #5, expensive #6 ...
Ive been kinda stubborn about buying a new rod, always seemed like the easy fix, but enough is enough!
If price is no object, and the problem is my rod, what 5 weight rod/length do you's recommend? or how do i rectify my issue?
Unfortunately, I havent been blessed with a fly fishing shop in my city. (Sarnia Ontario Canada) How does it work? do fly fishing shops just let you buy it then return it if you dont like? or cast it in the alley/parking lot?
I worked at an Orvis store here and I frequent several stores. If you have a store that sells fly rods, they should let you take them out to the parking lot to try them. If not, find a store that will. Don't by a rod without trying it first. Specially at the price of the mentioned rods.
If the store carries named brand rods, they owe it to the Co. to let you try it.
I will say, they might not be as willing to take a rod back after you buy it cause they can't resell it.
I've got one of those Berkley's somewhere around here, and you're right, it isn't exactly a powerhouse. However, you should be able to get more than 40 feet out of it.
Go to the a good fly shop and ask to try a few rods. The saleman will go out with you, and he'll surely give you a few casting tips, if not technically a lesson, if you're doing something wrong. Get a good book and video on casting. I like to watch slow motion video of a good caster, then close my eyes and visualize the cast over and over.
All the advice you've gotten here on rod selection and getting some professional advice in person is right on. Definitely try a rod before you buy it, or buy it from an online retailer that has a test-drive program. ( www.thefullcreel.com )
I bought a "Custom" rod on eBay this spring, based solely on the picture and the comments of someone who bought one earlier from the same seller.
Frankly, I wish I would never have done that. The workmanship was OK but had the look of a relative rookie rod builder, and the action was way softer than I like. Consequently, I'm looking to replavce it already next spring.
I often see "custom" rods, then the builder mentions a bunch of materials they used. Do custom rods compare in quality to factory built rods?
Keeping up with the materials available for building good rods is quite a feat, due to the fact that custom rod builders often use blanks from manufacturers most of us are not familiar with and will use terms to describe a rod that sound like a foreign language. On top of that, it is very possible to use a great blank and top-end components to build a rod that casts poorly. A typical example involves the builder or eventual owner wanting the lightest fastest rod he can possibly get. So he selects a 5wt Sage TCR blank and gets the builder to use single footed titanium guides and put minimal thread wrapping and epoxy on the blank. Because these components are not what the blank was designed to work with, this rod may not load at all with a 5 or even a 6 weight line on it. A 7wt line might be needed to cast this rod comfortably at ranges under 50'.
On the other hand, if the "custom rod builder" assembles the rod poorly, then it makes less difference what components are used to build the rod, as they may not remain attached to the rod for long.
Bottom line, if you know a custom rod builder that you trust the craftsmanship and business ethics of, then feel free to buy a custom rod from him. If this is not the case, but a rod from a manufacturer that offers a lifetime warranty and has a vested interest in making sure you are very happy with their product.
On the rod cases, I only have the tube type and they have served me well.