Hi fellas, I'm new to fly fishing and to this forum. I have spin fished in the Chattooga River, upper State South Carolina bordering Georgia and North Carolina. However, many people fishing that area like to fly fish. The information I have received to date is (for that area) to choose a 4wt. Fly rod to fish for these Rainbow and a few Brown's in this area. They are not usually large catches, the river width ranges from about 25 feet to 40 feet for the majority of the area I fish, however there are areas which approach 100 feet in width. I am thinking I would need a four or five piece rod with a 4 weight. The reason for the four or five piece rod is I like to backpack this area, from Hwy. 28 bordering Georgia and South Carolina at the Chattooga River up to the North Carolina State line. So what can I get in a rod with all the necessary items for between ? And $250.00 ?
If you look in the top right corner of the screen is a search function. Type in 4wt fly rod and you can read lots of stuff.
But What you really want to do is find a fly shop in your area that will let you try out some rods in the parking lot or better yet on some water and see if you can find a rod that feels good for you. Also talk to the Fly shop about any free lessons being offered in your area.
If you can not find a fly shop then there is always Cabelas down in Augusta and they will have some rods you can test, they may also be able to steer you toward some lessons.
Orvis in Greenville, Asheville or Charlotte will have free lessons available and they have rods too, just not from a bunch of different manufacturers. But you only need one that feels right to you.
Finding your rod is part of the fun! Take your time, take some lessons and do lots of practice! Let us know how you are doing and don't forget to try the search function lots of questions people have are already covered, because as a beginner you are not alone!
Welcome to the forum. Tim gave you good advice. If you can get your hands on a rod for a test cast before you buy you will improve your chances of getting it closer to right the first time. Four piece rods are very common these days. I would go cast some affordable 4 and 5WT rods for a starting point. Perhaps a medium fast, but that is just a guess until you get one in your hands.
Welcome to the forum and we look forward to your contributions to this forum.
IF we go straight off your question of what 4wt rod for under $250. It is hard to tell you what rod works for you and of course its hard to cast them all due to limited retail presence. I will take it helping narrow it down or pointing in the right direction. Here would be my list
Those are all companies that put out a good product in this price point and also have very consumer friendly warranties.
Now on to the rest of the story
Ignore the fact the river is 100' wide in some spots. The great majority of fly fishing is done with less than 30 feet of floating line out for several reasons which I wont get in to.
The 4wt rod is one of my favorites and I have piles of them but being newer to fly fishing ask some of the local shops about fly choices. This will sound weird and some will disagree but in most trout fishing applications the weight rating of the rod is more about payload you are trying to deliver as well as typical wind conditions. If the local shops tell you about big big dry flies and double nymph rigs with a bobber and lots of split shot then you might consider getting a 5wt vs a 4wt just to make the learning curve a little less steep on yourself.
Enjoy and stick around and ask away. There is a search function and Google usually points me back here when I search over there, but ask away you have tons of experience waiting here to assist
I'm in Atlanta but spent many years in Oakway on my Daddys farm near the Wahalla/Seneca area and I consider the Chattogga my home waters. the 4 vs 5 piece is for carrying ease and really doesnt impact the preformance of the rod. I fish the Chattogga with both a 5 wt and a 4wt 9 ft rods, I also have a 7'9" 4wt that I sometimes use also. The main thing which has been touched on is buy the rod for its feel (action) which can be described as fast medium or slow. Fast action is where the industry is at and can be described as a stiff rod thats a little less forgiving but when mastered can generate higher line speeds, medium action is a more limber rod much more for forgiving of mistimed casting stroke. I'm a medium action guy so I gravitate towards medium to mediun fast actions. My first piece of advise is disregard every rod suggestion they will be based on that fisherman's preferences not yours.
You must first learn which action suits your casting style be it fast,medium fast, medium, you do this by test casting rods and asking questions.
Also here is a link that was posted by a member on this site previously about choosing a rod http://www.flyfishthesouth.com/cauti...-from-anybody/
The fisherman now is one who defies society, who rips lips, who drains the pool, who takes no prisoners, who is not to be confused with the sissy with the creel and bamboo rod. Granted, he releases what he catches, but in some cases, he strips the quarry of its perilous soul before tossing it back in the water. What was once a trout – cold, hard, spotted and beautiful – becomes “number seven.”
There are plenty of good rods for well under $250. For example...the Redington crosswater outfits : 4 pc Rod, reel , line,backing, leader and Rod and reel case...$140. The outfit will perform great and is capable of casting much better than most anglers.
Any of the well known brands in this range should do really well.
I'd choose a 9' 5 wt since it will be a more versatile Rod and line when you want to cast bigger flies or tandem fly rigs and strike indicators ...and it will certainly cast smaller flies easily.
A 4 weight is nice but if you want a all rounder I would go with a 6 weight which would allow you to fish heavier flies and streamers with ease. Most modern fast action 5wts are actually disguised 6 weights anyways. Also any good rod design should be able to handle a couple of line weight.
If I was just starting out I would have a 4wt in 81/2' and a 6wt in 9' for starters and both of them in a more medium fast action.
Tom Morgan makes some good points on fly rods and you should google him up. He has some excellent advice on rod selection.
Most fish are caught withing 30 feet and line control in moving water becomes difficult after 50 feet.
You should go to a few shops and try a lot of rods and the best one may not be the one you can cast farthest with.
The others have already given good advice on how to go about picking out a fly rod, so I won't add anything to that. I just wanted to say "Welcome to the Forum" and suggest a thread that gives specifics for searching: How to search this Forum
The Orvis Clearwater was mentioned. They have a "Frequent Flyer" version that is a 7 piece rod. There isn't a 4wt version, but 2 5wts - 8'6" and 9' long. Haven't cast it but if you really want it small it could be worth looking at. Or, the regular Clearwater has a 7' 4wt that is 4 piece so it would pack-up fairly small.