Ok, as mentioned, I'm new here and new (sort of ) to fly fishing. So please excuse me if my questions seem idiotic and ignorant. I'm learning!
I was wondering what the better/best types of reels/rods are. I've been looking around and for example on the Ross website, it says that you need the reel and spool. Can anyone tell me the difference between the 2 and why I would need both?
We live in Alberta, so its mostly cold fresh water that we would be fishing, however; on the rare occassion we would probably do salt water as well. Is there a reel that would be good for that?
Is there a preferable line that people use? Also, what are good rods?
I am trying to research the recommendations from those who know what they are doing, so any help would be more then appriciated.
How much are you willing to spend? That's really the question.
It is not unusual for people to have one (1) reel and extra, sometimes, multiple spools. The spool can be interchanged on the same reel body, but can hold different line types and weights for different situations. Most of the time, reels hold the line for most freshwater fish, while saltwater fishing usually demands a better reel with a good drag.
Also, what kind of fish are you chasing? A 3-4wt. rod will do find for most trout or panfish. Not so for bigger salmon and saltwater.
Most fly reels are made in two pieces. In the photo the reel frame is on the left. It has the reel foot that fastens to your rod reel seat. It also holds the shaft and drag components. On the right you can see the reel spool. It has the handle and holds the line. You put the two halves together to have a functional reel. If you have a floating line on one spool and a sinking line on a second spool you can inter-change the spools to meet the currant fishing conditions.
Yes there are reels that can be used in fresh and saltwater. The problem is you may want a light line rod and reel for fishing trout and a heavier rod and reel for catching Steelhead or saltwater. What I suggest you start with a trout weight rod and reel until you have more experience. If you want to learn a lot in a hurry find a good fly shop and take a couple of lessons.
Welcome to the board. It sounds like you're a great catch, and your bf is a lucky man!
First, just to clear up any confusion, if you buy a fly reel, it will come WITH a spool and the reel frame (both parts in the picture that Frank posted). You'd only buy another extra spool if you already had the reel with one spool, and wanted to change quickly from one spool with a floating line to another spool with a sinking line without having to take all the fly line off and rerigging with a different fly line. To start out, I'd just buy a reel and put a floating line on the spool that comes with it. Down the road you can add another spool and fly line if you ever need it.
The good news is that you'll have lots of choices depending on your budget. The bad news may be that you might want to think about 2 different outfits.... one for trout and one for saltwater/pike/salmon/steelhead, instead of trying to get one to do everything. I would get one outfit, instead of 2 to start, and add the other after you get some experience casting if you need it or want it.
Getting started in fly fishing can be very confusing, but there are a lot of knowledgeable folks here that can talk you down into a safe landing. Two of the most important questions have already been asked. What's your ball park budget? and Where will you do you do most of your fishing? You've helped to answer the third one, What will you be fishing for? (mostly trout and some pike and saltwater).
To give you a little info, most folks use 4, 5 or 6 weight rods for trout, and would probably pick a 9 foot, 5 weight rod as sort of the all around trout set up. The 4 wt is light, mostly for casting small dry flies for small trout and panfish and short distances on small streams and would probably be the worst choice. The 5 is a good all around dry and nymphing rod for streams. A 6 is more suited to big rivers (like the Bow), throwing longer distances, and fishing more wind resistant stuff like big streamers as well as dries and nymphs. Doc can give you great advice based on his knowledge of the waters up your way.
For saltwater, assuming you're not chasing tuna and other huge stuff, you'd probably be looking at a minimum of an 8 weight, or a 9 wt or even a 10 wt if you'd be going mostly after 50-60lb fish. Personally, i think a 9 wt would be the best all around SW weight. It would tend to throw big flies better in the wind than an 8, and is easier to cast and more versatile than a 10. A 9 wt would throw pike flies well, and it would be good for salmon and steelhead and it would be great in florida etc if you travel with it.
A few more things to keep in mind. If you plan on traveling by air, you'll want 4 piece rods. Also, because of the need for corrosion resistance, and the need for a stronger, smoother drag on a Salt Water reel, all things being equal, you'll probably want to spend a bit more for a SW outfit than a fresh water trout outfit.
As far as cost goes, to some extent you get what you pay for, but there is a sweet spot somewhere around around $250-300 for a fresh water trout rod, reel, and quality fly line, assuming $150 rod, $70 reel, and $60 fly line. There are a lot of very good choices in that ball park. There are some very good prepackaged outfits for less, but I think you would expect to find a noticeable difference in terms of stuff you could grow with after you make some progress up the learning curve with your casting. As for the $600 rods and reels, at some point you get less and less difference in performance for more and more $$$$. But whatever your budget, I'm sure you will get some solid recommendations from folks on the board.
Chlebel, come back at us with a ball park budget and some more info on where you fish as ell as what type of SW kind of stuff you might be doing down the road.
My boyfriend goes after mostly trout. It seems that is the majority of fish here. Though, he does like Pike fishing as well.
So with that being said, I should stick to getting him a rod/reel combo for trout until he is more experienced?
Do you have brand recommendations?
IMO the rod/reel combo approach that you suggest is probably a good way to go; unless he's an experienced fisherman. As long as the rod/reel combo fits the type of fishing that he'll be doing; trout with some pike; maybe a 6 wt., it should work fine for him. There are a lot of pretty good starter combos out there; Ross, Redington, Orvis, Cabelas and Bean's, to name just a few. You may be able to do as well or better by putting individual components together if you're willing to spend a little more time shopping around. You've already gotten some good recomendations from the other posters, and a willingness to help you make the rights selections.
If it's a surprise, then the combo might also make sense for other reasons. If it's not a surprise, then I'd let him pick out his own gear; which means that he could test out the rod and reel before you purchased it. I think that's always the best way to go, since everyone has a somewhat different approach to casting and fishing. The truth is that testing out fishing gear is just plan fun for most guys; it's like being turned loose in the proverbial candy store. Reverse the situation; you're going to a big party and need a new dress; he wants to buy it for you. Do you want him to buy it and give it to you sight unseen or do you, maybe, want to try it on first?
One more point that may favor the rod/reel combo is that; within certain limits, the person themselves is going to contribute much more to the qualities of the fisherman than the gear ever will. Having said that, most people, if given the choice between driving a Yugo or a Mercedes, will opt for the Mercedes.
That is a great range for a fly reel. Check out the Ross Evolution, Galvan Open Back, Lampson Litespeed, and the Nautilus Light Weight. All of these are great reels.
Chlebel, I really think you should give a gift certificate rather picking out something that you think he might like. You say he does a lot of fishing but I am not sure he is a fly fisher. Another thing you can do is order catalogs from each firm and look them over with him. Listen to what he has to say about them and you should know what his favorite is. If you are close to a fly shop go to the shop with him and see what he likes.
Most fly fishers who know what they are doing prefer to have the money rather than a gift that we wouldn't have bought. If he is a beginner and doesn't know what he wants then we can be a big help with what to buy.