I've been an fishing since I was 7, in the ponds and lakes of Iowa. My gear mainly consists of Bass and panfish items.
I am looking to buy my first fly rod. I live in Iowa and plan on using it to fish for bluegill and bass in ponds or coves of smaller lakes. I would like to do topwater fishing. I am new to flyfishing and don't know the exact terminology. I know that 865 on the rod would mean 8'6" 5 weight rod, but I don't know much after that. Does that mean I should select 5w line? What is the terminology for line? I would like line that keeps the fly on top, or just below the surface, so really, non sinkable line. How is that noted on fishing line? I would like the stren of fly fishing line, which is very durable and dependable. Does stren make a fly line? Does it come in certain lbs/test?
What would be the best rod in the the $200. range fishing for those (bass and bluegill species? I would shoot for heavier bluegill gear, and if I catch bass on it, thats fine, I will just play them longer.
At a garage sale I picked up a Martin 67N reel. I think it needs fixed somehow, because the drag, or at least thats what I think it is, isn't working. Reels are fairly priced, so I would be willing to spend a 100 to 150 on a nice one.
Could someone be so kind as to point me in the right direction?
My tastes for gear if it can be attributed in some way are as follows:
Baitcasters, all left hand retrieve: Shimano Carado x5 model years 93-2003
Fenwick rods IM6-IM8 Spinning and Baitcasting
Please ask me any questions in that I can get the most value gear for the job.
Welcome aboard! I hope you enjoy the forum as much as I do. I just posted this for another new member but I believe it will apply to your question as well.
You have a number of options to choose from in your price range that are offered to you through the NAFFF Fly Shop
One of the options that I would suggest is the TFO Combos. TFO produces some great rods and for the beginner it is a great option because their combos include case, fly line, backing, leader, fly rod & reel all for $174.95. Purchase some tippet, and flies and you are good to go.
Any thing in a 5wt 9ft is great for someone first starting out until they get a feel for what type of fishing and environment you will be fishing in, then you may want to invest a lot of money into it.
Do some more searching on this forum and you will find loads of info on starter outfits.
first you asked alot of questions so first ill talk about fly line.
the most important thing is dont cheap out on fly line. it's the second most important part about fly fishing right behind the rod. Saving 10 dollars or so on line is not worth it. Get the best line possible.
fly lines have different tapers or shapes to them. There is weight forward(WF) line, Weight Forward line for bass,salt(WR), level line(L), Double Taper line(DT) and Shooting Taper line(ST).
Weight Forward(WF): easiest line to cast, good for beginners, weight is consolidated in the first 30 feet or so of the line.
Weight Forward(WR): More weight concentrated toward the front than WF.
Level(L): cheapest line but is a mediocre line, same diameter end to end, impossible to get a good presentation or distance.
Double Taper(DT): Best value, each end of the line is tapered, when one end wears out just flip it over, little expensive at first, good choice for first line, soft presentation
Shooting Taper(ST): specialized line, used for long casts, lines weight is centered very heavily in the front.
when selecting a rod you have to deciede what weight you want, how many peices and what action.
to answer one of you questions, the rod tells you what weight line to use so if you have a number 5 rod then get number 5 line.
you said you wanted to fish for bass and blugill. i dont know much about bluegill but for bass you want at least a 9 foot rod thats stiff and you want a heavy line like about #8 or so.
im making a quess here but usually you fish bluegill on light tackle so if you want to fish for both you might need two differnt rod/reel/line combos or i would just specialize, Usually most fly fishermen go for trout but i dont know if you can fish them up were you are.
basically the reel is just a place to hold your line so i wouldnt spend a great deal of money on a reel.
but just incase you do there are three types of reels.
1) Automatic reels- dont get one they arent good at all
2) Single-action(click-drag)- one turn of the handle one turn the spool, simple, what most people use
3) multiple gear(disc-drag)- make large fish easier to get, very nice, very expensive, get one only if you have the money and are serious.
when you buy a reel your going to have to back your fly line with backing.
also your going to have to know about leaders and tippet.
i'll answer any questions you have but if i were you go do some research on the internet or buy a book. they'll have all the info you want and more.
Thank you very much for the info, it has been helpful!
eaglesfn68, I plan on using light flies to catch bluegill, but around here the bass bite it too...usually they aren't hogs, but good couple pound fish. Fun to catch. I've actually cast flies, but never owned a rod.
Will be doing more research, but what you have given me is very useful!
For those that are interested in fly line weights here is a link to the AFTMA ratings for the first 30' of fly line in grains.
Some people like to under or over line their rod. When you underline a rod you need to have more than 30' of line out to load the rod to the designed flex. If you over line the rod you can load the rod properly with less than 30' of line.
I decided to go with the echo classic 8' #4 rod. Can someone point me in the right direction for a nice reel for it as well as all the backing line, line, tippet etc that I may need? For the reel I will spend around 100-150 for it.