I'm new to this forum, but I have an immediate need, which is to buy a fly rod for my wife. She is new to fly fishing and will be fishing the small to medium sized streams here in N Idaho, Montana, and Washington. Most of my equipment is 5 and 6 weight rods. I know of the Winston Joan Wulff WT 5 wt rod made specifically for women, but are there others? Is it important to find a rod built specifically for women or am I correct in thinking that any good rod will do? I also would like to have her learn on a good quality rod that will serve her needs long term. I'm partial to the slower actions which are now called med-fast and thought this action would also be good to use while learning to cast. Do any of you folks have some thoughts on any of this?
Sorry for the standard response, but here goes....
Have your wife take a few lessons to get enough proper technique that she
would be able to judge which type of rod she prefers. I started my wife with
a St. Croix Avid (9' 5wt), but she really hit her stride with an entirely different
Sage makes a Z-Axis in 5 weight with a small grip, but it may not be the best one for an absolute rookie. Actually, you can have any premium rod by Sage custom built through a Sage authorized program. But like Frank, I'm a big fan of putting an absolute rookie into fly fishing lessons until she develops some sort of stroke.
If I was going to play the statistics, she would probably gravitate towards a medium fast action rod. Most ladies do so. For 2009, I probably sold more Scott A3 to rookie ladies as a first rod. The Sage Launch (now discontinued) was a close second. Surprisingly, the quicker Winston Vapor was popular with the ladies. I made sure to upline it to slow it down for those with a slower stroke.
I think you already know the answer.
Plus as already stated, get her a couple of lessons from a FFF member.
What is her height?
If she is short a rod of 8 1/2' 5 or 6 wt would be ok, but average would be 9'.
The lady i tought to fish uses a 9' 6wt Sage XP, but started out with a 9' middle to tip action Orvis, she is about 5'4''.
Don't spend a fortune on her first rod, unless you really really love her!!
quote:For 2009, I probably sold more Scott A3 to rookie ladies as a first rod.
I agree with MP as I've already told here my A2(think it's not different from the A3)is the easiest rod to use I ever had.
Just wanted to thank you guys for your thoughts on this. Over the years I've come to realize I don't know everything ........ a tough realization. I like to get others ideas to either solidify my thoughts or give me something new to consider. I got both here, so again, my thanks.
I don't think that there's any substitute for her first learning how to cast from a reputable organization. After that, the next step should be for her to audition several rods, to see which one(s) best fit her natural casting stroke. From there, the first purchase should be pretty straightforward and it will have the extra benefit to her of having played an active role in picking out her first rod; which I've found to be a big plus and strong motivator for most people who are just starting out; whether they're male or female.
Separately, but related, my wife really likes her Winston BIIx 8'6" 5 wt. (so do I!).
Pocono makes a good point about good lessons. The best teacher for the ladies is a lady. The worst teacher is the husband.
Absolutely. Even having somebody else's husband work with her would be better than you doing it.
Wright & McGill makes a series of rods called Fly Girl which are especially made for the ladies: Slightly smaller grips, a nice purple finish, and some other touches they'll likely appreciate more than we do. http://www.wright-mcgill.com/rods/fly-girl-rods.php I've seen them at BPS, but good luck getting casting instruction there.
I would recommend an 8' 5wt as a good ladies rod. The 5wt line will deal better with wind and larger flies than lighter weights, and the 8' length is less taxing on a daintier wrist. (I'm sure there are ladies out there who have no trouble swinging a 10' 6wt all day, but I'm just throwing out general recommendations) I've got an 8' 5wt St. Croix Avid I enjoy fishing that I'll set my wife up with, once she gets interested.
I hear you loud and clear about the husband being the worst teacher. I have been fighting this idea, but I know you are right. I'll have to swallow my pride and have someone else teach her.
Other teachers are available. We have a couple of local pro's here that give lessons and one of the guys in our local fly fishing club teaches a class in fly casting/fishing at the local Jr. college every winter.
I also had not thought of having her try several rods and choosing one herself. I've been in too much of a hurry. I need to let her learn to cast and then let her try several rods and pick out the one that feels right to her. One of our local fly shops has demo rods of all major brands and they are pretty free with loaning them out for a day or so.
For those who asked, she is a small woman, 5'3" with a thin build and a tiny wrist so I think the idea of the 8' or 81/2' 5 wt rods will work, but after all your advice, I think I'll let HER figure that out!!
So..... once again I have proven that I don't know everything. I hate that, but I thank you all anyway!! Your good ideas will give us both a better result.