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Old 11-08-2009, 06:26 PM
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Default Newbie With lots fo questions

So the other day my father and I were talking while fishing, (spinning reels) and fly fishing came up. He told me that about a year ago he happened upon a Thomas & Thomas es 905 9' #5 rod that was given to him from someone that didn't know what they had. My dad then gave it to me because he doesn't fly fish. After doing some research on it and fly fishing in general, I'm almost afraid to use it because I'm assuming it cost around $275 when purchased . But I guess thats normal for quality fly rods.

Anyways, on with my questions and target fish,

Ill mostly be looking for largemouth bass here in Orlando, FL while I'm still in college.
Would a 5 weight rod (I'm assuming it's 5wt) be able to handle large mouth bass?

Should I be worried about breaking my new found rod on bass? This is my main worry

I'm still without a reel.....wish my dad grabbed that too
I'd like to stay cheap, mostly because I'd rather see how I like fly fishing and because if I do catch the bug I'd rather spend the big bucks on a snook rig (9-10 weight rod/reel) For the back waters in Pine Island Sound, FL. Which is very near to my home town.

What are your suggestions for a 100 dollars and under reel?

Would it be wise to sell the rod and pick up a rod/reel that better fits my target fish being largemouth bass, and snook (20-30inchers). But for some reason I feel like this is a rod I could use and love for a lifetime.

I'm still a little in shock at fly fishing prices, but captivated by how much more of an art it is compared to fishing spinning reels.

Remember I'm still in college, and with that comes lack of funds. I've already read enough websites preaching to spend no less than 200 dollars. I feel that practice, knowledge, and confidence catches fish, not big spending.

James
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Old 11-08-2009, 06:54 PM
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Default Re: Newbie With lots fo questions

A #5 rod will work for bass, and I wouldn't worry too much about breaking it on a fish. I've landed largemouth to 5 and 6 pounds on a 5wt, and I even caught a 7 lb channel catfish on a 4wt this spring. So long as you're not trying to hog the fish through weeds and other vegetation, you'll be alright.

However, I'd recommend upping to a 7 or 8 wt rod. This will allow you more leverage on the fish, it'll allow you to horse them out of weeds, brush, and other obstructions, and it'll make casting big, wind resistant poppers and big, heavy streamers a whole lot easier. You can get a reasonably priced Temple Fork Outfitters rod for 7-80 bucks.

As far as reels, I like the Lamson Konic. It's priced right about 100 bucks, it's durable, has an excellent drag system, and can double as a light saltwater reel.

Another thing you may want to think about is fly-line. I'm not well versed in lines, but I would imagine at your latitude you'd want to look into a tropical line, which would double in both fresh and saltwater situations. Many lines are geared towards coldwater trout/steelhead/salmon anglers, and tend to go limp in hot-weather conditions.


As for your last question...I'll probably catch flack for it, but my suggestion would be to sell the Thomas and Thomas and use the proceeds to fund a new rod and reel combo. I'd suggest a Temple Forks Outfitters 9'0 rod, for either an 8 or 9 weight line. A Lamson Konic fly reel, matched to the rod, again for either a 8 or 9 weight. You may also want to check out Sage Rod company, they recently came out with an 8'0 rod designed specifically for warmwater fly-fishing, and which would pull double duty as a light saltwater rod-folks have been using it for snook and baby tarpon in the Caribbean, I've read.

If you can find a decent fly shop and test out a few rods, perhaps even get a casting lesson, it'd help immensely. Rods are pretty subjective, and if you have the money to spend, getting something which fits your casting style is worth the money.
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Old 11-08-2009, 08:50 PM
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Default Re: Newbie With lots fo questions

Sounds like it is your lucky day getting ahold of the T&T.

First, 5 wt might be a little on the light side for largemouth. If you are laying into 5+ lbs largemouth consistently, you might consider getting a little heavier rod. If you are like me catching the occasional 4+ lbs largemouth, the 5 wt should be just fine. I have caught 6 lbs largemouth to 27 inch bull trout on my scott 5 wt 8'6 rod. You just can't be trying to horse them in through log jams and weeds.

Second, Don't worry about breaking the rod. Well, i mean DO worry about it, but T&T has great customer service. No questions asked, lifetime warranty. My buddy broke his dad's 10 yr old Thomas in the car window and they replaced it with a top of the line, brand new model. No problem. So don't go crazy worrying about accidentaly breaking it. A little thing my Grandpa used to say, "Use it up, wear it out, do it in, or do without."

As for selling the T&T and buying a new set up... If it were me, i wouldn't. The 5 wt is a great all around rod. Buy a reel for it, get some line, and go out and fish. If you decide that you love to fly fish, chances are you will want to keep your 5 wt and just add to your arsenal of rods. I would guess 90% of the members here have at LEAST one 5 wt that they love and then a couple more rods on top of that.

Breakdown, 5 wt is fine for largemouth under 8 lbs. Don't worry about breaking the rod, T&T has great customer service. Last, keep the rod. If you really get into fly fishing you will likely become addicted and just buy more rods in the future.

If you do decide to sell your Thomas, you should shoot me a pm
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Old 11-08-2009, 08:51 PM
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Default Re: Newbie With lots fo questions

just random stuff but $275 is a medium range rod not the highest but no where near the lowest...and honestly you dont have to spend your life savings on gear... im an unemployed 16 year old so i cant afford a new sage so i bout a st. croix rod and reel combo for 200 and it has held up even the reel held up to smallie fishing so if you cant afford top end youll be fine

as for a 5wt with bass you should be fine but like posted before me i would recomend going to a heavier rod for bass but to get started your rod will work great
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Old 11-08-2009, 09:51 PM
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Default Re: Newbie With lots fo questions

[QUOTE=idahoflyfisher;71884]
Second, Don't worry about breaking the rod. Well, i mean DO worry about it, but T&T has great customer service. No questions asked, lifetime warranty. My buddy broke his dad's 10 yr old Thomas in the car window and they replaced it with a top of the line, brand new model. No problem. So don't go crazy worrying about accidentaly breaking it. A little thing my Grandpa used to say, "Use it up, wear it out, do it in, or do without."

QUOTE]

You may want to contact Thomas and Thomas directly about this- some warranties only cover the original buyer of the rod. If you bought it secondhand and it breaks, you may be up $%^@ creek.
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Old 11-08-2009, 10:02 PM
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Default Re: Newbie With lots fo questions

Not sure why nobody pointed this out, but there's a very simple way to make sure you don't break your five weight on a bass: make sure your leader/tippet will break first. Keep your tippet to 8lb/3x or less, and you'll have very little chance of breaking that rod.

If that sounds like its too light for the bass you're after, then sell the thing and go buy a 7 or 8 weight rig.

Simple as that.
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Old 11-08-2009, 10:29 PM
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Default Re: Newbie With lots fo questions

http://thomasandthomas.com/p.contact/warranty.html

Just checked the warranty out. Looks like you need to be the original owner. You might call and ask them about it though and see what they have to say over the phone. They might allow you to re-register it as you being the original owner or something? I am not sure. I would call.
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Old 11-08-2009, 11:38 PM
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Default Re: Newbie With lots fo questions

Most of the bass I catch lately aren't really big. I've caught around 30-40 in the 1-3lb range and a few around 4. The lakes I normally go to are a cluster of small man made ones that serve as eye candy for research businesses by my college. But I know there's a couple big 6 pound plus in each lake. My friend pulled one out a couple of weeks ago. They also seem to feed on the small water bugs a lot, hence my reasons for fly fishing here.

Still looking for some input on reels. I don't know much about the brands. Are there any that I should stay away from? Or is it not that big a deal as long as I match the rod to the reel.
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Old 11-08-2009, 11:47 PM
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Default Re: Newbie With lots fo questions

I would definitely keep the rod and use it for now and upgrade when you can if you feel you need it. Unless you only like to catch monster trophy bass, the smaller ones will fight just as hard on the lighter tackle. For the most part the size flies you can manage to throw with the rod will not put you into any rod breaking fish provided you don't have a 20lb tippet or anything. Big bluegill are also a blast on that size rod and if you really get into the sport you may end up taking some trips into trout country. It's a very versitile rod so I'd hang on to it. Just my $.02
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Old 11-09-2009, 12:14 AM
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Default Re: Newbie With lots fo questions

The reel typically isn't as important for largemouth as the rod, particularly with the size of fish it sounds like you're dealing with. They don't typically peel off tons of line and backing, or make true runs, meaning advanced drag systems aren't an issue. You'll be more worried about horsing the fish out of cover.

Pflueger is an old standby and makes a serviceable reel for bass angling, you may look into a Pflueger Medalist for a #5 or #6 line. I've also heard the Cabela's brand reels are pretty good, and many are under $50.00. The Orvis Battenkill also has a pretty good reputation, and I think it's under 100 bucks.

It also looks like Cabela's has some rod/reel combos in their own brand for fairly cheap. That may be another route you look into
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