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Old 04-09-2011, 11:09 AM
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Default Completely new to fly fishing...

OK I've been fishing since I was a wee kid like most people I know. I'm an accomplished hunter reloader and marksman. I've fished up and down the east cost and been deep sea fishing a few times. I run a small pawn shop in NW AL. and we sell a lot of fishing gear...mostly used. But there just doesn't seem to be much fly fishing here...but I've been watching some youtube videos on casting ect. I'm just very excited about trying something new! I'm right on the Tennessee river...which is as much lake as river depending on the day and location on it. There are various streams and ponds and lakes besides that of course....we have over a million acres of public wildlife lands down here. Now I have started accumulating an odd collection of flys out of various used tackle boxes we've traded in over that last year...I don't really know what I have but I have a pretty good little box of them. I just bought (on impulse) a pretty nice looking rod and reel off a guy for a whole $20...it looked like maybe it was a little higher end rod than what I could have bought at walmart for several times that...which is about the only place I see any for sale around here. Anyway I assume I'll be starting trying for brim/panfish ect off the shore at the local park where I can at least work on my casting without hang too many trees ect. So my question is....what do I need and is what I have good enough?

I bought a Cortland Fairplay 2 piece graphite rod 8'6" for wt. 6/7 It has what looks like an old Martin 61 US made reel...it is spooled but I'm not quite sure with what. It also does not "click" or apear to have any drag as far as I can tell. So what do I go and get it spooled and backed with at the local proshop?...should I just replace it with a newer cheapy reel? (if so please reccomend a few) and from there I just guess I'll have to rewatch some of those instructional vids and go "try to fly" since I don't know anyone who flyfished around here to go with. Any books or link reccomendations any newbie should look to also apreciated. I'm almost 37 years old...and JUST about to try flyfishing for the first time.
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Old 04-09-2011, 11:56 AM
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Default Re: Completely new to fly fishing...

hey Jon Boy!! Welcome to the forum.

Let me get this straight.... you have a pawn shop and your getting into fly fishing....... either your in heaven or your profits are gonna go right down the drain (or both).

Those old Martin 61's are a pretty sought after reel. If you got that (and a rod) you might have made a very shrewd business deal, depending on the condition. I don't know too much about them, so hopefully someone else can chime in, but it should be more than servicable if you choose to use it. If you would rather keep it as a show peice and get a cheaper reel, go with a Pflueger Medalist. They got for about $25 and are built like tanks.

Since you have a 6/7 rod, get the 5/6 reel and have it loaded with backing, as well as a Weight Forward (WF) floating line. This is a general line and you can use it to fish both dry flies and stuff subsurface with a little bit of weight.

Since you have flies, all you will need is a leader. This connects the fly line to the fly. The size of the leader is dependent on the size of the fly. If you don't know the size of the flies you have, take em to a local fly shop and they will be able to give you the sizes, as well and help you choose a leader to work with them. But rule of thumb is the size of the fly, divided by 3, equals the size of the leader. So a size 12 fly will take a 4x leader.

The reel, rod, line, leader and flies are the bare essentials that you need to get out and start fishing. I've never fished for brim, but panfish are great to get started on, and are a lot of fun on the fly rod.

If you want any more info, this site has a search function in the navigation bar, called "Search" oddly enough, and you can find tons of info here.

And if you can't find it, don't be afraid to ask.

Welcome again, and tight lines...

Ant
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Old 04-09-2011, 12:03 PM
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Default Re: Completely new to fly fishing...

If the clicker is gone, the reel is worthless, as it will overrun everytime you strip line off. Unless the reel has a silent drag. Is there a drag adjustment on the reel and does it work?

If you bought this as a package, there is a good chance you have a line that matches the rod. Fly lines wear out. If the coating is all cracked it isn't going to work very well. I don't know about a Fairplay fly line, but the Cortland 333 ahs been around forever and hard to beat for the money. I think you'll be happiest with a 7wt line for bass flies.
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Old 04-09-2011, 06:33 PM
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Default Re: Completely new to fly fishing...

Yeah, the rod is probably a little heavy for smaller panfish but will work nonetheless, and work well for bass and heavier species. If the reel just spins freely and easily without clicking, it won't work. I've got a newer Okuma Sierra 5/6 reel that works beautifully and will suit your needs up in the classifieds if you're interested. Definitely one of the better values in fly reels.

As far as flies go, I'm pretty certain you can use just about any old thing for panfish. You might want to post up a photo of your flybox and we can tell you what will and won't work for what species.

Books and videos are a great place to start to see the mechanics of casting. They are also good for sorting out all the odds and ends about flyfishing. There is a lot to learn starting out, so just be patient. The easiest way to learn casting is somewhere like a field or casting pond with a piece of yarn tied to the end of your line (i.e. no sharp hook to catch yourself in the eye or ear with). A few hours on the lawn will save you a lot of frustration on the water.
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Old 04-09-2011, 07:19 PM
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Default Re: Completely new to fly fishing...

Welcome to the forum jon boy, one thing I will add to the great advice you have already received is I wouldn't worry so much about the actual catching of fish until your confidence in casting has improved.

Trying to catch fish while learning to cast will often lead to frustration and doing neither very well.

Dave
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