Hello everyone. I've been looking into fly fishing for a couple of weeks now and I would like to get started. As most of you know getting started is the hardest part so please I would like some suggestions.
First, I would like to say that i am new at this so i will be purchasing a cheap fly rod kit. I do not want to spend a lot of money until i am getting the hang of this more. Just taking baby steps. I found a farely cheap one at Gander Mountain for like $70. Comes with rod, reel, line, nail clipper, and some flies.
Now my confusion is what is the difference between the tippet and the leader? Do I need to use both? Or can I just knot a mono line to the fly line (live pictures will greatly help)? What flies will float and what will sink? If i decide to sink or float do I need to change lines too?
I know these are some "newbie" questions but please bare with me. I am glad i found a good resourceful site that will hopefully further my education about fly fishing.
A leader is tapered. It starts out very thick mono filament and is knot less down to the tip. The larger the number the smaller the line (6x is smaller than 3x). You will need one of these to connect to your fly line. Tippet is used to customize/restore your leader. After fishing for a while and changing and loosing flies, your leader will have shrunk in length and gained width. By tying on a few feet of tippet you have saved yourself from having to buy a new leader, or if you want to downsize your leader (make the line thinner) just add some tippet of the size you wish.
Dry flies and poppers are designed to float
Nymphs, streamers, etc.. are designed to sink.
If you have a sinking tip or sinking line you will have great difficulty with floating flies. Most likely you have a floating line. This will work best in most stream and river applications, and is the most commonly used fly line. This line will work with all flies since the sinking ones will pull down the mono filament.
Hopefully I've helped you. I'm not a wealth of knowledge like some of these guys, but I know a little.
Got some great advise except, not all leaders are knotless. You can buy knotted leaders still and I make my own so they definitly have knots.
To give you and idea of the taper, a 71/2' leader will have at least 7 different size tippet to make up that taper.
You could tie straight mono, but the idea of the taper is to lay the fly out better and there is a noticable difference, specially when fishing a dry.
Rule of thumb for me is on a new leader, add 6" to 20" of same size or no more than two smaller tippet. Like mentioned, when you get to the knot, tie on more tippet. This will make the leader last longer.
Dry line is a good place to start. You can add split shot anywhere from 8" to 12" up from a nymph and that will get it down to the bottom.
If you have classes or know someone who fly fishes spend time watching and by all means.....PRACTISE. It is the only way.
When you get into it a little more, I am sure (myself for sure) will be happy to help you along the way like let you try a knotted leader or even furled.
i printed them out that way i don't have to try and find them on the web again.
if you bought the combo that i'm thinking of you should be pleased. i believe that you probally picked up a st. croix 5wt. combo. have talked to a couple of people over the past year that have that combo and liked it very much.
welcome aboard. don't be afraid to ask what you think might be a newbie question. everyone here is more than pleased to help out. read everything you can. and as joni said practice. be it on the water or in the yard. i prefer to practice on the water. gives me a better idea of what i'm doing right or wrong. and you never know when you might get lucky and catch something. and again welcome aboard.
Welcome to the Sport and the Group! Let us know how we can help, but be sure to use the search function to look up topics, as you will likely find multiple threads that will give you more info than you can get in one thread of responses.
Practice is definitely key, and I recommend that you do so in the yard a few times before you are on the water. The lack of the distractions we call fish will help you focus on casting correctly. For great instruction and casting videos, check out http://www.sexyloops.com/flycasting/contents.shtml
I'm still fairly new to flyfishing myself, so I can relate. One great tip I got from reading was to false cast continuously. Just simply make a backcast, let it unfurl completely (very, very important!), then make a forward cast. When it unfurls, make another back cast.
The idea is to get a continuous run of smooth strokes with tight loops. It builds rythm and timing. Excessive false casting when fishing is really a flaw, but it's a great way to practice.
I haven't purchase a kit yet because i am still reading more and getting more information. Wow! I must say, there is a lot to FF. The more i read the more i want to do it.
I was at Gander MTN today and i was looking through fly rods. I was playing around with them for (believe me or not) about an hour. Just doing the 45 degree dry cast. I was wondering what rod should i purchase as a first timer? I didn't like the feel of the 9's, i really like the 7'6". Will that work for me? It's light and very compfortable in my hands. I am a lefty and i couldn't find any lefty reels. Although i didn't ask the clerks. I am sure they have some. The rod is priced at $80.
Thanks for all your help guys. So far you guys have come along ways in helping. I appreciate it.
All fly reels are reversable. Depending on which one you buy, the clerk should know how to do this cause it does seem that most reels come in a left hand retrieve.
As far as which weight rod, what will you be fishing for? 5wt 9' is a good all around rod. Bass, Trout.
False casting is intended to feed more line out or to dry a fly out. Something I don't feel you want to do a lot of on the water, but good excersize when practising.
I am mainly fishing for smallies, crappies, panfish, some LMB, and i'll hook up a Northern if i have to I know that in regular fishing, the length will allow you to throw farther, and thickness of the rod will better if hunting for big fish and using big lures. Im guessing it's the same in FF. Does anyone have an objections on me getting a 7'6"? If so, why?
I can see why you would like the feel of a 7'6" rod better than a 9' rod, especially if you were only grabbing rods under $100. The main drawback of most low-end 9' rods is that they don't have enough stiffness in the middle and butt section to keep them from feeling like a buggy whip that never stops wiggling, swaying, and vibrating in your hand. This feeling is all but eliminated when you get into the better 9' rods.
A 7'6" rod does have some advantages over a 9' rod, but they are kind of limiting. Short rods are generally more accurate, lighter, faster in action, better in tight brush. So if you are looking to cast to tight spots and catch smaller fish on smaller streams, a 7'6" rod may be just the ticket.
Now for the disadvantages, shorter rods: will not cast as far, will not roll cast nearly as well, will not mend line, create less line speed, put the line closer to the water especially when wading, can make landing fish tougher, are harder to learn on, and are less forgiving. You also will have a hard time finding a 7'6" rod in a weight over 5wt, and thus will not be able to throw bass and pike flies more than 25'.
For what you're after I would go with a 8'6" 5 or 6wt.