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Old 04-11-2007, 01:24 PM
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Hello, I joined this forum several weeks ago, but this is my first post. I have waited to post till I spent at least enough hours reading on here to “earn” my way in enough to ask questions.
I have used a fly fishing outfit for about 30 years, off and on. Notice I didn’t say I flyfished. Yes, I had the equipment and yes, I did fish with it and caught many fish in the process. However, I had no idea what I was doing or why it worked for me. I more than likely developed many bad habits over the years. While I did catch my share of fish, it has become apparent to me that if I could learn more and practice better technique, that I could improve on my enjoyment. The area I fish has been the clear streams and rivers of southeast/central Missouri. The fish targeted has been bluegill, small sunfish and the occasional largemouth bass in the 1-2 lb range. Mostly, I am a trophy catfisherman and no, I do not plan to flyfish for them. LOL However, I do plan on targeting shad and skipjack herring to use for bait, now and then.
The rigs I have been using are as follows: 8’ fiberglass Shakespeare Alpha rods in 7/8 weight and 5/6 weight. The reels for these were Martin Automatics, one turned sideways. Who knows what weight straight floating line I was using? I had no leader, only a tippit of 4lb mono around 4 feet long. I told you I didn’t know what I was doing.
About 8 years ago, I started using a promo rod and reel from Marlborro. The rod was a 7ft 5/6 weight graphite Shakespeare Alpha rod and the reel was a Phlueger Summit basic reel spooled with 5 weight straight floating line. It came with a leader, but it seemed too long (9 ft) and caused so many headaches trying to use that I took it off and went back to a 4 ft tippit.
After reading on here for the last couple weeks, along with reading Doug Mcnairs manuscript, “Fly Fishing for the Rest of Us”, I am ready to start over.
First up, some new equipment. Timing is critical at this point because I have a few dollars saved up and Cabela’s is opening here in two days. LOL
What I would love to get at this time is their LST rod in 9 ft 4 weight and match it with their SLA reel in their model 1. However, that combo at $300 is a bit more than I want to spend at this stage of learning. Not out of the picture, just think it best to wait till I am ready for it. At this time, I am thinking more of going the Three Forks rod in the 7.5 ft 3 weight and using my current reel. I will continue fishing for bream in the small rivers, where a 30 yard cast seems about maximum. As best I can tell, I need to gear the line, leader and tippit toward the use of #10 dry flies with the occasional sabiki wet fly in size 14. I tried to read the leader calculater, but got lost in the comprehension of it all. Due to fishing smaller streams and rivers, I understand a short leader would be better, but I don’t seem to be able to find any in the catalogs. I understand I will be looking for a weight forward floating line in the 3 or 4 weight range. However, the catalogs perplex me in all the design differences and shapes of the line. Any suggestions on the line, leader and tippit would be most welcome. Thanks to Mr Mcnair, I am prepared to spend whatever is needed on line.
Thanks for any help you may offer.
Kutter
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Old 04-11-2007, 02:10 PM
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Default Re: Introduction

Welcome aboard Kutter!

It's nerver too late to learn something new. Good for you that you are doing that. On the leader, try starting out with a 7 1/2 ft. leader. I did that and then moved to 9 ft leader. When I went to the nine, it took some getting used to. Now, I don't fish with anything else. On the rod and reel, you definity want to match the two together for balance and get the line to match the wt of the rod. Good luck with your selection and let us know what you get.
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Old 04-11-2007, 04:54 PM
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Default Re: Introduction

Welcome to the group!

CoCajun's advice on starting out with a 7.5' leader is great advice.

On a Cabela's rod, I would look at their 5pc Stowaway rods. While you may not be thinking a "travel rod" is the way to go, the 8'6" 5wt in that series has been viewed for years as one of the very best low cost fly rods out there. Cabela's Stowaway™ 5-Piece Travel Fly Rod

Better still, give this guy a shot fly fishing - fly fishing gear He's alright.
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Old 04-11-2007, 05:11 PM
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Default Re: Introduction

Big Cliff has suggested a good rod and line weight. I like that suggestion because you may want to go to a size 10 sreamer or maybe even a size 8 streamer for those small bass and bluegills. Also the wind can hold back the lighter 3 and 4 weight lines.
As to the line type. You really will not go wrong with either a double taper or a weight forward. If you use heavier flies purchase the weight forward. The lines manufactured today are superior to previous ones and all work very well. Remember you will get what you pay for when it comes to lines.
I can't wait for the ice to melt and the crappie to start spawning. That's when I use my 9 ft 5 wt rod with a weight forward line to cast small streamers. You can catch them as fast as you can get the fly in the water.
7 inches of snow predicted for tonight. Aaargh.
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Old 04-14-2007, 11:48 PM
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Default Re: Introduction

Thanks for you help. I did take some of your advice. Sorry, not all of it. LOL
I moved up to the 5 weight, 8ft and 7 1/5 leader like you folks suggested. However, I like the feel of the Three Forks rod better than the Stowaway. Got the Mastery GPX wf floating line in a 5 weight. Also went ahead and got a Cabela's CSR1 reel instead of waiting. After I got home, I was glad I did. When I tried my old reel with the new rod, it wasn't close to being balanced.
Thanks for your help.
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