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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 08-31-2007, 01:59 PM
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Default Re: New Member: Wanting to start, seeking pre-purchase advice

I am going to sai the TFO Pro in a 5wt and a 9 footer. That is a great all around rod. Cork is good and guides are just fine. Try maybe a Pflueger reel (I love the $25. one, good classic look) Reel will be probably your least to worry about. Then maybe a Cortland 333 but again I will say the 444 is a better choice. You really need to swing a few rods to find what flex will suit you and make the learning easier.
A Warranty would be a good thing also for beginners. Something that not all Cabela rods offer.
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Old 08-31-2007, 05:02 PM
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Default Re: New Member: Wanting to start, seeking pre-purchase advice

I'll go in a different direction from a lot of the other posts.

Based on angler remarks made streamside and Cabela's fine reputation, that Cahill should get you going. There are better rods, but that should get you fishing OK if your budget's tight. Anytime I've bought Cabela's products, I ended up with something functional and feeling like I got my money's worth.

I use a lower end Cabela's rod myself--it works well enough. I would think the Cahill would be OK, too. Someone with a $600 dollar stick is going to outperform you for sure, all other things being equal, but so long as your rod's not absolute junk and can get the fly out there, your skills like knowing fish habits, presentation, stealth, patience, etc. will mean much, much more.

Let me digress off topic to give a lesson. You can be a bad athlete but a good golfer. I'm a terrible athlete with bad coordination, but can beat my two brothers at golf--and they are both superb athletes--one holds a black belt and the other a championship wrestler. They both can pick flies out of the air. They also have much more income then I do and can spend tons of money on the latest golf technology.

The reason I can beat them is that long ago I realized that a bad athlete with unspectacular equipment can do well at golf if he simplifies his swing so that there's little that can go wrong with it, practices putting and chipping constantly because that's where one most easily lowers their score, and never gets frustrated or forgets to consider where to put the shot so the next one is most easily played. My brothers have solid games and hit many more spectacular shots than I do. They're not entirely consistent, though, and inevitably suffer a golfing disaster. That's why I overtake them.

How does this apply to fly fishing? If you're forced to use mediocre equipment, so long as it is functional, you can succeed by learning to make a simple, repeatable cast that can hit where you're aiming every time. If you can focus on that and things like learning to sneak up on fish, learning how to make presentations, learning where a fish is most likely to be, etc. you are in business. Fisherman who do this can compensate for not having top of the line equipment. They can find fish within their range or position themselves to get at them. Flyfishing is about getting the right fly in the right water consistently, and what fly rod you're waving around is only one of the variables in doing it. A savvy fisherman can often overcome the rod's shortcomings.
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Old 08-31-2007, 05:37 PM
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Default Re: New Member: Wanting to start, seeking pre-purchase advice

Thanks a lot, Flyfisher for men. Solid advice.

I'm not a stranger to fishing, and have had several baitcasters and spinning reels in these 22 years. As I got older and began getting my own income, I started buying fancier, more expensive equipment. Along the lines of what you're saying, this new equipment has never once yeilded me any more fish than the previous "junk." It made certain techniques easier, more comfortable..but in this case, better tools did not equal more fish.

So I think you're right. As long as I get a 'decent' rod/reel and focus as much as possible on technique and learning (flies, equipment, casting, river ecology, fish behavior, etc), I think I might do alright.

Another bit of good news is that there was some discussion of starting a Flyfishing Club at school (I study Fisheries and Wildlife at Michigan State), so that would be exciting. School just started, but I've already been meeting others who fly fish, so I am very excited to dive into this sport and learn from others.

Thank you all so much. This forum and its members have been a real blessing; without this kind of info, I would have been reeeaaallly lost in a sport that seems, to me, very mystical and complex.
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Old 09-01-2007, 05:44 AM
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Default Re: New Member: Wanting to start, seeking pre-purchase advice

If you are going to buy Cabelas and get close enough to Dundee try the Cabelas store and check out the store's bargain cave...you can find low prices at the in store "cave" more so than on line...got a shimano 200 GT TE at the Dundee store for $175 instead of $340.00 all it had was a slightly bent handle which was easily straightened
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Old 09-01-2007, 04:46 PM
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Default Re: New Member: Wanting to start, seeking pre-purchase advice

I ended up going to Cabela's this morning, and looked at some selections they had.

I found a Cabela's Genesis combo, which also included a case, fly kit, leader, floatant, strike indicators, etc.

It is a 6wt 9' 4pc rod w/ 5wt line and a 5x leader.

Because the packaging indicated it was a 5wt rod, and this is what I was looking for, I believe I will be returning it. I will most likely still get the same type of combo, just with a 5wt rod.

It was already spooled with line, so I did give it a few casts. I can say with great confidence... I've got a lot of learning yet to do!

The line seemed very lightweight, and difficult to cast (for me). Some of my problems included the line coming back and hitting the pole, or tangling up with itself. But hopefully I can iron that out with more time/experience and instruction from a flyfisher w/ some time on their hands lol.

I'll keep you all updated on what I return w/, and how my casting and learning goes. I'm still looking forward to all of the fun
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Old 09-01-2007, 06:31 PM
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Default Re: New Member: Wanting to start, seeking pre-purchase advice

When you go back to Cabela's look into purchasing a improve your fly casting video. Also I beleive that the Full Creel has a book which you can download called "Cast like a Pro". Cabela's has free seminars where the basics of fly casting are taught. Check with them to see when the next class would be scheduled. Good luck and ENJOY
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Old 09-02-2007, 03:41 PM
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Default Re: New Member: Wanting to start, seeking pre-purchase advice

Hi stevensj2,

I am glad to see you didn't get the Cahill rod. The Genesis should be a much better rod. You can see that learning for a beginner can be a real experience. Having a rod you know works eliminates that problem from your learning curve. Did Cabela's have any Tempo Fork rods for you to look at?

You are smart to return the 6wt rod with a 5wt line. Too light of a line can be more of a problem than a line that is a little heavy. Keep us posted on your fly casting adventures.
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Old 09-02-2007, 07:19 PM
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Default Re: New Member: Wanting to start, seeking pre-purchase advice

I returned the Cabela's rod this evening, and came back home with a TFO Signature 1 5wt rod combo. It cost me about $30 extra, but I think it was a worthy investment.

I already like the feel of this rod much better, and the practice casts I was doing seemed to feel better too; whether that is imagined or actual, I really don't know.

But overall, I am much happier now.

I also picked up a 14pc trout fly kit, and will hopefully be fishing the Manistee river in a little over a week.

One thing that the gentlemen who set up my combo for me did was that he tied a real small loop at the end of the fly line - he said it would make changing leaders much easier. This is something I haven't came across or read about yet. Any info on this?

Thanks again everyone. I can't tell you how grateful I am.

Hopefully my next posts will involve fish

-- Josh
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Old 09-03-2007, 10:22 AM
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Default Re: New Member: Wanting to start, seeking pre-purchase advice

Hi Josh,

Here is a link to a thread dealing with the fly line to leader connection. It should answer your questions. The small piece of mono with a loop is a pretty standard method of connecting your leader to the fly line. It is not as necessary as it use to be as most good fly lines offered today have a loop built into the fly line. There is also the option of making your own loop using the end of the fly line.
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Old 09-04-2007, 08:00 PM
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Default Re: New Member: Wanting to start, seeking pre-purchase advice

When I got home from work today, I tied a small piece of yarn to some a light-weight length of mono (haven't attached my leader yet), and practiced some casts for about an hour.

Slowly but surely I think I'm seeing a little progress. Every now and again I'll get a cast that works out like I wanted, and I can't help but smile a little bit when that happens.

After trying to hit random targets for a while, I noticed a couple things which, try as I might, I wasn't able to understand or correct.

1) Before I make the cast, I pull out the length of line I intend my cast to be. Is this correct, or can I strip line from the reel during casting to increase its length?

2) When I've almost got all the line I've strung out casted, the last 3 or so feet, the length I usually "release", would often want to come up and wrap itself over top of the lower portion of my rod. To get my line to freely flow from my left hand straight out along my rod, is that an action involving the left hand, or something that comes with mastering the rod movement?

3) At the end of practicing, I noticed my right thumb slowly developing a blister. When I first noticed, I loosened my grip on the rod a lot, but the looser I held it, the more it seemed likely to make a blister. Is this common?


I do have a beginner's DVD that I've watched twice, and I try the exercises they go through, but it seems the art of mastering a cast comes down to subtle things one really can't pick up from a DVD.

I think maybe this week I will see if some of the guys in one of my classes would like to practice some casts at school, and I might be able to get some help there.

Overall though, even though I don't have it down yet, I notice little things that I've improved on and I think I've definitely found a new favorite past time - which might worry me a bit, as I haven't even casted into water yet lol
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