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Old 02-20-2012, 09:10 PM
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Default Beginner Gear for Youngster

Looking for help with recommendations for rod length and line weight for my son - He's 9, and wants to try his hand at fly fishing.

I have an old, el-cheapo 8' fiberglass job that's rated for 7 weight line. About as comfortable and easy to cast as a 2x4.....

Local fishing is mostly for panfish, maybe bass, with some vacations in Vermont, Pennsylvania, and Colorado giving opportunities for trout fishing as well.

I know that some of this may be personal preference or may change with his ability, but I would like to know where to start so he can learn to cast effectively.

I'm pretty much a beginner myself, so I may not even be asking the right questions - any insight would be appreciated!

Thanks!
-John T in Maryland-
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:14 PM
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Default Re: Beginner Gear for Youngster

At that age, any fishing/reel wood work. Just get him out and enjoy
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Old 02-21-2012, 02:57 PM
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Default Re: Beginner Gear for Youngster

John - First, congrats on having a kid interested in taking a break from video games!

I think a 8 1/2 to 9 foot rod in a 5 or 6 weight would be perfect for the kind of fishing you'll be doing-- perfect for trout, light enough to be a lot of fun with panfish and fine for throwing the occasional wind resistant popper for small largemouth bass. The good news is you have a ton of great options for outfits including rod, reel, fly line, and backing -- so you really can't go wrong. A 4 piece rod is easier to travel with than a 2 piece if you intend to fly with it (it can be carried on and stowed in overhead as opposed to having to be checked in with baggage). Depending on how much you want to spend you have all kinds of options. Here are some decent ones for around $120-130 or so. There are tons of options at different price points but these are a pretty good bang for the buck:

Cabela's Traditional 2 rod and 3 forks reel plus fly line ( with a bit better reel) or the Prestige Fly Fishing outfit (with rod reel, fly line, backing, fly box, 24 flies, leader, nippers, hemostat fly floatant, chest pack, rod tube etc) $130

Redington Crosswater Outfit (rod, reel, backing fly line, rod sock and rod tube) $120

LL Bean Quest 2 Four piece outfit (rod, reel, backing, fly line, leader, rod sock and rod tube) $120

If you have a local fly shop, you might also consider stopping in and seeing what they have for around the same $'s-- often they'll throw in a few informal casting lessons and will be an invaluable source of info as you and your son get in to it. Local shops are definitely worth supporting if you're lucky enough to have one. More than likely they'll have a comparable outfit for around the same bucks from a company like Echo, Ross, Redington etc. or they can put one together for you with rod reel line etc from different manufacturer's for around the same bucks.

Hopefully other folks will weigh in with more recommendations. Good luck and let us know what you guys end up with.
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Old 02-21-2012, 06:57 PM
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Default Re: Beginner Gear for Youngster

You might check out the Wright-McGill Featherlight rods for your boy. I recently got one (6'6" 4/5wt) for a friend as a gift and he's very pleased with it. They are about 30 bucks and seem to have decent reviews. If he breaks/loses/doesn't like it, you're not out a couple of C-notes...

-Mike
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Old 02-21-2012, 10:15 PM
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Default Thanks for the replies

Thanks for the replies.
Peregrines - several of your combo recommendations were the same as those I was looking at - seem to be good value at the price, for the amount and style of fishing we do. (In fact, I will most likely get at least one for myself, to replace the 7 foot 2x4 I'm currently beating the water with )

I was looking more for size recommendations, though, and it seems like a 9 foot rod for a 4 foot boy would be hard for him to handle. If I scale it up, it would be like me casting a 13 foot rod, which I think would be very awkward.... Shouldn't a 4 foot tall boy have something more like a 6 or 7 foot rod???

Mikel - I will also look into the Wright-McGill rods you mentioned. Price isn't really an issue, but as you said, it would be good not to invest a whole lot of cash into something he may not like.

Thanks again for taking the time to reply.
-John-
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Old 02-21-2012, 11:08 PM
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Default Re: Thanks for the replies

Quote:
Originally Posted by jgtmd View Post
Shouldn't a 4 foot tall boy have something more like a 6 or 7 foot rod???
as much as price, I mentioned the featherlights because they are smaller rods. The 6'6" 4/5 I got my pal, for instance. they start at 3/4, I think and go up to maybe a 5/6.

...it's just a thought...-Mike
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