02-21-2012, 02:57 PM
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.