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Old 07-07-2010, 08:31 AM
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Default Beginner Outfit

OK, through this site and other research I have found a handful of combos that are rated as "beginner friendly".
They are Hobbs Creek, Redington Crosswater, LL Bean Streamlight (although they are sold out in 5 wt...only a 6 available now).

I hear about "outgrowing" beginner outfits, but what does that mean? Is it about rod performance and casting?
All of these outfits seem to have generally good reputations for the learner, but I'd also like to have it for a while and be able to use it as I improve a bit.

So the question:
Is any of these better for a progression from newbie and beginner to more intermediate abilities? They are all pretty affordable for me (LL Bean is the very high end for me though)
I'd like to not have to buy a new outfit in 6 months because of outgrowing....again, whatever that means.

Also, I'll be visiting a couple local fly shops im the coming days to actually try casting some of these so I'm sure that will help too.

Thanks for any guidance on this.
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Old 07-07-2010, 08:56 AM
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Default Re: Beginner Outfit

Hello and welcome to the forum. Glad to see you're taking the dive into this horribly addictive "hobby."

From personal experience, my first combo was made by Martin. The reel was pretty decent but the rod was a slow action rod. Slow action is good for beginners to help them get their timing down during the cast. As I progressed I wanted a more faster action rod, so I got a St. Croix. It's med fast.

That being said, that Martin reel is my go to for a 5wt.

I don't have any experience with the combos that you listed, so I'll let others chime in on it, but I know that Reddington makes a decent product.

Welcome again, and good luck!

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Old 07-07-2010, 04:51 PM
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Default Re: Beginner Outfit

I started with a st. croix combo. I 'outgrew' it in about a year, but really it's a good rod. The reel was junk, although it still works. I don't think it matters much what you start with, so long as it's decent quality and won't break from normal use, which should include dragging the tip on the ground and some general dumb stuff. It's inevitable, especially for beginners, so I'd stay away from any unreasonably cheap stuff. The outgrowing thing is normal, and is part of the evolution of understanding how certain gear makes you more comfortable. As you get better and more obsessed, you likely will want to upgrade, mostly for the sake of upgrading, so you aren't still fishing a 'beginners' rod when obviously you have mastered the fine art of fly fishing. It should take about 6 months to believe that, and about 6 seconds to realize that you're full of ****.....but I think it's normal.
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Old 07-07-2010, 05:49 PM
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Default Re: Beginner Outfit

Welcome to the forum. I am also new to the sport of fly fishing and purchased the LL Bean Stream light 5wt as my first rod and I have been very pleased. Although the Bass Pro had a set up for less I really had a much better experience with the customer service at LL Bean. I also thought that it would be best to purchase a rod with a warranty. As far as out growing the rod that has not happened. I thought about putting on a better line, but then saw the prices. However, as the other members have stated the addiction will grow if you enjoy the sport. I now have an 8wt by TFO also with a warranty. I would advise just sticking to your budget that you have set for yourself. Hope this helps and enjoy your new rod.
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Old 07-08-2010, 02:04 AM
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Default Re: Beginner Outfit

Hi frntrnge,
As a disclosure, I work in the industry.

With that out of the way, I will say what has been on record for awhile. To me, there are no such things as beginners' setups. There are a variety of rods at a variety of price points. Can a novice learn on a $700 rod? Yes, as long as the rod is not too fast in action. Does a novice need a $700 rod? Only if he has the money to burn. Are there happy mediums? Plenty.

All the outfits that you listed are reasonably priced to get people into the sport. The rods use older graphite technology which limits their levels of performance. They will help you make a nice straight line cast, but once you have the technique down, your rod will limit your casting range. If you learn how to pick up and lob indicator rigs, you will learn the rod's limit on how much mass it can throw.

One of the advantages of buying a higher quality rod is the quality of the blank used in the construction. Modern blank materials are lighter than previous generations. Having to deal with less mass is usally easier on the arm. Modern blanks also recover quicker in the cast. Recovery means that the tip won't bounce around excessively in the cast which allows for more distance and improved presentation. Modern generations of graphite are more durable than previous ones. They can take more punishment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by frntrnge View Post
I hear about "outgrowing" beginner outfits, but what does that mean? Is it about rod performance and casting?
If you fish enough, you can outgrow the rod in performance and casting. As I mentioned, you will learn your presentation and distance limitations as your skills improved.

If you set yourself up with a higher quality rod, it may take you awhile to find those limitations as your skills progress.

Quote:
Originally Posted by frntrnge View Post
Is any of these better for a progression from newbie and beginner to more intermediate abilities?
Sorry. I can't comment on the rods.

To really shorten the learning curve, visit your local fly shop. Take a beginning casting class. Most shops will have demo rods for that. During that class, your instructor should be able to figure out which rod will work best for you. After that, take an on the water class or a guided day out. You'll learn how to use your gear properly.

MP
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Old 07-08-2010, 03:52 AM
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Default Re: Beginner Outfit

Beginner setups:

Why buy what you already assume, will be obsolete in the near future.

Buying a good rod/reel at retail prices, can be scary for a newbie. $300 for a fishing pole? You got to be kidding me!!! Well,, that's the sport.

Here is a good tip, that many use. E-bay!

I only paid retail for 1 rod I own. I TFO Pro series Lefty 9' 5wt. It's good, but not nearly as good as the rods I have bought for less cash from E-bay. SAGE 4 pc 5 wt- $116,, basically new,,, st croix legend ultra 14' 9wt spey rod, $127, brand new.

As far as reels, wait till the fall (unless you are itching now) and get a reel on closeout.

Bought a brand new Ross evolution, retails about $300, for $140, with warranty and everything.

If you can wait, and search, you can get good deals, and therefore get a far better setup for the price of your 'beginner' setup. This way, you get a good rig, that even after you progress, and gain experience, will still be a wonderful setup.

Just my 2 cents.
Used/slightly used/demo products are fine, and can save you 30-70%. Maybe more. Not a bad deal...

Once you are addicted (either you will quit, or you will be an addict like most of us on this site) there will be times when you need it now, the nice reel/rod. For now, look for the bargain. Come October, much of what you see now will be half price!

Couple tips

flyshopcloseouts.com
redtruckflyfishing.com
Just 2 examples of sites I have bought from. There are more.
Both, and other sites, will have closeout prices soon!
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Old 07-08-2010, 07:46 AM
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Default Re: Beginner Outfit

Thank you for the feedback on all of this. Good suggestions and information from everyone.
Much appreciated!
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