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Old 02-06-2014, 12:22 AM
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Default About to buy first rod/reel... LLbean and St Croix Rio Santo

I'm about to buy my first fly rod and reel and wanted yalls opinion on these pairs...

Double L mid Arbor Reel from LL Bean 5 wt- 130
Double L and reg; Mid-Arbor Fly Reel: Reels | Free Shipping at L.L.Bean

9' 5wt 4pc ST. Croix Rio Santo reel - 130
St. Croix Rio Santo Fly Rods : Cabela's

Edited to add:

I've been looking at the Allen Compass rods and the Trout 2 reel as well..

I know there a a lot of good options out there, but is there any reason you wouldn't get this pair as your first setup? I'll be targeting everything from trout to guadalupe bass to whiting in the surf. Think i'll opt for an intermediate line.

Last edited by karcus; 02-06-2014 at 11:59 AM.
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Old 02-06-2014, 01:49 PM
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Default Re: About to buy first rod/reel... LLbean and St Croix Rio Santo

I have a Double L in 4wt and like it very much. About all of the reels are good as long as they are machined. I am not a big fan of cast, I occasionally drop or bump mine.
I have 2 rods that are custom built using St. Croix blanks and they are hard to beat. I also have two rods, classic series, from Hook and Hackle, and for the money, they are a great value.
I don't know much about that particular bass, but i would get at least a 6wt with WF/F line.
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Old 02-06-2014, 08:38 PM
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Default Re: About to buy first rod/reel... LLbean and St Croix Rio Santo

I think that would be a very serviceable outfit for you. One thing I recommend when buying a reel is get an extra spool or two for it at the same time if you can afford too. Nothing is more irritating than buying a reel and then a year or two later you go to buy the extra spool and they discontinued the model. This has happened to me several times over my 20 plus years of fly fishing. You may want to eventually add a sink tip, sinking or intermediate line as your fishing experience progresses.
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Old 02-07-2014, 07:00 AM
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Default Re: About to buy first rod/reel... LLbean and St Croix Rio Santo

I fished a St. Croix Rio Santo 8'6", 5wt for a couple of years only retiring it when I got a Winston. It was, imho, a very fine little rod. Its casts well; even had an FFF MCI comment on how well it cast. It is a true mid-flex rod and very good for trout. You should be able to lay of 45-50 feet of line after a little practice. However, I have my doubts that the 5wt will have cajones you would want for the surf or for large bass. Limpline suggests a 6wt might be a better choice and I agree. Still, for the surf (you don't say where) the 6 wt still might not be a very satisfying setup....
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Old 02-07-2014, 03:05 PM
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Default Re: About to buy first rod/reel... LLbean and St Croix Rio Santo

I fish the surf off of South Padre Island. Whiting (Southern Kingfish) are my favorite target while wading in trunks off the first sandbar during July-August. Most whiting are 8-14 inches and taste great. A few by-catches are pompano (another favorite) and small jack crevalles. Theres always a chance of a big red or black drum while surf fishing but I've only caught them in the laguna madre bay.

The Guadalupe bass (Texas State Fish, rarely reach big bass size) are my target on the South LLano River... I'll be spending 6 weeks in Junction, TX while studying Glass Blowing and Experimental Drawing before I graduate with my art degree. I've been running an ultralight spinning rod with a bubble float tipped with flys and been doing well.
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Old 02-07-2014, 06:36 PM
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Default Re: About to buy first rod/reel... LLbean and St Croix Rio Santo

I love St. Croix rods, but I have to say the Rio Santo is kind of where they got sideways in turn 3. To me the rod just feels heavy. I have that very combo in my closet back home and bust it out when I take friends out.
The Allen outfitt would be my +1 it would be a little more costly but with that you get a fine rod and even better customer service. Im not trying to say what rods are better, just that if I were you I would look for other options over the Rio Santo.
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Old 02-07-2014, 08:59 PM
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Default Re: About to buy first rod/reel... LLbean and St Croix Rio Santo

I had the Triumph... Which to my understanding is just the re branded Rio Santos... Only rod assembled in Mexico by St Croix... I really enjoyed using the rod... Regret selling it... It is a little heavy... But don't let that discourage you... I've landed 30" pike on a 5wt...
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Old 02-07-2014, 10:06 PM
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Default Re: About to buy first rod/reel... LLbean and St Croix Rio Santo

Only advice I have. Don't let cost influence what you buy. Get the best tool you can afford and be done with it. There is no such thing as a "beginner" rod. Just cheap rods.

Also put all of your money into your rod. It is what is delivering the fly to the fish. In trout fishing the reel just holds your line unless your going after some pretty big fish.
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Old 02-08-2014, 09:43 AM
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Default Re: About to buy first rod/reel... LLbean and St Croix Rio Santo

Joni was given a Rio Santos rod a couple years ago. To me it was the worst casting, clubby rod I ever casted. Heavy was used in a couple posts and I'll agree with that also. I don't think it's a good rod for a beginner/newbie, let alone an experienced caster. Do check out the Allen reels and the
Compass before you decide. I think they're going for around $99. Excellent rod for the price. In fact, Joni bought one for a friend of hers that had given her the Rio Santos the year before. He couldn't make the rod (Rio Santos) work either. He thought it was just him.
Again, this is just my opinion and I'm sure there are those that like the rod, but I'm not one of them.
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