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Old 07-20-2008, 12:31 PM
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Default What Reel and Line?

I've been lurking on this forum for a few weeks now and find it a great site. I have been throwing iron for years and a couple of months ago got out an old fly outfit that a friend gave me. I got so I could get a fairly accurate 30ft cast and took it with me on my last Sierra trip. Bad idea. A half dozen planted rainbows later I'm hooked. I am on a strict budget so price is important. I decided that I needed a decent rod so I picked up a Sage Launch 9' 5wt on sale at Bob Martins for $100. Now I need to find a suitable reel and line. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-20-2008, 01:40 PM
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Default Re: What Reel and Line?

Hi Glen,

Welcome to the forum. Glad you decided to post. Look over this FAQ post and see if any of those recommendations hits your fancy. There is a whole range of reel prices. It would help to know your top price limit.

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Old 07-20-2008, 02:07 PM
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Default Re: What Reel and Line?

Thanks Frank,

I was hoping to stay around $50 for the reel. I've seen a few on eBay for that. What concerns me most is the fly line. It seems the only recommended ones are more than the reel. Is it really necessary to spend $60+ for line?
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Old 07-20-2008, 02:23 PM
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Default Re: What Reel and Line?

Hmmm. I believe you really get what you pay for when it comes to lines. The last guide I went with told me you can use a "checkout line" rod, a so-so reel, but the top of his list is the line itself. While you're on eBay, look for some lines as well. I just bought a Rio "Grand" WF4 for my new 4 wt. It sells for 65.00 and I picked it up for 39. You can also take a look at flyshopcloseouts.com They usually have some pretty smokin deals on reels. That might get you into a little better reel than you're wanting to spend.

Phil
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Old 07-20-2008, 03:32 PM
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Default Re: What Reel and Line?

Hi Glen,

Unfortunately that is the case in most circumstances. Lines last a long time and you will appreciate the better floating performance of a higher priced line. There are some lines by Cortland in the 400 series that are pretty good lines. I don't know a lot about cheaper lines because I have never bought one. I have always purchased the very best line that was available.

My recommendation is to buy the best line you can afford even if you have to buy a junk reel. Look for lines that are last years models. In the case of SA fly lines, the new ones have a loop on the end. The lines with no loop are selling cheaper if you can find one. You may also find a double taper line that is first class but cheaper. Double taper lines are not as popular as they once were and some stores dump those they couldn't sell.

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Old 07-20-2008, 04:20 PM
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Default Re: What Reel and Line?

Thanks again. I have found several lines on eBay that look like they will fill the bill. You hit on my next question. I recall reading some years ago that DT lines were the best for beginners. Now it seems that everyone is using weight forward. Should I just look for WF lines or will DT lines work as well?
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Old 07-21-2008, 06:34 PM
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Default Re: What Reel and Line?

Hey Glen

I'm a guide and had to add my 2 cents to what you flyfishers are talking about...... I like to use a G-Loomis reels... Adventure 5 reel is my favorite......very smooth drag! I've picked up three of these reels through local reel repair shops for $50 bucks as far as line I like to have two reels set up with Orvis sink -tip and 5wt. forward floating line. If you keep your line clean after each trip it can last you several years! Tight Lines......... Frank is right about the loop on the end.....it good to have one on it, it makes it easier to tie on leaders!!!!!!! Godbless! Tight line!

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Old 07-21-2008, 07:50 PM
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Default Re: What Reel and Line?

Glen,

Some thoughts:

1) Take a look at the Okuma SLV. It is highly regarded as one of the best bang-for-buck reels out there. But you may want to do whatever it takes to "treat yourself" to one of the high-end jobs for your first gig. A couple decades from now, it might look good on the wall... or it might be a nice hand-me-down. Something to think about if you can squeeze the budget (pack a lunch, do without that beer, etc).

2) Weight-forward line can cast as well or better than dual taper provided that you have a good understanding of the physics involved. In short, you need to have mass focused near the tip of the fly rod so that you can properly load the rod with the energy required to cast the line. Dual taper used to be the only real good way to do this but, now, there is plenty of well-designed weight-forward lines that work as well or better. I recommend Scientific Anglers Headstart. Basically, you just strip in the line until you feel the "bump", which is your signal to recast. This bump optimizes the positioning of the oversized head for recasting.

Unfortunately, the fly rod manufacturers are forced to cater down to the lowest common denominator - distance. If Rod X casts further than Rod Y, then Rod X will get the sale. This really sucks. To answer this, what most manufacturers have done is to simply rebadge all of their rods down a category (e.g. - the former 6 weight becomes a 5 weight, a 5 weight is now a 4 weight). This reduces flex for the rated line and allows a caster to achieve more distance at the expense of usability. The problem here is that beginners don't really get to feel the rod loading and unloading (you will hear the "broom stick" term, a lot). The Headstart line is a half size heavier to help emphasize loading and unloading. I believe that Rio also makes a line like this.

If you opt to go with a different line, then you might want to consider going a step higher in rated weight (i.e. - a 6wt line on your 5wt). You will learn the required physics a lot better this way. I'm new to the gig this year and I was having a hard time until I did this.
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Old 07-21-2008, 10:36 PM
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Default Re: What Reel and Line?

Pneumatic,

Rio does in fact make a line like this. It's the Rio Grand and I've got it for my 5 wt SLT and my new 4 wt ZXL, which I plan on breaking in tommorow morning on the San Juan. Within a couple of casts, I was laying out 50 feet in the back yard with it this weekend. Both rods are a little more laid back and the extra 1/2 weight makes them cast a little better. I've picked up both of mine off eBay for about 39 bucks and they retail for 65.

Phil
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Old 07-22-2008, 12:24 AM
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Default Re: What Reel and Line?

Glen, Congratulations man, you got a great deal on the rod. I'm sure you'll be happy with it.

As Philthy mentioned, the Rio Grand is 1/2 weight heavier than a standard, and would be a good match for your rod--- they're (Rio) now owned by the same holding company that owns Sage, and the Launch outfits (rod, reel, line) are often matched up with the Grand. Google "launch rod fly line". If you're relatively new to casting, it should load the rod well for you.

And as others have said, if you're on a budget, I would shop around, the retail $65 can be beat, and then settle on a reel. Heck, a lot of fish have been caught on Pfleuger Medalists (around $25) and you can do a lot better with just a few more $'s in a reel in the $40-60 range.

Another option might be to go out to a place like Bob Marriotts in So. Calif. if they're near you, and see if you could try some different lines. Though you may not be able to get the line as cheaply as you could shopping on-line, you'd be able to find one that worked for you.

good luck,

peregrines
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