As bear said, the action in fly rods refers to where the rod bends when casting- so a fast action rod will bend at the tip. A medium fast action rod would probably be the best to learn on--- a little more forgiving than a faster action when learning to cast, and since the rod will flex more, it'll be easier on the thin tippets used with flies.
The line weight of the rod pretty much determines the size of the flies that you can easily throw with it, regardless of the "action" of the rod, and to some extent the size of the fish it is designed to catch--- heavier weights for bigger fish, smaller weights for panfish.
"Trout" weights can range from 1-7 with 4, 5 and 6 the most common, and 5 being considered the most versatile all around weight for fishing a mix of dry flies, wet flies, weighted nymphs, and streamers. Line weights 1-3 would mostly be considered very light "specialty" rods for very small flies, short casts and small streams. A 7 would be a "specialty" trout weight for large rivers and throwing weighted streamers, but would lack a little finesse for throwing small dry flies.
For your first fly rod, for trout, panfish and bass, I'd go with either a 5 or 6. Later if you wanted to add another rod, lighter (for mostly panfish) or heavier (primarily for bass, steelhead or light saltwater) you could skip up or down 2 line weights, so that over time you could build up an arsenal of different rods that would cover you for a lot of different types of fly fishing.
Where abouts in Ohio are you?
You may also want to browse around on the FAQ section of the board, as well as through some old threads. There's a lot of stuff that might be helpful to you--- Here's one that might be helpful with some links for you tube fly casting vids and some searches for local fly fishing clubs that could get you off to a great start and really shorten the learning curve. (I know there's a bunch of 'em in Ohio.) http://www.theflyfishingforum.com/fo...html#post50839
Keep asking questions as they come up, it can be pretty confusing. but weall went through it at some point, so if we can help we will.
The kind of line depends on the kind of river/creeks you will be fishing.
WF line is a good choice most of the time. If the river is a little bigger one wf is what you want and with bigger flies wf is the way to go. IF however you will be fishing very small streams and to spooky fish you'll want a double tapper, you cant cast as far with a DT but it will present your fly alot softer not spooking fish, you can practice with a wf though to make it land softer.
If you want to bass fish and fish with streamers for trout I would go with a good WF line. No matter what kind of line you get KEEP IT CLEAN and greased. There are mnay good cleaners and condtioners on the market.
You'll need a pair of hemostats for takeing small flies out of fishes mouth, if you know a nurse have her or him get you a pair, if not you can get them at mnay shops. A fly floatent like Moose Snot or Ginks. A pair of line clippers. A chest pack, lanyard, or vest to carry everything. Leaders in 7.5' and 9' for trout in 3lb to 6lb test and 7'-8' bass leaders in 8lb to 14 lb test and spools of tippet. There are all kinds of gadgets and gear to buy belive me I own most of it lol, but those are the main ones that come to mind.
P.S. As far as brand of line goes about any of the Rio, SA, or Mastery lines are pretty good most of my rods are loaded with Rio or Mastery lines I like the Rio grand and the Mastery gpx
I would recommend a Temple Fork Outfitters rod. They are great, and priced very well. I personally have a St. Croix Reign for my 6wt and I can't say that I would recommend them to anyone, especially a beginner. I have fished a few Bass Pro outfits and they seem to do very well. There is not much wrong with the $100 set ups you will find at Cabelas and BP.
This sounds like a great opportunity to work and fish!
You've gotten some great advice from Bear and Lumberjack.
Yup, a weight forward floating line would be perfect for the majority of the fishing you’ll be doing. A line from Scientific Anglers or Rio would be a good choice matched to the line weight the rod is designed to cast (a 5 weight line on a 5 weight rod, a 6 weight line on a 6 weight rod).
The “outfits” (ones with rod reel and line included) a weight forward, floating fly line matched to the rod, backing (20lb Dacron attached between the reel and the back end of the fly line, and a tapered knotless monofilament leader.
If you are buying components separately, rod. reel and line you’ll have to add backing and a leader. The reels will be labeled with the amount of backing they will take with fly line--- for a trout reel for a 5 or 6 weight, probably somewhere around 80 yards of 20lb Dacron. If you buy a rod and reel from a fly shop, they’ll often throw this in, or give you a few casting lessons out back. – one of the advantages of going to the local small guy over big box stores or on-line.
In addition to backing, if buying separately, you’ll need
Leader- a tapered knotless leader 7 ½ tapered to 2x (for bass and fishing larger streamers for trout) and a 9’ long tapered down to 4x for trout. The leader is tapered to transfer energy and” turn over the fly” and lay it out at the end of the cast. (If it wasn’t tapered it would likely collapse at the end of your fly line in a heap. For now the best way to use this is to install a short section ( about 6”) of heavy mono to the end of the fly line with a loop at the end. You can change leaders easily with a loop to loop connection. (We can go over knots in a separate post, but there are several recent threads on how to do this with links)
Tippet- Because the leader is tapered, as you change flies you’ll be cutting back into thicker and thicker sections of leader. Adding a short length (2 feet) of tippet to the end of the leader to connect to your fly. The size and weight of the fly you use determines the “X size” of the tippet, and is a measure of diameter (not pound test). As a ball park, divide the hook size by 3 to get the X size tippet to use. As an example, a size 8 streamer 3X tippet, a size 12 dry fly would be a 4x. a size 18 dry fly would be a or 6X tippet . For trout, a couple of spools of 4X, 5X and 6X to add to your tapered 9 foot x leader would be great. For bass (and throwing large or weighted streamers, like woolly buggers for trout) spools of 2x, 3x to add to your 7 ½ foot tapered leader.
Paste type floatant, Gink etc for dry flies
Nippers- they look like finger nail clippers, but some have a short needle like thing used for clearing eyes of head cement. Handy to have.
Hemostat for removing hooks. You may also want to pinch down the barbs of all your hooks with hemos or needlenosed pliers for easier catch and release (from you and the fish).
Zinger- Usually nippers and hemostats are hung from a “Zinger” which is a pin on thing that goes on your vest, with a retractable thin cord. It keeps them out of the way but easy top get to, and it keeps you from losing the things.
Flies- basic assortment of dries, wets nymphs and streamers. You’ll get tons of recommendations here.
Fly box or two, at least one with compartments or micro slits on foam strips to hold dry flies without crushing hackle, but won’t blow all your flies away when you open it.
Fly vest, or at a minimum, a shirt with large pockets and button or Velcro closures so you don’t lose things when you bend over. Columbia makes some nice synthetic shirts- quick drying, cool and breathable, won’t stick to you like cotton, not too expensive. There are a bunch of vests out there too.
Micro split shot- for weighting nymphs. Probably be best to look into non toxic shot rather than lead. Pinch it on your leader or tippet with hemos.
Net or ketchum release tool- up to you, but rubber mesh “release” nets are easiest on fish as far as nets, and release tools are even easier.
Waders- breathables are the way to go. It will depend on if you’re packing in if you want to carry them, you may end up wet wading and rock hopping in summer, but to a large extent it will depend on water temps and size of streams.
Polarized sun glasses- for cutting the glare on the water and letting you spot fish more easily in the stream.
Lucky fishing hat with brim- ball cap is fine, but if you’re going to wear a hat, may as well make sure it’s a lucky one. The brim will cut down on glare. Both the sunglasses and hat will give you a little more protection from hooks too.
Camera- either waterproof or in a heavy duty ziplock (freezer type). For all the fishing reports and hero shots you’ll be posting here.
Depending on how remote you’ll be fishing and how much bushwhacking, you’ll be doing, a waterproof flash light , emergency mylar blanket, unbreakable signal mirror, compass and a topo map in a plastic zip lock might be a good idea if your own your own in unfamiliar and rugged territory, but spend some time knowing how to use the compass and map before hand. The topo map and compass will also help you scout out water to explore.
This may seem like an overwhelming list, but go slow, and add stuff gradually, you have lots of time before you blast off for Utah.
BTW, Joni, a moderator on this forum, is a fly fishing guide based in Utah. She is quite literally, a Fly Fishing Goddess, and I’m sure she’ll have some great advice for you.