Originally Posted by dubs chops
Hello everyone. My name is Brett Williams. I am from northeast Oklahoma. I love to fish and hunt. I am currently opening my own business making hand poured soft plastic baits. Today I purchased my first fly rod for an upcoming vacation to Montana. I have a few questions I hope you kind folks could help me out with. The rod i bought today was a 2 piece 7' rod that i believe is a 3-4 action. I am looking for a reel for it but have been overwhealmed by all the choices availible. I will mostly be fishing for trout and panfish and maybe some small bass. what I am wondering is what reel would be best for me? I am one of those that doesn't have alot to spend off the bat but if i do like this i will go all in. what kind of drag should i use and line? Thanks for the help.
Hey Brett, welcome to the board, and to fly fishing.
What rod did you get?
It sounds like the rod you bought is labelled a "3/4 weight" designed to cast either a "double taper 3 weight" or "weight forward 4 weight" line. If that is so, it should be written on the blank above the cork. Double check to make sure. As you probably know fly rods are designed to cast the weight of the fly line, so you'd want to make sure you match up the right "weight" fly line with the rod.
Assuming it's a 3/4 weight rod, you'd want to match it up with a "4 weight, weight forward, floating line". It should be labelled something like "4 wf-f". Fly lines will range in price from 10 to 100 bucks, but I'd probably look for something by Rio or Scientific Anglers (SA) for around 35-40.
As far as reels go, there are a ton of them out there. For panfish and small trout you could go with an old standby Pfleuger Medalist for about 25 bucks. It's a simple no frills reel. I still have a few that are 30 years old. For a bit more an Okuma Sierra at about 40 is a bit better with a disc drag. Prices go up from there of course. There's the Orvis Battenkill at about 80, and the Lamson Konic at around 130ish, and on and on. You'd want a reel size designed to hold your fly line and balance your rod, and the reels will be labelled as to what lines they are designed to hold.
If you bought the rod from a shop, they should be able to match a line up to the rod for you and rig up a reel. In terms of priorities, and bang for the buck, if you want to skimp a bit on the total cost, skimp on the price of the reel and put it towards the the line.
A 3 or 4 weight rod is a little on the light side but should be a ball for panfish and small trout. It may be a little on the light side though for bigger water in Montana, and throwing larger wind resistant stuff like poppers for bass.
Keep asking questions and let us know what rod you have. We should be ble to help you out.