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Old 01-11-2011, 11:49 AM
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Default Getting Started

Hello all, and once again thank you to Frank for the forum, and thank you to all the people who have filled this site with such a wealth of information, I've spent hours reading and still have barely scratched the surface. The wife has already accepted that she's a fishing and hunting widow.

I'm just starting out in the fly fishing game, still have yet to get a line wet. The site has helped me get up on the lingo, which just a few days ago was a mystery to me.

I have been up to this point primarily a bass fisher, started my fishing obsession fishing for largemouth on big water, then progressed to wading for smallmouth on the river. While fishing for smallmouth on the home waters I have hooked the occasional trout on 6 pound test with 1/4 oz mepp's spinners, which has piqued my interest in trout, but I don't see myself giving up smallmouth anytime soon.

My wonderful wife took my threats to get into flyfishing to heart, and for Christmas, bought me a rod/reel combo from Cabela's. I have the 9' 5wt Cahill combo, prespooled with a weight forward floating line and an unidentified leader. The combo gets good reviews on the site, but I have saved the packaging and have a small budget to upgrade if needed.

Now, my reading has told me that a 5wt is the standard for trout, and I don't mind being light for bass, I fish for the fight, not the food. The thing that I am worried about is my ability to throw a wide variety of flies. If it's possible, I'd like to be able to throw a #6 wooly bugger for smallmouth, then pack up and head a few miles up the road to the trout stream and throw a dry fly in a size appropriate for trout.
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Old 01-11-2011, 12:02 PM
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Default Re: Getting Started

Pick yourself up a Reddington 6 wt combo. It is the rod i used to learn on and frankly i think it is a great rod. Much better than most starter combos in that price bracket.

From what i have learned so far, i too am a nOOb fly fisherman, using heavier line that isnt matched to your rod usually yields mixed results. Im sure someone will jump in here and offer some more experienced advice.

Look at it this way, you are going to need more than one rod anyways and sounds like bass fishing is your true love. Get a 6 wt and that way you will have the gear to meet different situations.

Just my .02. As usual however, i bow to those with far more experience and knowledge on the matter than i...
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Old 01-11-2011, 12:19 PM
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Default Re: Getting Started

Hi Kev,

Welcome to the forum! That 5wt is a good starting point. With the 5wt you can go for trout, panfish, smallies and large-ies. The 5wt should also chuck that #6 woolly bugger, but if you start getting into poppers and big stacked-hair flies, you might run into the rod not having enough backbone to chuck those flies properly.

If your main game is going to be bass, I would look in the future to also getting a 7wt or 8wt. These weights will help chuck some of those bigger flies with more control. But, it would be overkill on trout and wouldn't necessarily have the delicacy needed to properly present small flies.
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Old 01-11-2011, 12:24 PM
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Default Re: Getting Started

Welcome BASS MAN.

Your story sounds strangely familiar to me; a really good friend of mine is a very avid largemouth fisherman 3-4 times a week, and he his by far the best and most knowledgeable bass fisherman I know. He decided to pick up a fly rod and have me teach him the fly fishing ropes, trout fishing mainly.

I don't know anything about the combo you have; but my recommendation to everyone as a starter rod is a TFO pro series rod. The rod is $150 new, but can be had on e-bay used for half of that, or new for well under
$150. There are many TFO fans on this website, and you will be hardpressed to find a bad review on these rods. They have a $25 NO-FAULT warranty. Step on it, slam it in the tailgate, breaks while fishing; $25 repairs or replaces it and they do it VERY FAST. The reel is much less important than the rod, you will seldom use your drag for trout, unless you plan on targeting the largest all of the time. You being a bass fisherman, as my friend was, may have in mind that catching the biggest trout is the only reason to go out.

Trout fishing is different than bass fishing in a few respects. Most avid trout fly-fisherman are fishing for the fight, but also for the beauty, a la Ernest Schweibert (one of the most notable names in trout fishing in the 20th century). If you get curious look up his speech on why he fishes for trout.

As to the rod, there is a post going currently called "the delicacy of a 6 wt", concerning which rod to have if you only are going to have one. Most would say 5 wt 9ft is the best all around trout rod.

I lived in MO for 5 years and started my trout fishing there, so I may be able to help you out. I have a book written by Chuch Tryon "Fly Fishing for Trout in MO". PM me if you want it, pretty much give it to you for the price of shipping.

And remember, when you are standing on the bank watching trout feeding all around and you cant catch any..."A trout is a bass who traded his giant mouth for a brain!"

Welcome,
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Old 01-11-2011, 03:07 PM
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Default Re: Getting Started

From reading the online reviews of the Cahill combo, it's seems that most everyone agrees that while the rod is worth having, the reel can be trouble.
You get a lot in this combo for 50 bucks, but if headaches are included you may want to step up a bit.
Cabela's makes a good product and their introductory combos are designed to get people "hooked' on fly fishing at a great value so that they can keep you as a regular customer. So don't be afraid to stick with them
A lot of people like their Three Forks combos, you might try that at 30 beans more.
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Old 01-11-2011, 03:29 PM
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Default Re: Getting Started

Welcome to the forum and the fly.

I personally think that the 5 weight will serve you very well for what you describe. That is the purpose of the 5 weight - to be versatile.

As for the particular rod and reel...

I fished for a long time on very cheap equipment. It had its pros and cons. But I learned how to fly fish using it.

I do think I would invest in the rod more than the reel if I HAD to choose. A poorly constructed rod is difficult to cast with and might affect your learning curve. Also, unless a fish gets pretty big or you are using really fine tippet (6x), you can strip in most fish. My father still uses an automatic reel and he does just fine. I would worry about honing my skills first and learning to enjoy the sport before I got too crazy with equipment.

Gary
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Old 01-11-2011, 04:43 PM
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Default Re: Getting Started

Welcome!

5 wt is a great standard and it will serve most trout needs. It doesn't cast streamers and buggers all that well--for that I use a 6 wt. But I have learned in the last year that these rods will do more than most of us think. I saw a youtube video of a guy catching a 24 incher on a 4 wt with really no problem. I am using my 4wt more and more and have landed some 18 inchers on it no problem.
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Old 01-11-2011, 04:52 PM
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Default Re: Getting Started

Quote:
Originally Posted by bjweller View Post
Welcome!

5 wt is a great standard and it will serve most trout needs. It doesn't cast streamers and buggers all that well--for that I use a 6 wt. But I have learned in the last year that these rods will do more than most of us think. I saw a youtube video of a guy catching a 24 incher on a 4 wt with really no problem. I am using my 4wt more and more and have landed some 18 inchers on it no problem.
True, True. I caught a 19" rainbow on my three weight; it took quite a while. He illustrated the problem with trout gear size; he took a 22 midge nymph! What do you fish with when you are trying to catch a 4 LB fish, but trying to present size 22 nymphs or dries to him??? I think about casting the flies first, worry about what I might have to land on my 4wt later.
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Old 01-11-2011, 11:13 PM
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Default Re: Getting Started

Kev;

Welcome. I lived in Affton about 20 years ago, off MacKenzie blvd, south of that white cinderblock greasy spoon that served brains. Is it still there?

I started off the same way; I was a basser until two years ago, when a buddy taught me to flycast. The rest is history . . .

I have two Cabela's rod combos (Three Forks 3 wt., Traditional II 5wt.) and though I am not an old hand, I think they work pretty good. In fact, the Three Forks 3 wt. is my second favorite rod; it goes everywhere with me. And don't worry, you can handle a pretty good bass with a 5 wt. I hauled a 4 pounder to hand last year with my 5. The main thing is just that you won't have the leverage you're used to with baitcasting rigs. And, as time goes by, you'll want to upgrade. We all do. Do what I didn't do: test drive a bunch of different rods before buying. It'll save you some money and aggravation.

Oh, and setting the hook on trout is going to be a circus at first. Wear sunglasses and try not to rip their lips off. If you miss, your bug is going to rocket right at your face. If it's a woolly bugger, even if it doesn't give you an on-the-spot ear/nose piercing, it's going to leave a mark. My girlfriend at the time thought I'd grown a birthmark overnight after something like that.

Anyway, good luck, and welcome to the obsession.

Peace.

P.S. For what it's worth, my favorite rod is a St. Croix Imperial 8.5 ft 4 wt. It's a med. fast action on the med. side I think. I fish a lot of dries, and this rod does that very well for me (landed a 5.5 lb. brown trout and a 3 lb. smallie last year). I have a kind of slow cadence to my cast, so it works for me. My mentor's cadence is twice as fast and he is not a fan of the Imperial. Different strokes . . .
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Old 01-12-2011, 04:29 AM
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Default Re: Getting Started

Thank you all for your replies! From what I'm reading, it does seem that the 5wt will serve my needs well, if not the rod I have now, then something similar. As soon as this weather breaks I'm going to get out and do some casting and make my mind up on that.

I've got multiple, multiple high dollar baitcasters collecting dust here lately, and I imagine if I parted with one or two of them I could set myself up with a fly combo that would be more than just a beginner's setup. I know some people say to try something first before diving in, but I'm one of those who sets their mind to something and latches on.

Fly fishing seems like it is fishing the way it's meant to be enjoyed. I fished bass tournaments for a few years, had a boat and a few grand tied up in rods, reels, and tackle. Pretty much pulled out of it because I realized that competing made fishing miserable! Winning and losing ought not be a factor in enjoying a day out fishing! That, and a boat turns a hobby into a job. Being a slave to the whims of a two stroke motor and hauling a trailer were too much like work.

Ausablebrown: I have that book on reserve at the library, if I like what I read I may be in touch with you to pick up my own copy, thank you.

Rangerrich: I was born in '86, but I believe I know the place you are talking about, right on the corner of McKenzie and Gravois. Sadly, it's now a walk-up Dairy Queen. Mediocre ice cream and they don't even serve DQ's good burgers.
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