I have been a spin fisher for 40+ years. I took advantage of the fact that my daughter has a home in Jackson, Wy and went for a visit and tried my hand at fly fishing. The first day I was hooked. I fished for 7 days (sept 7th thru 14th) the first day drift boated with a guide to get some instruction and the rest by myself.
So.... time to buy my own stuff. I was so busy fishing I didn't pay too much attention to the gear. I know from participating in a few other forums that these are the places to get advice so what do I need in the way of a rod, line and pole? I don't want cheap stuff but I don't want to spend way more than needed either.
I was told to get at least a pole with a lifetime warranty and a reel thats machined/forged not cast.
Jeff, Welcome to the Forum. Be prepared. You are about to get an awful lot of advice from people on rods and reels. All good. But in the end, you should make sure you go cast a few and buy the one that feels right for you.
The questions people will want to know:
1. What type of fishing - species, river or lake, big rivers or small streams?
2. What is your price range - low to high?
I will get the ball rolling and let others chime in.
If you are going to be fishing average sized rivers for trout in the 12-16 inch range, then a 9 foot 5 weight rod will serve you well - very versatile. You could go for a 4 weight if you are also going to fish small creeks or a 6 weight if you are going to fish larger rivers or small warm water species.
If you want a rod with a GREAT warranty, good quality, and a low price - look at the Temple Fork Outfitters Professional II rods - $150 with a lifetime warranty. Another would be the Sage Approach - $295. I am not sure it is worth twice the price of the TFO because I haven't fished one. Good company with a good warranty.
For a fully machined reel, try the Allen Trout II or the Redington Rise - both retail for under $150.
There are many, many others. But I will let others get to that.
I'm not up to speed on all the current rods and reels so my advice would be to listen to those who are. The membership here can and will answer any question you could ask so please feel free to post away.
Wow fast replies thanks. The $150 rod / $150 reel is well within my price range. I don't think I'll be fishing anything much larger than the Snake river and 3 - 4 pound fish and likely will be doing river fishing in the Salt river here in AZ where the fish are under 1 pound so I'm thinking maybe going with the 4 weight that gcordray suggested.
I did notice their are a lot of choices as to reel capacity/sizes? I was using a 3" diameter reel last week and noticed that most of the line on the reel was reserve line for when the fish runs out the drag. What is the purpose of anything bigger?
Also what is the 3/4 5/6 7/8 that the reels show as ratings?
The 3/4 etc. relate to the line capacity of the reels (suggested) A 3 or 4 weight would fit well on the 3/4 reel.
When it comes to choosing between a 4 weight, a 5 weight, and so on always bear this in mind; it is easier to cast a large fly or to catch a smaller fish on a heavy rod like a 5 or 6 weight. However, it is not always easy to cast a large fly or catch a large fish on a 4 weight or smaller. The 5 or 6 weight will cast a small fly better than a 4 weight will cast a large streamer or weighted fly of any sort.
I trout fish with big Spey rods and enjoy catching fish as well as the next guy. Where the difference shows up is when I hook a big fish in heavy current. As long as my leader strength is up to it all I have to do is haul in the fish.
Fly fishing is a fickle thing, we begin saying that we will only be fishing at one venue and before we know it we own 13 rods and reels and fish everywhere. Better to have a heavier rod / line than a light one unless you truly are going to fish small creeks for the fish that live there.
Just to add what others have said in reply to The Different Markings/Reel Sizes.
Many of The Modern Reels have been made light in The Machining Process when manufactured,so on some of my Rods I use a Larger Reel than recomended (which doesn't affect the Balance),solely for the purpose of getting Line onto The Spool quickly when Fish are Hooked as I find it a pain winding like crazy to get The Line back on The Spool with The Smaller Reels.
Location: White City (tad north of Medford) Oar-E-Gone
Re: New member / new to fly fishing
Very good info above, but I'll toss in my .02 cents. For a first rod, get a 6wt with appropriate weight forward line. Reason I say a six is it's light enough for small fish, and heavy enough to handle fish in the 5-6 pound range even in moving water. The interesting choice is the rod action that 'fits your style.' There the only way you're going to find out is by casting a few. You also have a greater range of fly sizes (weighted and un-weighted) that can easily be tossed.
Drop a few bucks and get a casting lesson where the instructor will bring several rod (rod actions if you will) for you to try out. "One size does not fit all."
Lots of great advice so far. I wouldn't rule out looking for a nice combo at Cabel's or LL Bean. The gear is not always american made but you get nice deals with rods and reels priced much lower than comparable gear of bigger names. The temple fork rods do seem nice. I want a 2 or 3 weight one from them.
I like the more ultra lite feel. Were you into ultra lite spinning gear? I like 4 wt where many would like 5 wt
Many are particular about american made etc. price will be higher.