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  1. #1

    Default Beginners question

    Ok, so I've noodled around with fly fishing a few times over the years. A few years back I bought a pfleuger 8' 5/6# rod and reel combo. Now I've been taking learning this fly fishing thing more seriously and am wondering if I've got an appropriate rod to advance with. I'll mostly be going for smallies and sunnies in smaller creeks, and probably onto the Potomac/Shenandoah/Youghiogheny rivers a bit. My question is, have I under-equipped myself? If so I'd like to get the right stuff (if there is such a thing) before I develop any poor habits. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    On a trout stream/Suburban Pittsburgh
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Beginners question


    For the first couple of years I got into fly fishing I had a pretty similar setup, if not identical. To get your feet wet so to speak you're in good shape. That rod is probably right in the middle of what's most desirable for sunnies and smallies.

    If you're concerned about learning to do things right, it might make sense for you to hire a casting instructor or a guide for a day. If you want to get going on the right path, learn the right technique you can fish with anything. You'll learn more in one day than you might think possible if you've got the right guide. When you book one, let them know where you're at with your fly fishing journey and tell them what you're hoping to get out of the day. Of course people here on the forum can also help, so ask away.

    Eventually, you might want to add to your arsenal or update what you have but for now I'd put my money into instruction.
    ~*~Leave only your footprints~*~

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  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Holliston, MA, USA

    Default Re: Beginners question

    I think your set up should work just fine, until you start feeling like it can't do what you are trying to do. You can't develop any habits worse than those I picked up trying to teach myself to cast on an old 8' glass 6/7 wt Conolon that only had 5 guides on it!

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Northern California
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Beginners question

    Sooner or later you will get to a point where you will find the limitations of your current setup. Since you already have somewhat of a cast, go to a fly shop and cast a few rods. After trying some rods out, and you feel that a newer rod will help you expand your horizons, buy one.

    You really should take casting lessons. That will shorten your learning curve.


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  7. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Bloomington, IL

    Default Re: Beginners question

    I started fly fishing 40+ years ago. I had a similar outfit to what you have. I tried to teach myself to cast and I'm still paying the price for self instruction. It has nothing to do with equipment, it has everything to do with having someone who knows what they are doing help you learn to do it correctly. Actually, when I started to learn to spey cast, my single hand casting improved greatly.

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  9. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Southern California

    Default Re: Beginners question

    I tried to learn fly fishing on my own and quickly realized I was in over my head. I quickly booked a one-day lesson with an instructor, and walked away with the foundation I needed to move forward and begin enjoying the sport.

    It's been said by others, but I cannot over emphasize the suggestion that you invest in a lesson. It will change the game for you. I know it did for me.



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  11. #7
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Southeast Idaho

    Default Re: Beginners question

    Do you have any friends who fly fish ? Fishing with someone expierienced can really help.
    When I was first learning to cast, and thought I was doing OK, an older gent stood downstream and watched me for a while, slowly shaking his head. I guess he just could'nt stand it any more, and waded up to where I was beating the poor fly to an untimely death. In a soft voice, he politely asked if I would accept a pointer or two. Without waiting for an answer, he said to go ahead and cast again.
    As I began my back cast, this short, slim, older gent reached up and stopped my wrist in a vice like grip. It scared me out of about 2 years growth. He said, thats where you stop. Same story on the front cast. Things improved greatly in my casts. I thanked him sincerely, and he smiled and went back to his spot downstream and started fishing again like nothing happened.
    It's difficult to watch your own loop develop, etc. Hard to beat some coaching. Lessons or friends, a little help goes a long way. Learn the basics on the rod you have, and upgrade when you out grow it's limitations. You'll appriciate the upgraded equipment more, and will have a backup you are comfortable with.
    Last edited by siege; 06-30-2013 at 07:51 PM.

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  13. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Pinedale, WY
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Beginners question

    Amen to the advice the others have given. I just wish they were around to help me out back in the early 80's. Back then there wasn't any internet to learn from, no YouTube videos. I tried to learn from reading fly fishing magazines and was too dumb to hire an instructor for a couple hours to teach me the correct way to cast. That first year I beat the water to a froth and scared every fish within a mile. Do yourself a huge favor and take a fly casting lesson, you will be amazed at how your learning curve will improve.

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  15. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Alexandria, Va

    Default Re: Beginners question

    I recommend adding an 8wt to cast larger flies on the Potomac. I use a 6wt on the Shenandoah and have no problems but yesterday I did see a huge bass in the North Fork that would have schooled me. He was a monster and was the largest bass I ever saw. He just cruised below me and wouldn't take anything I had. If you're going to fish the Shenandoah prepare to hook into some monsters.

    As per your original question, a 6 and 8wt will allow you to fish a wide variety of water if you learn to cast properly. Otherwise you may struggle to throw larger streamers and pluggers. Good luck.

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