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  1. Default Line wt/rod/reel setup advice

    I've been fly fishing for a couple years; only rod is a St Croix Avid 5 wt which I use mainly for trout and panfish. I'd like to expand into northern pike/muskies/steelhead/salmon. I have close access to a good pike/musky lake, but it's several hours to the steelhead/salmon fisheries, so the setup should be aimed more at pike/muskies (and big carp, too).
    What line weight would you folks suggest? I'm thinking 9 or 10...that 9 would be a good compromise, but leaning towards a 10 with the logic that you can cast a smaller fly with a heavier weight rod, but trying to launch a big musky fly with insufficient rod ain't fun.
    Budgets are tight...so what's the minimum you think I could spend to put together a serviceable rig? I know I got away with scrimping on the 5 wt reel, but I'm afraid I'll have to toss some serious cash to get a reel capable of tussling with large pike and/or salmon.
    I'd be thankful for any advice you can offer, thanks.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Line wt/rod/reel setup advice

    I'd recommend checking craigslist for a used 10wt to cover all your bases. I picked up a hand built rod with a Loomis GL3 8wt blank for $50 for steelheading and it's served me well (nailed a chromer my first time out with it). Reels can be had for very cheap as well. I'm using a 30 year old SA reel and it works fine. You can pick up basically any reel with enough line capacity and just palm it. Expensive reels are over-rated and line capacity is more important than drag IMO. I enjoy having a nice looking and feeling piece of equipment as the next guy, but when your on a budget... I bet you could easily get a nice setup for under $100 with line.

  3. Thumbs up Re: Line wt/rod/reel setup advice

    Quote Originally Posted by oregonism View Post
    Reels can be had for very cheap as well. I'm using a 30 year old SA reel and it works fine. You can pick up basically any reel with enough line capacity and just palm it. Expensive reels are over-rated and line capacity is more important than drag IMO.
    I agree you can find a lot of nice inexpensive rods on the market today.

    When it comes to the reel I have to disagree with "oregonism".

    When fishing small species with lighter rods (3-4-5wt.) I find the reels main job is to store line. When I'm fishing steelhead I've had them rip off 90' of fly line and into the backing in about 10 sec.. When this happens I can assure you the reel and drag are pretty important. I spent twice as much on my reel as my rod.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Line wt/rod/reel setup advice

    There's a very interesting thread going over on another forum where a question was posed to 'pioneer' saltwater fly fishermen about the equipment that they used back in the day. (late '50s, early '60s)
    Every single person that responded said for a reel they used the Pflueger Medalist. One gentleman, who was an early member of the Saltwater Flyrodders of America went on to say that everyone in the club at least started with a Medalist even though they knew that there were 'better' reels available.
    This was of great interest to me as I also started (15 or so years later) in saltwater using a Medalist, and I used them 18 years before I got my first disc drag reel.
    Last edited by Rip Tide; 03-01-2010 at 07:51 AM.
    The simpler the outfit, the more skill it takes to manage it, and the more pleasure one gets in his achievements. --- Horace Kephart

  5. Default Re: Line wt/rod/reel setup advice

    Quote Originally Posted by wi_fly View Post
    so the setup should be aimed more at pike/muskies (and big carp, too).
    I can not address the pike/muskies situation but as to the carp a 9 wt plus rod is way too big. We guide for carp and the largest rod we suggest for our new clients is an 8wt and that is mainly to help fight the wind we sometimes get. My go to rod for carp is a 6wt and we like to play them on a 4wt when we are out on our own. WF floating line is fine and backing is important. A good reel with disc drag is nice. Going inexpensive is one thing. But if you plan to fish for many years it is sometimes nice to bite the bullet, get a nice set of gear you will enjoy and be able to keep it for many years in good working order.
    Capt. Sodie
    FlatsLander Guide Service
    Kansas Fly Fishing for Carp

  6. Default Re: Line wt/rod/reel setup advice

    I may be a little late with this post, but thought I would throw out a couple suggestions for you and who ever else reads this post. First of all, good choice on the St. Croix Avid. I have a 4 wt and it is a great rod. For musky pike salmon steel head carp, I would suggest picking out a rod that is designed for the upper end of fish you are targeting. I would rather have too much rod than not enough, if nothing else then for the fish's sake. I think either a 9 or 10 wt will be a good choice, but I would suggest a saltwater style rod. In other words, a fast action rod. They are stiffer and will provide plenty of backbone to launch big flies in the wind. You should beable to pick up a nice rod for $250-$350 that will do what you need. I suggest a 4 piece for traveling purposes and definetly a rod that comes with a lifetime warranty which is something you will get with almost any manufactures when you spend $300 plus on a rod.

    Rather than me going on and on about rods, reels, lines, ect, Check out this sight for good info on rods, reels, lines, ect: www.OnlineFlyFishingGuide.com

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