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Thread: gear quality ?

  1. #1

    Default gear quality ?

    Hello all

    Let me start by saying I appreciate all the people and valuable information on this sight. And that I am a beginner fly fisherman so there is allot about this sport I don't know or understand yet.


    I was at my local fly shop the other day hanging out when the conversation turned to fly gear. Knowing that I was a beginner, I was asked what I had for fly rods.I told him I had an okuma SLV 8 weight rod with matching reel and a 20 year old Shakespeare sigma 5 weight with a ebay chi-tian reel. He says, thats so so beginner gear and that I'm going to want to upgrade. And starts naming off a bunch or high end rigs costing hundreds if not thousands of dollars that I would need.

    Mind you I'm secure and content with my gear at this point in my fly fishing journey. Except that I wouldn't mind a short 2 or 3 weight for chasing brookies in the high mountains. And I have no problems with guys that have top of the line gear. For me its a matter of means and obligations. So thats not what this post is about.

    But the way it was put to me sounded like you could never be really good with out high end Equipment.

    It just seems like in todays society there is so much emphasis put on keeping up with the other guy or having the latest and greatest. Its hard to sort out what is really necessary and whats not.

    Sooo, My question.
    Do you guys feel that the quality of your gear has allot to do with your progression as fly fishermen and women? Or is it more important to master the equipment you do have and become proficient with it?

    Keep in mind there is allot I don't know about fly fishing or the mechanics of fly fishing. And I am curious what others thoughts about this are.
    Casey


    Meep....Meep.

  2. #2

    Default Re: gear quality ?

    I think that this guys "advise" to you was one of the main plagues that drives people away from fly fishing or from even trying it.

    A thousand dollar rod isn't going to make any beginner or intermediate caster any better than a hundred dollar rod will. Worry less about high end gear and more on casting mechanics and principles.

    A novice carpenter won't be a better carpenter than another novice carpenter because one has a Dewalt drill instead of a Craftsman drill. It's the knowledge of building practices and form that separates them.

    Once you become absolutely proficient in fly fishing then you may have the ability to truly appreciate the fine details of that higher end equipment. Then again, once you become that good, you should be able to take cheap equipment and make it look good to a lesser fly fisherman.

    Time to start shopping elsewhere
    Less likey, more green dots
    BrookFieldAngler.com

  3. #3

    Default Re: gear quality ?

    With fly fishing gear, there is a quality curve. What I mean by that is, you get a pretty good setup for $100 or so, but if you spend $200, yes its better, but there are diminishing returns.

    The trick for a beginner is finding the right value point. The BPS combos are pretty good in this regard, as are some of the lower end TFO and Ross outfits. My best rod is a Ross Essence 5 wt, and I couldn't be happier.

    But you really don't even need that. I learned on a pfluegner graphite 5/6 wt from walmart, might have cost $40 in 2000. And rods have come a long way since then. For instance, the BPS Bugger rods if you can find them arent bad at all and they cost $20.

    If I were you, I would not let others tell you to upgrade. Be happy with what you have. Now, say you want that 3 wt...this is a good time to see if you are ready for a little more expensive line of gear...get a 3 wt, and see if you can really tell a difference in quality. Over the years, you will sorta just retire a rig 1 at a time, and replace with a little better...thats how most of us do it I think.

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  5. #4
    turbineblade Guest

    Default Re: gear quality ?

    Ditto - I have a bass pro 6 weight (about $100) that I love, and it catches plenty of fish. I never have felt like I needed a more expensive rod when I'm on the water....ever.

    I often feel like I need to practice my casting, presentation, change up my leader and flies, etc. .

  6. #5
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    Default Re: gear quality ?

    Quote Originally Posted by rogue runner View Post
    Do you guys feel that the quality of your gear has allot to do with your progression as fly fishermen and women? Or is it more important to master the equipment you do have and become proficient with it?
    If a beginner should pay top dollar for anything it would be lines that match up well with his rods and casting stroke. There are tons of guys still fishing $75 rods and $35 reels getting perfectly good service from them....but crappy lines can ruin your day.

    There is no need to keep up with anyone except yourself and your needs.

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  8. #6
    Join Date
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    Default Re: gear quality ?

    Some 'high-end' equipment is so 'high-end' that the novice or lower-intermediate user can't exploit what it is that makes that equipment 'high-end'.

    This is true of fly fishing equipment, cameras, or automobiles, to name some. A lot of 'improvements' are just marketing hype and don't contribute in any real way to the utility of the tool.

    As your skills increase and you find your current equipment lacking in a way you can notice, move up as your requirements (and wallet) allow.

    Most of all, have fun doing it and don't get talked into something that makes you feel uncomfortable (or ripped off).

  9. #7

    Default Re: gear quality ?

    When I first started fly fishing, both my wife and I began together so I needed 2 of everything. I spent most of my money on a weekend Fenwick Gary Borger fly fishing school. They used the latest Fenwick HMG fly rods.

    So I made two fly rods out of Fenwick HMG blanks and I bought two Berkeley Graphite fly reels and the best Scientific Anglers fly line. We fished with those outfits for over 10 years.

    I was still using that outfit when I was on Flyfish@ and when I was asked to write the fly fishing FAQs for that site.

    I then met some Flyfish@ members on the Green River. Every one of them had "better" equipment than I had. One person asked to see my equipment and was surprised that I was still using a Berkeley fly reel. From my fly fishing posts, he expected that I had all high end tackle.

    Now I do have great equipment, but I learned and improved on less than the best.

    So I think you should use what you can afford and enjoy it. When you switch to better equipment, switch because you can afford it. Buy used tackle or tackle on sale. If I were to recommend what is most important, I would say fly line and leader. Then the fly rod, unless you are fishing for big fish or salt water fish, when a very good reel is important.
    Regards,

    Silver



    "Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought"..........Szent-Gyorgy

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  11. #8
    Join Date
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    Default Re: gear quality ?

    All my casting has been self taught from written instruction. My first rod was a 7wt composite Shakespeare combo with a plastic reel. It cost $21.00 at the drug store. I really believe it set my casting back a couple of years. It was very hard to load. So, yes, IMO, you can learn faster and fish better with better gear. BUT... once the gear is at least functional the difference is minimal.

    "Every [child] has the right to a first fish. On this particular planet, no man is granted a greater privilege than to be present and to assist in the realization of this moment". Bill Heavey

  12. #9

    Default Re: gear quality ?

    One other thing I should have mentioned...a lot of the difference in price between outfits is for aesthetic value. Basically more attractive wrappings, reel seat, stuff like that. That stuff is only important if YOU think it is.

  13. Default Re: gear quality ?

    I'm new to fly fishing as well and have a lot to learn. My dad passed down to me two Sage rods. I still use them but found that I like my TFO and Redington rods much better. It's all what works for you! It's all about enjoying the outdoors and having fun!

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