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Thread: Recommended Beginner Setup?

  1. #1

    Default Recommended Beginner Setup?

    I'm curious about what's a recommended beginner's set-up (generic suggestions please, name brands don't matter)?

    Eg:

    • Rod - Length and weight?
    • Line - Weight forward, Double Taper...?
    • Reel - Weight to match rod I assume.
    • Leader - Tapered or straight?


    For now, let's assume midrange gear, no low-end bargain basement but no high end items either. Also, for this purpose, assume fish range will be fresh water ranging from pan size to 3-4 lb.

    I was discussing this with dad this weekend, and while he's much more experienced than I, our opinions have significant differences and I beg to the experts for their opinions.

    Thanks in advance.

    Jamie

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    4,019

    Default Re: Recommended Beginner Setup?

    Jamie-

    It'll vary a bit depending on what you're chasing (and the fly sizes you'll be using) as well as the waters you'll be fishing. It sounds like your dad has a pretty good idea of what works for him. It's easy to find stuff on the web that says "get this and this and not that", but a good policy when starting out is to defer to local expertise---- so listen to your dad

    But in general to answer your question...

    Length- most folks would probably opt for a rod 8 1/2 to 9 feet long. This will help keep line off the water when wading and help with "mending" line to get a drag free drift in moving water (very important for presenting flies to fish). If you fish mostly small streams a shorter rod might be easier to swing around in brush-- but that would be more of a specialty situation.

    Line Weight- A good all around rod for most trout fishing would be a rod designed to throw a 5 weight line. It'll comfortably cast most commonly used trout flies ranging from nymphs, wets, dries and streamers, and would still be light enough to be fun with panfish and could handle small bass too. But if you'll be throwing a lot of big trout streamers and heavily weighted flies like clousers for smallmouth, or wind resistant stuff like poppers, a 6 weight might be a better choice to give you a bit more oomph. Lighter weight fly rods can be fun for panfish and small fish but they tend to be less versatile and more limited in their ability to cast larger flies. For a first fly rod, personally i wouldn't recommend anything lighter than a 5 weight for most folks.

    Fly Line- a weight forward floating fly line for the rated weight of your fly rod would be probably be the most useful for most of your fishing. A weight forward line would be a good choice.

    Reel- For most types of fishing if you want to save money somewhere it would make sense to save it on the reel. Lots of decent inexpensive reels out there. Look for one that will hold your weight forward fly line and somewhere between 50 and 100 yds of 20 lb Dacron or Micron backing.

    Leader- to start out with a floating line, and for fishing a variety of stuff like nymphs, wets, and dries and a few streamers once in awhile, I would use a tapered knotless leader about as long as your rod (9' long) and add a short section (about 2 1/2') of tippet (untapered mono). There are a few threads in the FAQ section that help explain how to select a leader and tippet (it depends a bit on fly size). Most folks that fish a lot for trout will have carry a few spools of tippet in different sizes.

    The good news is that there's a lot of very good gear out there even for folks with modest budgets.

    Hope this helps-- I'm sure other folks will weigh in.
    Mark

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Recommended Beginner Setup?

    Peregrines nailed it!

    MP

  4. Default Re: Recommended Beginner Setup?

    Quote Originally Posted by MoscaPescador View Post
    Peregrines nailed it!

    MP
    why do u do that?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Central Florida
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    Default Re: Recommended Beginner Setup?

    flories wrote: "why do u do that?"


    Hi flories81,

    I don't understand your comment. What are you asking? Sometimes I am a little slow.

    Frank

  6. #6

    Default Re: Recommended Beginner Setup?

    Quote Originally Posted by peregrines View Post
    Jamie-

    It'll vary a bit depending on what you're chasing (and the fly sizes you'll be using) as well as the waters you'll be fishing. It sounds like your dad has a pretty good idea of what works for him. It's easy to find stuff on the web that says "get this and this and not that", but a good policy when starting out is to defer to local expertise---- so listen to your dad >>>>SNIP
    Thank you kindly for taking the time to put so much info in your post. I appreciate it.

    Basically, your list of equipment echoed my "beginner newbie" thoughts, except for the WF Line.

    OK, a little background now that there's a solid answer posted:

    Dad fished mostly for salmon. However, his "frugal" attitude is that there's no reason you can't use the same set up for pan size trout as you do for river run salmon. Right now, I have an 8 ft 5 wt Streamside rod, with an Okuma reel, loaded with Dacron backing and a Double Taper line. There's a knotless tapered leader tied to this.

    Now, this is a set up suggested by the shop where I bought it a couple of weeks ago. Had I known what I know now, I would have asked for a 9' rod as I've read they're easier for beginners to cast with.

    Right now, my fishing activities will include what I stated above, trout from pan size to 3 lb (no bass in this area of the world) so except for the length of the rod is the only thing I would have changed, from what I've read so far, and maybe the line type as you noted.

    Dad's opinion, is I should have gone for a heavier set up in the beginning so I could comfortably fish for everything from 6" trout to 8-10 lb salmon. From what I've experienced so far, with light gear (as I have) it's fun catching small trout on light action, but I think caching those (most of my fishing activities) wouldn't be nearly as exciting as catching them on a rod set up for salmon. That being said, he says there's no reason I couldn't catch 8-10 lb salmon on the set up I currently have.

    My opinion as stated to him was starting with light gear (as I have) and learn the craft, and then move up to heavier gear for salmon.

    His response was "Nahhhhhhhhhhhhhh, that's B*** S***".

    So, to end my rambling, thank you again for your response, and in my opinion, you proved me right.

    Jamie.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Recommended Beginner Setup?

    Quote Originally Posted by jamieof View Post
    From what I've experienced so far, with light gear (as I have) it's fun catching small trout on light action, but I think caching those (most of my fishing activities) wouldn't be nearly as exciting as catching them on a rod set up for salmon.
    Exactly right.

    Quote Originally Posted by jamieof View Post
    That being said, he says there's no reason I couldn't catch 8-10 lb salmon on the set up I currently have.
    Eh, kinda depends on the current.

    Have fun with it!
    http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-..._1276302_n.jpg

    I'd rather hunt fish than bait deer any day.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Recommended Beginner Setup?

    Hi Jamie,
    My grandfather was cheap as hell, and it drove me nuts. Rather than buy live worms, he bought the cheapest plastic worms possible. These things were stiff as a plank, and weren't the plastic worms you'd usually see people fish with. I'm "frugal", but there comes a time when you have to break down and get two rods. I'd have chosen the smaller rod as you did, and a heavier rod can be found for very little money. Pulling a little trout in on an 8/9wt rod wouldn't be much fun, and who wants to swing a big pole all the time? Actually, you'd look like a nut fishing for small panfish with a mega rod!

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