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  1. Default I received my Combo Kit in , now what?

    I bought and just received a 'Cheapo' Crystal River Fly fishing Combo Kit, looks like CTFT1 Rod, and a CR-650 Reel, in order to see if I am mature enough at 68, to handle the frustration of fishing with it, or not.
    The rod is an 8', and it says on it #6/7 Fly Line.
    So, is this supposed to tell me that I need to buy a #6/7 leader, say 9', and weight forward, or Double Taper, and #6/7 Tippit material?
    Are all #6/7 Tippit material about the same length, or should I look for a certain length?
    I've read where some people say you should have a separate spool for your reel with line that sinks, and I couldn't figure out if I could put a separate spool in this reel, so rather than that, I bought some kind of a wind-up reel, with no crank on e-bay (didn't realize it wasn't a crank type). But, do I need the Tippit Material to sink, or just the Leader to sink?
    Sorry to have so dang many questions. I'd love to ask all these questions to a local fish'n shop, instead of bothering y'all, if there was any, but.......
    Any help would be much appreciated.
    Another thing, has anyone ever fished any lakes or streams in the Carson National Forest, in Northern New Mexico, that could give me some tips on?
    Best Regards,
    Honest Charlie

  2. #2

    Default Re: I received my Combo Kit in , now what?

    Welcome to the forum Charlie - the 6/7 designation indicates the rod is made for a 6 wt double taper floating line (DT6F) or a 7 wt weight forward line (WF7F). As for buying a sinking don't really need to...If you are nymph fishing...use some splitshot or weight putty and you can get the line down where you need to. The reel without a crank you bought on ebay sounds to me like an automatic reel - they were popular alot of years ago...not so much now as they tend to break the tip guide off your rod. I would chalk that purchase up to the ebay gods. If you are just starting out...keep it simple...a good floating don't really need extra spools when you start out. By the way...the 6/7 wt rod is probably a bit much for Ruidoso and Cloudcroft (By the way is Rebecca still haunting the Inn at Cloudcroft?) I normally use a 4 wt when I am up in that part of the world.

  3. Default Re: I received my Combo Kit in , now what?

    Hi Charlie,

    Welcome to the forum.

    The #6/7 tells you the line size you will need for your reel either 6 wt or 7 wt. You are going to need backing on the reel, then line, then a leader and finally some tippet.

    Backing connects the line to the reel. Backing can be made of Dacron or Micron. most reels will take 50 yards of backing. A fly shop can help you select the right backing and amount.

    For a beginner there are really 2 line type to consider, weight forward, WF, and double taper, DT. WF has most of the lines weight in the first 25' feet and then tapers off for another 40'. DT weight on 2 tapered ends. Each casts different. I still prefer WF over DT line. To start get floating line. You can also use split shot to get your nymph down to the bottom.

    Leader lengths come in 7.5', 9', 12' and 15'. I started out using 9' leaders. I usually use 5x-7x leader for trout. There is a good thread by Frank Whiton in FAQ > Fly Fishing Gear section and an excerpt from a Left Kreh book about leader in Fly Fishing Articles > Everything Else.

    Frank has a great thread on tippet size in the FAQ > Fly Fishing Gear section.

    I use RIO line, leader and tippet with good results. Scientific Angler and Cortland are both highly regarded brands.

    Good luck.


  4. Default Re: I received my Combo Kit in , now what?

    Hey Thanks guys.
    So, I need backing, then line, and then leader, huh? ..........Jeez, this is sure get'n complicated.
    There are no Tackle Shops in this Rinky-Dink little town except for Wally Martinez (Wal-Mart), so I'm kinda handicapped what brand I can expect to find, and expert help, or really any kind of help there, is 'nil'.
    Thanks for the info on not needing sinking line, just use weights, or another spool or reel. Cool! That will sure make my wife happy.
    We just got over that flood here, from the aftermath of Hurricane Dolly, so all the lakes and streams are out of their banks, muddy, and have trees in 'em, so I'm going to Carson National Forest, in Northern N.M. for my first adventure Fly Fishing. Planning on going the first of September.
    So, would I need #6 Backing, #6 line, and #6 12' leader, or what do you suggest in the size of, backing, line, and leader so I can look for 'em on e-bay?
    Thanks again for your help. Very much!
    Honest Charlie

  5. #5

    Default Re: I received my Combo Kit in , now what?

    Your backing would be 20 lb...the line - I would recommend WF6F...leader and tippet size depends on what size flies you are using....take the fly size and divide by 3 and you will have you leader size. i.e size 18 fly divided by 3 =
    #6 leader; #12 fly divided by 3 = #4 leader. For where you are fishing...get a #4 and #5 leader and some #4,5 and 6 tippit and you should be able to cover just about everything. Most of my fishing I use a #4 leader and tie lighter tippit on depending on what fly I use.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: I received my Combo Kit in , now what?

    Honest Charlie,

    This whole thing probably sounds like we're speaking mandarin but:

    Backing goes on the reel first. You'd want 20lb Dacron or Micron. I don't know how much backing your reel will take, plus room for fly line, but it should take at least 50 yards so put on that much. It's usually sold in 100 yd spools for about $7

    Fly line: As other folks have mentioned, fly line comes in different weights (6, 7 etc), tapers (double taper, weight forward) and densities (floating, sinking, sink tip etc.) You want to match the weight and taper to the rod you've got and the density to the type of fishing you'll be doing. A floater would be the best all around choice. The weight and taper are designed to load the rod when casting. Since the fly doesn't weigh anything, it just goes along for the ride. Your rod is rated 6/7. This means either a 6 double taper, or a 7 weight forward would likely be the best choice for easiest casting. No need to get a $70 line, but getting a decent fly $25-30 line would be good. Here are some to look for:

    Scientific Anglers Air Cel Species Specific Trout (sold as “6/7 weight”) floating $25
    Scientific Anglers Air Cel Supreme 2 (in a 7 weight forward taper or a 6 double taper) floating reg $40 but you can find it on sale for $30
    Cortland 333+ 6 double taper or 7 weight forward floating $30

    Leaders are tapered in diameter so that they are able to transfer energy from the fly line down the leader to the fly when you cast. The taper allows the leader to extend out past the fly line when it lands. If it wasn't tapered the fly would just collapse in a pile of leader at the end of your fly line. They have a heavy butt section where they attach to the fly line, and taper down thinner and thinner to the end where you can attach a fly, or a short (24" length) section of tippet. You'd want a 9 foot long, tapered, knotless leader that tapered down to 4X. The "X" refers to the diameter (not the pound test like regular fishing line, or weight like fly line). Look for ones from RIO, Umpqua, Climax. They'll run $3-4. You'll also want to add tippet. If you don't, and just tie the fly to the leader, every time you change flies, you'll be nipping off the tapered leader and moving up to thicker and thicker stuff.

    Tippet- This is flexible, limp mono that you add to the end of your leader. As Wtex pointed out, you add a short section to the end of your leader, and you pick the diameter, or "X" size tippet based on the size of the fly. Higher numbers X = thinner diameter tippet. Small flies get thin tippet, larger flies get thicker tippet. For trout, your flies will probably be a mix of different sizes from small 18 dries, medium size 16-12 dries, wet flies and nymphs, to larger size 10-8 dries, streamers and weighted wooly buggers. So you'd probably want to add some spools of 30 yard tippet in 6X, 5X, 4X, and 3X at about $3-4 each to cover all the different sizes. Look for names like RIO, Climax, Umpqua.

    As for help in that area, it's been years, but you could check at the RV Campground or Western Auto in Ruidoso. They sell , or at least used to sell fishing licenses, and may have some fly tackle, know where you can get some, or know someone that fly fishes.

    If there is no one local that can help, you might also consider buying online from a fly shop instead of sight unseen on ebay. That way they might even be able to talk you thru some of the purchase, and you'd be able to get it all in one shot. You might even be able to talk them into attaching the backing to the end of the fly line and the leader to the front of the fly line. All you'd have to do after that would be to tie the backing to the reel and wind it all up.

    If there's a local library any where around they might have an intro book on fly fishing, or you could order one online from Amazon. LL Bean and Orvis both have good FF intro guides and those Idiot/Dummy books on Fly Fishing are all pretty good and inexpensive.

    There are also a ton of on-line resources if you do the google thing on "beginning fly fishing 101" and folks on this board are very helpful, so ask away as questions come up, and browse some past threads.

    Good luck!


  7. #7

    Default Re: I received my Combo Kit in , now what?

    You should already have a fly line

    I googled the crystal river combo kit, and this is what it is supposed to include:

    3-piece 8 foot fly rod
    #6/7 weight rod and reel
    Emerald Green E-glass blank
    Eva foam grip
    Graphite reel seat w/Stainless hoods
    Aluminum oxide stripper guide
    Graphite Body
    Fly line, leader, and flies included
    Right hand retrieve reel
    Built-in Hook keeper
    Instructions for tying five basic fishing knots and general fly fishing

  8. Default Re: I received my Combo Kit in , now what?

    Yep, I received a bit of line and leader in the package, so I spose I just need some 'backing', and patience, huh? I can buy backing but can't buy the other.
    We just got back about two weeks ago from tent camping in the Grand Mesa Lakes area of your state of Colorado. Beautiful Beautiful country, but, Billions upon Billions of mosquitoes. Caught our limit every day of nice trout on spinning gear and worms. Saw quite a few guys Fly Fishing, but they weren't catching any trout like we were, but they were right out in the sun casting out into the middle of the lakes instead of into the shade. Maybe this is the right way to Fly Fish, but won't be the way I do it.
    Thanks for all you Guy's help.

  9. Default Re: I received my Combo Kit in , now what?

    When I first got into fly fishing I got the book "Fly Fishing for Dummies." It is a basic book but it helped explain alot. I would recommend it for you since you are just getting started.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: I received my Combo Kit in , now what?

    Charlie- good to hear it came with fly line and tippet. It should have backing too, no? it should be the braided dacron stuff....

    to rig it all up, go to the fishing knots section of Animated Knots by Grog

    Arbor knot to attach backing to fly reel

    Albright knot to attach backing to the thinner back end of fly line, and butt (heavy section) of leader to the thicker front section of fly line.

    Blood knot or double surgeons to attach tippet to front of leader

    Improved Clinch to attach tippet to fly

    If you want to practice some, just attach a bit of yarn about the size of a pea to the end of your tippet If you don't have tippet you can add a short 2' section of 6lb mono, or tie to the end of your leader for now. Try to do it on grass if you have any out there so you don't scuff up your fly line on pavement or rocks.

    Good luck.


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