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shotgunlew 11-18-2013 12:04 PM

First Fly Rod..
Hello Guys, I am new to the sport of fly fishing but I have been fishing my entire life. I am looking for some suggestions on a first fly rod. The species I will be targeting will be Smallies, Largemouth and Steelhead. I know these fish vary in size... So I was thinking a 8 weight 9 foot rod ( The Cabela's RLS that is currently on sale )...How would this be for a first rod?

fishers_fisherman 11-18-2013 01:45 PM

Re: First Fly Rod..
Been looking at that one myself, all the reviews seem great but have never had the chance to cast one. If you have opportunity to do so you should probably try out a few different rods before purchasing, see what feels right in your hand. The Reddington Pursuit combo would be another one to look at, I've got it in a 6wt and have really enjoyed it.

ejsell 11-18-2013 06:10 PM

Re: First Fly Rod..
I haven't used those rods but an 8wt. will be overkill on bass if you are looking for a good fight. I personally use a 5 wt. and 6 wt. for bass and carp and have an 8wt. for steelhead and salmon. A lot of steelhead alley guys use 6 and 7wt. rods for steelhead. When I got my 8 wt. I tried it out in my local river and didn't realize I had a smallie on until he went sailing by me on my back cast. Granted he was pretty small but even for a larger one there isn't much fight on my 8wt. Good luck and try them out first if you can.

king joe 11-19-2013 10:51 AM

Re: First Fly Rod..
Hey shotgunlew

I'm a Great Lakes fisher as well (Canada side) and started fishing all species here with a 9' 7wt...'cause that's how I roll (hah). I did use different lines for different species and/or fishing styles though.

I do have a range of rods/reels/lines now so am not stuck on 'A' rod. That said, for dumb bass..... 9' - 5, 6 or 7 wt (for casting bigger bugs, not because the fish are big).

For steels...I wield either my 10' 7 wt or 11' 7wt switch...and soon ('soon' being a relative comment)....I will add to my arsenal, my 13' 7wt/510-540gr Scandi spey which I am building.

Long story short....7wt is all you will need....over sized for bass....about right for the majority of great lake steel.

My 2 cents added.

King Joe Outa Here!

rockriver 11-20-2013 09:51 AM

Re: First Fly Rod..
Tough choice since if your going for Steelhead, I think you'll eventually start after Salmon which make me think, if one rod is going to be it, I'd go for the 8 weight. It's on the heavy side for the bass fishing. Good luck.

jfaisten 11-20-2013 12:02 PM

Re: First Fly Rod..
If I was going to fish smallies and large mouth more often I think I'd go with a 7wt. If steelhead are the main target -- 8wt for me. I just got an 8wt and while I was in the market i looked on Craigslist and found a couple nice used rods. I'm not a big supporter of Craigslist but the couple guys I talked to were more than willing to let me cast the rod and share information. Might be a good alternative to Cabelas.
Good luck

pszy22 11-22-2013 07:18 AM

Re: First Fly Rod..
I personally think an 8 weight is a bit of overkill even for steelhead.

I think you'd be happier with a 7 wt, maybe even a 6 wt.

A couple things to ask yourself, where and for what are you going to be fishing for the most. Get a rod to match up with where you will be spending the majority of your time.

I think you are better off to get a rod that covers the majority of your fishing, and that may be slightly less than optimal for the occasional alternate trip.

One thing to remember, at least for me, it is much more pleasant to fish a lighter weight rod all day than it is to fish a heavier rod.

fredaevans 11-22-2013 08:54 AM

Re: First Fly Rod..
I'm in agreement that an 8wt is probably 'over-kill' for any of the fish listed. The exception to that would be water driven. Big water/big current usually requires a bit heavier a rod.

itchmesir 11-22-2013 09:18 AM

Re: First Fly Rod..
I think it really depends on the kind of water you're fishing for bass in... If it's heavily weeded and full of pads... 8wt will be perfect for casting frogs into thick cover that bass love

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