Best starter rod outfit

Which starter outfit would you choose on a budget?


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turbineblade

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Any fly rod combo that costs more than $100 will work just fine -- it's your casting and presentation that make all the difference. :)

Don't worry too much about it -- just practice a lot with whatever you get.
 

kglissmeyer1

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Well, I'm sure many would disagree, but I have bought three of these combos for family who were just starting. The Cabela's Cahill combo, which is on sale right now for $39.99 is the best setup out there for the money. Most of you know that I've been doing this fly fishing thing for a lot of years, so I wouldn't intentionally lead you astray. The question was what do we think is the best "starter" outfit. The challenge exists that the person we supply with the outfit just may not pursue it after a few times out, so why spend a lot only to find it was a waste of time and money.

The Cahill outfit has a functional reel and a pretty decent rod. For 40 bucks plus shipping you can't really go wrong. I actually have one of these as an emergency backup rod as I truly like the action of this rod.

Here is the link: Cabela's Cahill Fly Rod and Reel Outfit : Cabela's

Kelly.
 

nir

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I started with a 17$ scientific angler rod + reel combo. I had tons of fun and the kit still works just fine.

If you are starting out, no need to break the bank. Even a used set-up would work great. If you end up getting bit by the fly fishing bug, you'll probably end up with 5 different outfit in a year anyway... (yes that's what I did... :wink: )
 

factor

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I would absolutely recommend purchasing something from LL Bean when you're looking at lower priced starter outfits. If, for whatever reason, it doesn't last as it should-or you aren't happy with anything purchased there- you can return it with no time limit.
 

cowboymi

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I'd go for LL Bean also. When I first started fly fishing 30 years ago and (my fault) broke the tip section on my only fly rod an Angler. I sent and wrote LL Bean to get it repaired telling them it was my fault and they sent it back (or another one, I couldn't tell) repaired for free.
 

clsmith131

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I said other, because people new to fly fishing, WILL fall in love, and naturally want some higher quality gear. My starter was a used Winston BII mx 8wt I bought for $200, and an echo ION reel I bought off a friend for $50. I now have 6 fly rods, the old Winston is still probably my favorite for striper. I only keep the ION reel as a spare, as I enjoy fishing with my other reels that are a little nicer, but it never failed me. Anyway, I have a problem buying gear that you know you will want to replace. Also, I believe a quality rod today will be a quality rod for life with proper care. My advise, and I'm no expert, look for deals on used rods and reels in good condition. That's mostly what I buy, and have started to put together a collection that, might not be the latest and greatest, but is full of tried and true, quality stuff, for often less than half of original retail. And buying used, they have already depreciated in value, so if you don't love it, you can resell for what you paid. Bare in mind, you don't get the benefit of the warranty in most cases, but if you do your research before buying, and take care of your stuff, you shouldn't need the warranty, especially for a reel. The rods are a bit of a gamble, but a lot of manufacturers have pretty good repair programs.
 

clouserguyky

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I started with the Redington Pursuit. It was awesome. Wish I still had it. I broke an eyelet and sent it in for repair and they sent back the new Path. Never liked it as much, even though they said it was the same blank. I never thought it felt similar at all. The Path seemed much softer. It landed some nice fish for me, but I liked the Pursuit better.


Another great option to start off with is the TFO Pro. II. Just no outfits available. But just snag a Ross Eddy and a Rio Avid line and you're rolling for a starter outfit.
 

Blackstonefly

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I would recommend a New Fenwick Aetos in a 9'5 wt Just a great rod for less than $189 as far as a reel and flyline I could recommend a 5 weight S/A Frequency Boost line and just get a reel that fits your needs and something you like the feel and looks of.. As stated by many it will just be holding your flyline and drag system can be light to medium... Mike
 

jc10

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As a newbie to fly fishing, of course I read this thread with much interest and am very surprised Orvis is not mentioned. Does anyone have an opinion about why Orvis is not recommended?
 

silver creek

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If you were starting from scratch and looking for an outfit on a budget which would it be?

Feel free to write in something not on the list if you feel it is a better on a budget. Price point goal is no more than $300 FYI....
Rather than a best fishing rod recommendation from users who have their own rod bias based on their personal preferences, what is more important for a beginner is the best rod action and rod length in general for learning both to fly cast and to fly fish. The reason is that what the beginner needs is a rod which is the easiest rod with which to learn how to cast and fish for MOST users.

Unfortunately, there are contrary theories on what rod action is best for the beginners.

Jerry Seim, the Sage rod designer, believes that fast action rods are the best rods for teaching casting. He writes:

“We’re building long, tapered springs here,” he said. “Most people around the world are better casters. When it comes to improving somebody with marginal casting skills, that person is better off with a fast action that loads and unloads quickly. This theory permeates across the entire rod system.”

Siem continues to mentally photograph the general public’s casting weaknesses.

A new angler hasn’t developed a good, consistent casting stroke,” he said. “This is on display everywhere because the majority of modern strike indicator and beadhead nymph fishing doesn’t produce any casting skill. All people do is give their rods a little punch. Thus they can honestly say, ‘I caught 12 fish today,’ but they’re really only backing into fly-fishing.”


Siem’s shadow casts tune Sage’s rod lines | Sports Extras | jhnewsandguide.com


The opposite view is that everything happens faster with a fast action fly rod and the rod stroke for 30 foot casts is so short that a beginner cannot feel the rod bend. This is why for the shorter casts in the fly rod accuracy competitions, the class competitors do not use fast action fly rods. Things happen so fast that even the experts have trouble "feeling" a fast action rod.

See this post:

https://www.theflyfishingforum.com/...s-does-one-really-need-cast-3.html#post870187


Kirt Deeter believes that slower action rods are best for beginners.

”I've often thought that fast rods, while wonderful in many ways (and I prefer them myself now) can be a crutch that covers up casting flaws. In my opinion, it's important to develop a feel for the cast, and instill a natural sense of timing and tempo, especially with younger anglers. You can build up to fast rods once you have that feel. Slower is better for starters. I often dedicate days on the water to fishing with slower, softer rods, just to polish my own casting during the season. “

Consent Form | Field & Stream


Then you have this opinion by Backcountry Chronicles.

” Simply stated, a fast action rod is stiffer than a slow action. A fast rod bends only about a third of the way to the tip, while a slow rod will bend almost all the way to the butt. An intermediate speed rod should bend about halfway. So, how does this affect casting or playing fish?

A rod that generates fast line speeds requires good timing to cast properly, which means fast action rods are difficult for beginners to use, because everything happens fast.

…. if line speeds are slower, the timing is more forgiving, which means medium action rods are easier for beginners to use.

Slow or Classic action rods are not powerful at all and they load and unload slowly. They are good for delicate casts because they generate slow lines speeds. This makes them very forgiving and are easiest for beginners to use because it is easier to time the cast and to control the line.

Best Fly Rod for Beginners - Fly Rod Action Explained


So what is one to do? We have conflicting views. No wonder beginners are confused. Even worse is when I see a new fly fisher show up in a beginners class with w 7.5 foot 3 wt fly rod that was sold to them by a fly shop. This has happened to me in my beginning fly fishing/casting class last year. There should be a special place in H*LL for that salesperson.

I agree with Jerry Seim that softer slower action fly rods require longer stroke lengths and smoother power application since an irregular acceleration, either too much or too little, causes a relatively greater deviation from the SLP (Straight Line Path) in a slower rod than a faster action rod. So fast action rods DO cover up casting flaws.

I also agree with Kris Korich that very fast action rods are difficult to feel on the shorter casts.

I also believe that it best to actually learn on the rod you will be fishing with most of the time. even though that rod may be more difficult to cast well at first.

I also believe that a fly caster must eventually learn to cast with all types of rod actions. But a beginner must choose a rod action to start this process.

So although Jerry Seim suggests a fast rod rod for teaching and Backcounty suggest a slow rod, I suggest moderately fast rods for beginners. These rods bend enough so the beginner can feel the rod load and yet stiff enough to minimize rod tip deviation. An alternative is a medium action fly rod, but my belief is that a medium action is less effective at indicator nymphing than a medium fast action rod.

As to rod length, it could be an 8.5 - 9 feet long with the length depending on where the user will most often fish.

I mostly agree with Bruce Richards.

”As you have probably guessed, a rod with an action somewhere between very slow and very fast is right for most anglers in most applications. Fortunately, most of the popular rods made today fall into this ‘medium action’ category. They are stiff enough to cast non-tailing loops when cast reasonably well at normal fishing distances. They are soft enough to load well at the same distances, while giving the angler good ‘feel’ of the line. While maybe not the ultimate short distance ‘spring creek’ rod, or long distance cannon, medium action rods handle most day to day fishing casts with ease, without major casting stroke adjustments.”

https://flyfishersinternational.org...tion Can Affect Your Cast.Bruce Richards.pdf?
 
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SDMT

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I A budget combo from Yellowstone angler.
Fenwick Aetos 9’5wt
Battenkill Disk 3 reel
SA wf5 MPX line
Backing and leader
$421.80
Just the rod and reel are $359.95
Bring that down to “price point” with a click drag Battenkill
 

SDMT

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As a newbie to fly fishing, of course I read this thread with much interest and am very surprised Orvis is not mentioned. Does anyone have an opinion about why Orvis is not recommended?
I can only rationalize. That particular combo has better competition. I can say I’m impressed with the Orvis Clearwater in 9’5wt. Very nice rod. Personally, I’d rather have a little more backbone to the rod to cast further. Otherwise it’s real nice for not reaching out there distance. Also the Orvis Recon is a nicer rod than what I got. Performance about the same. But it’s much more money.
The Battenkill reel is a tried and true Orvis classic. Very inexpensive too.
 

Ibroxlad

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I've fished all my life (spin cast), but decided to take up fly fishing this year, so I put a lot of time into researching various packages online, and read countless reviews. For my target price point (under $200) most of the reviews picked the Wild Water 9 foot 5/6 package. A complete starter package came in at $140; pricing the components individually would run close to $350 (prices in CAD). It includes rod and reel, backing, fly line 2 5x leaders, forceps, snipper, two clip on tethers and 18 flies. The rod also comes with a lifetime warranty.

But price isn't the key, the performance is. It is a slow action rod, which provides a forgiving learning curve for casting, and it was quite easy to pick up. I can cast between 50 - 60 feet without a haul, although most times I don't have to, I usually only have to cast about 40 feet in most of the smaller rivers. This being said, distance means little if you're landing a fly like Sully on the Hudson, but on my second time out, I caught 15 Brook trout in the Credit River, on nothing but dry flies. They were small (7 - 9 inches, let them all go of course) but the presentation must have been okay to have that kind of success.

So there's my reasoning; price was great, and it got me up to speed pretty quickly, so I have nothing but high marks for the package.

I'm bitten by this sport now (and a few dozen flies on the Boyne River) so there is no way I'll go back to a spin cast. Next rod/reel will probably be an Orvis or Sage, from what I've read about them I can't go wrong.
 

gpwhitejr

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As a newbie to fly fishing, of course I read this thread with much interest and am very surprised Orvis is not mentioned. Does anyone have an opinion about why Orvis is not recommended?
I live in Vermont and support Vermont businesses, so by all means you should buy Orvis products. All kidding aside, they do make good equipment, but funny thing, I don't own any Orvis rods or reels; I don't know why, it just worked out that way. But Orvis owns Scientific Anglers and Ross reels, and I have some of each so I am covered. I also have a great book by Tom Rosenbauer (I love his stuff, I totally enjoy his videos on the Orvis site) and he is an Orvis guy. So now I am wondering, why don't I have an Orvis rod or reel? I really don't know. I will put that on my "next purchase" list (and I can just drive down to the flagship factory store).

By the way, where in RI are you? I grew up in Cranston, and went to school in Providence (La Salle and Brown). My extended family (me and my wife and kids, siblings and their families, etc) spend a week every summer down in Narragansett. I love Vermont but I do miss the ocean; Lake Champlain is nice but it just isn't the same.
 

upstreamcast

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I think an Orvis Clearwater outfit would make a fantastic starter rod and beyond. Pay a little more and get much higher quality and function. IMHO
 
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