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  1. #1

    Default Recommendations for equipment for the area?

    Hi, I'm recently getting back into fly fishing after about 15 years.

    I've been fishing mostly up in Cherokee and Wilson creek and was hoping some locals might be able to lend some advice about what rod weight and length would be appropriate for the area.

    The reason I ask is because I'm told the best for a beginner would be a 9ft 5weight but asking a few guys the other day at Wilson creek they said that was overkill.

    They werent from the area and actually reccomend this forum to find some people who fish these areas more often.

    Sorry if this is the wrong forum to ask this, any help would be appreciated.

    Jesse

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Knoxville, TN/Reidsville, NC
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    951

    Default Re: Recommendations for equipment for the area?

    My question to is, what type of fly fishing do you plan on doing? Dry, dry dropper, nymph, streamer, etc.?

    I fish that area a bit and as a general do it all rod IMHO would be an 8 1/2’ 4 weight. Now having said that, I would change that depending on exactly what type of fly fishing you are interested in.
    Mainline the blueline

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  4. #3

    Default Re: Recommendations for equipment for the area?

    Honestly I dont really know. As silly as that sounds.

    I dont really have a specific purpose in mind. I dont really know enough about the sport to nail that down.

    Ideally what I'm looking to do is not buy something that wouldn't be somewhat suitable for the fishing in the area.

    What got me into the sport as a teenager was watching fish take dry flies. I guess I lean towards that, but in reality what ever is catching them.

    I was actually looking at the 8'6 4wt Orvis Clearwater outfit on clearance from 2018 but wasnt sure if that was to light or to long or short to be a good starting point.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    Knoxville, TN/Reidsville, NC
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    951

    Default Re: Recommendations for equipment for the area?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaysop View Post
    Honestly I dont really know. As silly as that sounds.

    I dont really have a specific purpose in mind. I dont really know enough about the sport to nail that down.

    Ideally what I'm looking to do is not buy something that wouldn't be somewhat suitable for the fishing in the area.

    What got me into the sport as a teenager was watching fish take dry flies. I guess I lean towards that, but in reality what ever is catching them.

    I was actually looking at the 8'6 4wt Orvis Clearwater outfit on clearance from 2018 but wasnt sure if that was to light or to long or short to be a good starting point.
    An 8'6" fly rod for that area would be a good all around rod. The Clearwater would certainly work, but also check out the Redington Classic Trout. That rod is a lot of bang for the buck.

    As for a reel. About all a reel does for this weight rod, area, etc. is hold line. Don't spend a lot of bucks there as it is pretty much unnecessary. You do not need a really good drag like on bigger waters and heavier rods and bigger fish. Where you will see dividends is buying a good quality line that works well with YOUR rod. Not all lines work well with any given rod.

    Next thing to do is to find a hatch chart for the areas you intend to fish, they're lots of them online. NC also has a good web site on their DNR section with lots of good info.

    Depending on exactly where you live in NC, there are TONS of great fishing to be had. The Smokies, both Pisgah NF's, Nantahala NF, etc. Also, lots of good tailwaters as well. I fish pretty much all over WNC and it is very good.
    Mainline the blueline

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Atlanta/West Yellowstone
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    473

    Default Re: Recommendations for equipment for the area?

    I believe the concept of an all around fly rod for trout fishing has evolved over time, something like this: 8' 6wts for bamboo and fiberglass until graphite caught on. Then 9' 5 wts in graphite. But more recently you will see a lot of folks considering an 8.5 or 9' 4 wt to be that rod. But, then on to creek fishing in the southeast.... I actually tend to favor a larger rod, say 8 to 9' in a small river/large creek (think upper Chattooga, upper Nantahala, Davidson), because i like the added reach. Others will prefer shorter rods on the 6 to 8' scale, perhaps in 3 or 4 wts or even lighter, with a lot of preference for 7/7.5' 3 and 4 wts. And even i like those shorter rods in smaller creeks in the southeast with heavy overhead cover. There is no right or wrong here -- just lotsa opportunities to buy a whole lot of rods!!! And, a bit off in the weeds here, but i have recently gotten interested in "vintage" (1950's to say 70's) fiberglass rods, which offer lots of choices in the 7 to 8' range, with 6 and 5 wts often the most realistic choices of line weights -- although some of the so called 6 wts curiously handle a wide range of line sizes from 4 to 7 wts. YMMV.

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  8. #6
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    Knoxville, TN/Reidsville, NC
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    Default Re: Recommendations for equipment for the area?

    Quote Originally Posted by wthorpe View Post
    I believe the concept of an all around fly rod for trout fishing has evolved over time, something like this: 8' 6wts for bamboo and fiberglass until graphite caught on. Then 9' 5 wts in graphite. But more recently you will see a lot of folks considering an 8.5 or 9' 4 wt to be that rod. But, then on to creek fishing in the southeast.... I actually tend to favor a larger rod, say 8 to 9' in a small river/large creek (think upper Chattooga, upper Nantahala, Davidson), because i like the added reach. Others will prefer shorter rods on the 6 to 8' scale, perhaps in 3 or 4 wts or even lighter, with a lot of preference for 7/7.5' 3 and 4 wts. And even i like those shorter rods in smaller creeks in the southeast with heavy overhead cover. There is no right or wrong here -- just lotsa opportunities to buy a whole lot of rods!!! And, a bit off in the weeds here, but i have recently gotten interested in "vintage" (1950's to say 70's) fiberglass rods, which offer lots of choices in the 7 to 8' range, with 6 and 5 wts often the most realistic choices of line weights -- although some of the so called 6 wts curiously handle a wide range of line sizes from 4 to 7 wts. YMMV.
    Well said. I totally agree.

    When I first started fly fishing right at 40 years ago, the "ideal" rod for the Smokies was a 7'6" rod around a 5 weight. The weight of the rod was not as important as the length. Line choices were nothing compared to now. Cortland 333 or if you wanted to spend a bit more coin, the 444 Peach. Most rods back then were still glass as graphite was new and quite expensive, rather crude by today's standards too.

    Over the last several years longer rods have come into play such as 9 footers up to even 10 foot rods, mostly for nymphing but some do throw dries with them as well. Personally, I have migrated to 8' 6" and longer with a 9' 3 weight being my go to rod. I have found that mending line is much easier to keep out of the current by simply raising my rod as the small streams with lots of current, riffles, etc. will drag the leader and give the fly a very unnatural drift. When the wind does pick up a bit I will opt for a 4 weight and even on occasion pull out the old Smokies favorite, my Far and Fine.
    Mainline the blueline

  9. #7
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    May 2013
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    Knoxville, TN/Reidsville, NC
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    Default Re: Recommendations for equipment for the area?

    Double tap
    Mainline the blueline

  10. #8

    Default Re: Recommendations for equipment for the area?

    Thank you for all the help.
    You guys gave me a lot of info which gave me a good direction to start researching.

    I ended up calling the Orvis shop here in Charlotte and talked with a woman who fishes the areas I go and she strongly recommended the 9'5wt considering some of the larger trout up in Cherokee. She suggested that the 5wt would make it easier for new casters as well.

    I bit the bullet on the 9'5wt 2019 model Clearwater as my first personally owned rod.

    Thanks again for the help. Its incredible how much there is to learn.

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