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Choosing Your First Fly Rod

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CHOOSING YOUR FIRST FLY ROD

With the amazing array of fly fishing gear available today it can be hard for beginning fly fishers to settle on a choice for their first rod. Fortunately, the state of the art of the sport has evolved to the point where there aren’t a lot of bad rods out there, as was definitely the case a decade or two ago (Watch out for garage sale specials!). Trusted builders like Orvis and Sage just don’t make any bad rods, and some of the more recent entries into the moderate to premium-priced competition like Mystic Fly Rods offer amazingly good quality and super price points. For the budget-minded beginner, the Fly Fishing Place offers several high quality complete fly fishing rod, reel and line outfits for under $170  and an economical complete 8 weight Steelhead Fly Fishing Outfit with a floating and sinking line and a spare reel spool for under $200.

Everyone’s budget is different, but you can’t go wrong buying the absolute best fly rod that you can affordChoosing Your First Fly Rod from a reputable manufacturer . If you learn to cast it well, it will last you for years to come, and many of the better rods have 25 year or longer guarantees against breakage. A bargain fly fishing rod may be the solution if you aren’t sure whether you’ll stick with fly fishing, but the limitations of cheap gear can spoil the fun of learning to cast flies in the first place. Starting with a quality, moderately priced rod may be the best plan. If you develop into an “expert” fly caster you will naturally move on to high end fly rods that you can appreciate with your new-found prowess, and you’ll always have your first rod for a back-up or to lend to a friend. Here at The Fly Fishing Place we use our Trout Stalker Complete 5 weight Fly Fishing Outfit and our Trout Stalker Complete 6 weight Fly Fishing Combo in our fly fishing schools and highly recommend them to beginners as a fly fishing starter kit or to experienced anglers as a high quality moderately priced fly fishing outfit with a very sweet casting action.

If you just want to fly fish occasionally then the moderately-priced rod you started with can serve you for a lifetime of casual fly fishing. Most fly casting instructors like to start their pupils on a rod with a medium or medium-fast action, since they are more forgiving of beginners’ mistakes, but any quality rod with good progressive action and lively feel will work.

Regardless of the type of flyfishing you will be doing the most, whether it is ¼ pound bluegills or 150 pound tarpon, we recommend that you learn fly casting on the mid-range of rod/line weight combinations. You will find many older books recommending a 6- or 7-weight flyfishing rod to begin with, but with the new technology available to the better fly rod builders the 5- and 6-weight range is more suitable. You can’t go wrong with a quality 8’6” or 9’ flyfishing rod designed for a 5 or 6 weight fly line as your first fly fishing rod. For a youth or lightly built man or woman an 8'6" 4 weight fly fishing outfit might be an even better choice.



Complete flyfishing outfit rod and reelTHE FLY FISHING PLACE SAYS: "FLY FISHING DOESN'T HAVE TO BE EXPENSIVE!":


You can spend as much as you want on flyfishing gear, and sometimes it is just plain satisfying to do so, but the fact is that there is very high quality flyfishing gear available today at reasonable prices. For instance, check out the Mystic Fly Rods Reaper Series:  Amazing quality at a very reasonable price.




CHOOSING THE BEST TROUT OR STEELHEAD FLY ROD FOR YOUR TYPE OF FLY FISHING


TROUT: Light, small streams, mountain streams: 7 to 8 foot rod for 2, 3, 4 or 5 weight fly line, medium to fast action

TROUT: Light, for spring creeks or small ponds: 7 to 9 foot rod for 1, 2, 3 or 4 weight fly line, medium action

TROUT: Medium, small and medium sized streams, 8.5 to 9 foot rod for 4, 5, or 6 weight fly line, medium to fast action

TROUT: Heavy, medium and large rivers, large lakes with consistently wind conditions: 9 to 10 foot rod for 7 or 8 weight fly line, medium to fast action, (an excellent trout/steelhead combo rod)


STEELHEAD: 9 to 10 foot rod for 7, 8, 9 or 10 weight fly line, medium-fast to fast action, with extension butt. Two-handed Spey fly rods up to 15' long for lines 10-14 are also popular specialty steelhead and salmon rods for fishing big rivers.

BEST BEGINNER’S TROUT ROD FOR MANY CONDITIONS: 8.5 to 9 foot rod for 5 or 6 weight fly line, medium fast action


CHOOSING THE BEST BASS FLY ROD FOR YOUR TYPE OF FLY FISHING

BASS: Light/medium, streams, ponds, small lakes (also trout/bass combo fly rod): 8.5 to 9 foot rod for 6 or 7 weight fly line, medium-fast to fast action

BASS: Heavy, large windy lakes, bayous, swamps: 9 to 9.5 foot for 8, 9 or 10 weight fly line, fast action, with extension butt


CHOOSING THE BEST SALTWATER FLY ROD FOR YOUR TYPE OF FLY FISHING

SALTWATER: Surf, bays and tidal rivers for channel bass, striped bass, bluefish, etc.: 9 to 10 foot rod for 9 or 10 weight fly line, powerful fast action, with extension butt

SALTWATER: Flats and backcountry fishing for Bonefish, redfish, permit, sea trout, snook, baby tarpon, etc: 9 to 9.5 foot rod for 7, 8 or 9 weight fly line, medium-fast action, with short extension butt

SALTWATER: Large Tarpon, Large Snook: 9 to 10 foot rod for 10, 11, or 12 (and up) weight fly line, fast saltwater action, powerful butt section for fighting, with fighting extension butt.