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I am going to get into fly fishing this year and am looking for advise, first question, I'm assuming that it would be a good idea to take some fly fishing lessons and that I would need to have my own gear to do this? Now the problem I have is this, if I have to have my own gear to take lessons but don't know anything about fly fishing how can I make an intelligent decision on rod and reel choice? Second question, if I set aside $500.00 would that be enough to get a good rod and reel combo?
And finally what rod and reel combo would members suggest as a good place to start looking in that price range? One thing I should say is that I don't have unlimited resources but I prefer to buy gear that would last me a lifetime so if I need to spend more money than that I would not have a problem with that, it would just take a little longer to get the money together, all suggestions will be appreciated.
 

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Hi Woody:

My first question is going to be...are you going to be mostly into trout or salmon/steelhead? Most flyfishermen love to fish for trout, as that is really where a lot of the skills in flyfishing have to come into play in order to catch fish...things like accurate casting, matching the hatch, reading the water/structure, etc. Salmon and steelheading is quite different...requiring a lot of patience and finding where the fish are hiding. Patterns used are more like attractors, triggering a territorial or other inate response. Some people who flyfish are almost strictly salmon/steelhead fishermen, that's why I ask.

I don't think that you necessarily have to have your own equipment to take lessons...in fact, as you have noted, it will probably be a great opportunity to find out what rod has the right action that suits your natural casting style the best.

Assuming you will fish for trout a lot in our interior lakes, I would recommend a good medium-fast action rod with a nice progressive taper. A medium fast action rod is a great rod to learn on, and will have the backbone to carry line in the air as you improve your skills, and will also be able to throw any flies that you will want to use for trout and light salmon. Rods like the Sage Launch, GLoomis GL2, Scott A2, and St. Croix Avid are excellent rods to start with, and will have the quality and action that will keep you interested as you get better at casting. Don't get too hung up on the lifetime warranty issue...the action of the rod is more important. A lot of times, the fee charged for S&H for a broken piece to be replaced for a rod with a lifetime warranty costs just as much or even more than the replacement fee forged by manufacturers that don't have the so called lifetime warranty anyway. Heck, even the $69 Dragonfly Expedition casts really nicely, and broken pieces cost something like $15 to be replaced. You will want a 6wt rod. Two or four piece is preferable to odd numbered pieces so they can be broken down quickly into two pieces.

$500 is plenty for a flyfishing outfit. Plan on spending around $250-350 for the rod, $100 on the reel, and $50-200 on a couple of lines (floating and sinking) and backing. Fly reels really just hold the line unless you are fishing really fine tippet (the business end of your leader attached to the fly) or catching really big fish. A disk drag is handy, because if you have the chance to let a good drag system take care of putting pressure on the fish, this is more preferable than using your palm or fingers...which might give inconsistent pressure and cause you to lose the fish. Something that has the ability to be expandable with inexpesive spare spools would be ideal. If you can find a BFR Dragonfly 365 cartridge reel, they are great for the price range.

For a flyline, you can't really beat the SA Mastery Headstart floating line for $38. This has a specialty short head to allow new casters to feel the rod load and unload without having to support a long line in the air. Getting a feel for this is crucial in helping you to develop good line control and timing. For a sinking line, you can go cheaper on this, and there are a number on the market. I would suggest a decent Type II (2-3" per second sinking rate) full sinking line to start with. Make sure both your lines are weight forward (WF) in profile.

Hope that's some info you can start with anyway...cheers.
 

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everything Stone said is all great advise for sure however he forgot a couple rods manufaturers that make good products for a great price. try out the ECHO or TFO rods they are priced great and good quality. my dad just bought an 8wt 10' 4pc. awesome rod and super strong he got it for 175$ which you cant beat for the quality of the rod. Try going to a fly fishing shop and casting a few rods (they can get you casting quickly) then you might be able to make a decision better. I myself like a med-fast action rod they give you a great feel of the line while casting and give you better distance. for trout i use 5wt rods and salmon I have an 8wt


where are you located Woody? I could let you cast a couple of mine and get you started if your in the Surrey area.


oh and for reels my dad and i just pick up a wicked reel made by SAGE and cost only $110 has an awesome disc dragand it comes in a 5/6wt and a 7-9wt we both bought the 7-9wt for salmon and the drag can stop a chum no problem ;D they do make lighter reels that look pretty much the same but are a tad more pricey $150 and up
 

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Just simply wanted to echo what's been said, you don't have to go pricey to get good. Most guys have multiple rods after a couple of years, even in the same weight range, just for different purposes.

I would get a more affordable combo and not blow the bank on things like the reel and pricey lines, and save a few bucks that way you can still afford a Salmon rod if you start with the trout.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for he quick response guys, as to what type of fishing I will be doing I would love to get up into the upper pit and fish for everything from trout to coho, also the vedder and chehalis for salmon, I just got back into fishing about five years ago and have been fishing strictly moving waters, drifting, bar fishing and sturgeon and really that is where interest lies for now especially since I have a jet boat which will get me up to the Pitt but not into many still water lakes. I guess that puts me into the 8wt. range to start, though if the rest of my rod collection is any indication it wouldn't take me long to have a collection of fly rods as well (I'm a bit of a gear junkie like most fisherman!!)
That being said what lines would I need to have to get started? Actually now that I think of it probably the first places I would be fishing would be the Harrison and the upper Pitt for cutties and bull trout so maybe I should start with a smaller set up and move up from there in the fall when salmon season starts up. So what would be the recommended setup for moving water fishing for trout? Thanks again for your input. Woody.
 

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eimaj said:
Just simply wanted to echo what's been said, you don't have to go pricey to get good. Most guys have multiple rods after a couple of years, even in the same weight range, just for different purposes.

I would get a more affordable combo and not blow the bank on things like the reel and pricey lines, and save a few bucks that way you can still afford a Salmon rod if you start with the trout.
I agree with Jamie, Start off with decet stuff something not to expensive and not to cheap to get the han gof it, if its something you think you will be doing lots of then step up to more higher quality gear that will handle the amount of use you will give it.

I love Fly/Spey Fishing Dont think I i wll ever give it up

8 WT is good for Salmon/Steelhead I hooked a huge white this year on the fly and it was pretty fun and had no problem fighting it on my single hander. Just make sure you get your self a decent large arbour reel and a tight drag for them big fish
 

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for line i would go with the Rio Versa tip system it gives you a few different tips you can change up for different water conditions and also gives you a full floating tip for dry flies or when using the nymphing tech. I have this line for my salmon rod and it works swimmingly :happy: I think if your going to be fly fishing any places at this time of year I would still go with the 8wt because most rivers all have steel coming back ;D if you choose to go lighter I wouldnt go much lighter than a 6wt HOWEVER you could get both if you dont go with super expensive gear and having each will let you know what you like also. and which wt's you need for certain waters or fish your targetting. If you have the room then you can take Steel on lighter gear, I heard of a 8lb ish Steel taken on a 2wt Loop yellow from a guy at M&Y :thumbup: would have loved to witness that ;D
 

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IMO for fly fihsing there isnt just one rod for all fishing you will have mulitple rods/reels/lines

Just a Quick Example of what I think - The rod is allot more important as for length and WT Rating for fishing the fish your going after the reel is more of just a line holder for small trout untill you hit bigger fish then a large arbour and backing capacity and drag system is a factor to handle powerfull fish

2-4 WT for Trout of various sizes
5-7 WT for Pinks/Coho and large trout/bulls Etc
8 + Salmon (Springs/Chums) Steelhead !!
 

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Yeah, I forgot about the Echo rods...great rods at excellent prices.

If you're going to be flyfishing mostly moving water with a single hander...then my personal choice would be a 10' 7wt or 8wt. The Rio Versitip would also be high up on the priority list...one line and one spool does it all (or most) in moving water.
 

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Hey Woody........your post kinda mirrors one that I put on this same board about 3 years ago, and I recieved the same great advice...If you are going to fish rivers and are targetting bull trout, salmon, steelhead, etc. sometimes you just never know when you will will hit that fish of a lifetime, especially in moving water...I would not underweight the gear, as a big fish will be quickly lost on too light of a set up.....I don't want to sound unsportsmanlike, but when you go to a lake that has 2-5lb. trout and you are fishing from a boat or tube etc.....you can really lighten the gear...When you are fishing moving water with large fish possibilities,.my preference would lean towards a 7/8wt (Temple Fork are good as is the St. Croix.for the money)..........I would also lean towards one of the new composite larger arbour reels. They are easy to use, have good drag systems, and will hold enough backing to assist you with your Big One...The Rio versa tip system is really good but be sure is matches the rod you buy...........Have fun shopping!!!!.....Ortho 8)
 

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For the 8wt I would seriously look into both the Echo fly rods in the $160 range, the Rio Versa-tip line $160 also, then pick up a decent large arbour reel, multiple spools are needed as you will have a good selection of tips with that line. This does get you close to your $500 mark, and the line seems crazy priced but is the most versatile out there.

When you drop down to trout sized rods, It can get real personal, I fish a 3wt for local flows, but give me a strong wind and now you want a 6wt, put yourself up on the upper pitt and a 7wt or even that 8wt start looking good for some of those bigger bulls in a fast flow. Really a faster 6wt is nice and will cover most situations, you'll just need a floater, and a sink line, maybe a slime line would be good, this is where a multi-spool reel comes in. Greays and a couple other brands are making some afordable ones these days.

really I would get out and try some guys different rods and see what you like.
 

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My first words are slow down, haste makes waste. $500. is more than enough to get a good start, but you need to do your home work. Taking a class is a very good idea; make shure the class covers equipment. I devot 2 hours of my 13 hours fly fishing cource to equipment. Getting the right equipment is vital. The right equipment will serve you for years, but if you get the wrong stuff you will want unload it within a few months. My next words of advice; This will be your equipment! Not your freinds! Not the store clerks! Yours! So make shure it feels right in your hand, these will be your tools. Next campare prices, if shop right you can get allot of milage out of $500.
 

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I'll just stress again not to get too fast an action of a rod to learn on...it's much much easier to learn on a rod that you can easily feel load and unload than a high performance fast action rod. Once muscle memory sets in, it's hard to undo...casting errors that are masked by a stiff rod might make you feel like you're doing really well out to about 60', but you'll plateau there until you work out the errors before you will be able to cast the whole line.
 

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For anyone fishing stillwaters, I highly recomend making contact with Gordon Honey in April and enquire about his Spring Tune Up Clinics. Best thing we ever did and the price (when we did it) was less than the guiding rate. It is a different experience then a day of guiding with Gord and well worth the dollars. Went from many skunked days to less than 5% skunked days and numerous days of 10 plus fish with days in the 20's.

Can't believe how simple lake fishing really is. Make no mistake there is lots of learning to do by putting in time on the water, however the foundation he can build for you is incredible.
 

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I agree with Stone. Staring with a fast action rod is a mistake also don't go to light. I hear so much who-ha about 3 & 4 wt rods; while I agree that they provide great action on small fish they can seriously handycap a novice learning to cast. The reason being that it is hard to feel the rod load with these light wt rods. When it comes to learning to cast I side with Joan Wulff 6 or 7 Wt medium or medium to fast action of men, and 5 or 6 Wt medium or medium to slow action for women.
 

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"Sage" advice gentlemen. :) Rods with a more moderate action tend to be more "forgiving" - I found the Sage DS2 to be very easy to cast. I'm assuming the Sage Launch is similar - though I've never casted one. For me - I went with a 7 wt XP for small salmon (pinks/coho) and steelhead and an 8 wt RPL+ for larger fish (chum/springs). I've also got two 5 wts for interior trout. I prefer a more moderate action for trout, and fast action rods for salmon/steelhead. The fast action rods tend to "slow down" a bit when casting a heavy sink tip. My rods are getting a bit dated now - but I still enjoy using them. Thing is, rods are getting lighter and stronger as technology changes with time. Point is - once you start to get hooked on the fly - you just might want to get other rods to suit the specific conditions. However, for an all "around" salmon/steelhead rod the starting "benchmark" would be an med/fast action 9 - 9.5 foot 8 wt rod. I'd recommend starting there and casting a few and see what you like! Stone's recommendation for a 10 ft 7 wt also sounds appealing. This should give you some fun with the smaller fish, but also give you a fighting chance against the springs and chum!

Btw - I'd recommend practicing casting in a park (once you have the basics down). This will save you time and frustration on the water... ;) Good luck.
 

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Hey guys all this talk about a rod for this and a rod for that might be putting our new college in over his head, but since you started the ball rolling; here's what i have found works for me. A 9wt fast action for the heavy weights (large Chum & Springs), this outfit has stood up to 35lb Springs. A 7/8 Wt medium fast action for Steelhead & Coho. 6 Wt medium fast for mid size to large Trout, Bass, Pink, and Sockeye. 4 Wt cane for local Trout and Panfish.
 
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