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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I looking for advice as I want to get involved in fly fishing. I have been fishing since I was very young but it has always been spincasting or saltwater fishing at my cottage with deep sea rods. Everyone I talk to says how much more enjoyable fly fishing is and I want to experience it for myself. I would be fishing small lakes and rivers for trout. I want a rod that is easily portable. So the questions I have are:

What length rod, and what weight? I want a 4/5 pc.
Weight forward vs double taper?
What lb test leader?
Is it best to spend more money on the rod and skimp on the reel as opposed to dividing the funds evenly?

Thanks for the help!
 

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The weight and length of your rod will be determined by what and where you want to fish. Small trout streams with little brookies can be easily handled with a 4/5 weight. The bigger the water and the bigger the fish, the heavier the rod you'll want. If you plan on having just one rod as an all-purpose set-up, something in the 7/8 weight range will be fine.

As for lines, I'd recommend a DT line because it is easier (I find) to learn with. On the subject of learning, don't practice on the water. Find a nice lawn somewhere, tie on a bit of yarn instead of a fly, and practice there. You'll want to learn all the basic casts of course, but especially the roll cast.

If you're only fishing small fish, your reel is just there to hold your line. But if you're fishing big water or big fish, get something with an effective drag.
 

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The advice bugman offers is very sound. I would say that his last point is probably most important. If you can get an "Old Guy" (every new fisherman ought to have an "old guy") for a mentor and friend - he can take you to the store and advise you on what you need to begin. Currently there are some combos (4pc,9'rod, reel,& line) for sale at WalMart in the $110 range. Although they are obviously not brand name product, they are functional and ought to serve your purpose very well, all the while, not breaking the bank!! Remember, we didn't learn how to drive in a Ferrari, and most of us will NEVER drive one. If you want advice on terminal tackle, I would go to Fishing Fever on Agricola St. There,you will find very knowledgeable staff who are generous with their advice and who have a much more comprehensive selection of flies, and angling equipment. Although pricing at Fishing Fever is marginally higher on items which you can find in the "big box" stores, the premium is well worth it when you consider the staff you are speaking to actually like what they are doing and know what they are talking about rather than being just a "warm body" who would rather be anywhere else than behind the counter. BTW, if you like reading about fly fishing, there is a book called "Fishing With My Old Guy" by Paul Quarrington which is a wonderful,informative, and entertaining read. Chapters can get it for you if it is not in stock. Or, you could do your research, and buy everything on line like Xlobsterman would...Regards....
 
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Don't so it man. You made it this far in life without having to fly fish. It is like taking up golf when one retires!!!

Just kidding.

Welcome to a life time of learning. Fly fishing is one of the few sports that you will always get better with age.

For your first rod, buy a combo set like the Redington Red Fly. 9 feet (it will help your casting) and get a 4 piece if you can. The reason why I say a combo is that they are reasonable priced for what you get and the entire set is balanced. Think about it. As for which weight that all depends on what you want to fish for. There is no such thisng as a rod for all species. They closest you are going to get is a 6 Weight. There is a comprise on both ends for small and large fish. When you get more money buy a 3W for trout and a 9 W for Salmon.

I would recommend to learn to build your own leaders using various lbs test of mono. I like the Carl Ritz formula (50%/20%/20%/10%). That means for a 10 foot leader first start with 5 feet of 25-30 lbs, then 2 feet of 15-20 lbs, then 2 feet 10-12 lbs and then 1 foot of 6-8 lbs and add a tippet of 1 foot of what ever you want
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I would like to thank everyone for the replies. I was out practicing in the yard last night and was fairly comfortable with it so I decided to head to the lake and give it a shot. I live in the city so I went to Oathill Lake and fished for about an hour. I caught one bass! I lost two others and had bites as well. Its a lot different than spin fishing but I sure do like it. It definately won't be the last fish I catch on a fly rod. Now just to resist the temptation of buying a nice new Sage rod and reel and stick with the old mans rod! ha
 

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Do you live near Oathill Lake? it is hard to fly fish from the shore.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I live in woodlawn. My grandparents house is very close to the lake so my father grew up fishing there and I followed suit. Ya it certainly is a hard lake to flyfish from shore. I was down at the end by the grate and the path. I was a up a little bit further and waded out to my waist. Luckily the water was warm as I don't have waders!
 

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I would like to thank everyone for the replies. I was out practicing in the yard last night and was fairly comfortable with it so I decided to head to the lake and give it a shot. I live in the city so I went to Oathill Lake and fished for about an hour. I caught one bass! I lost two others and had bites as well. Its a lot different than spin fishing but I sure do like it. It definately won't be the last fish I catch on a fly rod. Now just to resist the temptation of buying a nice new Sage rod and reel and stick with the old mans rod! ha
The one thing I will warn you about sage rods is, once you buy one it will lead to more.
If you start liking fly fishing buy the best gear you can afford, you won't regret.
Nothing replaces professional instruction.
YouTube is a good place for tips.
The boys at fishing fever are awesome.
You will receive a lot of info from a lot of people, take it all in and find what works for you.
Make sure you like your waders. If you end up addicted, like most do, you'll be in them a lot. (SIMMS)
 

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Don't so it man. You made it this far in life without having to fly fish. It is like taking up golf when one retires!!!

Just kidding.

Welcome to a life time of learning. Fly fishing is one of the few sports that you will always get better with age.

For your first rod, buy a combo set like the Redington Red Fly. 9 feet (it will help your casting) and get a 4 piece if you can. The reason why I say a combo is that they are reasonable priced for what you get and the entire set is balanced. Think about it. As for which weight that all depends on what you want to fish for. There is no such thisng as a rod for all species. They closest you are going to get is a 6 Weight. There is a comprise on both ends for small and large fish. When you get more money buy a 3W for trout and a 9 W for Salmon.

I would recommend to learn to build your own leaders using various lbs test of mono. I like the Carl Ritz formula (50%/20%/20%/10%). That means for a 10 foot leader first start with 5 feet of 25-30 lbs, then 2 feet of 15-20 lbs, then 2 feet 10-12 lbs and then 1 foot of 6-8 lbs and add a tippet of 1 foot of what ever you want
What he said is good advice although building ur own leaders is a waste of time and a pain but not hard to do, and also leads to lots of kots and foulups because of the tag ends catching the line while casting not to mention debris in the water(grass etc.) buy a tapered leader. i just break off the smaller part of it where the taper from small to big begins and use a micro swivel if ur not using tiny dries and add a tippet of ur choice. Adding tippet is a breeze this way and the tapered part lasts forever.
Another thing, practice on the water for roll casting. Grass will not let u learn properly ( unless u tie up a "grass leader" ) Its all in the timing, surface tention, weight of ur fly etc. With a bit of practice it becomes very easy. Then u can get into spey casting with ur single hand rod, but thats another chapter (youtube extreeme flycasting and u will see--very cool!) U will even learn to shoot a bit of line whit a roll cast.
i would deffinatelt stick to a floating weight forward line for starting out. Shooting lines and double taper lines dont roll cast that well but for straight overhead casting will sometimes outperform weight forward line. Not necessary at this point. U just need to learn how to controll ur line and gain some accuracy with it. then try a few diff line to see what they r all about.
dont buy a walmart rod. Save up for a decent combo like the reddington that was suggested or something else in that price range. TFO makes a decent combo and they have a NO FAULT WARRANTEe meaning it doesnt matter how u break it, it will be replaced or fixed for the price of the shipping, no questions asked.
heres a good tip to consider. With a weight forward line, the first 30 feet (give or take) is tapered from small to big to small again an then followed by the running line. Most fitting lines will load a rod properly at the point where the taper stops and the running line starts. Theis is what u could call the loading point of the line(depending on rod and line setup of course). Take a black marker and mark this spot on ur line where thus transition is. Make this black mark about a foot long so u can see it as u r casting. Now u have a spot in ur line that when is at the tip of ur rod, u will know this is about all the line u will want to falst cast with. When u false cast u let out a bit of line each time until ur ready to let it rip. Now u know where the right amount of line is to false cast with. U will notice that if the black mark is way out from ur rod tip, it will seem like u dont have enough power or backbone for ur rod to cast the line. This is why. A rod is designed to cast a certain amount or weight of line to work effectively. Too much line wont work nor will too little (although it a bit easier to work with a short cast compared to trying a long cast with the same line) Maybe with ur outfit , u can adjust where the rod loads well buy bring the black part in the rod a bit or out but it will give u a good reference point to go from. I marked one of my lines and the black part has to be about a foot inside my rod tip to load the rod the right amount for a long shooting cast.
im pretty sure ive got u confused a bit so if theres someone else who could explain that better, go for it. Hope some of this helps ya out.
The best tip of all is practice practice practice. Get ot whenever u can and u will improve each time forsure. next thing ya know u will be throwin underhands , snap t's and snake rolls like ur a pro! (youtube those)
cheers and tight lines,
campbell
 

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If you are looking for a place to practice, I feel that Albro Lake (by the park/grey arena) parking lot is a good place to practice on water. There is generally lots of room and sometimes a slight wind to challenge you. You should also have no problems catching small bass. I also suggest that you practice with a bright dry fly, so you can see if the tippet is rolling out properly.
 
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