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Q:
Can you recommend a good beginner fly set up? Rod, reel, line, flies, everything I need more for bass and panfish then later trout.

Question by Matthew Matzek. Uploaded on November 20, 2012

Answers (7)

Top Rated
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from woolf1987 wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

length- most folks would probably opt for a rod 8 1/2 to 9 feet long. This will help keep line off the water when wading and help with "mending" line to get a drag free drift in moving water (very important for presenting flies to fish). If you fish mostly small streams a shorter rod might be easier to swing around in brush-- but that would be more of a specialty situation.

Line Weight- A good all around rod for most trout fishing would be a rod designed to throw a 5 weight line. It'll comfortably cast most commonly used trout flies ranging from nymphs, wets, dries and streamers, and would still be light enough to be fun with panfish and could handle small bass too. But if you'll be throwing a lot of big trout streamers and heavily weighted flies like clousers for smallmouth, or wind resistant stuff like poppers, a 6 weight might be a better choice to give you a bit more oomph.

Fly Line- a weight forward floating fly line for the rated weight of your fly rod would be probably be the most useful for most of your fishing. A weight forward line would be a good choice.

Reel- For most types of fishing if you want to save money somewhere it would make sense to save it on the reel. Lots of decent inexpensive reels out there. Look for one that will hold your weight forward fly line and somewhere between 50 and 100 yds of 20 lb Dacron or Micron backing. the biggest thing i would say buy what u can afford

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from fliphuntr14 wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

crosswater combo by redington 5wt. i have the 9ft could get away with a shorter one. I picked it up almost 2 years ago love it.

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from buckhunter wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

Woolf has hit the nail on the head.

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from Gilltheman wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

The #1 thing to be on the look out for when getting a fly combo, is to check the drag. Take that thing apart and look at the "prawl and knuckle" if either of them are plastic, smack the salesperson with it. I went through 3 reels in my first 3 days of flyfishing for bluegills. Lots of stripping. I was dusting the gears apart cause they were plastic. Cant go wrong with any scientific angler package.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from airbornedoc wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

I bought the Cabela's entry level setup-Prestige Series (?) for my boys when they got into flyfishing. That was 9 years ago and both of their rods/reels are still up to the job. I got them 3 wts mostly for trout and panfish. However, they both landed 19 inch fish on these rods without much difficulty.

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from the Preacher wrote 1 year 15 weeks ago

Hello. If you are just beginning, the best way to purchase good gear is to go to a great fly shop and speak to a smart fly fisherman. (Though cabelas has Winston combos for under $250 which is incredible. I have used Winston "Passport" 10 weight for over 1000 lbs of fish in 3 oceans.) Great. Personal connection is best.

forget getting too complicated with line. get floating line that fits the combo to begin with, you wont appreciate shooting heads ect unless you have really worked with a regular line.

as for your previous question about tying flies. To learn how to tie, and to catch ANY fish, the wooly bugger trumps everything. Black, green, and black to start. I have hundreds of wooly bugger photos to show. It should be a Field and stream give away , "tell us your best wooly bugger story" . Tying wooly buggers teaches many great simple tying techniques. But in the beginning, buy them for a dollar and catch fish. then tie, even hideous ones catch fish. fresh and salt water, they are incredible bait fish imitations. (or leech, bug, moss, and everything else fish eat).

I know it is not a dry fly, but you can catch anything with it, on a dry line. Learn to tie and learn to fly cast with the bugger.

Everything else is time and practice. Just buy whatever fly setup you can afford from a great shop, and then practice, you will buy lots of rods before you are die.

And really spend an extra 20 bucks and buy it at a fly shop!!! Amazon.com cant teach you anything or answer any questions. The extra money at a local shop wont only bring you great tips, it will bring you long term relationships with experienced fishermen in your area. These guys wont only get you the best rod, they also tell you where the fish will be biting. But only if you spend your money with them. Small Fly shops are the gold mine of knowledge for any real fly fisherman.

ALSO!!! check out the warranty for the gear. Most big companies have "lifetime no questions asked policies" for gear replacement. I recently walked into the "sage" factory with my broken rod and straight up told them, someone may have put this rod through the ceiling fan. " and they replaced it FREE. in this industry money talks. Spend a little more for good gear, and spend a little more for good service. local shops.

Reddington is in my opinion the greatest rod at an intro price point.

Once you have your good gear,,, fish, watch videos, and learn how to double haul. After that is is easy. (of course learn how to read a river). (AND buy your license and pay for all the extras. This is the money that makes it back to the fish, not the gear money).

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from the Preacher wrote 1 year 15 weeks ago

Also, since I see you shucking oysters in your photos, you may be near salt water. Then its all about the clouser fly. If you sit all winter and tie a million clouser minnows in Chartreuse and white. You will lose them all to huge fish. the clouser is the wooly bugger of the salt, though the bugger still works in salt.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

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from woolf1987 wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

length- most folks would probably opt for a rod 8 1/2 to 9 feet long. This will help keep line off the water when wading and help with "mending" line to get a drag free drift in moving water (very important for presenting flies to fish). If you fish mostly small streams a shorter rod might be easier to swing around in brush-- but that would be more of a specialty situation.

Line Weight- A good all around rod for most trout fishing would be a rod designed to throw a 5 weight line. It'll comfortably cast most commonly used trout flies ranging from nymphs, wets, dries and streamers, and would still be light enough to be fun with panfish and could handle small bass too. But if you'll be throwing a lot of big trout streamers and heavily weighted flies like clousers for smallmouth, or wind resistant stuff like poppers, a 6 weight might be a better choice to give you a bit more oomph.

Fly Line- a weight forward floating fly line for the rated weight of your fly rod would be probably be the most useful for most of your fishing. A weight forward line would be a good choice.

Reel- For most types of fishing if you want to save money somewhere it would make sense to save it on the reel. Lots of decent inexpensive reels out there. Look for one that will hold your weight forward fly line and somewhere between 50 and 100 yds of 20 lb Dacron or Micron backing. the biggest thing i would say buy what u can afford

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from the Preacher wrote 1 year 15 weeks ago

Hello. If you are just beginning, the best way to purchase good gear is to go to a great fly shop and speak to a smart fly fisherman. (Though cabelas has Winston combos for under $250 which is incredible. I have used Winston "Passport" 10 weight for over 1000 lbs of fish in 3 oceans.) Great. Personal connection is best.

forget getting too complicated with line. get floating line that fits the combo to begin with, you wont appreciate shooting heads ect unless you have really worked with a regular line.

as for your previous question about tying flies. To learn how to tie, and to catch ANY fish, the wooly bugger trumps everything. Black, green, and black to start. I have hundreds of wooly bugger photos to show. It should be a Field and stream give away , "tell us your best wooly bugger story" . Tying wooly buggers teaches many great simple tying techniques. But in the beginning, buy them for a dollar and catch fish. then tie, even hideous ones catch fish. fresh and salt water, they are incredible bait fish imitations. (or leech, bug, moss, and everything else fish eat).

I know it is not a dry fly, but you can catch anything with it, on a dry line. Learn to tie and learn to fly cast with the bugger.

Everything else is time and practice. Just buy whatever fly setup you can afford from a great shop, and then practice, you will buy lots of rods before you are die.

And really spend an extra 20 bucks and buy it at a fly shop!!! Amazon.com cant teach you anything or answer any questions. The extra money at a local shop wont only bring you great tips, it will bring you long term relationships with experienced fishermen in your area. These guys wont only get you the best rod, they also tell you where the fish will be biting. But only if you spend your money with them. Small Fly shops are the gold mine of knowledge for any real fly fisherman.

ALSO!!! check out the warranty for the gear. Most big companies have "lifetime no questions asked policies" for gear replacement. I recently walked into the "sage" factory with my broken rod and straight up told them, someone may have put this rod through the ceiling fan. " and they replaced it FREE. in this industry money talks. Spend a little more for good gear, and spend a little more for good service. local shops.

Reddington is in my opinion the greatest rod at an intro price point.

Once you have your good gear,,, fish, watch videos, and learn how to double haul. After that is is easy. (of course learn how to read a river). (AND buy your license and pay for all the extras. This is the money that makes it back to the fish, not the gear money).

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from the Preacher wrote 1 year 15 weeks ago

Also, since I see you shucking oysters in your photos, you may be near salt water. Then its all about the clouser fly. If you sit all winter and tie a million clouser minnows in Chartreuse and white. You will lose them all to huge fish. the clouser is the wooly bugger of the salt, though the bugger still works in salt.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from fliphuntr14 wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

crosswater combo by redington 5wt. i have the 9ft could get away with a shorter one. I picked it up almost 2 years ago love it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

Woolf has hit the nail on the head.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from airbornedoc wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

I bought the Cabela's entry level setup-Prestige Series (?) for my boys when they got into flyfishing. That was 9 years ago and both of their rods/reels are still up to the job. I got them 3 wts mostly for trout and panfish. However, they both landed 19 inch fish on these rods without much difficulty.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Gilltheman wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

The #1 thing to be on the look out for when getting a fly combo, is to check the drag. Take that thing apart and look at the "prawl and knuckle" if either of them are plastic, smack the salesperson with it. I went through 3 reels in my first 3 days of flyfishing for bluegills. Lots of stripping. I was dusting the gears apart cause they were plastic. Cant go wrong with any scientific angler package.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report

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