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timmeh

Fly fishing intro questions

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Hey everyone,

I recently asked for some advice regarding centerpins and really appreciated the feedback but in thinking about it I've decided that I can probably keep going with my spinning reel this season and save up for a fly fishing setup in the spring. As I'm lucky enough to live close to the upper Grand it's something I've always kind of wanted to get into and I figure I'll get probably get a lot more use out of it. But there's a lot to learn for a newb!

 

I would mostly be fishing the upper Grand and similar rivers for medium sized trout and I would like to get into some bass fishing with it as well. But I'm not sure what rod weight I should be looking at getting? Is there something that would be the fly equivalent to a 7 foot spinning reel that would be useful in a lot of conditions? I was considering getting a decent 6 weight combo. Would this be appropriate or would it be too light for bass/too heavy for medium trout?

 

And would I be better off spending more money on a good reel or rod, or am I best balancing it out equally?

 

I've already priced a few options out at my local tackle store but thought it be to my benefit to get some advice from the crew here too. Further, any other advice you'd pass along to a beginner would be helpful.

 

Thanks again for the advice..

 

Tim

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If your looking for a flyrod and reel, you can try grandriver trout fitters in fergus or grindstone angling in waterdown,I know they both sell good used equipement.I espescially like the manner they both advise there costumers. Call the both of them and you have a good idea price wise and all the rest.theyve been great to me and sent me on the path I was looking for.Cheers vin

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Ok I'll jump in first.

 

a 6wt outfit is a good all around outfit for medium sized fish(trout and bass). If it's your first outfit, the rod and line match is the most important. The reel basically is used for storing line and often you won't even use the reel to play a hooked fish. That is NOT to say that you should get the cheapest reel out there. Moderate price reels ($50) is the way to go. A well balanced outfit (rod and line) will make fly fishing very enjoyable. Casting will become a pleasure not a chore. As for the rod you can pay just about any amount you want, starting at $50 or so and way up to the thousands. The rod grip is important also. I have a small hand (I'm short too) and I like a smaller diameter grip. It has to feel comfortable for you not someone else.

 

Each small improvement in weight, stiffness and power escalates the price of the rod. Pick something that you will be happy with for a long time. See if a local shop will let you try out the outfit with a 100% trade in rate (without damage) for a short period of time (weekend). Some will. Or if you can practise cast the outfit first.

 

If you fall in love with fly fishing (like I did many years ago) you'll up grade as your wallet will allow you.

 

Get a pro if possible to match the line with the rod. Not all rods cast only one weight of line. Rule of thumb is that the rod should load properly with about 30 feet of fly line.

 

Find out how to make your own furled leaders. You'll never use anything else for dry flies again. Save yourself a pile of cash too.

 

Watch out.. the next thing is fly tying. Now that can get very time consuming.

 

muddler

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Thanks for the info muddler.

 

One more question to add: what's the difference in performance between 2 and 4 piece rods?

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I would suggest looking around for a fly fishing course.

I took one a few years ago. It was offered as a continuing education course(night school) at our local comunity college. Best $80.00 I ever spent. Rod weights and sizes, lines, leaders. Included full explanation by a very knowlwdgeable instructor. There were even field trips on Saturdays. I hooked a nice bow in the StMarys rapids.

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Muddler's pretty much covered it but to add a couple more things that spring to mind, go for a medium or medium-fast action rod and assuming you're an average sized adult around 9ft long rated at #6/7 - if the rod has two numbers, put the heavier line on it, makes castinga bit easier and loads the rod better. I've got a 5/6 rod that's almost impossible to cast with a #5 line but fantastic with a #6. Any decent shop should be giving you advice like that anyway.

 

Secondly get casting tuition as Dara suggests and think about joining a club. I joined one in Hamilton http://www.hafft.ca, they had a casting clinic last year and I hope they will be doing the same this year (my casting needs work!) and teach fly tying as well

 

2 and 4 piece rods - with modern composites, there isn't much difference apart from portability really, the action will be slightly compromised by more sections but the number of sections should have been taken nto account when designing the blank so I wouldn't worry too much about it.

Edited by cuzza

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All of the above is sound advice, and as noted above, rod preference is usually a personal thing, what feels good in the hand and is comfortable to cast.

When I fish the Upper Grand I take a 8' 5 wt medium-fast rod with suitable reel and a WF5F line. More than enough for the average fish there and still got some backbone for any of the larger fish.

For the smaller trout streams around the area a 7' 6" 4wt is usually a good choice. The Lower sections of the Grand hold a good smallmouth population which needs a 5 or 6 wt and longer is better as the river is much wider with more casting space.

If you are fishing trout water which is accessible to steelhead you may want to use a 6 or 7 wt.

And so it begins........after some time the need for more and different weight and length rods becomes evident, also each rod has to have an appropriate reel and line, floating or sinking, depending on the purpose. Next thing you know the spinning gear gathers dust and is set aside to create space for the fly rods.

Check here for postings by new fly fishers in this area asking similar questions, also great advice from experienced flyfishers and also a buy & sell if you are interested in acquiring tackle with experience.

http://flyfishingforums.hipwader.com/

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If You are looking to do thisfor under $500.00 or so, Ross makes some good rods in the $200.00 range, to start Guidelin makes some good reels for $100.00 or so. From Michelle and mines own experiences, a 5 WT is much better suited for all but the very largest trout and bass in Ontario.

Starting out, I can not stress enough the inportance of buying a good quality WF line. SA makes some great lines etwen 70 and 100.

www.reelflies.ca has the cheapest flies around, you can order on line and they will ship or you can pick then up in London. a 2 hour private casting lesson will get you hitting all the basics quickly. Dry casting practice is key as you can maximize your time on the water.

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First, I would be asking myself "where and when will I be using the fly rod?".

 

If you are fishing from a canoe, I would get a long rod....9 foot rod because you will be casting from a sitting position. The longer rod will help in keeping your line above the water when casting. However, the good thing with fishing from a sitting position in a canoe or boat is the fact that your profile will be low and you will catch fish much closer to you.

 

If you plan to fish small lakes, you will inevitably run into some windy situations. You will need something more than a 6 weight rod.

 

If you plan to fish with large flies and poppers for bass....you will need a more than a 6 weight rod.

 

If you plan to fish mostly for bass....go with a 9 weight rod but if it's 50-50 trout and bass, I would recommend a 7 weight rod.

 

Since you are a beginner, I would recommend a 9 foot 7 weight rod. It will handle any situation. If you ever fish with tiny flies (size 18 to 24), you just use a longer finer fly leader on the 7 weight rod. I do a lot of fly fishing for brook trout and when somebody with a 5 or 6 weight rod comes with me, he is very often disappointed in how his rod performs.

 

Start out with a good double taper floating fly line. You can even make a great shooting taper for big bass bugs with the other end of the fly line. A quick search on the internet will explain how to do this.

Edited by Dabluz

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Start out with a good double taper floating fly line. You can even make a great shooting taper for big bass bugs with the other end of the fly line. A quick search on the internet will explain how to do this.

 

Agree with you on the rods but a weight forward line is easier for a beginner to cast.

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Agree with you on the rods but a weight forward line is easier for a beginner to cast.

 

I do teach fly casting to friends and I found that a double taper fly line is easier for a beginner to cast. A weight forward line works well when there is a good 30 feet of line beyond the tip of the rod. Add a 7 to 9 foot leader for normal sized flies and that is a lot of line in the air for a beginner. A double taper line is more forgiving of small mistakes when casting and is way better for roll casts. I use the roll cast for lifting the line off the water when re-casting my fly. This saves making a couple of false casts in order to get line out from the end of the rod. However, for additional distance, using a weight forward is easier to use but a beginner is not necessarily looking for distance at first....it's his timing that is most important. Timing changes according to the amount of line out past the end of the rod and the fly fisherman must feel the rod flex in order to time exactly when he must move the rod forward for the cast.

 

To make a shooting taper from a double taper is very simple.....you take the first 30 feet of line and add a good shooting line from one of the many that are sold for that purpose. I like the Cortland Oval monofilament shooting line. If you cut back the front taper just a few feet, you end up with a sort of forward taper line with a shooting line for the rest of the line. Very easy to make and you save a lot of money. The other part of the line is now an ordinary floating line 60 feet long with the taper of a double taper. When I made my shooting taper, I was surprised at how small the nail knot was between the floating line and the oval shaped monofilament shooting line.

 

Yes, I have other fly lines (fast sinking, sinking tip, weight forward etc) but you can't beat the taper of a double taper line for delicate casts for trout in lakes and ponds.

 

For very close quarters, (small rivers and streams or very small ponds) I use a 9 weight line on a 7 weight rod. This way, I can make very delicate short casts. The heavier line makes the rod work better while transfering more energy to the fly leader for those short casts with a longer rod. I also use double tapered lines that have the forward taper cut back when fishing in close quarters.

 

I have a few less expensive lines that work fabulously when cut short and added to a shooting line.

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