||Topic: Can someone help?
Can anyone recommend a decent low priced rod and reel for fly fishing?
Hope someone can advise me.
Word tiger, um...I've already posted this somewhere, but the Temple Fork Outfitters series one rods are amazing for their price...designed with Lefty Kreh. They are about $109.00. That is a steal at that price.
For reels, I'd have to say the Dragonfly Kamloops. It has an excellent drag system that is exposed for easy maintenance, and it has a casette system for spooling so you can pop in different lines in seconds to match the changing conditions.
For fly lines, I am a huge advocate of Scientific Anglers or Cortland Line Company. If you're just starting out, ask for the Cortland Fair Play line. It is a Weight Forward, and it is an excellent line for its price (around $32). You wil also want a 5/6 weight outfit for trout to start out with or if you want salmon, an 8/9 weight. If you have no idea what any of this means in fly fishing jargon, just print this out and take it into a fly shop and they will have what I just said whipped up and ready to go for you in a few minutes.
Here is an old post of mine in answer to a question from a newcomer to the sport:
I began fly fishing last season and experienced the same problems you are facing now.
I am from Ontario where I was used to fishing the big lakes for Muskie, Pike, Bass, Walleye, etc using a spin cast.
I came to BC some years ago and have never had much success fishing with my old rig ... why? Different fish, different water
I finally decided to delve into fly fishing.
Here are some things I learned along the way:
1) As you already stated; fishing is an art and as such everyone has different tastes, likes, and experiences. What works well for one may not work for another. Why? Conditions are NEVER the same twice in any given body of water, nor is the weather.
In addition, "there are many ways to skin a cat."
2) The Rod - As someone above stated it is best to start off with a 5 or 6 weight rod that is 9 feet in length. But what one to buy?
Honestly, it is like anything else ... you could buy $2,000 golf clubs ... but if you can't golf they will perform no better than the clubs you pick up at Canadian Tire.
Learn to fly fish on a decent rod ($100 range). It will have good action and suit your purposes until you get hooked on fly fishing.
One thing to consider is how many sections it comes in. If you plan on doing a lot of bushwacking to get to your fishing spot you may want a backpack sized rod (several sections) rather than one that only has two sections.
3) The Reel - You really do not need anything fancy here either. Something in the $40 - $50 dollar range will do you just fine. There are reels that have a spool that detaches and those without. I do highly recommend a reel that you can change spools. This way you can buy 2 or 3 spools and load them with different types of line and be ready to change on the fly if need be.
4) The Line - DO NOT SKIMP OUT ON ANY PORTION OF THE LINE. A good fly line can make all the difference. The line is broken down into the following parts:
a) The Backing - This is what you use to tie the line to the reel. It is nylon (I think) and very strong. Not much to know about this reaaly.
b) The Line - To start with I recommend a "weight forward" floating line. This allows you to get a better feel for your cast and you are less likely to get snagged beneath the water as you learn the art of casting. It will also be more versatile as you can use sinking flies as well. Get one that matches the weight of your rod (i.e. 6 weight).
There is a "beginner" line that has a slight bulge in the line that acts as an indicator (makes a slight sound as it leaves the tip). This actually helps to get your rythym down.
Lastly get a coloured line so that you can see where you have cast etc. (Oh the old timers are laughing now). It will not spook the fish as the leader and tippet (coming up) are tranluscent and far enough away from the line.
c) The Leader - The leader gets tied to the line and acts as a junction between the line and the tippet. A knotless leader is best for a beginner.
It is important to make sure you get the right weight for your rod and the fish you are targeting. Most line is rated with an X system (0-8); 2X, 3X, 4X, 5X etc. This had me REALLY confused. a 0X is actually the thickest but strongest and a 8X is the thinnest and weakest.
If you have a 6 weight rod you should ideally stick to 5X to 7X leader (with a line and tippet to match).
Next you need to consider the size fly you will be using. Generally you use this as a guide:
Leader size Recommended fly sizes
0X fly sizes 2 - 1/0
1X fly sizes 4 - 8
2X fly sizes 6 - 10
3X fly sizes 10 - 14
4X fly sizes 12 - 16
5X fly sizes 14 - 18
6X fly sizes 16 - 22
7X fly sizes 18 - 24
8X fly sizes 22 - 28
(Or as a general rule divide the fly size by 3 or 4 to get the X you are looking for.
If you are fishing trout a 5X is likely what you will be using.
In moving water the leader should be 7.5-9 feet long. In standing water 12+ feet in length. The longer the leader the less accurate the cast. But in some cases the length is required so you do not spook the fish when it hits the water. Also the longer the leader the more difficult it is to cast in windy conditions.
d) The Tippet - The tippet is the terminal end of the line. This is the part that the fly gets tied to. It is also there to prolong the life of the leader. If you constantly tied your flies to your leader you would be replacing it much more frequently as you cut off flies to reattach new ones. The tippet does not have to be too long (1-2 feet) just be sure to replace it as it gets cut down closer to the leader.
Use the chart from above to match up your tippet size with the fly size you will be using.
This is a good article to get you the basics of fly lines:
5) Flies - Choosing the right fly for the right situation is an art in itself, and perhaps one of the more challenging aspects of fly fishing.
Being an entomologist myself really helped me out in this area.
a) Dry Flies - These mimic adult insects and float on the surface of the water. The type and colour of fly hatching out of the water will depend upon the weather, time of year, time of day, and available food and harbourage.
Generally in the cooler months (spring and fall) the hatches are darker in colour (Black, brown, olive). In the warmer months (summer) the hatches are lighter in colour (tan, off white, yellow, or grey).
b) Wet Flies - These flies mimic larva/nymphs (or more correctly naiads), pupa, or dead adults (all of which can be found under water). In fact, 80-90% of insect food taken in by fish will be beneath the water. The flies that you use will need to mimic the life stage of the insects that the fish are feeding on.
The Nymph (naiad) stage is the most sought after by fish as this is the stage where insects are most abundant (just hatched from the egg) and most vulnerable.
c) Leeches - Many fish will feed upon this "larger bait." Again match up your fly to the preferred food source for the area.
d) Terrestrial Bait - These are insects, amphibian, and even mammals that tend to live on land but occasionly enter water (Beetles, Wasps, Grasshoppers, Mice, etc.) These will be more of a trial an error but can be a lot of fun to fish.
In all cases it is best to study the water you will be fishing or pick the brain of a seasoned veteran of the area on which flies to use.
6) Location - Where to fish?
Start with a place where casting will not be difficult (sheltered from the wind, clear shoreline, and not overcrowded). Forget about how many fish or what type are there. Head out and practice casting. Pick a leaf in the water and see if you can hit it. If you catch a fish it will be a bonus
As you get the hang of casting head to a lake or stream that is stocked or produces lots of smaller fish. These are likely not overcrowded as the "true" anglers are fishing waters where trophy fish live. This will give you the chance to catch a few and get the hang of fighting the fish with a fly rod.
Once you have things "mastered," head off to the local fly fishing shop and pick their brain for a good location to try out your skills.
Most of all ... HAVE FUN !!!
A good book I picked up looked at fly fishing in a really light hearted way. It was fun to read and had some great tips. It is called "The Fish Bum's Guide to Catching Larger Trout" by Mike Croft. The ISBN number is 1-57188-142-5 (Take the number into Chapters and they can search it out for you) and it costs about $20.00.
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