When my wife said that she wanted us to start fishing, and especially from the kayaks, I told her that like racing RC cars, fishing is very costly in both time and money. And so far she hasn't complained about either so....
I think I want to start fly fishing. Honestly I've never had any interest in it until moving to FL and never saw the attraction to it but I think it's time to give it a try. With that being said, I'm looking for advice on some gear for a beginner. Rods and reels, line and leader, tippets (don't know what this is) and flies. The target would be anything inshore south florida both from the kayak and from places I can only get to via kayak.
I'm not looking for brand recommendations necessarily, more about the class of gear to get. How long of a rod, how heavy a line / leader, do I need weighted leaders.... That kind of stuff but I won't discount any brand recommendations. My favorite spinning outfit right now is a 7' Crowder Salute (med action, 15lb) with a Daiwa 3000 series reel if that helps. I don't think Crowder makes fly rods tho.
Thanks for any advice you can give!
EDIT: Almost forgot... I'm looking to be in the $200-300 range for enough to get started.
Head over to the "Fly Fishing with MC" part of the site and read through some of the older posts. Given your budget, you should consider picking up used gear. But read through the older posts and then maybe you might have some more specific questions.
Or better yet drop a note over in Fly fishing with MC and ask him when he's working and drop by BPS shop to visit. He was doing free fly fishing lessons, I think Thursday evenings... but there was a post about BPS shutting them down so check with him.
I'm a new-bie at fly fishing for the 3rd or 4th time.. recently purchased a TFO9'1 2 piece rod and a used Orvis reel, went 7wt. as a general all around setup., thats all I know. Last couple times I had a 7'wt and also a 9wt setup that after I lost interest my son now owns.
Or maybe even better yet, I moved this thread to Fly Fishing with MC... hopefully he will see it and reply.
I'm sure MC will comment, but another thing I've noticed, as I've had both 9wt., and 7/8wt. rigs, is that to start with the smaller one would be best for learning. Both rods may be the same length, 9', but the wt. of the overall set up is less in the 7/8wt , so it is easier to learn the basics of casting. Lighter wt. rods are a bit easier on kayaks as well.
Post by mangrovecuckoo on Mar 20, 2017 21:06:23 GMT -5
All of the above = good advice.
There are two ways to look at this. There are beginners outfits generally between $100 - $150 that all you need to add is water and a fly. The rods, although fine to learn on, are not great... and the reels will not last a lifetime.
And you are correct, for around 2X that (or maybe a little more) you can put together a good combo of rod and reel that will be significantly better quality than the beginner combo. But you will need to do some homework.
For your beginner's experience the relative importance is, in order: rod, line, reel.
The thing is, buying a rod is like buying shoes: it doesn't matter what the shoes cost, or who's name is on the label... if the shoes don't fit - they will not make you happy. Same goes for fly rods. But how do you know which fly rod fits you best? You don't, until you try a few of them. Whatever you do, do not let someone else tell you what fly rod is the best. Just like you would not let them tell you which shoes to buy... it might fit them perfect but be completely wrong for you.
So... whats the answer? Find a flyfishing club and go to their casting sessions and try every rod you can get your hands on. Everyone there will be swapping for the same reason. Second to that beg, borrow or steal your buddies rods and try them. Also, go to any fly shop and ask to "demo" all the rods in your budget. The shop will not be alarmed, in fact they will approve... but be aware of being pressured to purchase... it is not mandatory.
If that is not something you are willing to go through... well, thats where the low cost combos come in. Use them for a year or so and learn how to cast. By then you will understand what type of caster you are and you can then step up to a better rod. The beginners outfit will then become your backup and you can lend it to your spouse or offspring to get them started too.
In a way, I think you may have talked me into a beginners combo. Having never even held a fly rod, let alone tried to cast one, I could do that homework but still not know what is going to work. The same can be said for trying a bunch of rods since I don't know what it's supposed to feel like. At least with the combo, I would assume that the rod/reel/line is matched to work together which takes that out of the equation. After getting a feel for casting and a few hundred (thousand?) learning casts under my belt I'll have an idea of how I want the next rod/reel/line to feel. Plus, if I decide fly fishing is not for me, I won't have a very expensive fly rod hanging on the wall in the garage but if I like it enough to upgrade, I won't consider it a waste of money since, like you said, I can keep it as a backup or hand it down to someone else to learn on.
As far as beginner stuff, I'm looking at the TFO NXT or the Orvis Encounter both in a 7 or 8wt. Having read some reviews, it seems that the biggest drawback of either would be the warranty, or lack thereof.
TBarcia: One of the things I was most surprised about was the fact that as a beginner I could feel the difference between a rod that cast well for me, and one that didn't. Didn't take long after understanding how to make the basic "stroke" that I was trying better rods and could feel a difference between them and my "beginner" rod.
As an example, with my first rod, I could never feel the rod "load", so I could never understand what the books were saying about having that feel before starting the forward cast. With a better rod, I immediately felt the sensation of load -- it was a big "aha!" moment for me, and my casting improved because of it.
Post by mangrovecuckoo on Mar 24, 2017 18:16:29 GMT -5
Yep... ap hit it right on the nose! Feeling the rod load and unload is critical to learning. Flycasting well really is about feeling, both for beginners and everyone else.
The good news is most modern beginner outfits are good that way. Actually maybe too much so. There is a trade off between easy loading and a crisp recovery.
I see so many beginners have trouble learning with hand-me-down rods from their buddies. There usually is a reason their friends are willing to part with the rods. It is especially hard to learn on heavier rods, like 9wts and up, again because they are hard to feel and load.
And tbarcia you are also correct that warranties are important. If you are going to spend more than the minimum I suggest to be sure the rod has a warranty. Broken flyrods are a fact of life. I've broken a couple in the last year... after not breaking any in the previous five years... maybe I'm getting the fumbles as old age approaches? Anyway, unfortunately, you won't get a warranty on a minimum priced rod. Thats what makes the pricier rods pricier... they wrap in the warranty cost. TFO probably offers the best low price rods with a warranty.