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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, I'm new to fly fishing, actually as in today was my first lesson. I definitely have a new perspective of fishing and wouldn't mind getting into fly fishing a little more since Colorado is a good place for it. Anways, what I was gonna ask is what would be a good starting rod and reel and line and such for a beginner? I've seen some combo rod and reels for around $50 to $60 that come with line, backing, and leaders but didn't know if those are something to avoid. I also want to add that I don't want to be spending A LOT of money since I can't really afford good stuff. Under $100 is what I would like to do. What is a good flyline weight to start out with? Are those quick connect flyline to leader things a good idea to get or are they more of a pain to deal with? Thanks guys, just any beginner tips or advice would be appreciated.
 

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i think id go a step or 2 up from those 50-60 dollar combos just a decent fly line will run you 30 bucks or so i started out with some cheap stuff cause that was all i could afford and it took more effort to cast and the cheep lines never floated very well i went the cheep route for many years until i inherited a decent rod a while back nothing real pricey but a 100 dollar plus rod and i put a 30 dollar line on a cheep reel and i cant believe how much easyer it is to fish with

id get the cheepest reel i could find even wally world or used at a swapmeet and then get a cheeper line from a fly shop or order it over the net and then buy the best rod you can afford with what is left but i wouldnt go more than about $100 bucks for the rod alone

you can certainly fish and have fun with cheeper stuff but i think in the long run you will end up fishing with it more if you get into the 100+ bracket for the full combo you can scrip on the reel but get a decent rod and line

as to the wieght of the rod and line that depends a lot on how you plan to fish and what type of flies you plan on chucking if you plan to fish smaller waters and use smallish flies then a light wieght like a 3 would work but if you want to make longer casts or toss big bushy flies like bass bugs and poppers a heavyer rod will be needed i seem to recall a lot of folks going with a 4 or 5 wieght and a weight forward line the weight forwrd will carry heavyer flies and cast a little farther easyer but the double tapper will be more delicate all other things being equal

i have heard some good reports on the quick conect things but i have been useing loop to loop conections latley and found them to work good for me
 

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My kid loves to fly fish, but there is no way I was going to buy him a nice rod, kids will be kids and are really rough on equipment at times. I bought him one of those scientific angler rods at wallie world, and they are pretty cheap. But it casts great and feels good in hand. Point is if you arent in it for the long run or just want to test things out dont drop alot of money until you know you want to go this route for sure.
There maybe a big difference in how well an expensive rod and a cheap one handle, but I will probably never know I have a mid-grade cortland and just bought a mid-grade cabelas rod from arkfisher. I consider these expensive, but know people who will drop 600$ on a fishing rod.
 

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Unless you really know you will become a big fly fishing afficionado, I suggest that you buy an inexpensive outfit for learning and developing your craft. I sure don't want to drop a tone of cash on someting to find out its not something I really like or will do much of in the future. I hate to admit how much money I have wasted that way.

Some folks might also tell you that you will have a better experience learning to fly fish if you learn on higher quality equipment. That can be very true. But you still don't need to buy the most expensive combination around. Find something that feels good in your hand and go from there.

Dan
 
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its like buying a les paul when you dont know a chord .....I started with a cheap berkley set up and it worked great....When I was learning to cast I spent more time at the football field down the street from my house then I did on a stream and it really paid off.....as far as knots they arent hard at all Ive got one of those six dollar knot tying tools that works awesome...for nail knots to connect your leader to your fly line ....then th surgeons knot to connect your leader to your tippet is probably the easiest knot in fishing ......hahahhahahah When I first started I couldnt get a hookset to save my life ....so I went to trout heaven in estes park pinched the barb down on my hook and taught myself how to set the hook..FOR FREE!!!!!! after I set the hook and knew I had the fish on I just gave the line some slack and soon enough they got off...bluegills are also another great way to start .....I just got my wife a set up from sportsmans a few months ago she doesnt use it so its my pack rod now and I only paid 60 bucks for it .....scientific anglers
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yah, the rigs I was looking at were the scientific anglers from wallyworld. When I was having my lesson yesterday, I borrowed my roommates rod and reel that he got as a pass on from a friend and the teacher told me that the rod was really flexible and was considered more of a finesse rod and thought it would be harder to learn on. After trying the rod he had brought which was stiffer, it did seem easier to cast. Would less expensive rods be towards the stiff end or the flexible end? Is there site that anyone knows of that shows all of the different types of fly knots? As in the ones to connect your leader and your fly line or what to use on your fly? And I'm a real newbie when it comes to fly fishing, but what is a tippet?
 
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they have little charts you can buy at any good sporting goods store .....I had mine in my vest for years before I felt good enough to go without it
 

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tippet is the material that connects your fly to your leader, tippet is 8 bucks a spool and you can tie hundreds of flies on with one spool, if you are to tie your fly directly to your leader, your would go through a leader every couple of hours- leaders are 3-2 bucks a pop. the leader is tapered and allows the energy of the rod to be transfered all the way to the fly- thus allowing a complete cast. I feel the quick connects are junk, and loop to loop seems to break the flow in the cast, the nail knot from leader to fly line flows the best, its an easy knot. I feel a 5 weight rod is perfect for any game in colorado- when learning. When buying gear, don't break the bank, all these guys are right. The only advice I can offer is to make sure you buy correct weights in every aspect. If you buy a 5 weight rod, buy a 5 weight reel, fly line and leader. having a balanced set up is the most important key to easy casting. also, knot dressing is worth its weight in gold- UV knotsense. Its all trial and error, and every one here has something to offer. I just gave my two sense I what I feel is important, all of these things can help without alot of dough!
 

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I've been fly fishing since I was about 8, but only in the past year have I started to target trout. I never thought fly fishing was too complicated when I was only targeting warmwater species -- bass, crappie, perch, bluegill, and most of the saltwater fish I caught didn't seem too concerned about tippets, balanced leaders, etc. However, I can't stress enough how much better the whole experience is when the equipment is properly matched, like hellfish said.

After flysfishing for trout a TON this season (made about 40 outings so far) and spending some time with people who have done it since the beginning of time I've noticed that flyfishing is much more complicated than I first thought. Casting seems to be only about 30% of the battle (and that's the only part I do well unfortunately). I went to a used book store and got some book on the basics of Flyfishing (by Orvis). It's a bit old, but I'm told that nail knots and loop to loop connections haven't changed much in the past 7 years, so it's still a very useful resource.

I have found that the fish in Boulder creek (up in the canyon) don't seem to be too particular and as such it's a nice place to practice and have a postivie experience.
 

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Here are a couple of sites for fishing knots:

http://www.fish4fun.com/knots.htm

http://www.marinews.com/fishing/fk_main.htm

(just from a google of "fishing knots")...

wrt fast or slow rods, it is my opinion that a person should use whatever works best. Fast rods are generally better in windy conditions, but I truly like the feel of a slower rod most of the time. So, I'm obviously no Lefty Kreh or anything, but I do know what helps me cast better. I still need lots and lots of practice, so you can take this for what it's worth.
 
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learn what a drag free drift is ....its easier said then done but everyonce and a while I acomplish this and for the most part I get rewarded ....I think another mistake people make when the start flyfishing is only use dry fly's ....I read somewhere that trout do 90% of there feeding subsurface ....so learning about feeding lanes and other things of that nature could help ...its certainly helped me....another great thing about fly fishing in colorado is the methods you read about in magazines actually work here ....apposed to using huge swimbaits for bass or other things that really isnt geared to the colorado fisherman(note I said huge, im sure someone will reply how they do good on swimbaits, but they arent the 12 inch rainbow swimbaits they use in cali or mexico ) There is also tons of literature about colorado rivers that you can put to use . I have one that lists all the main rivers in colorado, it gives you a hatch chart, flies to use during each hatch and stage of the hatch, and a map with near by camping ...Your resourse's on fly fishing in colorado can be endless pick a body of water close to your house, get all the info you can and let those fish have it !!
 

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I heard from a well known guide that a custom rod manufacturer said that it never cost more than 100.00 to make a great rod...just makes you think what we are paying for when we buy those 600.00+ rods...the name?

TH
 

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apposed to using huge swimbaits for bass or other things that really isnt geared to the colorado fisherman(note I said huge, im sure someone will reply how they do good on swimbaits, but they arent the 12 inch rainbow swimbaits they use in cali or mexico )
i need some of those big rainbow swim baits to drag for big lakers and pike/muskie
 

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TroutHunter said:
I heard from a well known guide that a custom rod manufacturer said that it never cost more than 100.00 to make a great rod...just makes you think what we are paying for when we buy those 600.00+ rods...the name?

TH
ive done a bit of rod building no fly rods yet but just a quick look and i see lots of fly rod blanks in the $300 range and good high quality guides cost a bit to and you figure an auto mech gets from 40-60 per hour to fix your car is that the level of quality you want from someone building your rod and a good rod put to gether right and finished good could take a couple hours and we are just talking glass/graphite rods. you want a realy special rod have a custom split bambo rod made
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for all the tips guys. I'm still thinking before I jump into anything that I find. We visited that St. Peter's Fly shop over in old town this afternoon to see what they had. Definitely some nice stuff I'm just not sure if can through down $180 for a rod and reel quite yet. I do think I want to get into flyfishing because of its advantages here in Colorado. I'm thinking of looking at the sportsman's warehouse tomorrow to see what they might have. Now, I know that fly fishing is set around trout, but just how careful do you have to be with flyfishing in catching fish compared to spincasting? Right now I'm using a medium-light action rod with 8LB test line, how would this compare with using 5 or 6 weight flyline and a good leader and tippit? I know I have to play the fish more but when would a fish be too big for this setup?
 
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Ive got a six wieght and ive landed a number of fish over 20 inches .....You just have to remeber when your practicing catch and release there is a point where enough is enough and you either need to brake the fish off or haus him in .....I see alot of guys with tiny set ups im thinking like 4 wieght sit out there and fight a 14 inch rainbow for 20 minutes .....there is where the question is ...is using really light equipment sporting and being under prepared and harmfull to fish ......personally I dont think you can go wrong buying a 5/6 wieght for your first set up ...I had a 7 wiegh rod given to me so I matched it with a reel and its honestly to much for me as far as trout streams maybe I can use it for wipers or other warmwater fish ....I still dont have a really expensive set up for the reason the only time I fly fish and fly fish only is spring and fall ....but this winter I do plan on spending alot of time down in the famous colorado tail waters .....ive got a sierra reel and a drake rod ....and the combo works great for me .....the sierra reel isnt expensive and the drag still works ....its usually the first thing to go on less expensive reels ....and the drake rod I got for 30 bucks at garts off wadsworth on sale from over 100....
 

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If you're interested, I see that Hook and Hackle is closing out their St. Croix Imperials at 40% off, which makes them $90 net. They still have 8'6" 5wts left, which would be a good rod in a good size (for local trout fishing) with a good warranty to learn on. AND, it would still be a good back-up rod that you could continue to fish once you become accomplished. The trouble with going too low on the quality scale is, IMHO, that the rod is pretty useless once you progress anywhere above the "thrashing the water and bushes" stage of casting:
http://www.mailordercentral.com/hookhack/products.asp?dept=146
 

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TroutHunter said:
I heard from a well known guide that a custom rod manufacturer said that it never cost more than 100.00 to make a great rod...just makes you think what we are paying for when we buy those 600.00+ rods...the name?

TH
$100, even at list prices, will definitely buy the components to build a "great" rod, i.e. a crisp rod with enough power to throw tight loops if needed and decent enough components. But generally speaking, even the relatively mediocre quality components on high end Sage, Winston, Orvis, etc. will cost well over $50 wholesale which doesn't leave much room for the blank cost. It's the warranties that really drive the price up. Orvis started 'em and everybody else jumped on board. Classic case of an entire industry chasing and conforming to a bad business decision. That's why the second-hand value of a rod is, or should be, about half of new price -- the warranty only follows original owner. Of course now that "handling" charges have been padded by the mfr's, the difference in full-bore repair charges and the warrantied coverage is narrower. So my used price guideline is probably changing.

For example, my trusty old Sage DS905 which I've probably fished between 300-500 days, had the butt section replaced under warranty, but has been mostly a back-up rod for the last 10 years is apparently worth around $125 or so on the used market. It was only a bit over $200 new, so this baffles/amazes me, especially with the expired warranty as mentioned above. But if that's what some people want to pay for it, I'll gladly take it and build, say, a Dan Craft SigV or FT out of the proceeds.
 
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