Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Hey guys,

 

One of my goals this summer is to teach myself how to fly fish. I have been doing some reading and watching some videos to build my beginner skills. I will be doing fresh water fly fishing targeting panfish to learn (nothing over a pound), but I would also like the rod/line to be able to handle a bass and I will eventually be out there trying to land larger fish after I get the basic skills under my belt.

 

What I am asking is the following:

Best affordable Rod/Reel setup for a beginner?

Best line if the set up does not come pre-spooled or with line in the package?

Handful of best flies for bluegills/perch/bass/pickerel (aka general fresh warm water species)?

Miscellaneous gear that I wouldn't have for normal fishing? (I also carry grippers, fishing pliers, line snippers, knife, scale...just in case!)

Storage options for flies or other materials?

 

Any information is super valuable. I am very excited to start getting out there and seeing what it is like. 

 

Hope everyone has a great day.

Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In my experience, it's better to avoid bad habits upfront rather than to correct them later.  You used to be able to go to an Orvis store for lessons.  It's not as simple as it seems and some instruction would do you well.  Also avoid the package deals for flyrods at the big box stores.  Flyfishing is expensive.  Very expensive.  Start small with panfish to hone your casting skills.  It's much harder to properly cast the bigger flies and poppers used for bass.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The rod and reel setup will most likely have to be a 5 weight to cover all those species.  Get much higher and you most likely won't have the best setup for the panfish, go lighter and then you run into problems with the bigger species. 

 

Flies I tie are poppers in sizes for both panfish and bass, gurglers, foam ants, clouser minnows, slumpbusters. There are other flies I have luck with but those are my main ones.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used YouTube videos to learn, and practice.  I learned a few months ago.  Here in Illinois, you can fly fish some of the fisheries that stock Rainbow Trout a week before the season opens, catch and release only.  I wanted to do that so I bought a 7'6'' 3wt setup, and practiced in my backyard with a two inch piece of yarn tied on.  No hook.  Then hit a stocked stream and caught some Rainbows.  Then added a 9' 6wt and took them both to a local pond and caught bluegills, crappie, and bass.  

 

It's worth it to me.  It's so different from conventional fishing.  There are days when I like to have three rods or more, and walk the bank searching out bass, but then I also have days were I want to throw on my vest, and have one rod, and everything I need on my person.  

 

I know it was advised above to stay away from packages from big box stores, but I have to "Synch" combos from Cabela's and they came with fly line, and tippet already spooled.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also as stated above Fly fishing can be expensive just like any other hobby.  I have two combos I bought, one 8 wt and the other a 5wt.  They were both $150 or less with the rod, reel and line and backing on it.  They might not be the best that the Fly Fishing Purists have but they get the job done for me.  I have a whole lot more money in conventional gear than I do in fly gear.  So it depends how serious you want to get with it, then it may start getting expensive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fly fishing doesn’t have to be expensive, that’s just what everyone wants you to believe (so they can sell you junk). Pfleuger medalist is the best beginner kit I know of, and you can catch fish on it for years after. I used mine from age 12-13 up into my early 20s. I still use cheap fly rods and They can cast just as far and accurate as anything else. Believe me I’ve compared them all side by side on practice ponds. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I should have added, if you think top water is fun on conventional, wait for your first strike on a popper on a fly rod!  I've got blue gill, crappie, and bass on poppers and it is fun!

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you guys for all the input.

 

For reference, I have LOTS of fishing gear (I fish both fresh and salt water, shore, kayak and surf). When I said affordable, I did not mean budget junk. I can spend around 200 for the rod and reel (or more if it's a good deal). Gear can be more of course.

 

Thank you for the suggestion of Cabela's (surprisingly decent gear....hate BPS crap though) and Pfleuger. I own multiple presidents and a patriarch so I like the company. Obviously companies that do different styles of fishing may not produce equal quality gear so thank you all for the inputs. I was considering the 5w but would a 3w be better for a beginner (more manageable)?

 

Appreciate the quick responses.

10 minutes ago, MrFrost said:

I should have added, if you think top water is fun on conventional, wait for your first strike on a popper on a fly rod!  I've got blue gill, crappie, and bass on poppers and it is fun!

That's what is really drawing me to it. I often fish topwater with things not necessarily designed for topwater (plastics, live baits, sometimes I can keep hard bodies up in the water column).

 

There is nothing like watching the swirl. And with a nice pair or Costa's you  can literally watch the mouth open up and suck it in.

 

Tight lines and game on!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Spend the money on the line and rod. A suitable reel can be had for very little money, new or used. I would go with a 5 or 6 WT as a good middle of the road size for panfish and bass. The issue with the rod is in it being able to cast they fly, not so much fighting fish. I find Cabela's and BPS combos offer a lot of bang for the $.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All a fly reel does is hold your line, no need for a expensive reel with state of the art drags for freshwater panfish or bass. I use my old 1492 Pflueger fly reel, the line cost more then the reel. Fenwick makes some excellent entry level 5 weight fly rods, 8 1/2' would be a good choice.

I learned to fly fish by watching others do it, simple haul and overhead cast is easy using balanced rod and line. You can catch panfish and bass using  McGinty bee and black ant dry flies, poppers have a lot more wind resistance and harder to use.

Good luck,

Tom 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cabelas usually has some good combos..I would start with a 8-81/2' 5 or 6 wt...That will get you started on bluegills or trout...Bluegills and poppers are a great way to learn on a lake as you can focus on non moving water and seldom have to worry about your backcast...then you can start to tweek your casting as you get the feel for things. A 6 wt will handle smallmouth on smaller flies but if you are wanting largemouth and big flies you will have to move up to an 8 wt. As other have said focus on a decent WF line..The reel is just to hold line.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't want to spend a lot?  Get a complete.  The owner of this company is a buddy of mine I've known since we were kids. 

 

https://www.amazon.com/stores/node/13180987011?_encoding=UTF8&field-lbr_brands_browse-bin=Wild Water&ref_=bl_dp_s_web_13180987011

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, LipRipper978 said:

Thank you guys for all the input.

 

For reference, I have LOTS of fishing gear (I fish both fresh and salt water, shore, kayak and surf). When I said affordable, I did not mean budget junk. I can spend around 200 for the rod and reel (or more if it's a good deal). Gear can be more of course.

 

Thank you for the suggestion of Cabela's (surprisingly decent gear....hate BPS crap though) and Pfleuger. I own multiple presidents and a patriarch so I like the company. Obviously companies that do different styles of fishing may not produce equal quality gear so thank you all for the inputs. I was considering the 5w but would a 3w be better for a beginner (more manageable)?

 

Appreciate the quick responses.

That's what is really drawing me to it. I often fish topwater with things not necessarily designed for topwater (plastics, live baits, sometimes I can keep hard bodies up in the water column).

 

There is nothing like watching the swirl. And with a nice pair or Costa's you  can literally watch the mouth open up and suck it in.

 

Tight lines and game on!

A 3 weight is no more manageable than a 5. In fact it seems the opposite to me, 3 weight is more specialized for small streams and small trout. The bigger the weight the easier they are to cast (for distance)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a little 7' 3wt, and @TnRiver46 is right, it's not easy to cast.  A 5/6 would suit your needs better.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, J Francho said:

I have a little 7' 3wt, and @TnRiver46 is right, it's not easy to cast.  A 5/6 would suit your needs better.

They are fun for small Brook trout streams though, aren't they?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've fished for panfish with it.  Not many brookies other than one creek ,way on the other side of the city.  I have creeks with salmon, browns, and steelhead runs in them, so no 3 wt. there, lol.

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, J Francho said:

Don't want to spend a lot?  Get a complete.  The owner of this company is a buddy of mine I've known since we were kids. 

 

https://www.amazon.com/stores/node/13180987011?_encoding=UTF8&field-lbr_brands_browse-bin=Wild Water&ref_=bl_dp_s_web_13180987011

This looks affordable and like it will get me on the water and learning. Very nice and has great reviews. Most likely ordering one later today.

 

Thank you everyone for the responses. I'm definitely more of a finesse angler so I'm excited to try something new and expand my skills.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What I have done is the past with a 5/6 WT when wanting to throw a larger more wind resistant popper or streamer designed for a heavier wt rod is to make up a pseudo shooting head out of some 8 or even 9 wt line. You will be limited to maybe a 30-50 ft cast, depending on skill and wind, but that is often plenty. Also a WF line will be a better choice for panfish and bass than a DT line, which most combos come with. oh, and black montana flies in like 3 sizes are a must, everything hits that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, J Francho said:

Don't want to spend a lot?  Get a complete.  The owner of this company is a buddy of mine I've known since we were kids. 

 

https://www.amazon.com/stores/node/13180987011?_encoding=UTF8&field-lbr_brands_browse-bin=Wild Water&ref_=bl_dp_s_web_13180987011

 

Wow, this looks nice. Thanks for sharing.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with what has already been said about a 3 wt.  Don't go there.  I learned many, many years go on an 8 wt GL3.  Fast tip.  I can unload the fly line with this rod.  A few years ago I bought a 3 wt for panfish built by a guy on another forum.  Rod has a slow action.  Compounded my error by putting a double taper line on it.

 

Wow.  Probably can spit further than I can cast that baby....and I can't spit worth a hill of beans.  Has sat every since....since I have only been bass fishing for some time.  Keep wanting to get it out again, but never have.  :sad78:

 

OP, you seem like the kind of guy that isn't going to stick with one basic outfit.  I bet you wind up with more money tied up in fly fishing than you bargained for.  Fly tying can get addictive...and expensive.  Some people fly fish just so they can tie more flies.  :D  Flies can be gorgeous works of art.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, new2BC4bass said:

OP, you seem like the kind of guy that isn't going to stick with one basic outfit.  I bet you wind up with more money tied up in fly fishing than you bargained for.  Fly tying can get addictive...and expensive.  Some people fly fish just so they can tie more flies.  :D  Flies can be gorgeous works of art.

Nail on the head haha.

 

I'm fine with that. I'm also hopeful that as I invest time into this style of fishing, that I will also start to tie my own flies. Nice down time activity.

 

I carry 2 surf rods, a pier/jetty rod, and 3 conventional reels for freshwater in my car at all times. I have waders and rubber hunting boots in my car as well. All of my plano boxes and probably 15lbs of soft plastics. I carry special rigs for different fish as well (pickerel cause they destroy things, fluke/flounder, and squid). The trout specialization stays in the shed until Spring/Fall. Not many places around me naturally have trout in them year round so I wait till they are stocked.

 

I am a tackle addict, so I have no issue taking the red pills and falling down the rabbit hole....may I never recover from this addiction.

 

A joke a coworker recently told me:

If you have kids and you are worried that they will start to use drugs, get them into fishing. They will NEVER have the money to buy drugs. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I learned on a $50 Pflueger kit from BPS. It actually was not terrible. Probably caught 500+ fish on it including several bass over 3 pounds. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/20/2019 at 10:41 AM, BassWhole! said:

 The issue with the rod is in it being able to cast they fly, not so much fighting fish.

This right here. 

 

Also, I'd get two rods to start.

 

The first: the cheapest 7'6" 3wt glass rod you can find. I like my Eagle claw. This rod will be awesome to learn on, and since it's slower in action it will force you to slow down on your casts. The number one mistake I see when teaching newbies is they want to whip the rods back and forth like an inflatable-arm-flailing-tube-man. This rod will also make a 6" bluegill feel like you're fighting a tuna, so that's a plus. Also super for any small-creek trout fishing you may find yourself in.

 

The second: 9' 7wt (or a 9'6 6 wt). I'd go for something form TFO (not the BVK. BVK is a dry fly rod, and you'll hate it for streamers it's pick-up strength is really lacking) or Redington for a cheap but not trash rod. I like the Professional Series II (TFO) and the Crux (Redingtion) for bass. The 7wt will be more ideal for the bass bugs, but a tad too heavy for most of your smaller pan fish or trout. 

 

As for reels, Okuma just came out with the "Sierra X," which is much better than their older Sierras, though still pretty cheap. I'd go up a little bit and get the SLV. Or if you're near a Sportsman's Warehouse, they usually have a deal going on for their Lost Creek Fly Reel for like $100 off. Not the best reel, but it's fully machined and has a decent drag on it. 

 

Line: Weight Forward floating will do 99% of your pan fish stuff, while a sink-tip or full sink would be necessary for most streamer applications for bass (though this depends heavily on how deep the fish are). If it's mostly topwaters go with the WF floating. Double Tapers suck, sorry old-schoolers. GET A NICE LINE. You're line will probably cost more than most cheap reels, and you're really going to need it as the line almost has more to do with your cast than the rod, and certainly way more influence than the reel. I really like the Scientific Anglers Amplitude Smooth in their Infinity Taper as an all-around line (I've got it in a 5, 6, 7, and 8). 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • fishing

    fishing forum

    fishing rods

    fishing poles

    fishing

    fishing poles

    fishing poles

    fishing reels

    fishing

    fishing

    bass fish

    fish for bass
    fish

×
×
  • Create New...