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Dan:

New to Fly-fishing. HELP!

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I got a new St. Croix Reign 5wt Fly rod for Christmas. I went to Orvis and picked up some 5wt weight forward floating line (BTW-SHEESH! that stuff is expensive!). I got a cheap-o reel from Bass Pro Shop (I had a gift card but I still didn't want to spend a whole lot until I know I want to really get into fly-fishing) and I also picked up some 8lb test leader material. I plan to use this setup for smallmouth bass, panfish, and occasionally trout.

I still have a few questions.

1) Do I need backing? If so, what should I look for?

2) Do I need tippet? What is the purpose of using a tippet?

3) What sort of knots do I need for: a) tying the backing or line to the reel :) tying the line to the leader c) tying the leader to a tippet if necessary and d) tying the tippet or leader to the fly?

4) Does anyone have any favorite flies for smallmouth? I am pretty close to Murray's Fly Shop in Edinburg, VA and I wanted to pick up a few flies the next time I'm on my way home from school.

Sorry for all the questions but I just have no idea where to start. I took a Fly Fishing science course at JMU last semester but we learned more about trout behavior and habitat than gear selection so I'm still pretty lost.

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I got into fly fishing about a year ago and love it.  I also have a St. Croix reign and like it a lot.  

You are going to need backing, any Dacron will do, places like Bass Pro and Cabelas have it right near the fly lines.  The setup for a fly rod is backing, fly line, leader/tippet, fly.  The purpose of tippet is to lengthen your leader which gets shortened from tying on flies, etc.  For bass you want 2x leader and 2x or 3x tippet.  For trout I usually use 6x leader and tippet.  The website below has all of the knots you will need to get setup.  Some are a bit tricky but you shouldn't have too much trouble.  For flies, I mostly use poppers for bass.  When I first started I bought a bass popper assortment from Cabelas and was happy with it.  Good luck, but be careful the fly fishing will empty you wallet if your not careful.

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

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I think Rippin pretty much covered everything.  The only thing is the lures.  Wooly buggers work pretty well.  Fly fishing for bass is great fun!  Fly line is pricey but it pays to invest in the better casting lines that cost a bit more.  It will make the fishing more enjoyable.  5 wt is the perfect beginer wt rod!

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I still have a few questions.

1) Do I need backing? If so, what should I look for?

2) Do I need tippet? What is the purpose of using a tippet?

3) What sort of knots do I need for: a) tying the backing or line to the reel :) tying the line to the leader c) tying the leader to a tippet if necessary and d) tying the tippet or leader to the fly?

.

DD you are in the wrong place for fly fishing.....this forum is excellent for bass fishing but not with a fly.

I have been using fly equipment for over a year only.

Some of your questions.

1. You need backing line, in most fresh water fishing just to fill up the spool, it make casting easier. Your reel should come with instruccion in the amount and size of the backing line. Any braid would do the job.

2. You need extra tippets, this is what connect the line to the fly through the leader. The leader has a tippet but you will run out of it changing flies and re tying. The size of the leader is the one of its tippet.

For bass I use a 3x, for pan fish a 5x.

3. Tying the backing to the line can be done with you favorite line to line knot, I use uni-uni. Line to leader I use loops, it makes easier to change leaders without cutting line. Leader to tippet knot is necessary every time that you need to change tippet, uni-uni does it for me as well. Tippet to fly I use Rapala knot for most but there are others.

I learned a lot ( and still are ) in this forum...all nice helpful people.

http://www.theflyfishingforum.com/indexold.php.

Good luck

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Hey DD: I have a feeling you can get help with this from both J Francho and Paul Roberts.

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Dan, attend the Fredericksburg Outdoor Show Feb.20-22 and the Orange County High School Sports Show-March 7 & 8. There will be fly fishing expert/s at both.

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Wayne, I'll try but I'm not sure I can make either show. Thanks for the heads up.

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Since I'm in the Gezzer class and have fly fished for over 60 years i can relate some experiences. First whaen I started fly fishing the only tapered leaders were hand tied and to expensive so we just used a piece of mono. We used 10# as I recall but any from 8 to 12# should be OK.  Don't worry about the cheap reel. Except for ocassionally fighting a really big fish from the reel the fly reel's purpose is to store your line.

I attach the leader to the line with a nail knot. This keeps a solid nonhinged connection between the line and leader. With a fly out fit you are casting the line and the leader and fly go along for the ride. Albeit the leader and fly must turn over for the best casting.

I can't remember the name of the knot I use to attach the fly to the leader but you put the line through the eye of the lure. Tie a slip knot loop and put the fly through the noose. Chince down and trim the tag end. This leaves a compact knot that works with all fly sizes.

The biggest bigginer and old hand problem is starting the forward cast too soon.

Good luck it is great fun and at times highly effective. While I don't use it often there is always a fly rod in my boats rod locker.

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Is there any easy way to get the line to go on the spool evenly? I'm used to level wind mechanisms and this is driving me CRAZY!

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Is there any easy way to get the line to go on the spool evenly? I'm used to level wind mechanisms and this is driving me CRAZY!

The only way is to use your other finger to guide the line up and down the spool arbor while you are reeling in with the other line.  So in essesnce your finger is the level wind.  

There is no way to do this while you are acutally fishing though.  If you are reeling in your line while fishing and it doesnt seem to fit your spool, then you might have too much backing or the wrong size reel.  

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