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tennwalkinghorse

Fly Rod for Lg. Mouth Bass

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I was thinking of getting started with fly fishing for bass. I am new to this so I have some questions. Were I fish the fish are about up to say 5lb. would be big most about 2-31/2 lbs. ,would a 9' 7wt. using a 8wt. fly line work well for this or should I go to a 8 or 9wt. 9' rod? I have read that you should not use tapered leader with big bass bugs? Would it be better to just use a regular fluor line as a leader and if so what pound test for # 8wt. fly line? Any help to a new bee starting out would be appreciated. I am looking at a combo rod and reel set up to start looking to spend in the $150.00 to $175.00 area any recommendations. L.L Bean,Bass Pro, Cabela's, Orvis,so on .

Thanks

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In that price range, I'd spend just a little more and get into a TFO or even a Sage Launch.  As far as line weights go, you could fish an 8, 9, or 10.  It just depends on where you are an what you're throwing to.  A good starting point, though, is an 8 weight.  There's enough rod to throw bass bugs and not be tired after thirty minutes, and it will handle smaller stuff as well. You can find a good used reel from Ross or someone similar on Ebay for around $40 a lot of the time.

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The most important factors are the cover you'll be fishing in and fly (hook) size. A rod is a casting tool, and a fighting tool. Don't go too light for LM.

In terms of power:

A 6wt is akin to a finesse spinning rod.

7wt = M spinning

8-9wt = MH spinning/M casting

I use a 9wt for LM bc of the dense vegetation I'm up against. I think an 8 would be ideal all around, but you'll have to look at the waters you fish.

As to the other big factor, fly size (air resistance or weight), IMO you cannot use too big a fly for LM much of the time. There are times when a small (3") streamer is important, but a lot of places and times BIG files attract LMs -esp topwater, or a heavy one for deep dredging.

There are LOTS of good rods out there. The only recommendation I would have is to get a fast action rod. Stay away from more moderate actions. The reel does not need to be fancy. Drag is unimportant as you handle that with your line hand.

Leaders: I use a tapered leader bc the butt section is mated to the fly-line and is rarely changed. The rest of the leader will be altered for various uses. For the butt, mass is what counts and I use .023 for my 9wt.

The tippet used depends on the fly (hook size), and the length of the leader. Trying to accurately control a non-tapered leader of lengths over ~4ft is difficult. If I'm using a large topwater then I might have only a two-part leader (.023, .017). If I find I need a smaller streamer (#2 hook) I may add a short section of appropriate tippet (say .014 for the #2). If I need a longer leader to gain some depth or to fish flat water or..., the taper becomes important for cast control and overall leader strength -you can't step down diameters too sharply.

You can buy factory tapered leaders but I found that just getting a few filler spools of Trilene XT or Maxima or other tough mono is far more versatile. They'll last you a long time. One advantage to knotless factory leaders is there are no knots (Surgeon's) to catch algae. But this is a minimal problem really. With factory leaders (at $3 a pop) end up whittled down and you end up tying knots anyway.

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I would recommend a 9' - 8 weight rod with 9 weight, weight-forward, floating line. It's very easy to cast bulky bass bugs when you use line that is one weight heavier than your rod. This will make learning to cast easier as well, it is very forgiving.

This is what I use. I used to use a 7 weight for mostly SMB, and it was a little too light for LMB flies. 7 wts are better suited for large trout and smallies. If you are going to be casting mostly big bass bugs around weedegdes as I do, a 9' - 9 wt with 10 wt line would be worth considering. I almost wish I had done this, then I could cast large northern pike flies more easily.

In that price range, I would recommend a St. Croix Triumph combo, if you can still find them. Cabela's had them cheap last month, and they sold out quickly. I think they've been discontinued.  You don't need to go with a crazy expensive and sensitive rod with LMB fly fishing since you're mostly watching you flies and your line for strikes, rather than feeling them.  Nice, crisp rods are easier to cast, but using heavier line on a decent rod is pretty easy to cast, too.

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What these already guys said is spot on. I consider my 6-weights good for creek Smallies, and for fun fishing, and my 8-weights better for general Bass fishing. 7-weight splits the difference. For really big fish, or heavy cover, the 9-weight comes out to play.

Most folks consider an 8-weight a basic Bass rod.

Tapered leaders will work for bigger flies, you just need the right leader, no little 4X type stuff.

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Good stuff so far...  I find a fast action 7wt. in my hands most often but my home lakes offers little in the way of grass.  I do fish in the timber though.  (I have to change leaders often just like retying with regular fishing)

You should go to a full line fly shop like an Orvis or something and cast some rods... they all let you go outside and do some casting.  (bass pro will if they have extra people working)  It's a great way to try a couple and see which weights and actions feel best to you.  Also most guys can help a beginner get the hang of it.   And don't worry about not buying... most of the guys in our orvis try to get people to go cast just so they can also get out for a few minutes and cast with you.  ...lol

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All great advice so far so I don't have much to add.  I'd agree with flechero about trying some out before you buy if possible.  He's right on about not feeling pressured about making a staffer stand outside while you test rods you might not buy anyway, you are his/her excuse for not stocking shelves or fronting merchandise which every employee hates doing!   

It's all going to come down to personal preference and the type of flies you want to throw, like others have already said. 

I personally use a 9ft, 9wt TFO with a cheap Hobbs Creek reel.  I use it for both bass and inshore saltwater species which both eat very similar fly sizes and patterns.  The extra length and weight helps cast the bigger flies with greater ease and handles fighting bass in heavier cover.  As for leaders, I make my own and usually use a two or three part leader in either mono or flouro depending on whether I'm using surface or sinking flies.  Some companies do have premade leaders for bass and inshore fishing which suits bigger flies, just ask while you're trying out rods.

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In my experience and in guiding for smallies save the money on leaders, get a spool of Maxima Ultragreen in 15lb, and a spool of 12lb.  Rip about four feet off the 15lb and tie it on, then rip about 3 feet of 12lb and double surgeons knot to the 15lb.  Voila, tapered leader that will splat a bug better than any tapered leader, it's stiff enough to cast effectively, and there's a lot less hassle and cost in it.

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THANKS guys for all your help. Went with a 9.' 9wt. two piece will practice,and practice some more before fishing with this rig. Thanks again you guys were a great help.   :):(:) :)

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