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Fly Rods

Never buy a fly rod solely based on an article you have read. What you need in a fly rod depends on the size of the water you fish for and the type of fish. The demands of salt water and Bass fishing are different than trout fishing. Please do not jump into your first purchase too quickly, get informed. Learn what action and material differences mean to you as a fisherman. A short light weight rod may be perfect for small streams and creeks but practically useless for big fish on a huge river. A six/seven weight rod is not good for a tiny spring creek of gin clear water.

If you travel, a pack rod maybe best if you are the sort that takes along your fly rod should an opportunity present itself.

If you are a newbie, your better off bringing an expert along to help you determine your particulars including how much to spend. Going soley by price may mean the first purchase wasted bucks buying something that will later sit idle.

Despite what you may initially think, long casts are not as important as accuracy and a delicate presentation. The lighter the gear the less you will scare the fish. The less you scare fish, the more takes you get. After 40 years of fly fishing, I now rarely cast more than 20 feet. I fish a zero-weight line. While not great for big fish, the delicacy of the presentation is key to consistent rewards.

Fly Rods - Graphite and Fiberglass Most Common
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Reel seats also differentiate fly rods
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Snake guides vs Single foot

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How do the guides affect cast distance? What You Need to Know About Rod Guides

Advice for the Beginning on Buying a Fly Rod

Steve's Three Cents:

Many novice anglers go into a fly shop and come out with a general purpose 5/6 Weight rod. Because they did not really know that, most of the time, they would be angling on small rivers and creeks. Because this rod is best for bigger water or lakes, the novice scares fish and never catches the time of day. Shortly there after, the fly rod is relegated to a neglected corner of the garage never to see light of day again. This is the real life experience I have had with many frustrated would be anglers.

Despite what you may initially think, long casts are not as important as accuracy and a delicate presentation. The lighter the gear, the less you will scare the fish. The less you scare fish, the more "takes" you get. After 40 years of fly fishing, I now rarely cast more than 20 feet. Seven feet of that is leader! I fish a zero-weight line and barbless hooks. While not great for big water, the delicacy of the presentation is key to consistent rewards.

The pros for light gear- catch more fish, the cons- you cannot throw big or heavily weighted flies. Big flies create wind resistance that limits the size of the fly you cast. Light line means wind resistance causes greater interference. Wind never blows constantly, one adapts to the lull in the wind to get an accurate cast. It will become second nature. The frequency of takes is very important to becoming an expert. Fish are the great instructor - so it takes hits to hone your skill. After a while, setting the hook will be instinctual.

Someday, if you lucky enough to be on river for a stonefly hatch, you may need that 5 wt. rod. If your just starting out, I suggest a 2/3wt.

Ultalight Fly Fishing


When to go Custom

By the time you are a seasoned angler, you will have developed a number of rod features that usually are not in the rod you currently own. At that time, you may learn to build your own or select a master artisan to make one just the way you want. Personally, I built several rods over the course of years but my preferences were changing regularly. The quickest path to instant gratification is to select master artisan with a reputation for great work. Here are some requirements that will define your parameters.