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Uncle Grump

Fly rod newbie

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Uncle Grump

Hey all

When I bought my boat a few years back, there were some tackle odds and ends in it, including a flyrod (estate sale). I got it out yesterday and took a look at it.

Its a South Bend, 2pc 8' 7wt w/ medium power. There is a decal on the blank which reads "graphite re-inforced butt", what ever that is worth. My guess is that this is a Korea or China built rod, and is mostly 'glass.

As a newbie to flyrodding (never held one of these in my life), is this a "starter" rod? I normally persue panski's, bass and NP (w/ my baitcasting/spinning gear).

If it is a starter rod, what else should I be getting as a minium set-up?

THanks

UG

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Roughfisher

Hey there!

The 7 weight rod you got should be a fine bass/pike rod. It'll work for panfish too but a smaller rod would be more sporty.

If it already has a reel then you're set, you just need line and flies. If it already has flyline, you might want to check it for nicks and recondition it. It's really hard to cast with a dirty, coiled, or stiff line. So if it looks pretty good, just stretch it and clean it and you should be good to go. Here's how I do that:

First, pull all the flyline off the reel and lay it in loose coils on the floor. Then, grab the first few feet of line and stretch it by pulling in opposite directions. Then move a few feet up the line and stretch it again. Do this all the way down the line. This takes all the coils out of it and makes it more limp. If it is really coiled you might have to stretch it twice. You can pull fairly hard on it as the main line should be strong. If it breaks, then it was probably rotten and you'll need a new 7-weight line. A flyline should last you for many years if taken care of.

Next you want to clean and recondition the line. I use a line dressing called "Glide" but there are a bunch of different kinds. They all come in either a little plastic squeeze bottle or in a small metal tin. Should only cost a couple of bucks. Squeeze some of this stuff onto a clean rag, put the line on top of it, squeeze it between your fingers, and pull the whole line through the rag so it gets cleaned and coated with dressing at the same time. Do this a couple of times or until the line feels slick and smooth. It's amazing how much easier it is to cast a clean, stretched flyline. A lot of beginners have a lot of problems flycasting just because their line wasn't conditioned before the first time they used it. A lot of times, even if you buy a brand new outfit, the line will be all coiled up from sitting around on the store shelf.

Then all you need is a leader and some flies. Some folks buy the special tapered leaders, and they do help cast big flies and they help with delicate casting for trout. But you can just tie six to eight feet of monofilament onto the end of the flyline and that will work just fine for most fishing.

For flies, you can get some poppers; they are great for bass and panfish. Big poppers are great for pike. You can also use small jigs like flu-flu's for subsurface fishing. I've done really well on largemouth bass with brownish wet flies for some reason. Black or Brown Woolly Buggers are great bass flies too. For pike, you might want some wire on the business end so you don't get bitten off. Clouser Minnows, Zonkers, and Dahlburg Divers are great pike flies.

Hope it helps.

Roughfisher

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tie flyer

Welcome to fly fishing, Uncle Grump. Be careful. You could end up getting addicted and having your entire outlook on fishing changed forever.

Do what Roughfisher said. He pretty much nailed it. For starting out I suggest buying a tapered leader rather than just using mono. You can tie your own leader with mono but let's not scare you too much here.

Go to a fly shop and they will point out some good flies for panfish, pike, and bass. They can help you select a leader appropriate for the flies and rod, too.

You can practice casting in your yard but remember to keep your line clean. The first time fishing take your boat out (anchored is easiest) or go somewhere that offers an open backcast.

When in doubt, remember to have fun...and patience!

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Uncle Grump

Roughfisher, Tie Flyer

Thanks for the info. Sorry to say, the rod had no reel - should have mentioned that - but Rough's info on conditioning the line night just come in handy some day - also - thanks for the info on the flys.

Since this rod doesn't have a reel - do either of you have suggestions and what price range indicates a "quality" reel?

THanks again

UG

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turiprap

Roughfisher and fly tier have done a great job providing solid information. I'd add that if Roughfisher's trick for line restoration fails - and it may if the line is several years old - ditch the line and invest in a new line. Keep it clean and, as the man said, it will last for years. Secondly, if you get into this and it seems to you that the rod is holding you back, several retailers have rods for less than $75 dollars that seem to work nicely. Of course, as with everything, higher price does somehow result in higher performance, so let your wallet be your guide. Thirdly, a reel suitable for your purposes - fishing for warmwater species that pull hard, but don't commonly make long, blistering runs - should be available for $60 or less. Scientific Anglers, Okuma and Pflueger are three brand names that come to mind.

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tie flyer

Oops...We'll have to keep this thread in mind when someone need line cleaning advice.

When it comes to equipment I am not a big $$ guy. To me equipment just gets the fish close enough to land. A good casting rod is important, of course. I agree with Turiprap's reel suggestions. There are cheaper Scientific Anglers models at some department stores with a simple click and pawl reel. Make sure the reel has an exposed rim. You might want to palm-drag a big northern some day.

Before you load it up with fly line you will need some backing. When it comes to the actual fly line you'll want to go with weight-forward floating line for your target species.

Some guys recommend buying double-taper so after a few years you can flip the line around and use your line for twice as long. If you follow Roughfisher's cleaning guide your line will last quite a while anyway. Personally, I would use weight-forward since it casts most flies better in my opinion. 7-weight line, of course.

Make sense?

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Roughfisher

Great advice on the reels from everyone, Scientific Anglers, Pflueger, pretty much anything you find will be fine. Make sure to put backing on first and clean and stretch the line. The line is actually more important than the reel. Make sure it will fit a 7-weight line.

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disco

and don't be scared off by all the technical sounding jargon here......

if you bring the rod by a fly shop and tell them what type of fish you are after, they should be able to take care of everything for you-- finding the right reel (don't go overboard on price), and spooling it with backing and line and attaching a leader to it.........

have fun, let us know how it goes......

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