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lilFEET

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Hey looking for some info. I wanna learn how to fly fish for panfish. Just wondering if anyone can get me some info on. Whats the best starter rod and reel, how to cast, etc. Help will be appreciated. Thanks

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Hey TB, thanks for stopping by.

Always a good question, never an easy one, and there are always a lot of answers.

What's the best starter fly rod and reel? It depends on what your budget and expectations are. There are combos available at the big box stores that have the rod, reel, line, and leaders ready for you to put together. Those work for some, aren't bad, and won't set you back a lot of change. They tend to have lower quality lines in those combos, and I'm of the ilk that line is a very important part of your set-up and is worth spending $50-$60 for. I'm a fan of Rio lines. Again, it does come down to how much you're willing to spend.

My first fly rod was from coast-to-coast hardware, the reel was a cheapo graphite from Cabela's, and I don't even remember if I matched the line weight to the rod. I was 14 years old, I don't think it really mattered too much to me, but I had no problem making bad casts with it and catching sunnies on poppers. Regardless of my ignorance back then, I do think you should definitely make sure you match the line weight to the rod...

It's easy to get started with the right flies, as it seems there are plenty of panfish fly assortments out there that you could pick up. There are some great panfish fly anglers here who could probably help you out a little more with this, so hopefully they chime in here to help you out.

How to cast? I'm not quite sure how to put that answer into words here and not write an essay. Just remember that when you fly fish you are casting the weight of the line, and not the weight of the lure. There are all sorts of resources like books, videos, and people that can help you with your casting. Reference the Getting Started thread.

Good luck!

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What WxGuy said so eloquently, with these additions:

Choosing a rod for panfish is a minor challenge because a light line weight rod will let these relatively small fish show off their strength, which is actually amazing, considering their heft, but 3 and 4 weight rods are not the easiest things with which to learn casting basics and their use is specialized. I'd say that a moderate action graphite rod at least 8 feet long (preferably longer) for a 6 weight line that costs at least fifty dollars is the place to start if you need specifics.

Get to a tackle store where someone who cares about fly fishing can help you. Fly shops are best, but a big store can work, too. Ask questions until your satisfied. Be sure to ask about the availability of videos about fly fishing for panfish and about casting.

Fly fishing is NOT difficult and it's NOT expensive - unless you want it to be. It is, however, for a myriad of reasons, an arcane thing to most anglers and you'll need to work your way through that. It's also, by the way, a deadly effective angling method!

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Thanks for hopping in on that, turiprap.

You nailed a few very important things there. Good stuff.

BTW, the simple advice on the tying helped a lot. Sometimes we (I) don't look at the simplest way of doing things...

smile.gif

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So I should look for a 8' or longer rod and a reel that will hold #6 line? Why is the line so expensive?

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Yes, you should.

Lines aren't really that expensive when you consider the technology that goes into their manufacture. Modern fly lines have sophisticated tapers, float superbly and will last at least a couple of seasons of hard fishing if given reasonable care. There are entry-priced fly lines that cost only around thirty dollars that will do the job. However, one does get what one pays for and lines like those made by Rio are worth the dough if you have it to spend. If the Rio lines don't fit your budget, the old reliable Cortland 333 series is a good value. I imagine the private label lines from the big Nebraska catalog company work ok, too, but I have very limited experience with them.

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TB: As a former fly fishing business owner and a guy involved in fly fishing for 50 years let me share this with you: if you are just starting buy a reasonably priced 8'-9' flyrod and a simple reel. A Pflueger Medalist is just fine, there are some 75 year old models still being used. There are lighter reels today, but stay in that price range. The Cortland 333 or the Cabela's fly lines are just fine. Keep in mind there are only a FEW companies that actually MAKE fly lines. At the shipping door the brand name labels are put on them! Buy a Double Taper to start with and a half-dozen leaders (or learn to tie your own-its not hard) Buy a casting Video of find an instructor. Go catch some panfish. There you go.....you're a flyfisher. Welcome to the club. And yuu can do it all for $150 or less.

You'r welcome.

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