Mar 5, 2009 at 11:52 am #1234554
Help me out if you can. I haven’t been fishing since I was kid, but as of late I have been intrigued with it again. I live within minutes of NUMEROUS fishing spots here in North Alabama. I have no fishing gear. So what I am looking for hear are some suggestions on basic gear to get started again. I would like to start with something that is a reasonable value and of course packable. Consider a budget of $200 – $300max. Also suggestions for information sources are appreciated (books, web sites, etc…)
ThanksMar 5, 2009 at 12:27 pm #1483032
I just bought 2 UL reels and 2 telescoping poles at Gander Mountain for $75. Despite the marketing, cost doesn't really have an effect on how often fish bite, assuming your rod and reel work.Mar 5, 2009 at 2:01 pm #1483062
Brad RogersBPL Member
@mocs123Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Are you looking for fly fishing gear or spinning gear?Mar 5, 2009 at 2:14 pm #1483066
I am interested in fly fishing, but I am not at all familiar with it. I wouldn't mind finding a local outfitter that could direct me, but no matter the type of gear I only feel they want me to buy and move along. So really I am open to all suggestions. I have an old friend that I haven't seen in years that used to fly fish. I intend to look him up, but wanted the instant input from the board.Mar 5, 2009 at 3:19 pm #1483077
Richard LyonBPL Member
@richardglyonLocale: Bridger Mountains
Jonathan, You're starting out in the right direction. Use a guide to find the fish, not to suggest gear. Particularly for backcountry fishing you don't need the high end (and highly priced) gear that fly shops tend to stock. Gander Mountain is a good source for basic gear; Reddington and Temple Fork make very good, inexpensive rods. Used gear is often available on eBay. If you can, try to get a four- or five-piece rod, as they are much easier to pack than two- or three-piece. Good luck!Mar 5, 2009 at 3:27 pm #1483081
Sierra Trading PostMar 5, 2009 at 4:03 pm #1483092
Jonathan, get the book "Curtis Creek Manifesto", it is the best beginner Fly Fishing book out there, even though it was written in the late 70's no one has come up with a better primer then this book. Its the best fishing money you'll ever spend.
Curtis Creek Manifesto
The gear you need should be purchased after you read the book. Then find/buy used equipment until you figure it out. Practice in your back yard 15 minutes a day for a month and when you go out you will be far less frustrated.Mar 5, 2009 at 5:32 pm #1483131
x2. Awesome book. Get bigger / more in depth books later.Mar 5, 2009 at 7:26 pm #1483172
Thanks guys. Book will be on order tomorrow. Any others I could use early on?Mar 5, 2009 at 7:54 pm #1483189
te – waBPL Member
"any old fishing pole" is not what you should get. when it comes to fly fishing, a $60 rod is not going to even come close to a $300 rod. Not even Close!
even if you only fly fish for 2 hours a year, get the best rod you can afford. within your budget, i can confidently say that the "frequent flyer" line from Orvis is going to be a good choice, both in castability, packability, and price.
Its not bamboo, but its light years beyond anything at walmart.Mar 5, 2009 at 9:48 pm #1483226
Jonathan, when I was starting out (Fly Fishing) I read every book in the library I could get. First starting with the newest ones, then after I understood the newest technologies, i.e., Rod material, Fly lines, etc. I read through the older books to get the stuff that never really changes.
Its very similar to lightweight backpacking, there will always be new materials but there is a constant base of information that supports the whole system that never changes much over the years.
Be careful, I can see that you can get slightly obsessed (I've watched you with buying and selling gear). This sickness can run ramped as well with Fly Fishing. I have as much fly Fishing stuff as hiking gear.
I confess, I'm a defeated, consumed man. You too might be heading down that slippery slope.Mar 5, 2009 at 10:03 pm #1483228
I know, I am opening a whole new can of worms. Obsessed might be an understatement for me.Mar 5, 2009 at 10:08 pm #1483229
Jonathan, for great prices on very good fly fishing gear, go to:
Check out the Temple Forks Outfitter rod/reel combos. TFO makes great quality rods at very good prices. You can get a TFO/Orvis rod/reel combo for $200-300 with line.Mar 5, 2009 at 10:30 pm #1483231
Reminds me of the time we were putting in for a Scout canoe trip on the Brazos river. They had just stocked it with trout, and there must have been 20 Range Rovers there, and twice as many guys who looked like they bought everything in the Orvis catalog. And they were kind of cranky (not the right word, but you'd be amazed at what sets off the profanity detector) when 12 canoes floated thru them. Careful JB……you'll end up in a Range Rover, and a tweed jacket.Mar 5, 2009 at 10:34 pm #1483232
HAHAHA….Joe let's just say there are no worries of that. I could put a RangeRover sticker on my 1990 rusted out Isuzu Trooper.
I am what they call "differnt" here in Alabama.Mar 11, 2009 at 6:52 am #1484614
David StenbergBPL Member
I would suggest looking for a local club or a local fly shop. See if they have casting classes or a beginner introdcution course. Any shop that cares would be willing to give you a short tutuorial in fly casting for free. If you haven't been fishing in awhile then it would probably be helpful.
I think going with someone who knows what they are doing or watching others on the stream will really help. You can get tons of information from books and it is very helpful, but no substitue for actually watching and shadowing others. I fish on the tailwaters of Arkansas and primarily on the Little Red. I have learned a lot from watching how others fish. Sometimes there are little tips that you pick up which make a difference.
My number one suggestion…. don't care what others think. If you are having fun then YOU are having fun. Just enjoy fly fishing, and don't take everything too seriously. If it isn't fun, don't do it.
Welcome to a whole new world of gear!Mar 22, 2009 at 8:51 pm #1488034
Ok…Curtis Creek Manifesto is here. Read it. Reading it again…
So my 1st real question in this new world of gear is where do I start. Personally I'm a believer in used gear, but where do I go? Should I cheap out at Cabelas to start, or is it worth a $200 – $250 combo to get started?
Note: I am a gear junkie to the nth degree. Many of you guys know my gear issues, so with that in mind, is it reasonable to start with a $50 – $80 combo and upgrade later?Mar 23, 2009 at 8:33 am #1488094
I would say avoid Cabela's. Though some people do like their outfits.
My suggestion –
Leaders, tippet, flies, backing, accessories: $50-100
What type of fish are you planning to fish for and what type of waters do you plan on fishing on? (Rivers, streams, lakes, etc) Are you wanting a 2 piece or 4 piece rod? (Example, are you wanting to backpack with this rod?) Let me know and I can give specific examples of what I would suggest.Mar 23, 2009 at 8:52 am #1488099
@thomdarrahLocale: Southern Oregon
I would be interested in your advice for a backpacking setup for streams and lakes. Thanks
send a PM and I can visit via email.Mar 23, 2009 at 9:01 am #1488101
No problem. Have you read my post in the "Beginning Fly Fishing in the Smokies" thread, right below this thread in the Fishing forum? I assume you mean backpacking for trout, which is kinda what that post was geared toward. Let me know if you have any Q's!Mar 24, 2009 at 8:41 am #1488382
I would be fishing river backwater, streams and lakes. I will want a 4 piece for packing. I will be fishing Bluegill, shellcracker, crappie and bream. These and bass are all I ever fished as a kid.Mar 24, 2009 at 8:56 am #1488390
Gander Mountain – $20.Mar 24, 2009 at 9:44 am #1488402
Jonathan, my first combo was a $50 Grigg 5/6 9ft rod and a $25 5/6 Okuma reel, I bought it at the Outdoor Emporium in Seattle (not a high quality gear shop). I still have that set up- I loan it out to friends who go with me and are just starting out. The set up worked fine for a year or two.
I purchased most of my other equipment on Ebay (very early ebay) before everyone thought they were in a business. I really got some good deals, but not anymore!
I would try and find a local Fly Fishing club (there is four in my area) they are a great way to get introduced to the sport and have helpful people ready and willing to lend a hand.Mar 24, 2009 at 8:11 pm #1488603
@tippetLocale: San Diego
I've been flyfishing since I was a little boy. Used to sit in a tackle shop and tie flies for tourists. At one point I looked around and realized I was standing in the middle of a stream with a hand vise, impovising someI drew out of a trout's belly with a mini-stomache pump- and realized I'd gone too far. That was many years ago. Nowadays I go to the stream with only a clipper and few flies: a variety of sizes in dark and light.
Usually only one or two patterns. There's one fly I will never be without, and many times it's the only pattern I take. AFAIC I will really only ever need two flies, a dark one and a light one. I will say if you're not sure what size, take a smal, smaller, and tiny.
Back in about '72, when I was 10, my father taught me how to make a fly designed by a buddy of his, Dale LaFollette. They used to fish the Deschutes together near Maupin.
These days that fly is called a "floatin' fool" or "float-n-fool" depending on where you find it. I can't remember the precise proper color scheme, but it doesn't matter.
I tie a tail and post of either natural or lime glow calves-tail. Peacock hurl body and maybe a gold wire ribbing, or no ribbing at all- again it just doesn't matter. Tie a hackle onto the post helicopter-style.
I think the original may have been a dark red or brown hackle, maybe mixed with grizzly. But I just make sure I have one dark and one light. If I can only have one fly, for any stream, brook, or high lake, it'll be a #16 floatin' fool with natural calf-tail and 2 brown/1 grizzly hackles.
The thing about a helicopter-style fly is the body is suspended int he surface film, and the fish thinks it's a trapped insect. They know they don't have to sneak up on it, it can't fly away because it's trapped. The brightly colored calf-hair post sticking up above the hackle is like a light-bulb for the caster. Stands out well against most water.
If I was going to take 3 different patterns, I'd have a floatin' fool, a royal coachman, and a caddis. I'd be prepared to trim a fly down to fish it as a nymph if need be. Usually nothin bigger than #14, more often a #16.
Fishing streams, the 4th and 5th flies I'd be sure to have are an olive sculpin pattern, and a muddler minnow. Usually no bigger than #14.
IMHO, Once you learn howe to cast, you can do very well with a cheap rod. But elarning to cast can be difficult and a nice rod is not only aesthetically pleasant, it will make it easier to learn. I do believe once you get to the $150-$175 level or so, the only real differences above that are almost entirely aesthetic.
My favorite rod I've ever had was a 4-wt 1-pc 6.5' Fenwick with a little cork handle and 2 rings to hold a reel. I put a cheap orvis on there and mostly fished singking tip lines in streams, I caught hundreds of huge trout on that rode.
Folks I could go on and on, I don't want to bore you. I'm grateful to have found this forum and all of you, and anything I can do to help just say the word.Mar 24, 2009 at 10:13 pm #1488624
Richard ScruggsBPL Member
My first fly fishing gear purchase was one of those all-in-one setups sold by Scientific Angler. The package had the rod, the reel, the line, and a leader — all together on a cardboard backing with shrunk-wrapped plastic. I had set up camp on the Metolius River in Oregon intending to spend the weekend fishing with my spinning rod setup. But I discovered, after reading the regulations more closely, that the Metolius was fly-fishing only in that area. So I drove into the nearest town to find something that would do for fly-fishing. At the town's only hardware store, I found the Scientific Angler all-in-one package for about $40 dollars (or less — this was about 30 years ago).
I used that cheap Scientific Angler rod and reel for a long time (15-20 years) before finally getting a "better" setup — or at least a setup that cost a lot more. But I still have that old cheap setup and even use it sometimes, but not for backpacking since it's a two-piece and too long to pack conveniently.
When I decided to up-grade in later years, one source I would often check for fly-fishing gear was eBay. Saved a good bit of money with little risk by making sure that the seller had a good track record/reputation and the product had great reviews. One reel I obtained on eBay at a very reasonable price ($161) was a new Abel Trout Light (2-3wt) which Abel had discontinued some time ago.
Later, when looking for a Sage 3100 reel for use with my 2wt rod, I about gave up because the lowest price I could find was $285 at Cabela's. Eventually I stumbled across a new Sage 3100 for $182 plus $5 shipping that was being sold on eBay by Leland Flyfishing of San Francisco. Like the Abel TRL, the 3100 had been discontinued even though it was a very nice reel — and very light, too — per a few reviews that I read.
I also purchased my 2wt rod on eBay. It's custom-built by Cook's of Oregon, who makes a variety of fly and spinning rods which are sold for a reasonable price — ranging from less than $100 up to about $150 or so. The 2wt I purchased from Cook's on eBay is four-piece and 6' 6" long; it cost me $85 plus $6 shipping. A rod sock was included, but no rod case, which was fine since I use a BPL plastic case.
Here's a link to Cook's current "auction" of a 2wt rod that's a two-piece for $70:
Don't see a four-piece version in Cook's eBay inventory at present but, if your interested, you could contact him and perhaps have one made or keep an eye out for one on eBay.
Another rod that I "won" on eBay was a Redington Wayfarer 8 1/2' five-piece 5wt — another discontinued but new item — which was reasonable at $108 plus $12.50 shipping.
Good luck with your research — my recommendation would be to spend very little at first, then spend a whole lot more for a very nice setup once you gain more experience. And keep your first "cheap" rod and reel as a backup, or as the start of your eventual huge collection.
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