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Thread: Decent beginner setup?

  1. #1
    Member Boreal's Avatar
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    Default Decent beginner setup?

    Hi all,
    I did a search for a beginner flyfishing setup, but there are so many threads it could take a long time to find the information I need. So sorry if this is something y'all have addressed many times.

    My wife and daughter want to get me a flyfishing setup for my birthday. I'm a lucky man! I probably need to keep the rod somewhere in the $100-150 range, and I will get a reel on my own. So what I'm asking is what sort of a flyrod would be good to direct my family toward? I plan on fishing rainbows and salmon when I get the chance. I"m thinking of something between a 6 and 8 wt. Any reason one rod can't work for both rainbows and salmon? Am I better off getting a dedicated salmon rod or rainbow rod, and picking up the other when I have saved up some more money?

    Thanks all!

  2. #2
    Member kenaibow fan's Avatar
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    Well for a beginner I would get an 8 wt. IMO you get what you pay for, and it depends on were you are going to use it, there is plenty of trout on the Kenai that a 6 is to small. You can't go wrong with an 8. You can use it for every thing, I would becareful chasing kings with it though even in the Valley streams. As for brands, I would look at TFO's, St. Croix, Reddington, or Wright & McGill. But if I was you I would go to a fly shop and put your hands on them, the rod has to feel right. Then tell them which you like or want.

  3. #3
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    One rod?

    7 wt could work, but will be limiting. A bit much for most dolly, bows, and all grayling. A bit light for some salmon, decent for pinks/reds/silvers, but nothing to try for kings with.


    Two rods?

    5-6 wt for bows, dollies and grayling. A rod you can enjoy all these fish on. Too light for much salmon fishing, except for pinks perhaps.

    8-9 wt for all salmon except kings. Great all round salmon fly rod.



    My suggestion is to get a 5-6 wt first and use it on bows, dollies, and grayling. This rod will cover a lot of ground (water), what ever. Nothing wrong with the many Cabelas starter kits (rod, reel, line, and case) and $150 will buy one. Started off with this exact set up myself. If you enjoy fly fishing (and you will) buy an 8 or 9 wt for next years salmon season. If you continue enjoying fly fishing (and you will) upgrade the Cabelas outfit to a nicer 5-6 wt set up, using the Cabelas as a back up or loaner for a friend. Much water can be covered with a 5 wt and 8 wt. You can effectively fly fish for any freshwater fish in Alaska with the exception of kings. For that consider a 10-12 wt set up.


    In the mean while, buy Tony Weaver and Troy Leatherman's "Topwater, Fly Fishing Alaska". Great book and full of great info. It can be found here on the forum store, bigger book stores, and Amazon of course.


    The below rod in the 5-6 wt 9' four piece configuration would make a fine first rod in my opinion.

    Rod, reel, and line for $139...

    http://www.cabelas.com/product/Barga...3Bcat105764580


    -Dan
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    I would argue for a local purchase if you can. It would give you the chance to see what you're getting and possibly let your family participate, but mainly it gets you face to face with an experienced flyfisher, who can steer you to what you need. You will also begin a relationship that will pay dividends in the future.

    Your local fly shop would be my top rec - they thrive on good advice. Just tell them what your limitations are (new to flyfishing, limited budget, gift, etc) and see what they say. By at least having a conversation with them, you'll open the door to a relationship that local fly shops understand... and seek.

    There's a lot of experience, and sincere guys on this flyfishing forum - kenaibowfan and danattherock among them (hey, I didn't say reputable! ). A few might have used rods they'd be willing to sell as your needs expand - hint.

    Anyways, the advice by those guys makes good sense to me too. Just pick one (size rod) and get out there. Be flexible, willing to limit your goals to the most likely fishing (and longest season) and go. You say your location is "southcentral" - if that means the Anchorage-Soldotna area, why there's plenty of season to go yet - if you're targeting trout/steelhead. Not so much for salmon.

    Good luck.

  5. #5
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 6XLeech View Post
    Just pick one (size rod) and get out there.

    No kidding man. Do it NOW. The next two months are some of the best bow and dolly fishing around. It will be winter before you know it and you will be waiting yet another year to get into fly fishing. Time is of the essence. If you got the dough for a TFO rod, entry level reel, and line, head to Mossy's Fly Shop, World Wide Angler, or Mountain View and get hooked up. If on a strict budget, order the Cabela's kit with 2nd day shipping and go by the above fly shops and get the basic tools and flies you need. Either way, you could be out fishing this weekend. I would not let fall in Alaska pass you by.



    -Dan
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  6. #6
    Member Raptor_1's Avatar
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    TFO and Lamiglas make some rods in that price range. Both good companies. Redington also has a selection of rods in the $100-$150 range.
    Alaska: We're all here cuz we're not all "there"

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    Member bigcox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raptor_1 View Post
    TFO and Lamiglas make some rods in that price range. Both good companies. Redington also has a selection of rods in the $100-$150 range.
    Yes, what he said.

    Fish on!
    You know your not catching any fish when you start talking about the weather...


    http://www.alaskansalmonslayers.com/

  8. #8
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    I would suggest hitting a few fly shops and ask around. They will steer you towards the gear that will suit what you're trying to do.

    PS - between a 6 and 8 WT is a 7....just saying haha.

  9. #9
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    go to Mossy's talk to Mike, spend a bit more... worth it to shop local. A 7 weight is nice, good for everything. If I were buying rods I'd go 7, 5, 4, 2, 9, 12 with spey rods mixed in.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ak_powder_monkey View Post
    go to Mossy's talk to Mike, spend a bit more... worth it to shop local. A 7 weight is nice, good for everything. If I were buying rods I'd go 7, 5, 4, 2, 9, 12 with spey rods mixed in.
    And don't forget to pick up the 1, 3, 6, 8, 10, 11 while you are there. Also, pick up the "How To Read Water" by Powder Monkeyass. That should have you covered.

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    Whatever you get, make sure it comes with a good warranty plan. I know the more expensive brands charge between 30 (sage) and 50 or so to fix a busted rod, provided you have all of the broken pieces, but it beats the heck out of replacing the whole thing. I'm sure TFO (which from my experience should have the best all-around rapport in affordable models) offers some sort of lifetime warranty.

    You definitely should follow the advice to check them out in person, and consult with a pro about what you might need. However, while it is nice to shop local, you also might consider craigslist or ebay, or another online auction-esque venue. You can save big bucks if you are patient.

    If you must have something now, the second paragraph may well be worthless.

    Regardless, you won't be disappointed you picked up a fly rod.
    "I'm going out to fish." - Peter

  12. #12
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Default Choosing a fly rod: advice from past threads...

    (Man, the search function and even using Google with "outdoorsdirectory" just isn't as efficient as it used to be - sheesh)

    Choosing a fly rod:

    From the past: searching archives and old threads/advice for one fly rod:
    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ht-would-it-be
    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...weight-fly-rod

    ...by the action or speed/flex point of the rod:
    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...fer-the-better

    ...by the weights of the rods you'll need to effectively fish most local waters:
    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...759-5wt-vs-6wt
    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...-or-less-range...

    ...and some better rods, if you elect to go the "buy once" approach:
    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...%28Dan%29-Help
    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...gh-end-fly-rod

    ...or choosing rods by manufacturer's Warranties:
    http://www.sageflyfish.com/warranty.html
    The lifetime, original owner warranty applies to rods with a serial # beginning with the letter "M" and higher, including all double letters (i.e. AA, AB, AC). Rods with serial #'s beginning with the single letters "A - L" (generally manufactured prior to 1995); have an original owner lifetime guarantee against any defect in materials or workmanship... For all return shipments within the U.S., the original owner will be responsible for a $50 fee for each repaired item to cover return shipping, insurance and processing. International customers will be charged actual shipping and insurance costs, and will be responsible for all related customs and duty charges.

    http://www.templeforkflyrods.com/sup.../warranty.html
    Our No-Fault Warranty is for the life of the original registered owner. ... simply send the entire rod ... and a check for $25 per broken rod.


    http://www.rajeffsports.com/echo_warranty.php
    ECHO Lifetime Warranty and Service Policy

    Rajeff Sports will repair or replace damaged rods for the lifetime of the original owner. To make a warranty claim, return the rod with $35.00

    Great post by OSA Member halibutk from awhile back contains a detailed list of manufacturer warranties here: http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...Experiences%29

    ...Fly rods made in USA: Most companies use overseas/international production facilities to save money and some of that value reached customers. But a few fly fishers prefer USA-made gear: Sage (all Sage rods), St Croix (most - their overflow capacity is international, ref: http://www.stcroixrods.com/content/craftmanship). Maybe others? I don't know.

    ...maybe the best advice, from G_Smolt:

    "... I know this is gonna sound a little terse or snarky, but I see far too many of these threads to have any other answer. Go to a fly shop that carries a few rods in your price range and cast them. Then and only then will you know which rod YOU will like, which one feels or performs best in YOUR hand. Asking other folks with other casting styles or stroke idiosyncrasies what rod is best will only do exactly what was done here...generate a list of every rodmaker with a product under $300. Sorry...pet peeve. Almost as bad as folks that worry about what color line to use.
    Go cast some rods and pick the one you (YOU) like.

    Good luck.

  13. #13
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Great post man



    Tons of useful info in the links.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  14. #14
    Member Boreal's Avatar
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    Thanks all. I certainly didn't want to piss anyone off (sorry Leech and Kayak!). I just wanted to get the combined input so I knew what to look for, and what to avoid as I went to the local flyshops and tried some out. I picked up a TFO Signature 9 ft 7 wt from a big box store, and a Lamson Konic 3.5 from Mossy's. I'm looking forward to learning and having some fun. thanks all for your advice.

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