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Thread: Best rod/reel combo for around $100?

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    Member AKsoldier's Avatar
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    Default Best rod/reel combo for around $100?

    I tried one of the super - cheap fly rods a few years ago, watched some videos on how to roll cast, then went out expecting to bring home some fish. Those of you who have "been there, done that" know exactly what I'm talking about. I had several bites, but was never able to get one to shore.

    I plan to spend some time this year learning to fly fish, and I'd like to take a step up in quality from that old 29 dollar starter kit. My budget is around $100. I might be able to squeeze out a few more dollars for a really good rod and reel combo. I already have a pretty good collection of flies, so this is for rod and reel only. I plan to fish lakes and smaller rivers/creeks for trout, grayling, Dolly Varden, etc.

    I'd appreciate advice from experienced budget fly fishers.

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    This is tough. Based on the info you provided, I would check craigslist for 9' 5wt name brand rod and then spend as little as possible on a reel. You may also be able to get a good setup at the Alaska Fly Fishers auction. It's on April 12 at 5pm at the Milenium Hotel in Anchorage. I've never been, but have heard there are great deals to be had.

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    the Okuma rod out fits are not bad for a money , 2 of the most in portent things # 1 rod # 2 line , the reel you talk about but it just holds the line on the smaller out fits on the heaver units , the drag counts a lot ,

  4. #4

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    I would bump your budget up to 150 dollars, get a echo solo 5 or 6 wt, and a okuma reel. Keep you in the 150 budget and you end up with a really nice setup that will last you forever. The echo rod has a lifetime warranty as well.

  5. #5

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    Echo Solo kit for $169.95 (Echo Solo rod/reel & line)
    Last edited by akgloomis; 04-03-2013 at 09:05. Reason: additional info
    "The Tug is the Drug"

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKsoldier View Post
    I tried one of the super - cheap fly rods a few years ago, watched some videos on how to roll cast, then went out expecting to bring home some fish. Those of you who have "been there, done that" know exactly what I'm talking about. I had several bites, but was never able to get one to shore.

    I plan to spend some time this year learning to fly fish, and I'd like to take a step up in quality from that old 29 dollar starter kit. My budget is around $100. I might be able to squeeze out a few more dollars for a really good rod and reel combo. I already have a pretty good collection of flies, so this is for rod and reel only. I plan to fish lakes and smaller rivers/creeks for trout, grayling, Dolly Varden, etc.

    I'd appreciate advice from experienced budget fly fishers.
    I would check out the TFO pro special it's been on sale online for around 80-90 dollars that way your rod has a lifetime warranty on it, then pick up a 40 dollar reel probably an okuma in that price range, and then the Rio starter line I think it's called the headstart is a great fly line to get for a beginner. I would go cheap on the reel prior to picking up a cheap line. A good line will make the learning curve much less steep.

  7. #7

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    I recently got to fish with one of these rods. It's an awesome rod at a full $299 retail, but on closeout sale at $129? Holy cow, what a score. Still have to add a line and reel, but you can do that and stay under $200 if your budget will stretch that far. In the end you'd come out with an outfit you'll be using 10 years from now right alongside more expensive rods you're likely to pick up if you get hooked on fly fishing. It's good enough to be your "main line" dolly and grayling rod even if you're using Sage or something by then for the rest of your fishing. That kind of long term usefulness for a rod, rather than a throw away after a couple of years, has to figure into your budget thoughts.

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    I'd suggest taking a look at the Redington Crosswater outfit. They're closer to your price range than much of what's been suggested here and Redington's been doing an excellent job providing good value gear (I still think their CT was one of the hugest bargains in the fly rod sector). Should be able to pick up a 5wt Crosswater setup at Sportsmans.
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    Thanks for all the advice folks, The reason for my $100 budget is because I have a gift certificate for that amount at Three Rivers Fly and Tackle in Wasilla, so that's where I'll be buying the fly rod setup. I'm willing to add some money on top of the gift cert. if needed. I'm making a list of the recommendations you are all giving me, that way I can look specifically for those models. I'm sure Three Rivers is bound to carry a few of them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mlshore View Post
    I'd suggest taking a look at the Redington Crosswater outfit. They're closer to your price range than much of what's been suggested here and Redington's been doing an excellent job providing good value gear (I still think their CT was one of the hugest bargains in the fly rod sector). Should be able to pick up a 5wt Crosswater setup at Sportsmans.
    That's a very good suggestion too. A couple of the folks i fished with this winter had picked them up as "starter" rods, but have hung onto them as their mainline trout rods in spite of more expensive rods in their racks now. Great value for the money.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKsoldier View Post
    Thanks for all the advice folks, The reason for my $100 budget is because I have a gift certificate for that amount at Three Rivers Fly and Tackle in Wasilla, so that's where I'll be buying the fly rod setup. I'm willing to add some money on top of the gift cert. if needed. I'm making a list of the recommendations you are all giving me, that way I can look specifically for those models. I'm sure Three Rivers is bound to carry a few of them.
    That adds to the delima, not being able to shop around. Target species is also important info. If salmon is what your chasing you will need more than a 5wt. (not necessity for the advanced angler but I destroyed 5wts as a beginner and the 5/6 budget reels give up the ghost quickly as the drag is just not up to par) Some of the best deals I have seen on gear is at Trust Worthy Hardware in Soldotna. you can pick up a reddington or Okuma rod in a 8wt for around $40 most seasons out of the barrel. I agree with the Okuma being the best budget reel (SLV have held up well for me) an 8wt is almost a necessity for Kenai salmon but you can get away with a 6wt for valley salmon (not kings) and big Willow cr trout will also give you some bend. If smaller trout or dollies are the target then a 4-5wt and almost any metal reel will suffice. You may want to spend the money towards a good set of waders and shop elsewhere for a combo set up. Have fun deciding!

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    "My budget is around $100. I might be able to squeeze out a few more dollars for a really good rod and reel combo."

    Ah yes, I remember those thoughts in the early days of my flyfishing.


    Have you thought about buying a kit from say Cabelas? I still have and use the rod I built for about $60 in '91. Get some waders, line, etc with the certificate and take a look at some rod kits. Just a thought.

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    Quote Originally Posted by egreife View Post
    "My budget is around $100. I might be able to squeeze out a few more dollars for a really good rod and reel combo."

    Ah yes, I remember those thoughts in the early days of my flyfishing.


    Have you thought about buying a kit from say Cabelas? I still have and use the rod I built for about $60 in '91. Get some waders, line, etc with the certificate and take a look at some rod kits. Just a thought.
    Rod kit? I've honestly never heard of that. I already have waders (both hip and chest) so any money I spend is for the rod and reel. I'm all for any "build your own" idea though.

    Do you have any more details?

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    Have you shopped for anything, yet?
    I ask this because most FLY LINES cost around $50. You can probably pick up one for less, but possibly not at 3 rivers.
    If you're limited to shopping there, you probably ought to go in and see what they have available, in your price range..

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    Thanks Gary, I have been in there recently for a reel for my collapsible spinning rig, but I didn't look at their fly rods yet. I'm a fly fishing rookie, so I'm not even sure what to look for, thus the reason for this thread. Ya'll are giving me an education.

    I think I should wait until a little closer to breakup too, because I'm guessing when they get their new stock in for the season there might be some stuff from last year discounted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKsoldier View Post
    I think I should wait until a little closer to breakup too, because I'm guessing when they get their new stock in for the season there might be some stuff from last year discounted.
    I don't know how things are in south central but I do know that Big Ray's in Fairbanks started getting their new stuff in in February. Last year I waited until April to get their new Simms women's G3 waders and I got their very last pair in my size. But even if they don't have their spring stock in they'll know what's going to be arriving. Like my mom always says, "It never hurts to talk to people." Stop by for a chat, leave your checkbook, credit cards, and certificate at home so you won't have any of those calamitous fly shop "accidents" that we're all too familiar with ("I ACCIDENTALLY BOUGHT THIS NEW 4WT - OOPS!").
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    First off I agree with Russ that for a trout/grayling/dolly rod the line is going to affect performance and ultimately your enjoyment learning the sport much more than a reel. You don't need a machined aluminum sealed drag real. But a good line can make a big difference.

    My advice is to go down to three rivers and buy a TFO or Echo 5wt or 6wt rod. 5 if you are thinking primarily small water and grayling. 6 if you may spend some time on the kenai or bigger water where you mat have to handle some heavy trout. Their budget rods are a bargain and include a good warranty.

    Then go to mrfc clearance, click "refine results" and go to fly line. Buy a Rio trout lt wf5 or wf6 fly line to match for 35 bucks.
    http://www.mrfc.com/MadisonRiverShop...x?CategoryID=4

    I'll give you a scientific anglers concept fly reel and some backing. It's brand new sitting in a box in my garage- I was just going to sell it on eBay because I have too much stuff lying around. But it will serve the purpose you need of holding line and then you can decide if you want to upgrade at some point in the future when you can afford it.


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    Rich
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    Wow Rich what a guy! I spend a lot of time at three rivers and I would suggest going and talking with Mike or Tom. Even consider having them build a rod or help you build a rod. I think they are done with the rod building class, but they still have a good selection of blanks. You may be able to pick up a Batson blank and the associated parts for relatively cheap. They can show you a thing or two on the building. If you are considering building a rod also take a look at the kits from both Cabelas, and J Stockard online. I just looked and at J Stockard you can get one of their kits in a 9' 5wt for $80 for a two piece and $100 for a four piece. I have built and fished these as well as the other mentioned and these do hold their own. The issue with both these and the Cabelas brand is the lack of a warranty. My dad broke my a rod I built as a Cabelas kit and the would not stand behind it because it was a blank. If I had purchased the built rod I would have been fine.

    Anyway if you think about building one the guys at three rivers are really helpful and if you stop in on a Saturday to work on your rod you should be able to just use some of their equipment like a wrapping stand. And I would be happy to give you a hand in the build process if you decide to go that way. I live out in the Valley and would be happy to show you a thing or two if you were interested.

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    Rich and Rooster, awesome!, thanks to both of you. I'll take you up on that. I like the idea of building my own. I load my own hunting ammo - might as well build my own fly rod too. I guess I'll need to start tying my own flies eventually too. I'll PM you both my cell number. Rich, my kids have a karate tournament at UAA a week from tomorrow. Maybe I can pick up that reel then?

    The other 299,300,000 people can have it.

    Noone has a more intimate understanding of, or deeper appreciation for freedom, than a soldier who has fought for it in a country where it does not exist.

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    Apparently my PM is not activated as I havenít been overly active as of late but I am good friends with Rich so I can have him forward me the number. It looks like I will be out this weekend but sometime next week we could swing by three rivers and take a look at some stuff if you want. If you enjoy working up loads then building rods and tying flies will likely appeal to you. Plus there is just something satisfying about catching a fish on a rod you built.

    Chris

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