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> > Newb - first setup?

Greg728December 25th, 2022, 5:29 am

Posts: 1
Never fly fished before in my life but this is the year I'm going to start. I'm fishing mostly smaller to medium sized streams and rivers in the Pocono mountains in PA and NW NJ and occasionally bigger water on the west branch delaware river. I'm looking for one setup to start with. I'd ideally like to start with something versatile that I can use for both nymphing and dry fly fishing (if possible). I understand dry fly has a bigger learning curve so I'll probably be more focused on nymphing in the beginning but I'd like to practice dry fly fishing as well and be eventually be able to switch between the two styles on one rod. I know this is a loaded question and I'll probably get some different answers but I'm just trying to get as much feedback as possible. Ideally like to keep it under $500 for a combo. From what I've read so far it sounds like a 4 weight may be a good middle ground to fish both applications but I'm confused on a rod length. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!
MartinlfDecember 25th, 2022, 10:51 am
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3233
A 9 foot rod will work for dry and nymph fishing for medium to large streams. I use one on smaller streams as well, but many prefer a shorter rod for that work. Many consider a 9' 5 weight a very good all around rod. I prefer that length and weight for the West Branch myself. It's good to go to a shop and cast different rods to see what feels best to you. Personally, for good value, I like the Temple Fork Outfitters fly rods, and I think Cabela's has some good rods as well. As for reels, I like Lamsons. The Lamson Remix has performed well for me, and it's a good price. My favorite guide doesn't like it. You will get a variety of opinions if you ask enough folks. Sierra, formerly Sierra Trading Post sometimes has some good deals on rods and reels. For small to medium streams I've recently been using a 3 weight TFO Drift rod, switching between the 9' and 10' option, but it's a bit pricey. I like having the 10' option for nymphing. Everyone eventually finds what works for them, and it will vary. I know guys who love fishing 6' fly rods. As much as you can try out various rods and try to find what feels the best for you.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
WiflyfisherDecember 26th, 2022, 3:43 am

Posts: 663
Since you are starting out you might consider this rod / reel combo..

When I started out as a kid, I had an 8'6" Shakespeare fiberglass rod, cheap reel and some crappy flies I had tied, and I caught trout. Don't over think this when starting out. Swing some soft hackle wet flies and have fun.

Good luck and I hope you enjoy fly fishing for trout!

John S.
MichimikeDecember 26th, 2022, 9:24 am
Bancroft, Michigan

Posts: 23
John, you were reading mind, but let me add the Taylor dnyamix series to this conversation just because it seems a lot fly folks really like this budget minded rod. But seriously there are so many choices out there new or vintage.
JerryCDecember 31st, 2022, 3:57 pm
Philadelphia, PA

Posts: 6
If you're just starting to fly fish, I would suggest picking up a beginner's outfit. I know Orvis, TFO and Cabela's offer them. You should be able to pick one up for under $200. Rod, reel and line. That way you're not spending a lot of money on something you may not like or enjoy. If you enjoy it then you can upgrade at a later date. I would go with a 9' 5 weight. I build my own rods, but that's what I started off using and still do when I fish for trout. I've fished the Poconos, still do but not for trout, the West branch, East branch and the main stem with it. One suggestion would be is if there is a fly shop or fly fishing club in your area see if they offer casting lessons and take a couple. Another suggestion, and I know your just interested in trout, is find a small pond, lake or creek in your area that has panfish, and practice your casting and hook setting on them. Your trout flies will work for them. I think it will save you a lot of frustration and help you enjoy fly fishing.
"All things considered, I'd rather be in Philadelphia."
MikeT1990January 25th, 2023, 4:44 pm
Posts: 8
The Redington Crosswater, Orvis Clearwater, etc...Seems like every company has some sort of beginner fly fishing combo for around $200 or less. Leaves you enough budget to buy some waders :)

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