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YukonjacksFebruary 20th, 2009, 8:44 pm
Steeler Nation

Posts: 1
Just starting out, I plan on fly fishing for trout and bass, later in the year I will take on steelheads. Just looking for seasoned opinions on rod sizes and wts prefered reels and line wt. Any info would be greatly appreciated
TaxonFebruary 20th, 2009, 10:10 pm
Site Editor
Royse City, TX

Posts: 1348

Well, my opinions are probably as seasoned as anyone's, so I'll take a crack at answering your question. I would say that a 5wt rod is probably the most popular size for trout, and that a 8wt rod is probably the most popular for steelhead. For both, I would guess that 9' may be the most popular length.

As to reels, one generally gets a reel which is intended for the weight of the rod. As to lines, at least for trout, most people probably start with a floating line, and acquire other special purpose lines later.

You may notice that I have carefully avoided mention of specific brands. Before you even thinks about brands, it is important to understand the total budget for your outfit. Stated differently, if your total budget is $200, then you probably won't want to spend it all on a rod, and then have nothing remaining for reel, line, leaders, tippets, flies, etc.

Given a $200 budget, I would probably recommend spending perhaps $120 for a package that included a rod, reel, and line, and leaders. This would would leave you $80 to purchase tippets (perhaps a spool of 4x), 2 dozen flies, some floatant, a hook file, nippers, etc. For flies, you might start with some Adams in size #14 to imitate mayfly duns, some Elk Hair Caddis in size #12 to imitate adult caddisflies, some Stimulators in size #12 to imitate adult stoneflies, some Beadhead Prince Nymphs in size #12 to imitate stonefly nymphs, some Beadhead Gold-ribbed Hare's Ear Nymphs in size #16 to imitate mayfly nymphs, etc.

Hope this helps you get started. However bear in mind, whatever you start with, no matter the price point, as you gain experience, you will likely acquire rods, reels, etc. at an accelerating pace for many years.
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
FalsiflyFebruary 21st, 2009, 7:38 am
Hayward, WI.

Posts: 661
However bear in mind, whatever you start with, no matter the price point, as you gain experience, you will likely acquire rods, reels, etc. at an accelerating pace for many years.

Well said, Roger. And I might add that one cannot fault the fly fishermen for lack of economic stimulus. Now, I will return to my purchasing list of necessities for the upcoming season. Where was I? Oh yes, that new bamboo fly rod. Budget? I checked my Merriam-Webster’s North American Fly Fisherman’s Dictionary and found no such word.
When asked what I just caught that monster on I showed him. He put on his magnifiers and said, "I can't believe they can see that."
HellgramiteFebruary 21st, 2009, 1:17 pm
Southern calif.

Posts: 45
Hay Yukonjacks welcome to the sport.I agree with Taxon.What you can do is go to (Cabelas) Web Site there you well find complete outfits starting as low as $50.00.They also have an outfit complete with nippers,fly box,waist pouch,everything you well need to get started for $149.00.Then all you have to do is get your flies.I would go talk to somebody at your local fly shop and ask them what kind of flies to get for your area.Ask allot of questions and maybe one of the guys well take you out and show you a few things.Let them know that you will become a new customer.Plus people who fly fish are mostly good people and are always there to help.Good luck..
MartinlfFebruary 21st, 2009, 3:15 pm
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3233
I'd also say, get a little casting instruction. Time spent with a good instructor can save years in terms of learning to cast well, and can help you avoid developing bad habits that are hard to break later.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
RleePFebruary 21st, 2009, 4:49 pm
NW PA - Pennsylvania's Glacial Pothole Wonderland

Posts: 398
I'll respectfully dissent on a couple things, but only if the "Steeler Nation" location Jacks is showing means he's in the vicinity of P-Burgh and his planned steelheading will likely be on the Lake Erie tribs and his planned trout fishing will also be mostly in PA.

I generally tell folks to get a 6 or 7 wgt. 9' rod for steelheading the tribs. I've never seen a fish there that a 7 wgt couldn't handle with ease. The casts aren't long and the fish don't really have a lot of room to run. Another advantage of a 6 or 7 is that this same rod is about optimal for the better smallmouth fishing in western PA, whether it is on smaller creeks like Slippery Rock or the Red Bank or the Clarion and Allegheny Rivers. An 8 wgt. is too much rod for these fish that run up to 20", but average more like 11">

On the other hand, if you're thinking about pursuing largemouth (which there are also excellent opportunities for in western PA, especially from about Butler north to Erie), a heavier rod would probably come in handy. But even most of that can be done with a 7 wgt., IMO.

I do agree that 9' is the optimal length though.

For a trout rod, I agree about the 5 wgt. It's very versatile. And a 9' 5wgt would probably be good for the Yough and some of the other larger PA waters. Eventually though, I'm of the view that in order to really make the most of the good opportunities for stream trout in PA, you need to get on smaller water and this usually means (but certainly not always) a shorter rod. Eventually, I see a 8' or even 7 1/2" 4 or 5 wgt in the picture..

In any event, welcome to The First Church of The Falling Feather.

it's a lot of fun..
MartinlfFebruary 21st, 2009, 8:52 pm
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3233
I have a buddy who has been fishing for Lake Erie Steelhead longer than I've been flyfishing. He tells me a 6 wt. 9 foot rod is fine.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell

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