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> > best rod for a rank beginner?

RogueratMay 31st, 2017, 12:01 pm
Posts: 385
I'm on a posting roll today but here goes, anyway...

I've been asked by a rank beginner, never held a fly rod but wants to try it 'what is the best rod to start with?'
I gave him what seems to be the standard '5 wt, 9-foot' and 'buy the best you can reasonably afford' advice.
In retrospect I'm second-guessing myself and question if the 5 wt/9-ft is the do-all, be-all for a beginner. I based my response on his intent of fishing trout only, smallish to medium waters and starting small.

Any advice or comment would be welcome, and my apologies in advance if this topic is a rehash of any former posts by other TN's- I should have done a site search, I guess.


'Less is more...'

Ludwig Mies Vande Rohe
David82ndMay 31st, 2017, 1:00 pm
Upstate,New York

Posts: 63
Sounds legit to me , 5-9 and there are plenty of starter set ups , I think Remington has a nice rod/ reel combo with case and a few leaders , he will get the basic needs and after learning , he will then know to pursue or not , I remember when I was 18 I got a nice carbellas " sweetwater" set , a 5-9 , rod tube and the essential backing and line , I taught myself to cast and after several years began purchasing more and more gear , I loved that rod , still have it and use it on occasion ,
PartsmanJune 1st, 2017, 3:59 pm
bancroft michigan

Posts: 125
Rogue, I think you got it right, I have 3 5wts, the latest a gloomis nrx and I love it. I have a little pond behind my house with some nice bluegills and bass, and the 5 wts are great for bluegills and bass. The 9 ft. rod fishes good on medium to large rivers, and lakes and ponds. I also have the 5 wt. recon which is nice rod, just not even close to gloomis in casting and feel, but a nice rod to start off with. I have a epic 8 ft. 5 wt. and I find myself using other rods for smaller streams. I like glass for small stream rods, I have a cbarly 70p, great rod for small streams! There are just some many great choices in rods these days.
WbranchJune 2nd, 2017, 5:59 am
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2190
I agree that the 9' #5 rod is ideal for casting all dries, nymphs, and wet flies #10 - #22 but it is a much less than ideal rod for casting anything but the lightest streamers. Once you try to cast any weighted streamers like a cone head or a Clouser it will really test your casting abilities as the rod just isn't designed to be doing that kind of work. A mid flex 9' #6 will do everything and for a rank beginner he won't miss the finer nuances of the 9' #5. Let him get into the game first and be able to use the full array of flies. Then if he likes it he can start to build up his arsenal of fly rods.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
RogueratJune 2nd, 2017, 10:58 am
Posts: 385

good point on streamers, and since this fly is one I tend not to cast it simply didn't occur to me that a beginner rod should be more than a dry-fly/nymph tool. Justin (rank beginner) found a St Croix 9' 5 wt for around $ 35.00 (wish I'd seen if first, all things considered!) and is going to snag it. Thus his question to me 'is this a good rod to start with?' and my query to the TN's. I'll advise him about the light streamer thing, maybe even tie some stuff for him now and then.
I've already supplied him with some Intruders for late season steel-heading since he found an old, beat-up Orvis 9' 8 wt setup last fall and was casting the backing as line...I advised him to get a real line and leader on the rod and then started slipping flies his Justin's not a rank beginner after all but a 'beginner' for dry flies and such.

other than my own kids, and now grandkids, I've never been in a position to mentor anybody on flyfishing. Kind of a crazy responsibility, gotta' be thoughtful how I go about this.


'Less is more...'

Ludwig Mies Vande Rohe
TimDOctober 12th, 2017, 5:13 pm

Posts: 1
@ WBranch, that's actually a really smart way to look at it. People often default to the 5 wt, but you're right, it's a little light for anything with a cone head. I guess 5/6 rods would be a decent suggestion? I never know if those rods should throw a 5 or 6 wt line though. I assume go heavier to get the rod to load best...

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