Potentially looking for my first fly rod

bobert421bobert421 Posts: 397 Deckhand
I have been looking into getting a new spinning combo but recently I have been finding fish that are picky eaters and a small fly might be the trick to get them to bite. So now I am considering entering into the fly fishing world. Only thing is I know nothing about it. I have been reading some threads on here and am still pretty lost when it comes to getting started. Not looking to spend a fortune to start with but I'm not going to Walmart to look for fly gear. I have a basspro gift card that is burning a hole in my wallet so something that they might carry would be the best place for me to start.

First question:
What weight fly rod should I be looking for to handle Snook, Redfish, Spanish mackeral, Blue fish, schoolie sized dolphin if I ever find any offshore, etc? From what I have read so far maybe a 8 or 9 weight might fit the bill. Will be fishing from shore and boat. Looking for something that would be a good versatile rod that can handle a wide variety of fish. Bass Pro has some combos on the cheaper end of the scale but is the cheap stuff garbage and going to make my first attempt at fly fishing miserable?

Second question:
Other than the rod and reel, what other expenses do I need to consider when making the purchase? I know I can really spend a lot of money but what are the basics I need to get started. Depending on the weather I may go to Bass Pro this weekend to look around. If the weather is good I will be fishing instead.

Thanks in advance for any input.
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  • LoganGLoganG Posts: 48 Deckhand
    First a 9wt Sounds like a fit,Also i would Go ahead an spend the money on a quality rod and reel,+fly line and backing.
  • idlerickidlerick Littleton, Colorado & Sarasota, FlaPosts: 232 Deckhand
    I would look for used on Craig's List, EBay, etc. There are a ton of anglers out there who, like you, thought ffing would be a kick but then opted not to stay with it. They'll have complete outfits in A-1 condition for half the retail price. Take advantage of them.
    Weight - Anywhere from a 7 (trout, small snook, macs, ladyfish, blues, etc) to a 10 (dolphin, large snook, small tarpon). My advice would be to start on the lighter side, 7 or 8, and move up as you get better.
    Good rods - TFO (Temple Fork Outfitters), Loomis GL3, St Croix Avid or Legend Ultra, or Orvis and Redington in the mid-ranges.
    Reels - Ross, Lamson, Okuma, Redington, Orvis again. Research it some - read reviews and opinions from anglers.
    Basics - The rod, reel, line (don't scrimp here, or you will get discouraged), backing, leaders, and, don't forget - FLIES. The flies will run you $1 to $4 apiece, and the macs will chew them up with no sympathy at all. Other than that, the gear you're using now should work.
  • KennyStCyrKennyStCyr Posts: 43 Greenhorn
    I got into the fly thing alittle over a year ago and stated with a 9wt. It was perfect for what your saying, its caught everything from snook to dolphin and triple tail off shore. I'm now obsessed with my 2 8wts and just got a 10wt. That being said My 9wt is being retired. Its a 9wt TFO lefty Krech signature rod with a redington breakwater 9/10 reel with wf9w line. I picked it up from a friend alittle over a year ago. If you're interested shoot me a PM, I think it would be a great setup to begin with and allow you to see what you like. I Paid $175 for the combo. Rod new is $125(unlimited lifetime warranty), and reel new is in the $200s, and not to mention line runs around $70. Make me a offer if interested Im in Palm Beach so we could meet up, If not best of luck and you will be addicted very quickly.

    Slinging flys and drinkin beer!
  • salty limeysalty limey Posts: 44 Deckhand
    All the above sounds like good advice but I'd definitely go with an 8-weight for the fish and fish sizes you are looking for. I think you'll find a 9 weight over-gunning it a bit after a while. As always, there isn't a one-size-fits-all but an 8 is pretty versatile for those species. If and when you start going after bigger stuff like cobia and mid-size tarpon, you may want to step up to a 10 weight.

    Get a large arbour reel too and a good quality fly-line (floating, sink-tip or intermediate will work if you are not ploughing the depths for fish). Gel-spun backing will finish the outfit off nicely.

    Have fun!
  • idlerickidlerick Littleton, Colorado & Sarasota, FlaPosts: 232 Deckhand
    Let me add one other observation, Bobert:

    Fly fishing, in general, is not the way to catch MORE fish. It's more fun, IMO, and more of a challenge. But if your primary driver is catching more fish and/or bigger fish than you do on spin and bait tackle, you're going to be disappointed. FFing is a handicap first and a terrific sport second. It's harder, more tiring, less effective, more limiting (weather/wind-wise), and more expensive. Keep that in mind.

    Kenny's offer, BTW, sounds pretty good. Just the type outfit you need to start.
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