Total Newbie To Fly Fishing, Saltwater Rod/ Reel Advice

BasstarBasstar Posts: 513 Officer
Long time freshwater angler, a few trips of experience inshore wading saltwater with spinning tackle, and have just recently purchased my first new fly rod. My fly rod/ reel combo is a simple #6 TFO rod, paired with a BPS White River reel and at this point it seems to be much more capable than my abilities.

I am considering adding a saltwater combo to my fishing tackle and would like some advice on what would be a good bang for the buck rod, reel, and line. I would be using this from the shore as well as wading and am thinking #9 weight based on what I've read and heard so far.

I don't care about fancy bells and whistles and could care less about impressing anyone with a name. My goal is to spend enough to get good quality which will last and will hold up to the saltwater use, but do not want to overspend just to gain a bit of flash or feature that I truly do not need.

Any advice, opinions, and product information is appreciated.

Thanks

Replies

  • Reel AggressiveReel Aggressive Posts: 261 Officer
    Have you looked at Allen Rods & Reels? They make a solid product for very reasonable price.
  • BasstarBasstar Posts: 513 Officer
    Two more questions:

    My current #6 rod is a (4) piece blank which is excellent for transporting but I notice some of the #8 and #9 rods are (2) piece. Although a little more difficult to transport, is the (2) piece suggested for strength and durability?

    Secondly, the leaders I use on my freshwater set ups are either simply straight line or a tapered leader, dependent upon the lure and water conditions. When I am inshore saltwater fishing with spinning tackle and light mono on the other hand, I use a heavier leader to avoid my line being cut or bitten by the fish's teeth.

    With saltwater fly fishing, what types of leaders are suggested and is it recommended to tie a small section of heavier leader material as a tippet?

    Again thanks.

    Also thanks RA. I will give the Allen brand a look.
  • hooknsnookhooknsnook Posts: 63 Greenhorn
    fly reels orvis access,lamson velosity flyrod.. stcroix imperial 8wt 4pc RIO saltwater flyline
    my standard leader is (to flyline 5ft 30lb ,4ft 20lb,1ft 30lb shock leader floro.. attach fly with a loop knot
  • mnigromnigro Posts: 70 Greenhorn
    I'd go with an 8 wt. If you really end up jumping in with both feet, a 10wt is in your future too.

    Everyone has their own preferences and you'll need to cast a few rods before making a decision. Personally, I can tell a big difference between rods in terms of quality. Some people don't care and just want to catch fish. Your call there.

    But regardless of your choice, but used. I'd rather spend $300 on a good used rod as opposed to $300 on a more budget-brand rod. First, higher quality rods seem to fish better for me (not orvis, sorry but Ive cast too many seemingly great rods only to have them fold when a fish is on). Second, if I want to sell the rod later on, I don't lose much money as they hold their value pretty well.

    Hope this helps.
  • Permit RatPermit Rat Posts: 2,283 Captain
    Basstar....On the 2-piece vs. 4 piece question, the answer is that the fewer pieces, the fewer chances for a failure. I find this to be especially true if fishing on your own (wading) in the tropics, which would include So. Florida beaches in the Summertime. Today's blanks are so light and that comes from less material, meaning thinner walled blanks. A 4-piece rod simply means you have 3 chances for sand getting into a ferrule and scoring it. This can result in a locked ferrule or worse case scenario, a broken rod altogether.

    That said, the problem isn't as bad today, as it was 10 years ago. But in my day, there was no such thing as a 4-piece rod, yet we guides would take possession of a new fly rod, joint it and it would stay jointed the rest of its life, unless travel was involved. Even today, I take 2-piece rods on the airplane as checked baggage. (In my day they would put them in the coat locker in the front of the plane, but that's old news by now)

    This is just me. I do not travel internationally like I used to and even in the US, I drive whenever possible, so all my rods are 1 and 2 piece, the 1-piece rods staying at home. For you, it would depend on how much you travel and to where. The law of averages says that the more you travel, the better your chances are, of having a checked rod tube lost or stolen. In that case, the investment of a 4-piece rod might be wise.

    As far as your leader question goes, you can use your fresh water tapered leaders in the salt. I no longer make all my leaders, especially for the small Mexican bonefish and permit that I come across nowadays. Using that same outfit, if I decide to look for baby tarpon, I'll just tie on a length of shock tippet to the class tippet. Learn to tie the slim beauty and hufnagel knots. I prefer the latter, believing that the thinner diameter class tippet is better supported by a surgeon's knot, than a mere overhand knot. With the surgeon's, there is also a little less chance of crimping that light tippet material, such that you weaken it further.

    Finally, I'd like to comment on your current 6 wt. outfit. This is what I like to use in Mexico when I go wading. My 6 wt. rod can handle a 7 wt. line and that is what I use. But wading, I am closer to the mangrove shoreline and that provides a windbreak of sorts. I took that same outfit on a boat and the breeze picked up and I had a much more difficult time with my casting. The same will happen to you. Also, if you wade shorelines in So. Florida, you'll be seeing snook and redfish....not bonefish and permit. A decent snook or redfish, if hooked anywhere near the mangroves, will probably get you in, if you're just using a 6 wt. rod. As was suggested, an 8 wt. would be a much better choice. My personal recommendation would be a 9, because I always like to be a little over-gunned for the average fish, but then still have a fighting chance if his daddy takes the fly. Upsizing your tackle a bit, also hopefully means you'll have the fish in hand faster for a more timely release, having put less stress on the fish. This I feel is important....long drawn out fights are not good for any fish, due to lactic acid build-up in their flesh. (and this might also hold true for a fish that you wanted to take home for food)

    That is all....aren't you glad? :wink
    .......Rick
  • redjimredjim Posts: 774 Officer
    Basstar, good to hear from you again.

    I thought and hoped you were going with the 8? I think a 9 is too much stick for what you may run into. I would like to suggest the Mangrove line from TFO. It is a slower action rod that many guys find easier to learn on. I love them so much I have 2-8 and 2-7. I find them very enjoyable to use.

    Most any worthy fly shop will probably have at least a 7 or 8 you could throw to see if you liked it.

    Good Luck!
  • Permit RatPermit Rat Posts: 2,283 Captain
    redjim wrote: »

    I thought and hoped you were going with the 8? I think a 9 is too much stick for what you may run into. I would like to suggest the Mangrove line from TFO. It is a slower action rod that many guys find easier to learn on. I love them so much I have 2-8 and 2-7. I find them very enjoyable to use.

    Most any worthy fly shop will probably have at least a 7 or 8 you could throw to see if you liked it.

    Good Luck!

    Thanks Jim.....the TFO Mangrove series is what I was trying to think of, but couldn't remember, so said nothing. Anyway, X 2 on that as a good rod. And they may be slower than a Sage or Loomis, but they are still plenty fast enough for sight fishing, so don't worry about that.

    Basstar never said where and what type of fishing he would be doing. Around docks and mangroves, a Pfleuger Medalist reel would be plenty, since most fish will never be put on the reel. Out in the open and for other kinds of fishing/different species, a reel with a good drag might be more important.
    .......Rick
  • BasstarBasstar Posts: 513 Officer
    Thanks so much everyone. This info is very helpful and has me doing a lot of "shopping".

    As for how I would use the rod, it would be primarily for wading inshore and/ or using from a kayak in some of the backwater areas.
  • tarpon41tarpon41 Posts: 209 Deckhand
    Might check out the clearance section Madison River Fishing Company they have a Redington Link 9'6" 8wt 379 for 189 or Sierra Trading Post for Redington's for Links and CPXs particularly if you are on their mail which their daily additional discounts
  • BasstarBasstar Posts: 513 Officer
    tarpon41 wrote: »
    Might check out the clearance section Madison River Fishing Company they have a Redington Link 9'6" 8wt 379 for 189 or Sierra Trading Post for Redington's for Links and CPXs particularly if you are on their mail which their daily additional discounts

    Thanks for the heads up!
  • E-typeE-type Posts: 246 Officer
    redjim wrote: »
    Basstar, good to hear from you again.

    I thought and hoped you were going with the 8? I think a 9 is too much stick for what you may run into. I would like to suggest the Mangrove line from TFO. It is a slower action rod that many guys find easier to learn on. I love them so much I have 2-8 and 2-7. I find them very enjoyable to use.

    Most any worthy fly shop will probably have at least a 7 or 8 you could throw to see if you liked it.

    Good Luck!
    I'm with Jim. Start with an 8. It's hard to beat TFO price/quality plus if you break it for twenty bucks you'll have a new rod within a week of sending it back. I have a Mangrove 7 wt and it's my choice when I have to beat the mangroves for a few hours. I have orvis, sage, T&T, TFo, and Scott rods. If you really get into it, you will probably find favorite rods for specific things, but there is nothing wrong with TFO rods and they come in lots of flavors. The Orvis mid arbor reel is a good reasonably priced saltwater reel. You need to rinse it well and lubricate it to keep corrosion from setting in. If you do it will service you well. Not the smoothest drive, but I've used them on bonefish in the past.

    Leaders aren't as complicated as some make them out to be, assuming you aren't hung up on IGFA rules. Whatever you can turn over with 30lb tippet for snook and 15-20 for reds--at least 9' and preferably 12'+ If you can do it.

    Good luck.
  • darnhardheadsdarnhardheads Posts: 59 Deckhand
    I use a 6 for bluegill because of the occasional bass. I use an 8 for the salt flats or weed edges if I am fishing for bass. And I have a 10 for fishing for snook in the mangroves or bass in the lilies and slop.

    It is hard to say what exact combo you should try so you should go to a fly shop or Bass Pro to try a few out. Weight counts, a few ounces makes a huge difference after 1,000 casts.
  • ifitswimsifitswims Posts: 176 Deckhand
    Weight counts, a few ounces makes a huge difference after 1,000 casts.

    ^^^ This
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