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Total beginner rod weight

Wra22Wra22 Posts: 237 Deckhand
I have never even held a fly rod. I want to try it and would like to know if a lighter or heavier rod is the way to start. Any rod weight recommendations appreciated if it does matter.   Thank you. 


  • CWFliesCWFlies StuartPosts: 152 Deckhand
    Depends on what you will be fishing for. Most people start with a 8 or 9wt which will cover you for most any inshore saltwater or freshwater fishing in FL. It won't be heavy enough for 100lb tarpon but will be enough for just about anything else you'd want to do. 
    I would recommend going to your local shop and trying out some of their rods. Most shops can guide you with casting lesson then help you pick out the right rod for you.
    You don't need to spend $1000 on your first rod. Just find something you like that feels comfortable and you can cast well.  
  • troutbomtroutbom Posts: 402 Deckhand
    I started with an entry level 6 wt Bass Pro package I got as a gift. CW is right that an 8 or 9 is the go to for inshore salt but I think a 6 wt overlined with a 7 wt line might be easier to learn with. It will do ok for most inshore work. I got snook up to 40" and bones to 5 lbs on my first outfit but really learned to use it in the Everglades on bass and exotics where 6 wt the better choice.. Both TFO and Orvis have good package outfits that I've purchased as gifts.I've upgraded to Sage X 8 wts for salt and Orvis 5 wt for freshwater trout out west. If you have no interest in freshwater, I think an 8 wt your best bet as CW recommends
  • sunflowersunflower osprey, floridaPosts: 702 Officer

    That's like asking what kind vehicle to buy. Depends on your purpose.
    What do you want to fish for? In salt or fresh water?


    grace finds goodness in everything ...

  • Wra22Wra22 Posts: 237 Deckhand
    I was just wondering if a 5 was easier to cast than a 9. It sounds like the weight doesn’t matter. I need to just get one for the fish I hope to catch. Thank you guys for responding. 
  • troutbomtroutbom Posts: 402 Deckhand
    In my opinion the 6 is easier to learn on . By overlining the 6 with a 7 wt line , you may find it easier to feel the rod load. My old friend Jack "Bass" Allen used to overline a 6 wt by 2-3 line sizes, believing it helped his newbie charters feel the rod load and turn over a bass popper. Not every casting instructor agrees but Jack guided for 50 years and had a lot of beginners. The 6 will also be more fun for beginner appropriate fish like peacocks, oscars, and jacks and ladyfish in salt. It will handle most inshore fish like reds and snook. If you love it, you can move up if it suits you. Good luck. 
  • sunflowersunflower osprey, floridaPosts: 702 Officer


    This brings up an entire new debate.
    Is it "fly fishing" if you put a lure on the end of your flyline?
    What is the definition of a "lure?" Or, of a "fly?"
    Is it "fly fishing" if you put a bait on, or use a scented fly?

    I'm not sure throwing a 9-weight line with a 6-weight rod counts as a fly-cast.

    I think Jack was just having his clients throw out a heavy line using a fly rod.
    Not fly fishing.

    Is it "fly fishing" if you sling out a piece of pork on the end of a clothesline?
    How about is you sling it out using a 6-weight?


    grace finds goodness in everything ...

  • aqualifeaqualife JupiterPosts: 77 Deckhand
    edited June 9 #8
    Where do you live? If you’re near West Palm Beach I’d get a 7 wt for snook off the beach for coming summer months. Great way to learn. 
  • troutbomtroutbom Posts: 402 Deckhand
    Sunflower, to me, it's fly casting if you're casting the fly line not a lure or bait. Jack would  start his clients with no fly at all so they could understand and feel the concept of the line loading the rod.By any definition I think thats fly casting since there is no weight but the fly line. His poppers were light and buoyant and could not be thrown with anything but a fly rod. As to whats a fly, opinions vary. Norm Zigler once disparaged clousers to me as jigs(they are) but his Schminnow had bead chain eyes. Some trout purists believe its not a fly  unless it imitates an insect, is made of only of feathers, is only fished dry and upstream. Everyone free to fish how they like and characterize  their own style( but not mine) or method any way they like. Personally, I like how my 8 wt Sage X loads  with a 9 wt Rio Redfish line for snook and reds, but switch spools to 8 wt bonefish line when fishing spooky bones. As to whats a fly, if it's too light to be cast on anything but a fly rod , I consider it a fly. No bait, no scent though no matter how light. Just curious , do you consider a clouser a fly? Foam poppers or gurglers?. As to fishing nymphs under an indicator for trout to me not fly casting but every drift boat out west has at least 2 rigged. I just dont enjoy it as much as dry fly or streamer whatever it is you call indicator fishing. But if nothing else working...I'll do it. No bait or power bait though. 
  • sunflowersunflower osprey, floridaPosts: 702 Officer

    It just feels weird in my mind.
    You could probably throw a 9-weight line pretty far underhand, using a 6-weight rod.

    grace finds goodness in everything ...

  • troutbomtroutbom Posts: 402 Deckhand
    I've personally  never over lined more than one size but picked up a rod a couple of times Jack had rigged for clients. I saw what he meant by overlining 2-3 but it not something you'd want to throw after you had a few trips under your belt. Just as an aside, when sun get up higher around 10:30 in 12" of water a side arm cast is sometimes necessary to avoid spooking snook and even reds. Never thought about it but that might be why 9wt on my Sage 8 wt is my choice. Cuts down on need to false cast too. If they see a shadow they're gone. Bonefish up skinny likewise . 
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