What Do You Need For Fly Fishing – For many years in our fly shop and even when I was guiding on the water, conversations and lessons with beginners interested in fly fishing were commonplace. Perhaps strange or perhaps somewhat relatable, I always referred to guitar playing as a similar reference to fly fishing. For some obvious reasons, I think. First of all, both a trained guitar player and a trained fly fisherman are very nice to watch. Both are created with time, rhythm and, above all, good practice. Most fly anglers will tell you that the first few times they had their fly rod set up it wasn’t pretty, and it’s certainly the same with guitars.
The beginner’s fly fishing journey usually stems from a desire to progress from spinning or bait casting rigs. Casting is almost considered the next step up from normal equipment. Some had the chance to see someone in a local pond or river presenting beautiful loops of colored lines flying through the air and that was enough to ask about this hobby. Either way, like picking up a guitar for the first time, everything comes quickly to those who want the end result.
What Do You Need For Fly Fishing
In this article I’m going to start with gear, as this is the first part of the equation that can be a little intimidating. The latest and greatest in fly fishing gear has evolved so quickly that I will stick to the basics in this article. Like picking up a new guitar, a decent, well-functioning setup with a protective case is a smart approach and not too expensive.
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With the right equipment and a little practice, fly fishing is sure to become a hobby you’ll enjoy for a lifetime.
The perfect starting point for a fly rod, in my opinion, is a setup (or combination) aimed at fishing under the 10-pound mark. This in no way means that a fish over 10 pounds can’t be landed, it’s just equipment classification. Let’s start with a basic fly rod for trout and fish. The reason I recommend this is because most of the easiest and most accessible waters in BC have these fish during the longest season of the year. The Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island can fish almost all of these species 12 months of the year. The two main classifications in BC are trout and catfish or salmon and steelhead. The difference in size, strength and weight between the two genders of this fly gear is quite noticeable.
There are two important numbers to look for and know when looking for your first fly rod. 1) length, and 2) rod weight (#). An important thing to note is that the rod weight is the class number, not the actual weight of the rod. In the section above the cork handle, next to the brand name of the rod, there will be a description that reads its length and rod # (rod/line weight). Don’t get discouraged here, it’s usually written with starter rods, like 9 foot #6. This means a length of nine meters and a weight of six rods. Why I used it for an example is because I think that’s the perfect length and rod weight for someone to start casting and learning. This is by no means to say that if you are given a nine-foot, six-inch #7 fly rod that is not the best to start with, I am recommending what the industry has stated as the standard setup. Like a six-string acoustic guitar!
Rods come in all creative colors and finishes. Important factors for beginners are a good cork grip, a reasonable price, and some sort of carrying case or sock. Most broken rods occur in transit. If fighting fish are broken, it is likely that the damage occurred in transit or storage before the fish was struck. I always recommend being prepared to spend around $100 on your first rod. Also important to consider are combos, rod reels and line, which will cost between $150 and $250 for a good, stable rig. Of course, these numbers add up quickly and spending more money will add better warranties, overall weight, design and build quality, box packing, and more. Don’t get discouraged, set your budget in advance and set your goals for catching fish.
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An important and sometimes surprising truth about common trout and fish setups is how a nice looking reel is irrelevant to the actual equation. As many have said before me, its sole purpose is line support. Reels will generally have numbers on the back, similar to rods designed for size and capacity. A fly reel for a #6 fly rod will say something like 56 or 67 or 6000, etc. They’ll generally be about the size of a soup can lid, if that helps. Impressive drag features, anodized components and a smooth finish are ideal for those truly looking for exotic fishing destinations, but will still look better when showing off to friends. Well conditioned, working coils will cost upwards of $60. The first part of the fly line installation is called protection. This is inferior to thin dacron or braided synthetics that provide an extra 150 yards of line under your fly line. Not only does this add reserve line to the 100-foot fly line, but if a big fish takes off, it also serves as a leveling system to fill the reel as much as possible. A spool close to capacity will pick up line much faster. Again, looking for a rod and reel combo or kit already assembled by a shop or manufacturer can add significant savings and eliminate some of the steps just described.
Yes, fly lines. This is where things can get complicated for someone relatively new to this hobby. I’m going to be very blunt and to the point with the fly lines here. This part of the equation is just as important, if not more so, than the rod in certain equations. The line does what your hand tells the rod to do. They are scaled by weight (line weight/line #) and must follow that matching sequence. The first thing new fly fishermen notice is how many lines are on the wall of a shop and how many numbers are on each box. This is where you stop and take a moment to learn this system. Here it goes. The long sequence starts with letters and then numbers on a line. The first letters are the shape or design of the taper, the second number is the weight of the line that matches the rod, and the third set of letters and sometimes letters and numbers is the type of line (floating or sinking, etc.) Here. it’s the most common type of line to start things off, and I’ll share it right away for reference: WF6F. Ok, WF (weight forward) 6 (6 weight, #6 rod) and finally F (floating line). A second line with the same wrapper might read WF5S6. What is that? Well, that’s a forward weight, 5-weight sinking fly line with a fast 6-weight sinking speed. Don’t mix too much. Everything makes sense in time. So what do you do to get the best fly line to start with? Here’s which is the safest and most practical. Look for a line with forward weight that is easiest to cast and load. Buy one that matches your rod weight or number. Buy a floating line to get started. Floating lines are the best lines to learn, the safest to have fins on the face, the easiest to sight and handle, and most importantly, the most versatile for use from surface fishing to 20 feet or more of water. .
This is the part where the fish start to decide if they like what you are doing. Leaders are the clear section (mono or fluorocarbon) that separates your fly line from your fly, helps turn your fly (presentation) and keeps the fly relatively invisible near its knot. Tapered leaders are constructed without knots, come in a convenient package, and are sold in a variety of lengths and breaking strengths. My best recommendation is to buy one ironically labeled as your rod (9ft/6lb). This tapered leader starts with a heavy section called the butt, which is delicately tied to your fly, either as a loop and loop or with a nail knot. As you run your hand across the leader, you will slowly thin (shrink) the 6-pound 40-inch line or whatever you bought.