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I thought this would be the appropriate place for this thread, however, if it's not and needs to be moved I won't take offense.

I think that right now I'm really thinking about wanting to get into a fly rod. More than likely a starter kit would be good for now.

Where do I start?

I don't need the top of the line gear and if I had to set a budget for starting out I would hope to stay around $100 for a good time...I don't even know if that sounds reasonable or not.

Someone or everyone please school me on some fly rod fishing.
 

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$100 is plenty to get started. You can get a Scientific Angler Starter kit for about that price. Essential Gear includes:

Rod
Reel
Backing
Line
Leader
Flies

That's really all you need to get started. I think most starter kits are 5wt which refers to the backbone of the rod (1 being lightweight-12 for big game salt water) 5wt is appropriate for bass and panfish. The rod will probably be 8.5 to 9ft. A kit will also probably come with floating line. Floating line will suffice for almost all your needs. The thick fly line will float, but a weighted fly attached to a leader will sink if you want to fish subsurface. The kit will likely include a little guide for how to rig the backing to the line and the line to the leader.

I bought a Pflueger starter kit for my oldest last Christmas ($50?). It is serviceable. A guy I fished with last weekend, had the Scientific Angler
and it was much better, but he said it was $100.

Ask away if you have more specific questions. I've learned lots from these guys. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #3
$100 is plenty to get started. You can get a Scientific Angler Starter kit for about that price. Essential Gear includes:

Rod
Reel
Backing
Line
Leader
Flies

That's really all you need to get started. I think most starter kits are 5wt which refers to the backbone of the rod (1 being lightweight-12 for big game salt water) 5wt is appropriate for bass and panfish. The rod will probably be 8.5 to 9ft. A kit will also probably come with floating line. Floating line will suffice for almost all your needs. The thick fly line will float, but a weighted fly attached to a leader will sink if you want to fish subsurface. The kit will likely include a little guide for how to rig the backing to the line and the line to the leader.

I bought a Pflueger starter kit for my oldest last Christmas ($50?). It is serviceable. A guy I fished with last weekend, had the Scientific Angler
and it was much better, but he said it was $100.

Ask away if you have more specific questions. I've learned lots from these guys. :D
OK, I get what you're saying....I've seen that Scientific angler kit on ebay and it was $100....

I guess my next question for this conversation would be, what are some of the methods for fly fishing a reservoir? I've seen a lot of fish on top in the evenings and that would most likely be when I would do most of my fishing. Thanks.
 

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lakes and ponds

Yep, the S/A kits aren't bad, you can also get some decent rods with an in-expensive reel from Gander for respectable price as well.

There are tons of options. To me top water is definitely the most fun but it's not always the most productive. You can catch a lot of panfish and small bass on very simple flies like rubber spiders in various colors. Basically to me rubber legs = fish when it comes to that type of fishing. :)
 

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Top water fishing, whether poppers or dries, would be easier than stripping streamers. Of course as long as your dry hits the water, you've got a shot at a fish. With a streamer, if you can't get it out there very far, you're spinning your wheels a bit.

You'll do fine. If I can do it, anyone can...........
 

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Like GM said, very easy to learn. Most people start out fly fishing on top water in lakes and ponds. Flies are dirt cheap for that too. you can buy little rubber spiders and other poppers at just about any tackle store,even Wal-Mart.
 

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I agree that topwater flies are more fun to fish. I say it's a sickness, and openly admit I have that sickness and it's terminal. That being said, don't be intimidated by fishing undwer the surface because you'll tend to catch more fish that way. If you're looking to catch bluegills and sunfish, a great tactic is to use a small nymph (it doesn't have to be fancy to fool a bluegill) under an indicator. "Indicator" is a fancy word for a bobber in fly fishing terms. It's usually a small chunk of foam or plastic that floats well and attaches to your line above the fly. See the indicator twitch or disappear, fish on, simple as that. Simple streamer flies like wooly buggers and Clouser minnows can be casted out and stripped in to catch bass and crappies. It's not that complicated, either. You're bringing in the line by hand, strip by strip, you'll either feel the fish in your stripping hand take the fly or see the line twitch. Again, set the hook! :bouncy:

As for gear, I wouldn't break the bank, especially for the first rod/reel. As said above, you can get an adequate combo for under $100. I have been fly fishing almost exclusively now for the last 6-7 years and don't own a rod that cost over $200 (3 of the 4 cost me $110 or less). My reels are not much special, either. The "best" reel I own is on my 7wt I use for steelhead and carp, I wanted a good drag for the setup, and that reel cost me about $190. You don't need a $700 rod and a $400 reel to catch bass and panfish...or any fish, for the most part. The thing I would suggest spending a little more than the minimum on is the fly line. If you get a decent combo from BPS or Cabelas that line will most likely be good enough. The really cheap lines coil badly and make learning to cast a lot more difficult than it needs to be. I try to make sure I get a decent quality line (spent as much as $75 on a fly line for 2 of my setups) and keep it clean. If you're fishing it around here in Ohio you'll want to clean the line every few weeks or once a month, at worst, if you're fishing a lot. Fly line attracts a lot of water gunk, keeping it clean makes it float and cast better, and it's a cheap and easy thing to do. Kits only cost a few bucks and last a while. Some say they use Armor All on their fly line, but I have read about disasters using products like that on fly lines, so be careful!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I don't even have that kind of money to spend even if I wanted to...just want something on or under budget that will be effective and reliable...I spend most of my time re-tying swivels on the kids poles and trying to salvage lures out of trees and rocks...so many colors of flies to choose from...should I stay with more natural colors as oppossed to flourescent anything (not realistic)? Do you need to keep dry flies maintained as well...do they keep their resistance to water or do you need to apply a spray to them over time?
 

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Bthompson

If sticking with foam spiders or poppers there is almost no maintenance required. Just keep you hooks sharp and dry them out when your done so they don't rust out and they'll last awhile. different colors can be productive, white, black, chartreuse, yellow will all work a times for panfish.
 

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I don't even have that kind of money to spend even if I wanted to...just want something on or under budget that will be effective and reliable...I spend most of my time re-tying swivels on the kids poles and trying to salvage lures out of trees and rocks...so many colors of flies to choose from...should I stay with more natural colors as oppossed to flourescent anything (not realistic)? Do you need to keep dry flies maintained as well...do they keep their resistance to water or do you need to apply a spray to them over time?
Sorry, I wasn't suggesting you spend that kind of money, just that you don't have to have super expensive gear to fly fish. Cabela's and Bass Pro both have perfectly good combos with line, backing, leader, rod and reel for under $100. The line quality I brought up just to let you know the super cheap (like $10-15) lines, if bought separately, will typically be something that slows down your learning curve. I have seen these lines in action, and they coil on the water as soon as they get pulled off the reel. When the line coils that badly it is much more difficult to cast because it doesn't "shoot" through the guides when you cast.
 

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Cream...I just re-read my response and I apologize...I did not think you were making that suggestion and my response was geared more toward poking fun at myself...Sometimes I just type and totally forget that I should put some sort of emotion in my posts...all of your knowledge shared is greatly appreciated for sure...

Everyone,
Thanks for all the great info so far...I have been looking at different flies and spiders and such and I was wondering what size is best for panfish? bass? trout? I noticed that the trout flies I was looking at came in size 14, 10, etc.. Also how will I know what fly line is good to use when I'm looking at the packages at the store...i.e. what criteria should I be looking at?

Thanks again guys,
Ben
 

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For a starter rod and reel, I'd go with the SA as opposed to the others (The Martin starter I also got years ago is not nearly as good as the old SA). Can't speak for the Cabela or Bass Pro ones though. I have one SA (my first one) and honestly I still love it, it casts beautifully. I've moved on to Sage's, but I've hardly broke the bank. I used the SA for 3 years before moving up.

Like Cream said about fly-lines- that's something you don't want to skimp on too much. I have 2 of em collecting dust at the bottom of a tackle box somewhere. Each fished once.
 

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Dry flies- unless they get really mangled they don't really lose their water resistance. If your fly "drowns," your next cast will most likely get it floating again. A couple of false casts does the trick anyways. I do have Gink with me, and it helps if you're in a downpour and/or in fast water because you will drown flies because you will be fighting drag. It puts a film on the flies and some of it you can see on the water. I really can't say if the fish mind it or not...regardless false casts are how you dry them.

Panfish and bass flies- anything that that is not too big for them to eat! They are not really selective.

Trout is where fly sizes really come into play. The idea is to get as close to what they normally eat. That's why we FF. But it's not really a be all end all either. For instance this opener Grannom caddisflies where coming off in the afternoons where I was fishing. The "rule" is - #12-#16 deer or elk hair caddis or approximate. I had 2 hits on #18 elk hair caddis.

As Joe Dirt's dad said sometimes "It just does.":biggrin:

Oh, and welcome to fly-fishing grasshopper!
 

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Cream...I just re-read my response and I apologize...I did not think you were making that suggestion and my response was geared more toward poking fun at myself...Sometimes I just type and totally forget that I should put some sort of emotion in my posts...all of your knowledge shared is greatly appreciated for sure...

Everyone,
Thanks for all the great info so far...I have been looking at different flies and spiders and such and I was wondering what size is best for panfish? bass? trout? I noticed that the trout flies I was looking at came in size 14, 10, etc.. Also how will I know what fly line is good to use when I'm looking at the packages at the store...i.e. what criteria should I be looking at?

Thanks again guys,
Ben
Size does matter...... Mostly for trout. If you're fishing for the trout, especially natives, they're not just acclimated to eating the things they see, much of their diet is seasonal. Certain nymphs at certain times come in certain sizes. The corresponding dries are the same way. It's referred to as "matching the hatch". It can be pretty specific and require some research into what flies are active at the time of year you intend to fish. In theory, you won't catch a trout on a hendrickson dry in August. The hendrickson's will have done their thing months earlier and the trout will "know" better. Some nymphs and dries are general purpose. Not supposed to be a precise replica of anything, but something like a lot of things. Having said that, I fish 12 - 18 most often. If you go very small, you will need very fine tippet. Small flies have small eyes and a larger diameter line won't pass through.

Fishing terrestrials, ground insects like spiders, crickets, ants and beetles, can be less specific. Those are targets of opportunity for the fish, bass, bluegills, even trout. Whatever falls in can be a meal. I like my terrestrials big, especially in a pond. The hit of the fly on the water attracts the fish's attention. A larger fly attracts more attention. (in my opinion)

Streamers can be fished in a variety of sizes, just like real live bait comes in a variety of sizes. The trend is toward bigger streamers for all species. I commonly fish streamers in 6-10. Some guys target really big trout with streamers as big as your hand. I don't even own any half that big.
 
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