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Fly fishing starter kit recommendations

  • 24-11-2008 6:21pm
    Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 9,689 Mod ✭✭✭✭

    I've been fishing on and off for a good few years, mainly trolling down on Lough Mask, and more recently some spectacularly unsuccessful sea-shore lure fishing. I tried fly fishing once and loved it and I'd love to give it a go properly, so I'm looking for some recommendations for kit to get started. Ideally quite cheap, but still usable of course, and I'd spend a bit extra for better value for money.

    I'd mainly be lake fishing (Mask, Ree), so from what I've read I think I'd be looking for something in a 10' or 11' rod, maybe 6/7 or possibly 7/8 weight? I'd like to try a little bit of river fishing around the dublin area as well, but if I really got into it I would be happy to buy a better suited rod/reel dedicated for that.

    Is there any particular rods/reels someone would recommend for a starter, something that really hits the cheap-entry-price-with-decent-performance nail right on the head? Or better yet, are there any good starter bundles (rod,reel,backing,line,tippet etc) or is it much better to buy seperate?



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,882 ✭✭✭Doc Farrell


    something i didn't know is that the line and rod need to add up, i think this is a major decider whatever shop u walk into.

    some places just want to get rid of stock and others see the long term benefits ofhaving a regular customer.

    so if a shopkeeper says 'here's a great cheap rod' and 'here's a line to go with it'and they can't be used together then either he doesn't understand the craft or he's trying to rob u.

    rod 40 euro average lenght, 8and a half foot
    line 10 euro, that suits the rod!
    reel 30-40 euro, get a light one.

    do some homework, at the bottom of the rod are 3 numbers, find out what they mean.

    the 2nd thing i recommend is getting a lesson on how to cast, anyone who thinks he can do this with zero help deserves the can of whoopass he's opening.

    tight lines!

  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 3,455 Mod ✭✭✭✭coolwings

    A 4 - 5 line is delicate for the river.
    A 6 - 7 lne is nice and windproof for the boat.
    A 7 - 9 line casts like a bullet, into the wind if necessary, and carries big lures out well.

    Compromise .... a 6.
    It can take a short 7 shooting head easily if long casts are required for lake shore fishing. 12 feet less of a 7 weighs the same as the 6 ,so the rod does not know the difference.

    That leaves the rod.
    For learners a medium to fast action. Later when your timing is perfect that is the time to look at fast action rods of great accuracy. But not now.

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 9,689 Mod ✭✭✭✭stevenmu

    Thanks for the replies guys. From what you're saying a weight 6 rod/reel/line seems to suit my needs well. I've been looking at some rods online and they seem to come in a 6/7 weight which would let me move up a bit if I needed to fight stronger winds, I'll mainly be on a boat I think so that shouldn't be too big a problem.

    I'll be making a few trips to local shops to see what they have (it's always nice to support them when I can), but looking online I came across a bundle of an Abu Garcia Diplomat Travel rod + reel + line for €99 which seems like a good deal, but I can't find much info on it, does anyone know if it's any good?

    I also have my eye on a Grey's GRXi bundle, it costs a bit more but they seem to be highly thought of, and I'm happy to go that bit further for something that will last me years so I'm leaning towards this at the moment.

    The main thing I'm still not sure about is rod length, and in particular if a 9' or 9'6" rod would be enough or would I get much benefit out of a longer, maybe 10'6" or 11', rod? (again mainly stillwater boat use with some shore + river)

    Thanks again,

  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 3,455 Mod ✭✭✭✭coolwings

    A shorter fast action rod is better at pure casting.
    But you will want line control, reach over bankside vegetation and so on.

    Look at 9' 6" AFTM 5/6 rods primarily for river work.

    For boat fishing line control is more important if you fish wet fly traditional style, short line, raised rod, dibbling the bob fly.
    That takes a 11" 6" AFTM 6 rod, of softer medium action for the short line roll casting.

    For boat fishing with modern techniques a medium 10' or 10' 6" rod AFTM 6/7 is better, with a slightly faster action. this casts better, and is nicer for lifting a suinken line out of the water prior to the next cast. So nymphing is easier with such a rod.

    So there are three different needs going on there for the three styles.
    But you will compromise, and you know which style you will be using more of.
    So the compromise is yours to make. More rods can be got later.

    I would get a 10' or 10' 6" AFTM 6 for all those uses, most likely the 10 1/2 footer.
    I would use a double taper floater no 6 for most fishing with it. This would cover dry fly, wet fly traditional boating,and long leader weighted nymph nymphing down to 4-5 feet of depth. That is a lot of the season's fishing covered.
    When a heavier line is necessary for distance bankside stillwater work, I would put on a shorter shooting head 7, probably a wet cel 2 fast sink line to cut down through the top 4-5 feet of water and allow totally different water coverage with lures or unleaded/slightly leaded/bead head deep nymphs.

    The 10 1/2' length is a bit unwieldy on a river, but workable, and very unwieldy on a small brushy stream, not much use there, but it would be a good compromise.

  • Registered Users Posts: 689 ✭✭✭stylie

    If you are going to use it more for lake fishing, then 10ft 6wt is perfect. You can use that rod for larger rivers or bank fishing a small still water. In fact I use my Sage xp 10ft 6wt all the time for Corrib and for the evening rise on my local medium to large rivers. I use a 9ft 4wt for the smaller streams
    I recommend this type of rod to every beginner that comes up to me.
    A medium action as stated above and a nice cheap arbor reel with a 6wt weight forward floating line a few tippets and flies and off you go. You cant go wrong with any kit that falls into that description.

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