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Tips for buying a fly rod

Joined:
2006/9/9 22:43
From Delaware Co.
Posts: 3431
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At least to me. I know when someone asks for rod advice many post good informed responces. I read this moments ago & feel its good enough to pass on.


"" The most important words in that question are the last two: “for me.” A guy who works at one of the country’s busiest fly shops once told me that 99 percent of his rod-buying customers come through the door with their minds already made up. There are many reasons for this—they want the same rod as their favorite celebrity, a buddy told them what to buy, or they did research on the Internet. But this is a terrible way to prepare yourself to drop a good chunk of change, especially since you might not end up with a rod that works for you.

There’s really no such thing as an objectively “best” fly rod because all such judgments are subjective, taking into consideration the talent, experience, and prejudices of the individual caster. So, rule #1 is Don’t take anyone else’s word that a rod is right for you. This is your choice and yours alone. That said, follow these steps to increase the odds that you’ll find a rod to fit your skill level, fishing style, and tastes.

1. Take a casting lesson. The better caster you are, the better you’ll be able to make different fly rods perform well.

2. Determine how much you’re willing to spend, and focus on the rods in that range, rather than wasting your time drooling over rods you can’t afford.

3. Think about the fishing situations in which you’ll be using the rod, and then consider which kinds of rods and actions are best suited for the task.

4. Go to a specialty fly shop and cast a whole bunch of rods. Bring your own reel, loaded with the line and leader you’ll be fishing with. (Unless you plan on buying those, as well.)

5. Ask the advice of the experts in the shop, or bring an experienced fly fisherman with you. Their experience can help you determine the right length, line weight, and action.

6. Cast the rods at your normal fishing distances; don’t just pick the one that you can cast the farthest. For instance, if you are a small-stream brook-trout angler, look for the rod that casts and feels best at 10 to 30 feet. Don’t be wowed by the stick that lets you throw the whole fly line in the parking lot.

7. Once you’ve narrowed the field down to a few candidates, then you can let your more trivial personal preferences—whether you prefer a certain color, fine components, a rod company, or grip style—run wild.

Let me repeat that the only way to find the right rod for you is to cast a lot of rods. Fly shops are far and away the best places for anglers to learn about rods and get expert advice. But you have to be willing to listen and learn. And the few extra dollars you’ll spend at the fly shop—instead of getting the rod online—will pay off whenever you need advice in the future.""
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Posted on: 2011/2/10 6:37
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There is no disadvantage in being able to cast far"
- Lefty Kreh -


Re: Tips for buying a fly rod

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2009/10/8 20:52
From Up in the Mountain
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Call Jdaddy

Posted on: 2011/2/28 11:09
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Re: Tips for buying a fly rod

Joined:
2007/4/8 20:43
From SEPA
Posts: 11270
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Actually, there's something very important missing from that.

Its going to seem trivial, but I bet it'd be alot more important than you realize: Buy the one you want.

Seriously. If you don't want it, you'll find reasons to not like it. If you find reasons to not like it, you'll not want to keep it. Eventually, you'll end up taking a loss on resale or just buying a new one outright.

Personal appeal is important. It shouldn't be the sole selling point, but it deserves to be on the list.

Posted on: 2011/2/28 11:13
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April 8, 2007 - December 4, 2011.
And why not?


Re: Tips for buying a fly rod

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I HAVE to second Gary on this-many,many times I bought stuff that I didn't really like but it was there and I wanted to spend-
Still do-I have a junk room full-

Posted on: 2011/2/28 11:38
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Obstrification> The fine art of confusing liberals.


Re: Tips for buying a fly rod

Joined:
2007/10/17 10:49
From florida
Posts: 6279
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Buying a fishing rod is like buying a pair of pants,try a bunch on for size and pick what your most comfortable with.If you can try them.If not,ask some folks to cast their rod,if they will let you.Other wise its a bit of a crap shoot.imo

Posted on: 2011/2/28 12:58
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Gothe


Re: Tips for buying a fly rod

Joined:
2007/4/8 20:43
From SEPA
Posts: 11270
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On casting rods: If you have the option to cast it on water, do so! There's a world of difference between the two.

To bring my two tips into one story, I once owned a Cabela's rod, an LST 8' 4wt. It was my first real rod. I bought it without casting it based on recommendations. I didn't cast it because I felt like a tool and was new, so what did I know? Six months later, I felt gypped coz no one in the store told me to test it, and frankly, I developed this thing about stuff that said Cabela's on it, didn't like it. Completely personal and unreasonable reason, but I just didn't like it.

So, I decided to take advantage of their then awesome return policy, and returned it. I went to a few shops and selected rods, and I cast them, with my reel and line (that's important). One of the places was the LLFS, where I checked out the LLFS labeled Versitex rods on the grass. It was much more than I wanted to spend, and wasn't that thrilling. I went to Cabela's and found one I liked, was half the cost of the LLFS rod, and felt as good on the grass.

Well, I fished it a time or two (I kept the plastic on so I wouldn't feel bad about going back, again!). It just didn't have the spark, and I liked the idea of the LLFS rod because, well, it was a LLFS rod. I went back, and tried it again.

This time, on the water.

Epiphany! What was meh on grass became magic on water, and that other rod just seemed like so much junk. I bought the LLFS, and took the other one back.

I've had alot of rods since then, but none of them worked as well.

Ergo, the moral of this very long story: Yard casting is only half the story. If you can fish it, fish it!

Posted on: 2011/2/28 14:38
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April 8, 2007 - December 4, 2011.
And why not?


Re: Tips for buying a fly rod

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2009/4/1 21:52
From Johnstown, PA
Posts: 4460
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Really good post and everything that has been stated is good info , I don't own any really expensive fly rods except one that was a gift , i'd spend big bucks on a rod if i thought it was necessary but i don't. By big bucks i mean $800.00-$1000.00 but not without trying it out first. I think that the mid-range priced rod and the massive selection to choose from will give a person all they really need , and for the same money you could buy three rods in a range that would cover just about any situation we could find here in PA.

Posted on: 2011/3/1 7:24


Re: Tips for buying a fly rod

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2009/7/29 10:25
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gfen; "Yard casting is only half the story."

I agree with this very much. And I'd go further and say yard casting is another story. First, you can make what seem like short casts in the yard, then measure them: 45 feet.

If you leave the yard and go to most trout streams in PA, a 45 foot cast looks much longer on the stream. With Google satellite maps you can see (there's a distance tool) that Slate Run halfway up the gorge is only 40 feet wide. And you don't really cast bank to bank anyhow.

On a trout stream, your cast has to be less than the length of a pool, and you can't really use that funnel of faster water at the back of a pool - it creates too much line drag (trout like to hit flies carried in the current, not towed by your line). You also have issues making a diagonal cast across the pool, and therefore across the current -- leader drag, again. And we wade so that cuts the distance down. The 45 foot cast that looked short in the yard suddenly seems much longer, and is often more than you really need to catch fish.

On the other hand, the upper delaware is 400 feet wide. You could theoretically use the 80 or 100 foot cast there. But even there, maintaining a drag free drift, detecting a strike, and not exhausting a wild trout with 80 feet of line has issues.


Posted on: 2011/3/1 10:34

Edited by k-bob on 2011/3/1 10:49:30
Edited by k-bob on 2011/3/1 10:50:08


Re: Tips for buying a fly rod

Joined:
2008/10/25 14:19
From York County
Posts: 2121
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Quote:
"" The most important words in that question are the last two: “for me.”


True that.

Lol, had to borrow some slang there.

When I bought my first fly rod about 15 years ago I left out those exact two words, "for me". And being that I drove into New York (which I would consider big trout and salmon country), from northeastern PA to purchase my fly rod, I was recomended a 8'6" 5/6 weight fly rod.

Now, I'm sure that would have been great if I were fishing larger streams or even rivers like the W. Branch but I wasn't.

"For me", a 7.5 ft 4 weight would have been ideal for 95 percent of my fishing because I was not fishing large open streams like many of the ones in upstate New York the sales person was probably familiar with.

Had I told the guy I was from PA and fish for trout in very small streams ranging from 5ft.-25ft. across and choked with brush or dense overhanging hemlock trees I might have been pointed toward a smaller lighter setup.

Posted on: 2011/3/1 11:02
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~ Fly Fishing ~ Personal therapy on the water. Equipment and travel rates apply.


Re: Tips for buying a fly rod

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2007/7/2 19:40
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Have to smile at this-the only rod I ever broke was yard casting-I cut the bend off the fly but it still got hung up in the grass.An old glass rod-well,brand new at the time.lol

Posted on: 2011/3/1 11:09
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Obstrification> The fine art of confusing liberals.


Re: Tips for buying a fly rod

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2007/4/25 10:02
Posts: 5796
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Good points.

A warranty is something I look for as well.

Started out with a lower St. Croix and like hundreds of of fly anglers I broke the rod 5 inches from the tip.

Was alittle taken aback when I checked around to get it fixed- St. Croix would'nt fix or just sell me that section. To get a builder to repair it cost half as much as the rod cost in the first place.

If you fish often enough breaking rods is a reality. Why pay $200-300 for a rod with no warranty?

Posted on: 2011/3/1 11:10
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I flyfish because I enjoy it.


Re: Tips for buying a fly rod

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2009/7/29 10:25
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pete bizarre how I'll miss a fish that blasts my intact fly, but a clipped fly will grab the grass like there's no tomorrow.

I like the trend to 4pc rods -- 4pc is easier to carry & less likely to break if you hike than 2 pc.


Posted on: 2011/3/1 11:12


Re: Tips for buying a fly rod

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2007/7/2 19:40
Posts: 15133
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Quote:
If you fish often enough breaking rods is a reality. Why pay $200-300 for a rod with no warranty?

Experience.?
I never once looked or cared about a warranty but probably a good idea.The one I broke,I broke-lol

Posted on: 2011/3/1 11:15
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Obstrification> The fine art of confusing liberals.


Re: Tips for buying a fly rod

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the beginner's forum is fun: let's us talk about the basics. but the average number of posts/person from the 9 people on this "beginner's forum" thread is 3308. :)

Posted on: 2011/3/1 11:21


Re: Tips for buying a fly rod

Joined:
2008/10/25 14:19
From York County
Posts: 2121
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Yeah, but at least some of us are discussing information relating to the topic, such as personal experiences, which I think is useful for a beginner.


It's a good topic, if we can manage to keep it on subject it will be useful.

Posted on: 2011/3/1 11:42
_________________
~ Fly Fishing ~ Personal therapy on the water. Equipment and travel rates apply.



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