Choosing Optimal Gear for Fly Fishing
If you’re a beginning fly fisher, the wide variety of options available can make choosing your ideal gear daunting. Fly fishing is one of the most challenging approaches to landing fish, and beginners who are properly quipped beforehand have a distinct advantage. It’s easier to anticipate what kind of gear you’ll want if you have ideas, from the start, about where you want to fish and what you hope to catch.
These two considerations will determine the type of rod you choose. Fly fishing lures are made to resemble a variety of insects and aquatic life, and the kinds of movements fly fishers create with such lures require rods designed specifically for fly fishing. These vary in weight (four to nine pounds), length (six to ten feet) and action (slow, medium, and fast).
The easiest fish for beginners to pursue include moderate sized trout, bluegill and crappie in smaller, slower-moving waters. A four or five weight rod is ideal for such fish, which average from eight to fourteen inches. Six and seven weights are more appropriate for deeper river pools and lake fishing, while eights and nines are suitable for king catches like salmon. Fast action on your rod is an ideal choice for most situations. Some anglers prefer medium to slow action rods, however, when they’re pursuing larger than average fish,
The actual fly that you attach to your line will be too light to help with your cast, so floating (weighted) line is always used for fly fishing. You have two basic choices: double taper line and weight forward line. Double taper line is useful for shorter casts and allows for greater control, while weight forward line enables the fly to be flung farther out into the water in the hopes of a bigger catch. Weight forward line can also be more wind-resistant. Both kinds of lines are typically about 90 feet long. Some fishermen equip themselves with backing, which is an additional fishing line added to the reel, in case they need more length when struggling with a fish.
The type of reel you use is not a crucial concern if you’re just beginning. Many anglers pull their fly back in by hand without even using the reel. When you advance to pursuing larger quarry, however, you might consider purchasing a reel that possesses more tenacity. Quality reels can cost two or three times as much as common ones, but you’re likely to recoup on your investment because they last significantly longer.
There is a certain indescribable “feel” to successful fly fishing that can only be learned by doing it. The flies you use are a matter of personal taste, but each one requires a slightly different technique because their essential purpose is to mimic the movements of various species of insects, minnows, crayfish, frogs, crabs and shrimp.
For beginning fly-fishing adventures, seeking average-sized fish in more accessible parts of a stream or river is an ideal goal. A four or five weight rod (preferably of graphite, though fiberglass will do fine) with fast action, the most durable reel you can afford, double taper line with some optional backing and a small variety of lures that appeal to you will be all you need. Since you’ll be out in the water and (possibly) the hot sun, also consider bringing along a vest, pair of waders, and a broad-brimmed hat.