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- Class 107 Beginning Fly Fishing
- Class 301 Introduction to Mayflies
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- Class 3024 Fly Tying Streamers
- Class 303 Nymphing
- Class 3031 Fishing with Midges
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- Class 357 Trout Streams
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- Class 406 Color Vision in Trout Eyes
- Class 412 Protecting Trout Waters
- Class 413 How to Make a Trout Video
- Class 422 Exploring Casting Methods
- Class 427 Good vs. Poor Trout Streams
- Class 4221 Casting Upstream in Large Rivers
- Class 4271 Fishing Fertile and Infertile Streams
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Fly Fishing Rods & Reels
Class Code: 201
Skill Level: Intermediate
Learn about fly rod and reel material and construction and the important correlation between between fly rod weight, fly rod length and the type of reel. Upon completion of this course, the student will feel secure in his ability to determine the equipment necessary to accomplish his objectives.
The fly rod is the fly fisher’s tool to cast, manipulate line on the water to reduce drag, work the fly (in the case of a streamer), set the hook, and fight the fish. Consequently, it is an important part of the fly fisher’s arsenal. Additionally, the rod must be comfortable to use for a full day of fishing. A number of factors go into choosing the right rod, for the best performance and comfort.
Fly Rod Length
The primary factors to consider in determining the ideal rod length are what type of water you’re fishing, the surroundings, and the size of the fish. For small streams, typically you will go with a shorter rod, perhaps 7’ – 8’ long. This is because they tend to have trees and brush surrounding them, reducing casting room, and because they tend to have smaller fish. For larger streams and lakes, you will want a longer rod (8’ – 9’), to fight the wind, make longer casts, and pursuing larger fish. If you’re only going to have one fly rod for a variety of fishing, you probably want to choose one approximately 8’ long.
How To Choose A Fly Rod Length Video
Fly Rod, Fly Reel, and Fly Line Weight
Fly rod, reel, and line weight selection go hand in hand. The weights of each of these three pieces of equipment should match. That is, choose the rod and reel weights to match the line weight you will be using. To take it a step further, the line weight is determined by the flies you plan to use: the bulkier the fly, the larger the line weight size. For large flies, you may want a 6 weight line; for small dry flies, you may want a 4 weight line. Furthermore, a smaller weight rod will cast with less effort, allowing you a longer day of fishing without fatigue. Therefore, a good compromise, if you’re on a limited budget, is to use a 5 weight fly rod, reel, and line, to match a variety of situations.
Finally, for the beginner fly fisher, purchasing a fly rod, reel, and line combo package may be the easiest place to start. In a combo package, all three pieces of equipment are already balanced, and it allows “one stop shopping.”
How To Choose A Fly Rod And Fly Line Weight Video
Fly Rod Material
Most fly rods sold today are graphite. Graphite provides a relatively strong, lightweight, and inexpensive fishing rod. This is a good choice of material for the beginner. Higher end rods may have boron included with the graphite for increased strength. The highest end rods still are made of split bamboo cane, oftentimes custom built, and are legendary for their smooth, effortless casting.
How To Choose A Fly Rod Overview
Fly Reel Material and Construction
The fly fishing reel is a relatively simple piece of equipment; it basically needs to store line and backing. The only other function it has is to provide resistance (drag) when fighting a fish. Finally, the reel should be balanced with the rod and line. Therefore, choosing a fly reel is not overly complicated. Most fly reels are made of aluminum or graphite. While graphite is lighter, and can be less expensive, aluminum is more durable. We recommend a machined (versus cast) aluminum reel, and if you want corrosion resistance, purchase an anodized aluminum reel.
For trout fishing, a reel with a large arbor size is preferred. The larger arbor provides a couple of benefits:
It reduces line kinking. After fly line has been on a reel for some time, it tends to kink, based on the small radius of the reel’s arbor.
For each turn of the reel’s handle, more fly line will be reeled in, assisting with line control.
However, it is possible to achieve the above benefits on a fly reel with a smaller arbor, by simply adding more backing to the arbor. This additional backing will also be of value if you find yourself pursuing larger quarry, such as salmon.
Most trout fishers will prefer the use of a single action fly reel. This is the basic type of reel. Other types, such as reels with additional gearing and automatic line retrieval provide some bling, but are considered overkill.
The reel’s drag assists with tiring large fish once hooked. It applies continuous pressure on the line, and consequently the fish, as long as the fish is attempting to swim away from the fisher. The economical, old fashioned spring and pawl system works fine for providing drag, though newer technology braking systems exist to provide more consistent drag on the fish. One other note about drag: it is common for fly fishers to apply pressure with the palm of their hand to, or “palm”, the moving rim of the reel’s spool to provide additional drag. If you anticipate using this technique, be sure the reel’s construction allows you to do this, and that the reel is comfortable in your hand.
One final note is that typically a fly reel is reversible, to accommodate using either the left hand or the right hand during the retrieve. However, this should be verified, if necessary, prior to purchasing a reel.