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    Question Rod/ reel combo advice

    I am new to fly fishing and am looking for a rod reel combo in the price range of $150 - $200. I will use if for ponds/lakes/rivers in the New York and New Jersey area. I see that Cabelas has the RLS combo on sale for $159 (usually $300) and that or ice also has the encounter combo at $159. I am looking for a 5wt. Any advice on which to buy or is there another brand or combo I should get instead? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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    Re: Rod/ reel combo advice

    Mail order?...Or are you going to a Cabelas outlet?
    It's pretty hard to buy a "bad" rod these days, but you can buy one that's not suitable for your casting style.
    "Try before you buy". Most good fly shops will let you take a few practice casts in their parking lot, so you can decide if a rod is right for you. Mail order/web sales don't have this option.

    Going to a tackle shop, also gives you the option of putting together a suitable rod/reel/line combination without relying on a prepackaged combo. If you're uncertain, a good shop can give you good advice.

    Also consider Diamondback, TFO, Redington, and "entry level" models of the more prestigious brands.
    Look for "close outs" and discontinued models.

    Lakes/Ponds....
    What will you be fishing for?
    A 5 wt is a good choice for general stream-trout, but if you're going to be fishing a lot of large bass bugs, as a beginner you may want to consider something heavier.

    Yes, it's possible to fish large flies on a light rod, but on a lake or pond, you'll want to cast longer distances, and that won't be easy without some power.


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    Re: Rod/ reel combo advice

    LL Bean, has several rod reel combos. And they are priced right.

    Streamlight Ultra Two-Piece Fly Rod Outfits, 3-6 Wt.: Streamlight Ultra Outfits | Free Shipping at L.L.Bean

    Brk Trt


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    Re: Rod/ reel combo advice

    Watch out for Cabela's starter combos. I love Cabela's in general, but the reels that come with those kits are almost unusable, even for a beginner.

    TFO's Signature entry-level packages, on the other hand, are fantastic in my opinion. I've bought four or five over the years for friends and relatives interested in taking up the quiet sport, and they perform like equipment that is twice as expensive. I think they have a lifetime warranty or something? Really nice casting rods, durable and easy on the eyes.


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    flyI4 is offline Fishizzle, I use worms but I'm looking to upgrade!
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    Re: Rod/ reel combo advice

    I agree- the starter kit reels are garbage at cabelas.. And personally, I think a reel is far more important than the rod. A good starter reel is an Orvis battenkill ,but most starter reels that are of acceptable quality are going to run you $60-100. You may be able to find a used on on ebay.


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    Re: Rod/ reel combo advice

    The rod is everything. If you are not going to be fishing for any fish that will be drag intensive. Spend the money on the rod. You can get a reel for 20 bucks off of ebay and a line for under 50. Choosing a the best rod that you can afford will drastically improve your casting. If you are just fishing for Trout or Smallmouths. The reel is incidental and is just a means of holding the line. You can upgrade the reel and line after you feel that fly fishing is for you. Also take Pete's words literary " Find and test a rod that works inline with your style of casting. You also need to find out if your casting style is more conducive to a fast, medium, or slow action rod.

    "Hatchery fish have the same colors, but they always seem muted like bad reproductions of great art." Bill Barich

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    Re: Rod/ reel combo advice

    Well, a reel that jams and doesn't allow you to strip line, or that doesn't permit line to spool back on properly during the retrieve will keep you from fishing, period. That's what we're talking about here. Sure any functional reel will do the job for small trout and smallies. But lots of reels are not functional. In my experience, Cabela's intro reels can keep you from fishing, period.

    And a second point: beginners don't have a "casting style." They haven't learned to cast yet. How they learn to cast will be dictated by the rod rather than the other way around. I learned on a cane rod built by my uncle. When I switched to glass, it was different. Then when I switched to graphite, different still.

    A beginner doesn't need to go demo a bunch of rods and hear some bullshit from a pedantic sporting-goods salesman. He needs a basic, 9-foot, five-weight, fast-action rod that will encourage good casting form.


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    Re: Rod/ reel combo advice

    Quote Originally Posted by mob201 View Post
    Well, a reel that jams and doesn't allow you to strip line, or that doesn't permit line to spool back on properly during the retrieve will keep you from fishing, period. That's what we're talking about here. Sure any functional reel will do the job for small trout and smallies. But lots of reels are not functional. In my experience, Cabela's intro reels can keep you from fishing, period.

    And a second point: beginners don't have a "casting style." They haven't learned to cast yet. How they learn to cast will be dictated by the rod rather than the other way around. I learned on a cane rod built by my uncle. When I switched to glass, it was different. Then when I switched to graphite, different still.

    A beginner doesn't need to go demo a bunch of rods and hear some bullshit from a pedantic sporting-goods salesman. He needs a basic, 9-foot, five-weight, fast-action rod that will encourage good casting form.
    I disagree...
    An experienced fly fisher can adjust. A beginner need all the help he can get.

    A beginner with a rod that's too fast will make sloppy casts, and have a real problem roll casting. Unless he's in good physical condition, it may be "too much work" to enjoy.

    A rod that's too slow, and he'll have a problem with distance...(like he'll want on lakes & ponds).


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    Re: Rod/ reel combo advice

    Okay so I had 3 friends come on a trip with me last summer and they all bought a lot of this entry level stuff to learn on.

    One guy had the cheapest cabelas rig. The wind river reel is a piece of garbage, but he was doing really well with the rig and didn't have any problems.

    Another guy got the prestige series from cabelas. He only used it on that trip and left it in my possession. This reel can hang, if the line wasn't garbage I would use it all the time.

    Third dude got the redington crosswater and it was a much nicer rod than the prestige series. I used it for a while and really liked it (for being 110$)...caught a nice landlock on that thing. That's my recommendation.

    My problem with the cabelas packages is the line. I had that line on two different reels and they both started sinking in weird places and just giving me trouble. It can be really frustrating when you're doing a downstream presentation and your line is just as visible as your fly.

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    Re: Rod/ reel combo advice

    Pick the one that is your favorite color......

    The Orvis entry level stuff is great.....the rods more so than the reels, but unless you are going to cast to drag screaming fish...just make sure the reel works...

    "I'm not out on the river to win." -Kieth Rutherford

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