Hey everyone, I was looking if I could get some input on a a good first fly rod and real. I have done a good amount with spinning gear the past few years but want to start to get into and try fly fishing. I mostly fish small streams in Central Wisconsin and near Duluth, MN where I go to school, so most trout are between 8-14 inches. I'm a college kid so I'm not trying to buy the best thing on the market but would still like to start with something decent. Thank you for your help and Merry Christmas!
What's a good first fly rod/reel for small stream trout?
Hey dude, check this out. On your college budget this will get you through until you graduate, and can afford a St. Croix, or Elk River.
Are you a member of TU? Your local chapter might have a loaner program, or swap meets.
Almost all of my trout fishing is central WI small streams. My rod of choice is a 7' 3 weight. Its short enough that the canopy isn't often in your way yet long enough you can still get a decent drift.
Love me some Central WI trout streams. I never fly fished the ones I fished because it wouldv'e been impossible because how how tangled up with brush those streams were. People are lazy and don't want to inconvenience themselves when fishing but holy crap, stuff like that produced. It was like fishing on completely untouched water. Anyway...
Watch the sales at those big box retailers. You can find a 4/5 wt complete setup for less than $100 if you keep your eyes peeled. I hate smaller fly reels that have a clicker in them. It's a megaphone that tells strangers: "Hey! I'm fishing over here!" I want to be stealthy, especially on those narrow Central WI streams. My smaller reels are all Okumas. They were on sale when I bought them and are quiet. The 10/1wt reels are all the generic store brand.
If you've never fly fished or are taking someone for the first time, don't let that first experience be on a woody, brushy stream. You'll increase the possibility of getting frustrated. Just grab a few different flies and head out to an area where bluegills are bedded up. You'll be able to cast in an open are without snags in every direction. It'll build confidence and you'll get the hang of casting a bit better.
I'm no pro, but here's my 2¢.
The standard good advice would be go to a big box outdoor store and buy something like a St Croix or Redmond package set. Say 8 1/2 foot 5 weight. In fact I'm going to do that again myself as I introduce my daughter and her boyfriend to fly-fishing this summer. They're college students themselves.
Another thought might be to shop for say a 7 foot 4 weight as the streams you fish are likely tighter quarters. I have a 7' 4# and it's my preferred driftless region rod. We live there, jsyk.
More important than any of that, get some quality instruction. There's probably classes offered regularly in the Duluth area.
Tight lines and keep us posted...