Fly Fishing Beginners Rods & Reels is our today’s discussion topic. All right Fly fishing beginners – There are three major kinds of fly fishing rods

  • Graphite
  • Cane
  • Fiberglass

For a long time people who swung wet flies as well dry fly fishermen enjoyed the soft, natural feel of cane or bamboo rods. They were extremely popular from roughly 1925 to the 1960’s. One drawback was that after casting all day those rods got really heavy.

Today, there are many cane rod makers who build lighter and faster cane/bamboo rods… However, at a price of 900$+ a rod it may not be ideal for a fly fisherman with a tendency to break his rods.

Fiberglass rods are still popular in some circles. Mostly they have a slower action and some fishermen think you can do more things with them.

Most modern rods are graphite due to the fact that they’re durable, lightweight and flexible in terms of feel. Rods come in different sizes ranging from Zero weight to 16 weight, with Zero being the smallest and 16 being the largest.

Usually the rod matches the size of the fish. With 16 being large ocean fish and 5 weight being the average size used on trout.In recommending a size rod, 5 is a good all around weight for the Rocky Mountains, with a 6 or 7 weight being a good size for bigger largemouth bass, etc.

Fly Fishing Beginners Rods & Reels
Fly Fishing Beginners Rods & Reels

When we fly fish in Colorado we nymph, dry fly fish, swing wet flies, and strip streamers. Colorado has lots of different kinds of water ranging from large reservoirs to high mountain lakes and roaring rivers to small mountainous streams (see our other pages for examples and descriptions).

Except for extremely small streams a 9ft. long, 5 weight fly fishing rod with four sections seems to be the most popular. For most small streams in Colorado, I like to use a 7 and a half foot, 4 weight rod — I find it easier to cast in tight situations.

Read More: Fishing Reels Buyers’ Guide

Rods come in soft, medium, medium fast and fast action. Generally speaking the softer rods are more forgiving, but the medium and medium fast have the ability to work better in the wind.

Casting stroke makes a difference but it is easier to learn to cast a medium to medium fast rod than it is an extremely fast rod. I would suggest a fly fishing beginner use a medium to medium fast rod.

Be sure to purchase a rod with a warranty and that is good enough to use as a backup rod if you decide you want something different as your skills change.

*The arbor pertains to the circumference of the spool like center of the reel*

small arbor fly reels
small arbor fly reels
Mid arbor fly reels
Mid arbor fly reels
Large arbor fly reels
Large arbor fly reels

Reels come in three styles; small arbor, mid-arbor, and large arbor. The larger the arbor the more line it will take in per revolution (crank of the rod). However, there are a few disadvantages to large arbor reels as the line may build up on one side of the reel when bringing in a fish.

Read More: Fishing Rod Buyers’ Guide

Reels are rated for certain weight lines, be sure that your reel matches your rod. When fishing for mid to large-sized trout a disc drag is recommended. Try to stay away from plastic parts and components.

Most people hold their rod with their dominant hand (to fight the fish with more strength and stability) and crank the reel with their other. For example, if you’re right handed make sure your reel is set properly so you crank with your left hand.

A disc drag is meant for applying pressure to the fish to wear it out. A reel with a good disc drag will allow you to adjust the pressure accordingly. Just make sure you don’t make it so tight that your fish breaks your tippet.

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