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#11102580 - 09/14/15 08:59 AM Help! I'm new.
Cory Lee Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 05/21/10
Posts: 79
Just got back from a guided fly fishing trip in Colorado. The fiance loved it so I'm wanting to get us a couple or rods. I realize that around here we will be fishing for bass most of the year so I need help getting the right setup.

Sounds like 9' 5wt is the way to go? Is this good weight for bass and trout? Also, is 9' good for fishing in Texas? I know there are a lot of trees around some of the rivers and creeks here.

Since I am buying each of us a rod, would get two of the same setup, or two different setups?

I keep coming across the Orvis Encounter & Clearwater. Is this the way to go for a first rod/reel combo?

Also, is there a good website that will help me out with using the right fly's?

If there is anything else you think I should know, please let me know!

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#11102640 - 09/14/15 09:36 AM Re: Help! I'm new. [Re: Cory Lee]
RexW Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 09/24/02
Posts: 2861
Loc: Sherman, TX
A 9 ft 5 wt is the most popular rod sold in the US. It is a middle of the pack size and is generally considered a good general purpose rod that can be used for both bass and trout.

However, you will receive differing opinions that a 5 wt is too heavy for some situations and too light for others. Just keep in mind that you will see those same opinions concerning all of the different rod sizes.

The best advise I can offer about different brands and models is to go cast the various rods and then get the one that you liked best of the options.

If you can make up to Lake Texoma next Saturday, a learn to fly fish event will be held at Eisenhower state park. Come find me and you can cast some different rods, so that you'll have a better understanding of the equipment options before you start spending money.
_________________________
Rex W
FFF Certified Casting Instructor
TFO Pro Staff

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#11102652 - 09/14/15 09:43 AM Re: Help! I'm new. [Re: Cory Lee]
booglerz Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 06/08/15
Posts: 49
Cabelas starter rods (possibly the Prestige) are pretty good starter rods/kits (they are what I started on about 3 months ago and have treated me well, still use them). For bass some will say you need an 8wt, but I have the 'standard' 9ft 5wt and it has landed 18" trout, 10 lb cats, and 3 lb bass with no real issue, so that is what I suggest (drop ~$200-300 on 2 starter rig setups and get used to everything then move up to big boy $$$ gear).

I have only changed the line on my setup so far, and I went to a warmwater (Bass) line (the taper is much more aggressive which means you need less line to cast, a godsend when your backcast is obstructed around ponds, lakes and creeks).

However, you probably cannot go wrong with any big name brand, and Orivs's customer service is top knotch.

Originally Posted By: Cory Lee
Also, is there a good website that will help me out with using the right fly's?


You can do some basic googling on fly fishing for bass and that will get you pointed in the right direction quickly. Basic flys will be clouser minnows (white on white, white on chartreuse, etc), top water (poppers, divers, grasshoppers, etc), woolly buggers are for everything with gills, and you can nymph for bass.

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#11102873 - 09/14/15 11:27 AM Re: Help! I'm new. [Re: Cory Lee]
Cory Lee Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 05/21/10
Posts: 79
Will the line that comes on the Orvis rod/reel combos be sufficient for me or would I be better off buying things separate?

The guide there was using the equivalent of a 3 pound leader. It handled fine on the bigger fish too, but you had to use a net to take the fish out of the water and had to play the fish with the rod straight up and bending nearly in half. I did lose a bigger fish when I let the rod break over from the "statue of liberty position." A lot different than catching a 2-3 lb fish on 12-20 lb test. The videos I have been seeing of guys catching bass down here are not using light leaders like that, and they have not been playing the fish with the rod like he had us doing. It was new to me too.

It does seem like a line that needs less line to be able to cast would be beneficial to me in this area.

Any info?

RexW - Thanks a bunch for the offer. Unfortunately I am working this weekend and unable to make it.

Also, looks like the Blue River in OK is the best place near Dallas to fish for trout?

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#11103022 - 09/14/15 12:50 PM Re: Help! I'm new. [Re: Cory Lee]
BoPro Offline
Angler

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 385
Loc: Arlington, TX
I use a mainly use a 6 wt or 8 wt for bass fishing because my flies tend to be on the larger side. Plus the 8 wt has a little more backbone then a 5 wt when pull bass away from stumps or through lilly pads. I keep the leader simple, 4 ft of straight 8-12 lb mono. Bass aren't leader shy.

Rio outbound is a short head line. I have a few, and they work well for point and shoot casting. But I much prefer longer heads myself.

The Blue river is a nice place in the winter. Lots of trout, and people... Broken bow is a little further, but much more enjoyable IMO.
_________________________

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#11103034 - 09/14/15 12:58 PM Re: Help! I'm new. [Re: Cory Lee]
DainW Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 01/20/15
Posts: 79
If you're new to the sport, I don't think you can go wrong with a 9 foot 5 weight, especially if you plan to make wintertime trips to the blue river or beaver's bend to trout fish.

All that being said, if you're going to be spending the majority of your time bass fishing, you might want to look at a 6 weight. I've got a TFO signature series 6 weight that I use as my main bass fishing rod, which is mostly wading smaller rivers like the Blue river hunting for smallies. It's all personal preference, but I have a hard time tossing bigger, heavier flies on a 5 weight. I find that a 6 weight gives me a little more back bone for throwing heavier, more wind resistant bass flies, but it's not too heavy for the size of fish that I usually catch with it either. It also doubles as a pretty good rod for throwing heavy nymph, shot, and indicator rigs when I'm trout fishing as well. Again, it all comes down to personal preference though and it's probably a good idea to throw a couple different rod to get a feel for what you like.

From everything I've heard, the Orvis Clearwater is great rod. If you're getting a combo, the line that's included with it should be fine. Just make sure to keep it clean. Besides, you can always upgrade the line later if you feel like it's inadequate.

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#11103084 - 09/14/15 01:26 PM Re: Help! I'm new. [Re: Cory Lee]
booglerz Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 06/08/15
Posts: 49
Originally Posted By: Cory Lee
The guide there was using the equivalent of a 3 pound leader. It handled fine on the bigger fish too, but you had to use a net to take the fish out of the water and had to play the fish with the rod straight up and bending nearly in half. I did lose a bigger fish when I let the rod break over from the "statue of liberty position." A lot different than catching a 2-3 lb fish on 12-20 lb test. The videos I have been seeing of guys catching bass down here are not using light leaders like that, and they have not been playing the fish with the rod like he had us doing. It was new to me too.


I use 10lb leader and tippet when bass fishing. I just came back from Broken Bow and was using 4x and broke off 2 big rainbows and since I have been pretty conscious about possible breakage, but 10lb should be more than enough to wrench on and should be fine. Or you can use straight mono with no real issue.

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#11103135 - 09/14/15 01:52 PM Re: Help! I'm new. [Re: Cory Lee]
RexW Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 09/24/02
Posts: 2861
Loc: Sherman, TX
Originally Posted By: Cory Lee
you had to use a net to take the fish out of the water and had to play the fish with the rod straight up and bending nearly in half. I did lose a bigger fish when I let the rod break over from the "statue of liberty position."


Quick comment, a fly rod is NOT a bass rod. If you try to lift a fish out of the water with a fly rod and you'll run a very high risk of getting the opportunity to find out how good the rod's warranty service is. Holding your rod straight up the air to fight a fish is another good way to break a fly rod. Doing that is called "high sticking".

Here's a video that explains this better than I can:

https://youtu.be/U7pAFF_6bRA
_________________________
Rex W
FFF Certified Casting Instructor
TFO Pro Staff

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#11103282 - 09/14/15 03:13 PM Re: Help! I'm new. [Re: Cory Lee]
Texjbq Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 02/10/15
Posts: 48
Loc: San Marcos, Tx
A 5 wt will be a little light for throwing bass flies. I'd go up a size or two.

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#11103552 - 09/14/15 05:37 PM Re: Help! I'm new. [Re: Cory Lee]
Cory Lee Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 05/21/10
Posts: 79
RexW - Thanks for the video. The guide picked all the fish up with the net and I was wondering the proper way to pick one up by yourself. We didn't lift any fish out of the water with the fly rod but he had us doing the "Statue of Liberty position" while a fish was on. He wanted the stick straight up vertical at 90 degrees. When I broke the leader on a fish he said it was because I let the rod break over closer to 45 degrees. Does that sound right?

BoPro - Thanks for the info. - Will the 4' mono leader work for trout too? Or should it be longer and/or have tippet with it?

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#11103612 - 09/14/15 06:01 PM Re: Help! I'm new. [Re: Cory Lee]
RexW Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 09/24/02
Posts: 2861
Loc: Sherman, TX
The "Statue of Liberty position" may be required for the waters that your guide was fishing, but I think you'll have a difficult time finding another guide that recommends using that technique. Doing it that way is good way to break a rod.

A discussion on leaders could easily fill a book. Here are some very general comments about leaders. Pretty much all leaders will turn over a fly. The trick is being able to turn over the fly and getting it lay on the water gently. A tapered leader will produce a gentler presentation. Many warmwater fish, including bass and most sunfish, do not require a gentle presentation. And often a fly that lands with a "splat" will actually work better because the fish will come up to check it out. However, that doesn't always work. There conditions such as ultra clear waters where a gentle presentation may be needed. On the other end of the spectrum, if you are casting dry (floating) flies to trout, then a gentle presentation is critical and a good tapered leader will be required.

An 8 to 9 foot leader will cover most fishing situations. The only time I go down to 6 feet or so is when I'm using a sinking line. A 4 foot leader is a little on the short side for most situations, especially if you are trying to fish a sinking fly on a floating line. With a 4 foot leader, you'll need to fish pretty slow to get the fly to sink past about 1 foot deep.

While learning to fly fish, I'd recommend getting a 9 foot tapered leader to start with. Most kits seem to come with a 3X leader and it will cover most trout and small fly warmwater fishing situations. For a dedicated warmwater setup, I'd go with a 9 ft 10 lb leader. The only time I use a straight mono leader is on sinking lines.

However, if you keep at fly fishing very long, you will quickly discover that opinions vary on these topics and two fly fishers seldom agree...

Good luck!
_________________________
Rex W
FFF Certified Casting Instructor
TFO Pro Staff

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#11103635 - 09/14/15 06:14 PM Re: Help! I'm new. [Re: Cory Lee]
RexW Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 09/24/02
Posts: 2861
Loc: Sherman, TX

One more comment and then I'll retire to the sidelines.

"Tippet" is a fancy name for a very simple product. As you change flies, your leader will get shorter because you are cutting the line. The tippet is just regular mono line that is tied on to the end of the leader to replace the end of the leader that has been cut off. By replacing the end of the leader, you can extend the life of your leader. A general rule of thumb, is once you cut off about 18 inches of leader, replace it with about 18 inches of tippet.

Another use for tippet is to "step down" the diameter of the leader. For example, if you have a 3x leader and drop down to 5x due to skittish trout, you can tie on some 5x to the end of your leader.
_________________________
Rex W
FFF Certified Casting Instructor
TFO Pro Staff

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#11103639 - 09/14/15 06:16 PM Re: Help! I'm new. [Re: Cory Lee]
txbassnewbie Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 07/02/14
Posts: 113
Loc: Flower Mound
If you are going to go trout fishing then bass fishing my recommendation is go with a furled leader with a Tippett ring then when you go trout fishing you tie a longer and lighter mono or
Fluorocarbon leader and when you go bass fishing go with a shorter leader and heavier line.


My recommendation is try to go down to tailwaters fly shop and try out some rods.

I use a 5 wt tfo bvk fy rod and used it both for trout and bass with no issues. I recommend tfo rods they come with a lifetime warranty and are located in Dallas if you ever need to have warranty work



Edited by txbassnewbie (09/14/15 06:17 PM)

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#11103896 - 09/14/15 08:24 PM Re: Help! I'm new. [Re: Cory Lee]
Lane H. Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 03/10/15
Posts: 113
Loc: Odessa
You can absolutely fish for bass on a 5wt. Just know your limits. You're not going to land a monster bass after pulling it out of reeds. Use a 7x tapered leader and you should be good (your leader will snap before your pole will).

The question is -- where will you be fishing more often? I have two 5 wts because I live in West Texas and spend more time in New Mexico streams and rivers after trout than I do on the Guad or San Marcos hunting bass. But I've also got an 8 wt in the garage in case I feel like chasing big bass.

That said, I would avoid the Encounter if you can. It's a fine combo for the price, but it is entry level. The Clearwater rods are nice and forgiving for new casters, and capable of some nice presentations once you learn more. Reel is less important. Especially for sight-fishing for trout and bass, you won't exactly be relying on it. The Clearwater reels are OK. The Battenkill is slightly better and the Access is a LOT better. Buy what your budget can sustain, and if you're going to be switching between bass and trout often, a 5 or 6 wt will do just fine.

If you go to Orvis, don't buy the combos. You don't save all that much and you can really upgrade/customize your line selections when you buy a reel. You could even get a single reel with an extra spool, one with trout line and one with warmwater line.
_________________________
-L.

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#11103965 - 09/14/15 08:51 PM Re: Help! I'm new. [Re: booglerz]
Zip-ur-Fly Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 02/28/13
Posts: 229
Loc: Lake Tawakoni
Originally Posted By: booglerz
Originally Posted By: Cory Lee
The guide there was using the equivalent of a 3 pound leader. It handled fine on the bigger fish too, but you had to use a net to take the fish out of the water and had to play the fish with the rod straight up and bending nearly in half. I did lose a bigger fish when I let the rod break over from the "statue of liberty position." A lot different than catching a 2-3 lb fish on 12-20 lb test. The videos I have been seeing of guys catching bass down here are not using light leaders like that, and they have not been playing the fish with the rod like he had us doing. It was new to me too.


I use 10lb leader and tippet when bass fishing. I just came back from Broken Bow and was using 4x and broke off 2 big rainbows and since I have been pretty conscious about possible breakage, but 10lb should be more than enough to wrench on and should be fine. Or you can use straight mono with no real issue.


IMO...the stuff from Rex is spot on as usual. I know, at first blush, this video may seem like over kill but there is an underlying truth here about handling any size fish on any size rod (position and angle). And how to increase your chances of get a fish landed quickly and safely. Get a real feel for what is 10lbs of pressure with the bucket test. Any Mill is a many time world champion and is know for his ability to land big fish quickly. Hope is helps.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWXskIPu9SE
_________________________
Current holder of Texas State & Lake Fly Rod Records.

I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.
Confucius

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