Help for first rod?


New Member
Hi, I live in western Washington near highway 2 and have recently decided I'd like to take up fly fishing. Because I am a hiker and I live in the region I do, I'm sure I'll be fishing a lot of small rivers and mountain lakes. I am a rook and have no experience with setting up these types of rods so any help is appreciated! Just looking for some possible setups or suggestions on gear. Thanks


Active Member
My definition of a good fly shop, along with a good sales type person, is one that asks you the following questions when a person comes in expressing a desire to get into fly fishing.
  1. Where do you plan on fishing?
  2. For what species fish?
  3. Bank,wade, boat?
  4. What is the range of your budget? (NOT how much money do you have to spend)
Then, based on your answers makes the following recommendations.
  1. You will be needing this type of flies. (picks out a half dozen flies.)
  2. A X wt line with a Y ft leader and Z size tippet can handle the flies you will be using.
  3. Rods of matching line wt in the appropriate length, within the budget range will be recommended, brought out for demo & try with shop lines & reels. Basic casting instructions given.
  4. Reel recommendations, again staying within the customer's budget.
When the customer (you) are finally ready to drop the coin, the fly shop loads the line on the reel along with backing which should be gratis, attaches the leader to the line, demonstrates a few basic knots for attaching tippet & fly, makes sure you have a spool of tippet material and enough flies for a day on the water. Rings up the sale, thank you very much Mr XXXXX. Enjoy your new outfit. Come back and let us know how you did.

Most novice fly fisher's have little or no knowledge whatsoever of entomology, making them rather clueless when it comes to fly selection. Without a little coaching here & there, the novice's chances for success (catching a fish) are like slim to none. Again, this is where the difference lies between a good and mediocre fly shop, not to mention the big box stores. Shorten the learning curve in any way possible. The last thing anyone wants is for the newbie to fail in their quest to become a fly fisher, throw all of this stuff in the corner of the garage in disgust and go back to gear fishing. A satisfied customer will become a repeat customer. And that is what keeps the good fly shops in business.

Disclaimer here. I do not, nor have I ever, worked for a fly shop. I've just spent as hell of a lot of time hanging around them.


^ me and Bridger
buy a copy of The Curtis Creek Manifesto. In the minds of many it is the best book available for novices. I read mine at least twice a year. I know it is not a rod but you will learn a great deal about flyfishing from this book. It is ez to read and fun to read.
I'm not sure where you're located, but the Orivs shop in Bellevue has a really friendly staff and they're helpful to beginners. They have a great little book that goes over all the basics, and even comes free with their starter red/reel combo.