New to fly fishing. Help me pick my first rod.

Galaga

New Member
I moved to the Washington area last January from Mississippi. I've enjoyed the outdoors so much this last year. I like to hike and am going to start backpacking this year. I use to fish in Mississippi on big lakes with spin rods, but I'm wanting to try fly fishing or tenkara.

My main motivation for taking up this new sport is to just stay longer in nature. I mean, I enjoy hiking, but you usually just see something beautiful and just keep on trucking. I really want to be secluded when I fish and am willing to walk as far as I need to to get away from others. Unless I brought them with me.

Right now, some places in mind are Middle Fork Snoqualmie river, past the campground. Would like to try Pratt River and Taylor River as well. As you can see, I really like that area. I also would like to fish in Mt Rainier this year. I'm also wanting to try some Alpine Lakes.

Basically, this will mostly be an activity that I do together with hiking. Unless, of course, I can drive to beautiful places that are secluded, and have good fishing. : )

Anyways first, would a traditional fly fishing rod or tenkara rod work better for me?

If tranditional, what would be a good one to hike with? I've been looking at the Echo River Glass 4wt 7.5 ft. It packs very well from what I've seen. I've also been looking at Tenkara Rod Co rods.
 

jaredoconnor

WFF Supporter
It's tough to beat a tenkara rod, if you'll only be using it for hiking and backpacking. I would start there. @Brian Miller is our resident tenkara expert, I think.

When you get addicted and start going out specifically to fish, you will want something more versatile. If I could only have one trout rod, it would be a 10ft 3wt. If you will be mostly fishing streams and alpine lakes, I think that is the best choice. If you will be buying a float tube and hitting larger lakes, a 9-10ft 5wt would be better. However, that would sacrifice some pretty important stream techniques. Below are the rods I would recommend.

10ft 3wt:

9ft 5wt:

10ft 5wt:
 
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gt

Active Member
i would hike with my 2 piece 5wt Sage. no issues doing that in my opinion. i would be looking at a 5wt as an all around good first choice. from there, the sky is the limit depending on what your fishing interests might come to. as an example, my rods range from 3->4->5->7->8->9->10->11->12 along with a collection of spey rods including one of the first 12 spey rods Sage ever made.
 

Brandon

Floatin'
I think a 4wt is a great choice. A 5wt would give you a little more versatility as an overall rod, but focusing on beautiful mountain streams and lakes in the PNW will rarely if ever require a 5 wt. I fish for trout almost exclusively with a 3wt on the west side of WA. Fishing a 5wt for mountain trout feels like overkill to me personally.
 

wetline dave

Active Member
Welcome to the frustrating madness of fly fishing. My prefferance for all around fishing is a medium action 6 weight, but there is nothing wrong with a 5 weight.

Go to a good fly shop, if in the south end of Seattle or Tacoma area Puget Sound Fly Co. is the p[lace to go. Anil the owner gives lessons on casting and it will be worth every penny it costs. Also you will be able to cast many different rods and that will help in your selection. I can not emphasize getting lessons at the get go enough. It will save you a ton of frustration.

Buying at a shop may cost a bit more but in return you can get a ton of great info and in the case of Anil he will not oversell you. The people in a regular fly shop know fly fishing and can steer you in the right direction and help you make a good decision. This is not the case in the big box stores like Cabalas or Sportsman warehouse.

Dave
 

Zak

WFF Supporter
I think a 4wt is a great choice. A 5wt would give you a little more versatility as an overall rod, but focusing on beautiful mountain streams and lakes in the PNW will rarely if ever require a 5 wt. I fish for trout almost exclusively with a 3wt on the west side of WA. Fishing a 5wt for mountain trout feels like overkill to me personally.
Totally agree with this.
 

Old Man

A very Old Man
WFF Supporter
I've been throwing flies around since I was about 21. I'm now 86 and the itch is still there. I've gone through the bit of owning a few fly rods and I only fish Skinny water( any water that runs down hill) and because of my age and not getting around very good I have staked out my spots on a few waters here in Montana.

But I cut my eye teeth on the skinny waters of Western Washington. But since I only fish skinny water and small streams I now only use short fly rods. My main go to rod is a TFO Finesse 7'9" 3wt. If I used a 10' 3wt I'd be in the bushes on the opposite bank.

Lessons are good. When I started out I fumbled around until I learned how to cast. After casting fly rods for so long I learned how to cast pretty good. and you can not get enough practice in.
 

Gary Thompson

dirty dog
Welcome aboard mate.
You can go crazy trying to figure out what rod to buy.
I really like my 7'9" 3wt for skinny water, and smallish lakes when fishing from shore.
Most time you don't need more than a 20' to 25' cast and I have caught the biggest West slope cutty of my life on the 3wt rod. 20" out of the west fork CDA
 

LilCutts

fish & whistle
WFF Supporter
If your going to fish lakes and streams I would buy a 9' 5wt. That would cover most fishing situations you described. Buy from a name brand and spend what your comfortable with. Redington and Echo are hard to beat.
Agreed. The Sage Foundation 590-4 is a great all-around rod at a decent price point (for Sage, that is) and it is more than just a beginner rod. I still use mine from time to time, even though I have a Sage X and a Sage One.

You can buy a Foundation rod for $350 and an entire outfit for $575. If you want a cheaper option, Redington outfits including reel go for $169 and up. Redington and Sage are sister companies and they are both fine options.
https://www.sageflyfish.com/product/freshwater/foundation-freshwater

https://www.redington.com/fly-fishing-combos
 

LilCutts

fish & whistle
WFF Supporter
A bit of an add on. If you take the time to really learn the dynamics of fly casting you will be able to make nearly every rod perform and then it is just a matter of preference

Dave.
“Every rod is a perfect caster” as my friend always says.
 

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