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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have just starting fly fishing. I've spent most my life plunking, trolling, and casting lures. Lately I've been spending more time on streams, rivers, and high mountain lakes.

I have a 1960's reel with rotten line and an old eagle claw convertable pack rod. Cashflow is low. I hope to scrape up about $100 before the end of summer.

I have been surfing Craigslist and eBay. I'm overwhelmed with the selection. I fish mainly native cuts in the 6-9 inch range, rainbow planters in the 12 inch range and a occasional 12 - 16 trout or small mouth bass.

What should I be looking for as my first set up. What cheap rods/reels are acceptable to get the job done for a year or two? What weight? Action? Line? Like I said, I'm brand new.
 

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10,387 Posts
There are a bunch of great entry level rods and reels to choose from. Some will hate this, but Cabela's often has some incredible combo deals (rod, reel and line). Many of the fly shops offer big discounts on clearance items too. I would suggest a 9 foot 5 or 6 weight rod. Also get the best rod you can for the $$ as the reel is much less important for the type fishing you plan to do.

Hard to beat this package which pretty much has everything needed.

http://www.cabelas.com/product/bargain-cave/fly-fishing/rods-reels-line|/pc/105591780/c/105763680/sc/105764580/cabela-s-prestige-reg-collection-fly-outfit/1729188.uts?destination=/catalog/browse/rods-reels-line/_/N-1102797/No-0/Ns-CATEGORY_SEQ_105764580?WTz_st=GuidedNav&WTz_stype=GNP&recordsPerPage=48

Another good option
http://www.sportsmanswarehouse.com/...ch6OEaEgOI6tj_1h9hPGSxRiLyHVDBhr-D!-983288515

Or save up a wee bit more and maybe this one
http://www.orvis.com/clearwater-freshwater-rods

you might shoot @miyawaki a PM and see if he has some used set-up's. Dang, helping others spend there money is a hoot.
 

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Justified
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You're gonna get about 127 different opinions, and here's one of the first - not necessarily the best.

First, see if there is someone you can barrow from. If they have a "set up" you can use, chances are they will be able to give you the advice you need as well.

This option will save you the money and "headache", should you want to go a different route, or just don't like it.

**Perfect Example** - There are a lot of Spey rod set ups in guys closets, that are just collecting dust.

Second, if you want to just "dive in head first" and buy something, I'd go with a inexpensive combo package. There are some decent combos out there (rod, reel, line, etc) that can get you on your way.

Hope that helps.

P.S. "Expert" replies to follow. :p
 

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Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater....Know Grizzler
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You didn't say where you are located, but I would visit your local fly shop if one is nearby.
Tell them you are new, what your budget is and let them set you up.
You'll be able to watch them as they do so and ask a lot of the basic beginner question everyone had when they got started.

The local shops around Puget Sound are very good and can likely spend a few minutes with you working on casting with your new outfit. Those few minutes versus trying to learn everything on your own can make your shopping trip even that more valuable.
Good luck,
SF
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the replies so far. To answer your question Stonefish, I'm in Bellingham. Been spending most my time in the North Cascades, Nooksack(s) and a few quiet lakes since moving here from Kitsap 3 years ago.

A lot of hike in fishing which turned me on to fly gear. That and the few times I've been out with guys that know what there doing has been some of the most thrilling fishing I've done.
 

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I started with a Redington 5wt Combo from the Confluence fly shop in Bellingham. I've also got a cheap Cabelas 3wt setup that I use up in the small streams. It works well, and was less than $100.

You might put a WTB post in the classified. Someone probably has something laying around they'd let go for cheap.
 

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For starters, a 5 or 6 weight outfit will get you going & will cover a lot of scenarios. Don't worry - you'll have plenty of time branch-out after you're fully-addicted. I fished for years back home with a 7-1/2' 6 weight rod, a double-taper floating line & a Pflueger Medalist reel (still have & use both) - lakes, rivers, streams - and got by just fine. 4-piece rods make the hiking-in aspect much easier, so I'd make that feature a priority; I wish I had had that option back in the day. Enjoy!
 

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The advice about letting a local shop set you up is solid. Your money to you and them will be well spent. Redington has quality entry level gear. It also may be worth sticking with the reel you have and investing in a quality line in addition to the new rod.

I wish I had more time to explore the North Cascades. It surely is a beautiful part of WA North Fork Brewery and Pizza makes a great stop on the way home.

Good luck.
 

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previously micro brew
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Wild Water has some inexpensive combos. You should look into a spare spool for the reel. You'll likely want a floating line and a sinking line. Next, you have to figure out what weight rod you want. At least a 4 wt should serve you nicely, unless you are going fo big smallies in moving water.

You have some good suggestions from the above. Time at a fly shop is worth it just to get an idea of your options.

It can be overwhelming with leader, tippets, nets, gadgets. Take your time if you have a limited budget and really don't know where to go.

Good luck.
 

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I have an Okuma reel that you can have. Send me a pm. I am in Bellingham. It should hold a 5 or 6 wt. Perfectly. I have a 5 wt. Rod that just needs to be built. It's like 50 % done. You can have it too. It's an 8 ft 6 inch 5 wt. I have had it for 15 years and never built it. Send me a pm and we can meet this week.

Go sox,
Cds
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I have an Okuma reel that you can have. Send me a pm. I am in Bellingham. It should hold a 5 or 6 wt. Perfectly. I have a 5 wt. Rod that just needs to be built. It's like 50 % done. You can have it too. It's an 8 ft 6 inch 5 wt. I have had it for 15 years and never built it. Send me a pm and we can meet this week.

Go sox,
Cds
Wow, I'm not sure what to say other than thank you. I'll send a PM. Thank you very much.
 

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Charles, nice work! Hooking another fly guy is always good for our sport.

I started with a White Elephant, one-piece, blank for $2.98 and added el cheapo cork rings, reel seat, guides for another $5. Add a reel from same elephant for under $10.

Back then Mustad, fly tying, hooks were $.35 per hundred!
 

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Salmon starts Friday. I need some good karma! Plus I'll never build that rod. I never trout fish.
People have given me all sorts of things, especially when I was starting out. I once had an uncle give me a garbage bag full of tying material he got at a yard sale. I was in college at the time. I caught a lot of landlocked salmon and browns on those flies. What goes around comes around.

Go sox,
Cds
 
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