For new anglers, nothing is quite as exciting as purchasing your very first fly rod. However, beginner fly fishers may feel overwhelmed when choosing a first fly rod and reel. The good news is that this process can be smooth and uncomplicated with a little help. Here is a list of 5 straightforward tips to simplify choosing your first fly rod.
Determine what species of fish you will target.
The type of fish you target determines the line size you will need, and therefore the appropriate sized rod. If you plan to fish for pond bluegill, for example, you would need a different rod than if you’re planning to target trophy rainbow trout.
Ask to cast the rod.
Even if you have never cast a fly rod in your life, take the rod outside and get a feel for the rod in your hand. Most sales associates in fly shops are happy to let you cast a rod. This gives you an opportunity to ask questions about the rod’s weight, length, and action.
Choose a rod with a warranty.
Most major fly rod manufacturers have some type of warranty but it’s a good idea to ask about the details. Does it cover accidental breakage? How long is the warranty? Whether you are accident prone, or very careful with your equipment, the fact is that fly rods can break. A solid warranty turns this tragedy into peace of mind.
Be picky about its looks.
A fly rod is essentially just a tool to cast fly line. But rod builders nowadays understand that rods are an expression of the fly fisher. To that extent rods are made in a vast array of colors, finishes, and with many detailed options. You should pick a rod that you will enjoy fishing for years to come.
Fly fishing websites and magazines love reviewing rods and even comparing them side-by-side, doing much of the legwork for you. While reading about a rod won’t give you that “in hand” feel, it can certainly give you lots of information to help you weed through the options.
An angler’s first fly rod is a special piece of equipment, and one that can be cherished and enjoyed for generations. Hopefully these tips get you started on the path to many great memories on the water.
Patrick Blackdale is the Assistant Outfitting Manager, and a fly fishing guide at Three Rivers Resort in Almont, Colorado. He guides on all of the local rivers including the Gunnison, Taylor, and East Rivers. Three Rivers Resort is the perfect base camp for a variety of fishing adventures. The resort offers cabins, lodge rooms, and vacation homes plus a full fly shop and Orvis Endorsed guide service with premium leases for private fishing on local ranch lands. Contact at 970-641-1303 or www.3riversresort.com.