How To Choose A Fly Rod
Choosing a Fly Rod
First up you need to know what you are fishing for to choose the best fly rod for the task. If you are Fishing for Trout, then you would choose a Fly fishing rod suitable to the task if you are fishing for large Murry Cod and casting large wind resistant flies then you will need a different type of Fly Rod. So, a trout rod would be a lousy choice for larger saltwater species. You need to understand what fish you are most likely to fish for If you are fishing for Trout and Australian Bass then most Trout rods will fit the bill and will even be practical to fish for light estuary species as well.
Fly Rod Action
The Fly rod action refers to how flexible the rod is. This is measured on the back cast, the more flex the slower the rod action. There are three types of Fly rod action Fast, Medium, and Slow, Fast action having the least flex and Slow having the most flex. Each of these types of action have their benefits and drawbacks. It is important to match up the type of fly rod action with the type of fishing you will be doing.
A fast-action or tip-flex fly rod is just what the name implies. At the end of the back cast, the tip of the fly rod is slightly bent but the rest of the rod is virtually straight as an arrow.
These benefits are:
· Long Casts - The stiffness of the rod allows for more power in the cast.
· Fishing on windy day a wide variety of situations – The stiffness of a fast action rod gives it more power. The stiffness of the rod allows easier casting into the wind on windy days.
· less physically demanding - Due to the power in fast action fly rods, the angler works less to cast the same distance compared to using a slower, more flexible rod.
Disadvantages of fast-action/tip-flex fly rods include:
· Difficult for Beginners - Beginners might struggle learning how to cast a fast-action rod. The power in the rods makes timing and feel of the fly line difficult. Precise casts will be difficult for new anglers.
· Not ideal for short casts - Not the best rod to be used where short casts are necessary - such as spring creeks. For short casts, a more flexible rod provides greater accuracy and a "smoother touch." For small stream fishing, a fast-action rod has a greater likelihood of leading to the fly and fly line being slammed into the water - making the fish you're stalking head for the hills.
Medium-Action of Mid-Flex Fly Rods
Medium action rods are easier to learn with than with a fast-action rod. On the back cast with a medium action fly rod, the rod will bend beginning from about halfway down the rod - thus falling in-between fast and slow action rods. The Medium action rods are the most versatile fly rods and perform well in a wide variety of situations. If you only have one fly rod for trout fishing then it should be a medium action rod unless you fly fishing needs are more specific, you may only fish big
rivers with windy conditions then you would choose a fast action rod or you may only fish spring creeks were a slow action rod may be more useful.
Slow-Action or Full-Flex Fly Rods
Slow action fly rods are very flexible. On the back cast, a slow action fly rod will bend from about 1/4 of the way down the fly rod - and at full back cast will be arched at a graceful ninety angle.
Slow action fly rods are great for fishing in small streams. The flexible nature of the rod makes it easier to cast and make perfect presentation. Additionally, slow action fly rods are very forgiving and easy to learn on - but they lack the utility that a medium action fly rod possesses. Finally, anglers who primarily fish for small fish (such as, small rainbows, small Aussie Bass) might want to go with a slow-action fly rod since smaller fish are more fun to catch on a flexible fly rod.
Fly line and Line weight
So, what is fly line weight? And should you care?
Simple. Today, the weight of a fly line is measured in a tiny unit called grains. The fly line manufacturers produced a numbering system that labels how heavy or light a particular fly line is. This numbering system runs from 1 (ultralight) to fourteen and beyond (heavy).
It is important to understand this concept. Remember, in fly fishing, it is the weight of the fly line that casts the fly. If an angler chooses the wrong weight fly line for the types of flies they use, then problems develop with casting precision and control.
For example, if you tie on a size 18 dry fly to a fly line that has a weight of 8, control will be lost, and the fly will hit the water with a splash due to the heavy weight of the line (which pulls the fly down harder). Also, if you tie on a big heavy fly to a light weight line - and the fly will be out of control and once again, the fly may crash into the water.
Because of this, it is crucial to make sure whatever fly rod you get has been designed to match up with the fly line and the size of flies you plan to use.
How to know what weight of fly line to use? That, happily, is simple. Just match up what you'll be fishing for with the chart below.
· Fly Line Weight 1-3: Use this weight if you plan on fishing for tiny fish, such as small trout, for example) or most small Australian bass.
· Fly Line Weight 4: A good all-around fly line weight for all small fish species as well as small to medium-sized trout.
· Fly Line Weight 5: Another good all-around fly line weight. Works ok for small fish, but some of the fun goes out of it. On the other hand, works ok for average sized bass and virtually all trout and Jungle perch.
· Fly line Weight 6: Not much fun to use for small fish. But ideal for all trout fishing. Works well for bass, small estuarine fish.
· Fly Line Weight 7: Use this line weight for all bass fishing if you want no worries. Also works well for monster trout fishing. Hopeless overkill for average trout. This line weight is also popular for Australian salmon and other saltwater species.
· Fly Line Weight 8 and Above: These line weights are used for even larger and stronger fish, particular saltwater species. If plan on fishing for trout, there is no need for a line weight this high.
Matching it all up
Now you know the importance to know what you plan to fish for before doing anything else. By knowing what you fish for allows you to choose the right fly line weight to use. And by knowing the fly line weight you should use, that then determines what fly rod weight (as well as fly reel weight) to use.
Fly Line Weight = Fly Rod Weight = Fly Reel Weight
Be sure to match everything up exactly and your fishing experience will be better - especially for a beginner - by following this formula.
Thus, if you are going to use a 5-weight fly line, you will be best served using a 5-weight fly rod and 5-weight fly reel too.
In theory, you won’t damage your rod by going "up or down" one level. But there will be a drop in performance.
Fly Rod length
Working out what fly rod length to get is simple. Depending on what you plan on fishing for and where you plan to do it, get something from 8 feet to 9 feet in length.
· Get 9 feet if you need to make long casts, use a heavy fly line or fish frequently in the wind with heavy wind resistant flies.
· Get 8.5 feet for general, all-around fly fishing in a wide variety of conditions.
· Get 8 feet or less for the precise and short casts needed when small stream fishing. Or for chasing after small fish on a light fly line.
Other considerations when selecting a Fly rod
Here is some other considerations to think about when you are shopping for a fly rod.
· How Many Pieces? In my opinion the choice is a no brainer a 4-piece fly rod is the only practical choice. A 2-piece rod only has negatives. For frequent travellers, especially those who travel by airplane, consider getting a "travel rod" that breaks down into four or more pieces. This allows the rod to slip easily into a small suitcase or into one of those sports travel bags designed for airline travel.
· Fly Rod Construction: Graphite is the popular choice these days it is lighter than fiberglass and is stronger, too. However, the new trend in fibreglass fly rods is gaining popularity because they are totally different to the fiberglass rods and have some great advantages over some graphite rods. So, keep your mind open.
· Consider Getting a Fly Rod Combo: Fly Rod combos are nice. A fly rod combo includes the fly rod, the fly reel, and the fly line (already put on the spool). These combos not only save money but also guarantee that the whole fly rod outfit (rod/reel/line) is balanced. For beginners, this is the way to go if you do not already have one or more pieces of the fly rod outfit. Having said that when choosing a combo outfit choose carefully because there are still some poor combos out there.
· Remember here at Fly N Guide we can answer any questions you may have when choose your fly rod Just give us a call.