Quality equipment and patience go hand in hand for fly fishing anglers
The most successful anglers I ever met were also the most patient types I knew, and I wondered if that was a coincidence. What wasn’t a coincidence, though, was the quality of their gear, i.e. the rods and reels they used. It wasn’t the most expensive equipment, but they were very attentive in cleaning, repairing and storing them carefully.
You don’t need to spend thousands buying tackle but investing in quality brands like Shimano rods is a good start. It might cost a little bit more but this gear tends to last longer and deliver a better performance. Also for anglers just learning to trout fish, using a well-designed rod makes learning to cast that much easier.
For selecting rod, reel and line, here is some guidance for getting it right:
Rod weight, length, feel
The icon of fishing all around the world, the purpose of the rod is to absorb the tension created by the fish on the line, but it also provides stability and control. I’ve already mentioned quality, but the weight and length of fly fishing rods are also essential features that affect your ability to catch fish. Aside from this, the rod also has to feel comfortable in your hands – easy to grip tightly when there’s weight on the line. Fly fishing rods for sale at the moment are made from really light graphite but some of the most beautiful vintage rods I’ve seen are bamboo, which is unfortunately a fragile material and so they’re not made much anymore.
When choosing a reel, the first consideration is size, by which I mean the reel should be big enough to hold sufficient backing line for the size of the fish you’re pursuing. Size and weight go hand-in-hand, but it’s important that the weight of the reel balances the weight of the rod and that the weight is sufficient to hold the line you’re using. There are some good machined reels made from polymer composites or aluminum alloys available at the moment, but an important thing to look out for are gaps between reel and spool as the fly line will jam itself in there at every opportunity!
Like reels, selecting your line is dependent on the fish you’re after. Fly fishing line weight is ranked from 1 to 15 (lightest to heaviest). Some fly fishing veterans recommend never using any line heavier than a six-pound test i.e. the line at its weakest point can withstand 6lbs of pressure. Because trout are usually found in cold, clear water, the line is often visible to the fish. One way for beginners to choose the line is to match it with the weight of the rod and reel – so a 5 weight reel with a 5 weight rod and 5 weight line (5 line size is the most popular for trout fishing).
These are just a few of the fly fishing tackle tips that are important to have in mind. Buying proper gear is the start of what could be a lifelong pastime, but there’s only one way to get better at fly fishing and that’s by going out on the water!