Carolina Mountain Sports
123 West Broad St
Statesville, NC
(704) 871-1444
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May 27, 2024
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  Carolina Mountain Sports
■  Selecting your first fly fishing outfit...

            More and more people are learning that fly fishing is an easy, enjoyable sport.   Folks are fly fishing for trout in mountain streams, bass and bluegills in local ponds and lakes, and all types of saltwater species.   

            Selecting you first outfit, and adding some basic instruction from a qualified teacher,  is an important step.   If the equipment is not balanced and suitable for the intended use, it won’t perform well.   And, without some understanding of the basic principles of casting and fly fishing, you won’t perform well. 

            Most people starting out should purchase a rod that is 8.5 to 9 feet long, from a well-known manufacturer.  It should be rated for 5-weight or 6-weight line.    A good rod, with an unconditional, lifetime guarantee against breakage and defects, can be purchased for about $100.   Many customers are very happy with a rod in that category, but quite a few will spend from $125 to $300 for that first rod.  Consider a  4-piece rod for ease of transportation and packing.  

            Fly line is the next important element.  It should match, or balance with the rod. If you have bought a decent rod, you can trust its suggested line rating, which is printed on the rod just above the cork grip .   Therefore you will need a 5-weight or 6-weight line to match the rod just described.   (line weight does not refer to breaking strength).   The line should be either double taper, designated on the box as DT, or weight forward taper or WT.  A good quality fly line will costs from about $30 to as much as $70.

            Buy as good a line as the budget will allow.   It and the rod (along with some good instruction) are the keys to successful and efficient casting and fly fishing. 

            The quality of the reel for freshwater  is not too critical.   The weight of the reel, however, should balance the rod comfortably in your hand.  Too light or too heavy a reel will result in an outfit that is inefficient and tiring to cast.  Most startup reels of decent quality cost from $35 to $65. 

            So, with some careful shopping,  a decent startup outfit could cost less than $150.  Less expensive combination outfits, often seen in “discount” stores, almost always prove to be unsatisfactory because of cheap components and poor balance.   Customers who have purchased those often find they must change lines and reels, and eventually rods, to get a satisfactory outfit.   Your total cost may wind up being much more than purchasing a decent outfit at the beginning.   And, in addition to the extra expense, your learning curve has been handicapped by inferior gear.  

            Some smart shopping and good advice at the outset, will quickly move you along to enjoying fly fishing.   Not only will it be easier, it will be more fun and more rewarding.            

Richard Griggs operates Carolina Mountain Sports in downtown Statesville.   

Updated: July 17, 2021
Carolina Mountain Sports

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