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CHOOSING A FLY ROD AND REEL

Fly rods come in a variety of line weights and lengths from 000(super ultra light)-16(super heavy), and 6-14 foot lengths. The most used rods for our area are 8.5 - 9 foot 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8. If you’re starting out and unsure where you’ll be fishing a 9 foot 5 weight rod is a great way to start because you can fish trout, pan fish, and small bass on most types of water. The ideal fly rod quiver for Wisconsin is an 8.5’ 3 weight, 9’ 5 weight, and a 9’ 8 weight.

For trout and pan fish/bass your reel should have a smooth retrieve, smooth drag, be light weight, and balance correctly with the rod. For salmon, steelhead, and saltwater species the reel needs to meet the above criteria plus be saltwater safe anodized, and have a stout durable drag capable of controlling a powerful; fast running fish.

 

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CRITERIA FOR CHOOSING A FLY ROD AND REEL   

Determine what species of fish you’ll be fishing for. See species guide below

  1. Determine what type of water you’ll be fishing-small streams, big rivers, lakes, ocean etc.
  2. Pick the appropriate rod weight for the fish species and water type you plan to fish.
  3. Pick the best rod flex for your casting style. Short, quick casting stroke-tip flex rod, long slow casting stroke-mid flex rod.
  4. Determine your budget. Always buy the best rod, reel, and line you can afford because you’ll cast with less effort and be happier with your purchase in the long run.

 

SPECIES GUIDE FOR ROD WEIGHTS

000 - 2 weight: Technical dry fly fishing for Trout in small streams. Very Specialized

3 - 4 weight: Trout in small streams, pan fish. Good general use light rod for the Driftless Area Spring Creeks.

5 - 6 weight: All around rod for trout on streams, rivers, and lakes. Pan fish and light bass in rivers and lakes.

7 - 8 weight: Largemouth and smallmouth bass, carp, pike, musky, salmon, and steelhead in big rivers and lakes. Light inshore saltwater fly fishing-bonefish, redfish, jacks etc.

9 - 10 weight: Heavy freshwater, medium weight saltwater. Pike, musky, king salmon, snook, stripers, middleweight tarpon, permit, sharks.

11 - 12 weight: Tarpon, tuna, trevalley, roosterfish, Dorado, sharks, wahoo.

13 - 16 weight: Sailfish, marlin, large tuna, wahoo, large sharks.

 

WATER TYPES FOR ROD LENGTHS

6 - 8.5’: Small streams.

9’: Big rivers, small streams, lakes, and ocean.

10’: Big rivers and lakes. Specialized nymph fishing rod.

11 - 14’: Big river spey rods. Drifting and swinging flies for steelhead and salmon.