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.
CRITERIA FOR CHOOSING A FLY ROD AND REEL
Determine what species of fish you’ll be fishing for. See species guide below
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.