Every year new gear appears on the market giving us a chance to upgrade or just replace worn out equipment or to find new stuff that we just can’t live without. Fly rods don’t change that much from year to year but if you own an old bamboo rod you might think about a new one made of a graphite composition as most new rods are now. You may have looked at different websites trying to find a good buy but it seems I always end up looking on Amazon.com in the end, where I should have started there first. There is a site on Amazon.com called TEMPLE FORK OUTFITTERS that has just about any type of fly rod you can imagine. They come in 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 pieces and lengths of 5ft to 11ft and anywhere in between, with prices to match. Rod prices usually start around $125.00 range to $500.00 or more, so you have a very good range depending on your pocketbook. Most rods now days are made of a graphite composition to use a 4 to 5 weight fly lines. A perfect match for most Trout anglers without the sticker shock.
Name your price from around $100.00 and up depending on what whistles and bells you want. The least expensive reels are usually made of cast aluminum. Hard anodized machined aluminum are usually paired with a higher price and different drags or arbor size. The options are endless. It’s like buying a Rolls Royce or a Volkswagen, both will get you there, one a little more luxurious than the other but either will do the same job. Some reels have a stainless steel drags that are good for salt water fishing some have Teflon coated drags and arbors but stainless steel bearing and drags are very popular and usually the most expensive. Here again Amazon.com is a good place to start looking as they are impartial to manufacturers and offer a wide range of prices to fit any budget.
Fly lines are not that different from one manufacturer to another. Other than the weight of the line to match your rod you should only have to worry about the cost. Like I said you can’t improve to much as most companies are copy cats. I would look for a thinner braided line with Teflon surface protector so it can get through the guides with less friction and also less vibration. That gives you better direction and distance and less abrasion resistance with better knot strength. A tight weave and Teflon coating means no wind knots and no tip wrap and provides an amazing strength to diameter ratio with almost no stretch braid makes this an important feature. Most lines are about 150 yards length for the average arbor and I can’t think of to many time I would have needed more. Even if your line gets frayed and you have to cut some off, 150 yards of line to start should be plenty and it come in 50 pound test and up. So shop around, the choices are plentiful and once again, fit for anyone’s pocketbook.
Artificial Bait, Flies and Streamers
Probably the most abundant items in your fly fishing tackle box will be something to catch the fish with. How many different flies are enough? More than we can count is the answer. The names of this bait could look like this sample, Woolly Buggers, Muddler Minnows, Prince Nymphs, Zonkers, Birds’ Nest Flies, mini Gurglers and others work well for starters. Salmon Fry and Salmon Smolt can also be used when the live fry and smolt are clustered in bait balls as the trout will smash into the balls leaving single fry or smolt lagging behind as the trout will not chase the bait ball but go after the stragglers. Favorite fry flies include, but not limited to, Airhead Fry, Gummy Fry, Sockeye Fry, Little McFry, Lord of the Fry, Muddler and Thunder Creek. all good for surface oriented fishing. Floating eggs can be good when the fish are top feeding which is usually when the caddis and stoneflies are laying eggs. Don’t forget about mouse fishing either as scientists sampling Rainbow Trout’s eating habits found that 65% of the trout’s food was mice. Fish have their eyes on top of their head (most do anyhow) so the are always looking up and that’s a good reason to use floating bait. Your bait box can hold a lot of flies and you may not use them all, but you surely don’t want to not have your favorite one with you when you need it.