You're new to fly-fishing. The only rods you know about are spinning,
casting and such. You know if you go to a fly shop you may be spoon-fed
whatever he thinks you can afford, or he what he has a few too many of.
What to do? This situation often surfaces on the Bulletin Board here,
something like this; "I'm thinking of getting a 'brand-x' fly rod, are
they any good?"
Then a few guys will reply they have one and it seems just fine etc. I think
a better answer may be this. Is 'brand-x' any good? You bet it is. If you
are just starting out you will not be able to cast very far and I can't think
of a rod made that is 'bad' for the average casting distance. One sad fact
is this, you most probably will break your first rod, or at least, it will get
somehow broken. Striking a fish too hard, pointing the rod behind you
while landing a fish, stepping on it, or some other tragedy. I do suggest
you not spend a lot on the first rod.
Which action is always a question, like slow, medium, medium-fast, or fast?
You can translate those into, soft, normal and stiff. Most companies have
different names for these, but a rod is one of those. Remember, there is
practically not a rod made and sold these days which will not cast very
nicely at normal fly-fishing distances, no mater how much you pay.
For the most part, the beginner will probably start out with a medium, or
medium-slow action rod, this is about what you get when you pay 'entry-level'
prices. These rods are not designed to cast a mile. They are slow/soft enough
so the beginner can feel the fly line while casting and that helps them get a
decent cast out in front. Paying a high dollar for your first rod may seem good,
but you chance getting a fast/stiff rod which may make learning to cast a bit
If you have a sporting goods store near, go ahead and get whatever rod you
like. Especially if they have a guarantee and/or return policy. If you are buying
off the Internet, reputation and policies again should be considered.
It is possible to force almost any rod, when in the hands of an expert, to cast all
of the fly line off the reel. This is not a mark of a great fly rod, it just shows the
ability of the person casting.
Wrapping this up, I do need to add this. The fly-line will make the most difference
on your first rod. Do spend enough (around fifty bucks) to get a line near the top
of the price scale. If cared for, it will probably outlast your rod and will make a
great difference in how it casts. Also, you can use it on a different rod in the future.
Try to cast any rod before you buy, but if that is not possible, make sure you can
return it if you don't like it.
Remember, it's your money and it's going to be your fly rod; get the one YOU like. ~ James Castwell