Bluegill - Big Bluegill

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Thinking about making the plunge into fly-fishing for sunnies....

I know, I know.  If I do, I'm stepping off the deep end.  Next thing you know, I'll be dropping money to start tying flies, buying hip-waders and running down to the Lower Mountain Fork River to chase Rainbows and Browns.

Can anyone recommend a decent starter rig?  Price is an issue here, as money is always tight with 5 kids to feed.  I've seen the kits at Wally World made by Shakespeare and Pflueger.  I know I can go to Academy and get some stuff, but if I remember right, it ain't cheap.  I know BPS has some stuff, but again, it ain't cheap.  We have a Dick's here, but I haven't looked to see if they have any fly-fishing stuff.

What size rod am I looking at, for sunnies?  A 2- or 3-weight?

I'll most likely be fishing with a weight-forward floating line, probably poppers, spiders, and grasshopper patterns.

If I decide to start using Wooly buggers, will I need a sinking tip line?  Do fly reels come with extra spools like some spinning reels do?

Of course, if I really get into that addiction, I'll probably start chasing Stripers/Wipers/Whites with a fly.  I know that will take a heavier-duty rod, streamers, etc.  That can come at a later time.

I just looked, and found a really cheap combo on the BPS website, the "Bugger Combo", $39.99.  It's a 5-weight.  No spare spool, line, backing, etc.  Just the rod and reel.  Not sure I want to go that route.

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do you know how to flyfish? if not I could give you some tips that I learned the HARDWAY

Sorta-kinda.  You're going to cry, but when I was a kid, I slapped a fly reel onto a spinning rod and used that.  I could get decent casts, at least for the creek I was fishing.  I actually did catch sunnies, mostly on poppers.

I would buy a pre-looped end, weight forward flyline that is 1-2 weights heavier than your rod, a prelooped BASS leader, and a SHORT amount of regular flurocarbon casting line as a tippet.

to me the rod/reel is not near as important as the above, the fish don't know the difference between my $20 rig and my high dollar ones.

 

eagle claw makes some decent cheap rods.the cheapest reel that will function.buy decent line and as others say 1 line size heavier.i would use mono for a leader if tour fishing on top.

My dad is an expert fly fisherman so it only took me a few months to get down the fly cast pretty well, but even without teaching if you've been fishing all of your life I'm sure you'll be a quick learner. On the issue of rods and reels, I wouldn't go extremely cheap because once you learn how to cast, you're gonna realize that rod stinks and want a better rod. I'd go with an 8-foot long 4-weight for sunnies if I were you. Good luck, it's a fun sport!

I would look at your local dicks's they usually have a cheap combo for 60bucks (at least it comes with backing and line also a few flies if I'am not mistaken) . I would go with the 5wt cause you never know what you will hook into I've had a few nice bass in the 3-5lb range with those popper's.

I FISH WITH FLY ROD POPPERS WITH WHATEVER POLE I HAVEN'T BROKE, WITH A ZEBCO 33 REEL. THE FISH DON'T CARE. CAUGHT BLUEGILLS, ROCKBASS, BASS, & CREEK CHUB. FISH SEEM TO LIKE ORANGE & WHITE. MAKE SURE YOU ARE READY FOR A BASS TO GO AIRBORNE A FEW FEET AWAY. BEEN THINKING ABOUT BUYING A 9' OR LONGER FLY ROD TO REACH SPAWNING BEDS FROM SHORE, BEHIND FALLEN TREES ETC, PAST ROCKS, AND VERTICAL JIGGING IN WEED BEDS. MAYBE, I SHOULD JUST USE A CANE POLE.

I apologize to the fly rodders about being negative about needing a fly rod. The five kids hit home. I found a very long telescoping cane pole at home. Bought it with a bunch of poles at a flea market. Never used it and decided this is what I needed for reaching difficult spots. Have fun fishing however you like to do it!

If you have a Wal-Mart near you check out their combos. Seen a Martin and Shakespeare complete combos there the other day and I think they were 30 to $40 range. I have a Martin combo I bought around 20 years back and it is still holding up nice. Used it for bream on many different lakes and with it being a four section rod it's easy to store in the boat compartments. I don't use the Martin much anymore as I have other rods that I want to use but it is always ready for service when needed.:)

Ronnie, I have seen those.  I thought the Shakespeare wasn't worth it.  However, the Martin might be.  I want to look around and see what some other shops have.  That, and I don't have the funding right now.

Allen, what's your total budget? If you're looking full rigged for $100, why not BPS for the White Water Dogwood Canyon combo. I tried out Dogwood and the Hobb Creek..the reel for the Hobb Creek combo is fragile to say the least. I thought of getting it as a low end training replacement for my kid and myself, but will getting something more vintage later. If you're doing a $40 combo, might as well stick with the Shakespear.

 

Stick with the 4/5wt or 5/6wt setting as a beginner. But if you're going big game, stick with 8/9wt. A pretty heavy gear for beginner.

 

I played with 7', and 10'. I'm hooked with the 8' to 9' version. Great balance for shore and on the water.

Leo, right now, I'm just trying to get a feel for what my budget should be.

I agree that a setup for large predators is not in my best interest for now.  Get something to play with the sunnies, to get my arm/wrist/body trained to use a fly rod.

I'll probably just get a cheap combo setup.  If I like it, then, come tax time, decide if I want to upgrade to a decent rig for sunnies, bass, etc., or if I want to get a rig for the bigger predators.  I made this same post on my local fishing board.  I've got two other folks that have offered to let me borrow a 5wt rig to see if I can get the casting down.  I'll probably do that here soon.

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