Bluegill - Big Bluegill

Do you love big bluegill?

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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I tried the Wallie's Shakespeare and Plueger. Those two are very well built as cheap combo for beginners. The 5/6wt is more than sufficient to tackle on the large games out there. Carp and bass at 7lbs is not a problem. Just don't go crazy with the line retrieval. It's a nice fun game of tug-o-war to tired it out. As Tooty have mentioned, it's a freaking shame to see a fish going belly up up because we took too long hauling it in. My uncle even hand a few 32lbs Pacific salmons and 18lbs tailwakers using his 5/6wt Shakespeare vintage gears. They were long battles, but my jaws dropped when I saw them being held up under his gleaming smiles. But for sunnies, BG, bass, or whatever in the small and medium size, you'll be able to land it without any problem, and not blowing your budget too.

 

I can guarantee you that you'll be slamming the rod into the water, or ground, quite often as a beginner. It's more common during cast fatigue after a few hours of hunting. That's why I have my spinner gears ready just case case my arms feel like they're about to fall off. Try to master the casting both the left and right hands. I'm not ambidextrous, but switching hands for casting give you a high level advantage in different locales, such as tight quarters at local lakes, isolated hindrance locations, and the worst, small casting windows due to tall weeds and tree lines. Where spinning gears fail, fly gears take over. Where fly gears can't be casted, spinning gears take over. Great balance between the two.

Yeah, that sounds like a good idea, taking a spinning rig and a fly rig.

I can and do switch hit when it comes to casting a spinning rig.  Mainly it's because I throw right-handed with my 7- and 8-foot rigs.  However, my 12-foot surf rods are another thing.  I keep my dominant right arm at the butt of the rod, to start the cast, since it's stronger than my left, then finish the cast by pushing with my left arm.  I've been getting some good practice the past 6 weeks, fishing for big cats.  I need to start targeting Stripers, if I can.

Allen I would go with the 5 weight rod and get a weight forward line with loop to loop connection. The 5 weight is good for bluegill and bass. The loop connection on the end of the flyline makes changing leaders very easy for a beginner. For bluegill you can use a length of monofilament about the length of the rod or a little shorter for a leader and tie your fly directly to the leader.  Casting is not difficult, the biggest mistake beginners make is not letting the flyline straighten out behind them on the backcast before starting forward. Just a matter of getting the feel for it and not all that difficult. And about as much fun as you can have with a fishing pole in your hand.

I stopped off at Dick's today to look at their stuff.  They have a Pflueger combo, same price as the Martin rig at Wally World.  When I looked at the back of the package, it was the same as the Martin rig!  With the exception of the name of the product.  Same list of knots to use for the line, same graphics to show how to tie those knots, etc.  I'm wondering if Pflueger and Martin are owned by the same parent company?  Pure Fishing, by any chance????

There was a different rig, can't remember the name, $59.99 plus tax.  The line is pre-loaded onto the reel.

I still want to get my hands on one first to give it a try.  I'll have to wait for a couple weeks, this coming weekend is going to be busy.

 For anyone wanting to get into flyfishing for Bream/Bass CHEAP I recomend this combo from Scientific Anglers http://www.amazon.com/Scientific-Anglers-Species-Specific-Fishing/d... It's a decent casting rod, the reel is simple and dependable, very good backing and flyline come prespooled along with a tapered leader and a handfull of bream poppers/flys. It also includes a Very Good dvd on flyfishing casting basics and tips for bream and bass by Larry Dahlberg.

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