Though fly fishing is a fun activity for both outdoor lovers and fishing enthusiasts, it can be a bit tricky to get into. Not only is casting the fly difficult for beginners, but it can be tough to learn how to fly fish without any background knowledge.
To help with that, this article will cover some of the fly fishing basics you need to know to grab that big bite.
Key Equipment for Learning How to Fly Fish
The first piece of equipment you will need to fly fish is a reel.
Reels come in three sizes: small arbor, middle arbor, and large arbor. Small arbor has a diameter that is 30 percent of the spool, the middle arbor has a diameter that is 50 percent of the spool, and the large has a diameter that is 60 to 75 percent of the spool.
You can always choose the one that best suits you. However, larger arbors tend to look more modern and reel in the line faster, whereas smaller ones are lighter and come with a more classical look.
Another part of understanding your reel is knowing the drag type. Most fly-reel drags use either spring-and-pawl or disk. A good spring-and-pawl system is useful for most situations, especially ones where you might be using light tackle. In contrast, the drag reel gives a smooth-but-hard pressure that is great for when you need to put out hundreds of feet of line.
Finally, it’s important to cover the different reel materials you can choose from. The first is injection mold, which is lightweight, economical, and suitable for light or moderate use. Stamped metal has a similar function, but is a bit heavier. You can also go with cast aluminum and aluminum alloys, both of which are heavier, more durable, and great for moderate use.
The final two choices are composite and machined aluminum. Each is much more expensive than the above options, but they are much more durable as well. If you want long-lasting, these are the ones to look into.
How to Choose the Correct Rod
Of course, to go fishing, you also need a proper rod. There are thousands of different options on the market, which gives you many to choose from. You can always stick with a trusted brand (such as Redington fly rods), but you can also customize yours to best fit your personal preferences.
All rods are rated on a scale of weight from 1 to 15, and those numbers are assigned by the American Fly Fishing Trade Association. The weight rating is important because it tells you the line “weight” needed to flex or load the rod for casting. A weight of 1 is the lightest, while 15 is the heaviest.
Lighter weights are better for smaller flies and fish, while heavier ones are better for larger flies and bigger fish. If you’re going after extremely large species, you typically want to go with a 10-weight or higher, and you never want to fish for big game saltwater fish (such as sharks or tuna) without at least a 13.
Another key part of choosing a rod is the length. Ones shorter than 9 feet are perfect for small streams or tight spaces, while rods longer than 9 feet give you more control of techniques. A 9-foot rod, which is the most popular option, handles many different conditions without extra weight or effort.
When looking for a rod you also want to pay attention to the action, which means where the rod bends. Fast action rods bend near the tip, medium or moderate actions bend toward the middle, and slow actions bend towards the bottom. Like all other parts, the action you choose will be based on your personal preference, as well as what type of fishing you want to do.
Always Know What You’re Fishing for
The final piece of information you need to know is where you are going to fish. Not only will different locations affect the type of rod and equipment you need, but they will also help you figure out what type of fish you’ll be going after.
Do your research before fishing, and always be aware of what species might bite at the end of your line. Every fish likes to eat something different. Don’t just get a fly that looks like it will work. Go with one that best mimics the fish’s natural prey.
The Importance of the Basics
There is no one way to fly fish. Getting started is a process, but there are many different ways you can go once you understand fly fishing casting basics. Equipment comes first, and once you have a handle on that, you can move into more advanced territory that covers things such as technique. It can be intimidating, but as long as you’re prepared, you’ll be hauling in fish with ease.