If you have taken up fly fishing as a hobby, be prepared for a challenge, as this ancient pastime is far from easy and out of all the many varieties of fishing, using the fly is, without a doubt, the most difficult to grasp. Fly fishing is far from passive, as you must repeatedly cast your fly onto the water surface in an attempt to lure the surface feeding trout or salmon into taking it. Of all the specialist equipment you’ll need, the fly rod is definitely the most important, and if you’re a novice, choosing a rod can be very confusing, and with that in mind, here are some important points to consider when buying a fly fishing rod.
- Medium Action Rod – If you are new to the sport, a medium action rod is much preferred and Shimano Fishing for UK hobbyists is an ideal selection. These carbon rods are easy to use and are ideal for beginners, not only that, a medium action Shimano rod is also the preferred choice for many expert fly fishermen. There are online suppliers in the UK who stock a wide range of fly rods – plus all the accessories you’ll need, and rather than spending a day driving around looking for tackle shops, an online store has everything you need, and at affordable prices too!
- Rod Length – If you are planning to fish for trout, the ideal length of your rod is between 8-9 foot, and for smaller fish, slightly shorter than that. If you are thinking of going cheap – for beginners – don’t bother, as like anything else, you only get what you pay for. Having said that, there’s really no point in going for something in the upper price range either, not if you are new to fly fishing. There is a good guide to selecting the right fly fishing rod, which is recommended reading for every beginner.
- Rod Weight – This does not mean the actual weight of the rod, rather it is connected to the weight of the line you will use. If you stay within the 4-6 weight range, this is ideal, and perhaps a 5-weight rod is the best choice for a novice. As a general rule, the fly rod weight should equal the fly line weight (and also the fly reel weight) as this will give you a balanced set up, which is much easier to use. Like most sports, you will not really appreciate the difference in configurations until you have a grasp on casting techniques and landing fish, and a medium weight rod is by far the best selection for a newcomer to the sport.
The most important thing to remember is the rod’s action, which could be slow – medium – or fast, and this refers to its flexibility which is very important for both casting and setting the hook when a fish takes the fly. Like anything else, it’s all about practice, and a medium action rod of some quality will serve you well for a few years until you become proficient enough to know the difference.