Monday, May 10, 2010

My First Fly Rod

So I went up to Dixon to see my mom Sunday, and while I was in town, I took the opportunity to pick up my fly rod from my dad's basement.

I bought this setup while on a vacation about ten years ago in Wisconsin because there were two of them together for about $30 and I was 12 so I didn't realize not many people cast flies on the Rock River.  My dad messed with the one I gave him for awhile but quickly retreated back to his spinning tackle and my combo has been sitting in the original packaging in his basement for the past ten years.

It's a Shakespeare combo, 8 feet long.  It says #5/6 fly line on bottom, which I think means its a 5-6 weight?  Which is good because I've read thats a good weight for bass/panfish.  It is black but its not apparent whether it is graphite or fiberglass.  It has a foam handle, which is the only time I've seen a fly rod with a foam handle.  (Although, admittedly, most of them I've seen are either on blogs or on TV.)

The reel is a Shakespeare 1094.  I tried to lookup reviews but I can't seem to find any.  Guess I'll just have to get some experience with it and write my own.  I was trying to figure out how to set the drag online and found out it just has a click drag.  The Shakespeare site also said you can "palm" the reel as a form of drag but i'd be pretty afraid to do that, sounds pretty risky with a big fish on..  From what I've seen, you are supposed to strip smaller fish in by hand anyway, so hopefully I won't have any problems with the drag.

The line and leader came like this:

This led to a giant cluster-eff of a tangle when I tried to unwind the line.  It took me about 20 minutes to untangle.

I wasn't sure what to use for backing so I put about 25 yards of Big Game Trilene 20# test mono on.  I don't think I'll need backing since there was quite a bit of fly line but just in case I suppose.

Tying line to line sucks.  I tried a nail knot a few times to no avail.  I then looked up a blood knot and, after some silent cursing and several attempts, I pulled off a bastardized version that held when I yanked on both the line and "backing."  I tried to do the same for the leader but couldn't get it to hold and I really didn't wanna break the only leader I have, so I just threaded the line through the guides and headed out to try whipping a few casts....

....  Only to find that it started pouring rain since I was last outside.  So I'll have to wait until at least tomorrow to actually cast with some distance.  I'm really good at casting against the inside of the garage door though.  :)

Here's a picture of the rod/reel and the few flies that came with the package:

(Kinda weird to see a foam handle on a fly rod, huh?)

(Sorry thats a little blurry, I was having trouble getting a good focus on those little flies. Ignore the purdy flower wallpaper.)

I have my last final Wednesday so I may be able to get out fishing Friday or Sunday, so hopefully I can get that leader tied on and try it out.  I spent as much time as I could reading blogs and articles on beginning fly fishing but it seems like I just need to get out there and get some experience.

Stay tuned, I'll make sure to share as many of those experiences as I can.


Team MiRketti said...

I can send you a few trout/bluegill flies that I have tied. When you're learning to fly fish you will snap quite a few flies off. E-mail me if your interested at

Mark said...

Sounds good, I have a couple online finals to take tonight but I'll send you an email after that to hash out the details.

I think the closest trout are in the Coleta Trout ponds about 80 miles away and they get hammered as soon as they're stocked so I don't know how much use they'll get in that regard but I'm planning on mostly going after bluegill and bass so they should work out.

(Bucs70 as in Buccaneers? If so, good choice.)

Sorry to everyone about the text being goofy around the pics, I'll try to fix it tonight.