Introduction to Fly Fishing by Tony Scott
your Fly Rod
of fly rod will reflect the venues that you intend to fish. Put
simply, the smaller the water you choose to fish, the lighter
outfit you will need.
you a little history of flyfishing – originally most rods
were made of split cane, greenheart or other durable and of course
flexible woods. These were combined with lines made of silk with
no taper at all and a horsehair leader. This made for difficult
fishing, and casting. Followed in the sixties with fibreglass,
which although tough was not as light and flexible as todays modern
rod materiels. We are lucky to have had such developments as carbon
fibre rods which make the old “unbalanced outfits”
the fishing tackle manufacturers got their heads together to produce
a system, which would be worldwide and enable angers to choose
fly lines, which would balance their rods to perfection. Nowadays
when you buy a rod you will see either the letters AFTM or the
symbol # followed by a number. A number indicating the length
of the rod often precedes this. For example if you see the following
on a rod: 9.0 AFTM 6, this tells you that the rod is 9.0 foot
long (2.7 metres in modern terms) and will be balanced correctly
with a fly line of the same number, 6, also known as a 6 weight.
does the number represent?
During single-handed overhead casting the rod works best with
around the first 30 feet of fly line extended outside of the tip
of the rod. The numbering system relates to the weight in grains
of material in the fly line that will optimise casting ability
when 30 feet is extended. The lower the number, the lighter the
line and hence the outfit.
feel that you will be mostly fishing small brooks with no need
for long casts, or the need to battle huge fish, a rod length
of 8’0” to 8’6” with an AFTM rating of
between 3 and 5 would be ideal.
If you are intending to fish larger rivers and smaller stillwaters
then a rod length of 9’.0 to 9’ 6” with an AFTM
rating of between 5 – 7 will suit you.
Reservoir fishing from boats, or fishing large fast rivers can
sometimes necessitate longer rods of up to 10’.0”
with AFTM ratings of 7 –9.
fly rod design means that even in the heavier weights of rods,
these are comfortable to handle and cast easily. Of course you
may wish to fish smaller rivers and large reservoirs. There is
no outfit that can be classed as an “All Rounder”
as different waters present different challenges. This may mean
that you need two outfits to match your choice of water on the
day. This will keep Tacklebargains very happy as they can sell
you two outfits?. On a serious note there is nothing worse than
having the wrong outfit for the wrong venue, so it is worth thinking
about where you will be doing the majority of your flyfishing.
I have an 8.0 AFTM 3, for light stream work and a 9.0 AFTM 5 for
medium rivers and stillwaters as this makes up the vast majority
of waters that I fish here in France.
to 2, 3 and 4 piece rods, this is purely personal choice as modern
technology has given us multi piece rods that function perfectly.
4 Piece travel rods can of course be concealed more easily in
the boot of a car and are easier to carry if you intend wandering
and meandering over a few miles of countryside before reaching
your chosen site to fish.
to quality, like so many other things in life, buy the best that
you can afford without breaking the bank, of course. This will
pay dividends in the long term. Modern rods can last a lifetime
if you look after them. They should be looked upon as a tool,
not a toy.
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