This post is intended to help you select and assemble the right tackle, line rigs and tackle accessories. This is intended for your maximum fly-fishing success.
Dealing with your Tackle Dealers
In visiting your local fishing tackle dealer, view the fly-fishing tackle and accessories on display. Ask the tackle dealer’s expert advice on tackle choice and buy quality items the dealer recommends. Make sure you have inspected, liked the look and feel of, and are certain will suit your purpose.
Be wise and happy with your choice of fly-fishing tackle and you will be expertly equipped and supremely confident when you begin fly-fishing for trout.
A fly-fishing rod of about 2.6m (8 1/2 feet) – 2.9m (9 1/2 feet) in length, is ideal for streams, rivers and most fly-fishing on still-waters.
To achieve long distance casts of around 32m (35yd), sometimes necessary to reach feeding trout on the still-waters of large lakes, lochs and reservoirs, a fly-fishing rod of about 2.9m (9 1/2 feet) – 3m (10 feet) in length. This may prove a practical choice.
Using and Choosing your Reels
A fly-fishing reel should be light in weight and of strong construction. A fly-fishing reel of about 89mm (3 1/2inches) – 102mm (4 inches) in diameter is ideal for streams, rivers and fly-fishing on still-waters.
Fly-fishing reel spool line capacities vary. For fly-fishing on streams and small rivers, a full reel spool capacity of at least 73m (80yd) backing line and attached fly-line is usually adequate. For fly-fishing on large rivers, and still waters, a full reel spool capacity of at least 96m (105 yd) backing line and attached fly line is desirable.
A fly-fishing reel with a large line capacity can be used for fly-fishing on rivers, streams and still-waters.
All about the AFTM
Fly-fishing rods and fly-fishing lines carry an AFTM (Association of Fishing Tackle Manufacturers) number. The rod’s AFTM number indicates the range of fly-line weights the rod has been designed to cast.
Remember that the heavier a fly-line, the higher the line’s AFTM number.
For optimum line-casting performance, match the recommended AFTM number of the rod and fly-line. For example: a fly-fishing rod with an AFTM line rating of 5-7 (AFTM 5-7), is designed to cast fly-lines of weights numbered AFTM 5,6, or 7.
A fly-line too light or too heavy for the rod will not cast properly.
- AFTM fly-line numbers 1-4 are ideal for fly-fishing on brooks, becks and burns for small trout.
- AFTM fly-line numbers 4-6 are ideal for fly-fishing on streams.
- AFTM fly-line numbers 6-7 are suitable for fly-fishing on rivers and most still-waters.
- AFTM fly-line numbers 7-9 are suitable for fly-fishing on large lakes, lochs and reservoirs, where strong winds blow, and long distance casts of round 32m (35yd), may sometimes be necessary to reach trout feeding far from the bank or shore.
- AFTM fly-line numbers 10-12 are mostly used by fly-fishers pursuing sizeable salmon.
A fly-fishing line is tapered to assist its flight through the air when cast. This enables the fly-fisher to present the artificial fly in the most delicate and natural manner possible to feeding trout.
Double taper and the Double taper fly-line
The double taper fly-line is tapered at both ends of its length and can be reversed on your reel spool when one regularly-fished tapered end is reduced through normal cutting, breakage and trimming.
The double taper fly-line is an excellent and economical choice of line where delicate presentation of your artificial fly is desired at close to medium distance on streams, rivers, and still-waters.
Weight forward (WF) and the Weight forward fly-line
The weight forward fly-line tapers at one end only, and is specially designed to achieve long distance casts on rivers and still-waters.
Shooting head, also called Shooting taper (ST)
The shooting head or shooting taper fly-line has a tapered head which enables proficient casters to achieve very long distance casts on the still-waters of large lakes, lochs and reservoirs.
Floating and Sinking Fly-Lines
In addition to being tapered, fly-lines are manufactured to float on the water surface, or sink through the water at particular speeds.
- Floating is designed for use when trout are feeding at the water surface on adult flies emerging, or newly emerged, from their nymphal or pupal skins, egg-laying female flies, or insects alighting on or blown onto the water surface, and struggling to get out of the water; also when trout are feeding just below the water surface on nymphs or pupae; recently drowned flies/insects, etc.
- Slow sinking is designed to sink slowly towards a mid-water depth, when trout are feeding avidly on ascending nymphs or pupae, or chasing small fish or fish-fry.
- Fast sinking is designed to sink quickly towards trout feeding on or near the water bottom, where the artificial fly will be fished to imitate the natural movements of an insect, aquatic creature, or small fish.
The right rod, reel and lines for beginners
It is suggested with the following rod, reel and fly-line combinations to begin fly-fishing on rivers, streams and still-waters.
- Fly-fishing rod: AFTM line rating in the range AFTM 5-7, of about 2.6m(8 1/2 feet) – 2.9m(91/2 feet) in length;
- Fly-fishing reel: of about 89mm (3 1/2 inches) – 102mm (4 inches) in diameter;
- Floating weight forward (WF) AFTM 6 or 7 fly-line, and/or
- Floating double taper (DT) AFTM 6 or 7 fly-line.
Beginners intending to fly-fish for trout on streams, will enjoy better sport with a floating double taper (DT) AFTM 5 or 6 fly-line.