The mere mention of saltwater fly fishing can intimidate people – but it shouldn’t! Fly fishing is a great sport that is less complicated than most people perceive it to be. As well, it is less expensive than many websites advertise it to be as they are trying to sell top-of-the-line gear at huge prices; you just have to know how to buy more affordable pieces. Here are tips for beginners in the art of saltwater fly fishing:
Choose a fly-rod that you are comfortable holding as it really is the key part of fly fishing. Choose a versatile one that you can take everywhere from bays and estuaries to harbors. An example is a 9-weight rod for striped bass and bluefish.
Now it is time to get a quality matching reel for your rod. There are regular, mid-size, and large diameter reels. For a novice fly fisherman, a mid-arbor reel is a great choice as it has a center drag.
Next up is heading to the local tackle shop to get an affordable setup. Look for gear that suits the local area where you will saltwater fly fish. Ask the shop staff if they have any good rod/reel combinations they haven’t been able to sell yet and you might get a good deal. It doesn’t hurt to ask them!
Another place to look for a deal is on EBay. There are often tackle deals there. For equipment, look for descriptions that include the line “new with tags.” You may be able to get a top-quality rod-and-reel combination at a reasonable price this way.
As for what line to use, a full-sinking line is a great choice. For a 9-weight rod, a line could be 325-350 grain. You can get good rods at affordable prices from Rio and Scientific Angler.
Most reels can hold at least 200 yards of 20-pound test braided Dacron, so that’s an inexpensive way to go. In a typical season, only about 30 yards are used, so you have plenty to last you a while.
Don’t forget about the fly, of course! Start with some basics. You can ask at the fly shop what ones are best for beginners to use in the local area. For example, the chartreuse-and-olive Clouser Minnow is a must have for saltwater fly fishermen.