The fly rod, the symbol of the sport of fly fishing. A fly rod transfers energy and control from the fisherman through the line to the fly. In order for the proper energy and control to be maintained you must use the proper rod for your type of fishing.
Fly rods are rated according to the fly line they will cast and must be properly matched to the fly line and leader for optimum performance and casting.
The graphite rod will be our rod material of choice for bass fishing.
All fly rods are rated according to their line weight go from 1wt to 15 wt. In fly fishing we are casting the line. The byproduct is the fly at the end of our leader being laid out onto the water. The larger the number the heaver the line weight is. Fly lines are measured in grain weight.
A rods specifications are usually indicated on the fly rod. 9 '3 o oz 6wt. So the rod is 9 foot long, weighs 3 o oz and is rated to cast a 6wt line.
When looking at fly rods I categorize them like this: Weights 1, 13, 14 and 15 are specialized rods. 2, 3, 4 and 5 weights are light and medium trout rods. Weights 6 and 7 are medium bass and heavier trout rods. Weights 8 and 9 for medium and heavy rivers, large trout, bass and steelhead etc. Weights 9 and 10 for heavy lakes, rivers, canals, muskie, pike etc. Weights 9, 10, 11 and 12, tidal rivers, bays and surf, stripped bass, bluefish, channel bass, drum, shad, weakfish etc.
Fly rods also come in 3 basic actions, slow, medium and fast. A slow rod has a progressive energy transfer and flexes from its tip to its butt. It has slower casting action and is very forgiving in its casting accuracy. It is a good rod for a beginning fly fisher. Although it does not have the power to set hooks in a heavy fish. A medium action rod flexes from its tip to about its half way point. Its casting action is faster and its power is heaver allowing it to set hooks in larger fish for a given rod weight. A fast action rod flexes from its tip to about the first third of its length. It has a faster casting action and allows a harder hook set.
6wt and 7wt medium action rods are the most popular fly rods on the market today. Their fishing range gives you the most flexible water choices and species to fish. And will cast comfortably form 20 to 40 feet. Regardless of what you hear the typical cast is about 25 feet.
For Bass fishing on a medium lake I like to use a 6wt medium action 8 foot rod. With this setup I can fish flies form size 2 to 16 on 0x to 4x leader. The medium action means I can get a heavy # 2 floating mouse fly out to about 25 feet. Flies in the size range 2 – 6 are my choice for Largemouth Bass. Whether floating or sinking. Lots of feathers and lots of hair.
Set this rod up with a 6wt, weight forward floating fly line on a 6wt single action reel with 50 to 100 yards of Dacron backing.
Use a 7 to 9 foot knotless tapered leader 0x or 1x set up with 12 to 16 inches a 0x or a 1x tippet tied to the end.
These are the basics and with this setup you can cast flies in the range of size 2 – 10. Once you hook that first Bass on a fly rod you will be hooked also.