Fly Fishing for Coastal Gamefish
Q. I’m just getting into saltwater fly fishing, what fly rod should I get to start?
A. Overall, and without knowing where you’ll be doing most of your fishing, I think an 8 weight is a good start. A 9 weight is a second choice, but I think a 9 weight is too heavy for doing a lot of casting, which you will be doing as you start out. I suggest getting a medium action rod. This is so you can feel the line load as you cast, and feeling the line load is extremely important when learning to cast. I like the Imperial model from St. Croix Rod for a starter rod. These days, I think most rods are too stiff (called ‘fast’), and too much fly line has to be outside the rod tip to feel the rod load. This is OK for many experienced casters, but causes problems for beginner and intermediate casters. If you do get a fast rod, I suggest over-lining the rod – getting a fly line that is one class up from the rod, so a 9 weight line for an 8 weight rod. Over-lining a rod also good for close-quarters casting. I over-lined my rod for stripers on Cape Cod, because when I was wading I often didn't see fish until they were relatively close, so I needed to load the rod with very little fly line outside of the rod tip. This allowed me to make one false cast before casting to the fish.
The Fisherman's Coast approach focuses on how coastal gamefish interact with their habitats and prey. The more you know about the gamefish you pursue with a fly rod, the more often you'll be in the right place at the right time with the right fly making the right presentation. It's about catching more fish.
Our sister site Tribal Bonefish is all about conservation through responsible fishing. Tribal Bonefish shows you how to become a better steward of our coasts to protect our fisheries today, and ensure future generations get a chance to experience these fisheries.