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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
...what works well for you? All that "Orvis boy" talk got me to thinking (which is dangerous) maybe we should share what works well for us to help the new and novice fly fishermen that are just getting into the sport. I think we could throw out some good advice for what to consider buying and maybe even what not to consider buying. Me, I don't have a lot of real "high dollar" gear, some big brand names, but I am usually bargain-conscious when buying gear. What do you carry? What do you think is a "must have?" Vest or pack? Here are a few of my suggestions, I'm sure I'll think of other things, later:

-I resisted buying one for a long time for some reason, but since having one, I think a good nipper is a great item to have. I suppose even finger nail clippers would do in a pinch, minus the hook eye cleaner. I can't recall who makes mine, but it is pretty basic...nipper and hook eye cleaner. It seems like I use it every few minutes for something, and is much more convenient and safe than a knife.

-I started out fly fishing wearing a vest and honestly never liked it. I always felt like bulky stuffed pockets were in the way and I didn't have enough storage. This past winter I bought an Orvis Safe Passage Sling Pack and wouldn't trade it for any vest. It's comfortable, slides out of my way onto my back when I don't need access to it, and carries a surprising amount of gear.

-The only thing I carry that I felt like I paid a lot of money for was a Flambeau Blue Ribbon fly box. I think it was around $36-37 after tax. I was tired of the standard foam in the box I was using for nymphs and heard their "Vertical Friction Foam" (like foam slots to slide the hooks into) was a good system, so I gave it a shot. I'm really pleased with it. I have the medium-sized swing leaf box and have it packed with nymphs and other wet flies. I've had no trouble with flies of any size coming loose or popping out like I did with the old ripple foam box.

-Don't underestimate the value of a good line cleaner. It's not very much money, and be careful using something like Armor-All or a product not designed to clean fly lines. I've heard horror stories of Armor-All seeming like a good choice initially, then a few weeks later the line is a solid block of gummy mess and the line is ruined. I've heard Loon Line Speed is great, I am using a Scientific Anglers cleaner just because I have SA line. Either product is only about $5 and makes a big difference in line performance and longevity. Fly lines ain't cheap, I want mine to last! :D
 

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Well this is very vague subject but everyone will have the particular favorites. I have Orvis gear bag, Sling pack, hip and shoulder bag, back pack and vest. They all work for each particular thing since I just dont fish for one type. I havent had any problem with Armorall and is very near the same stuff as the pricy stuff with gimmick names put on it. Simms make darn good stuff! When fishing from banks,beaches and out of yak I use the Orvisstripper basket. Better than a few other I had tried. I got a blue Ribbon box and it just sucks! I picked up a bunch of mid size C&F waterproof boxes off Ebay for around 21 bucks a piece. Best boxes. I got one of the SA clear boxes from wally world I like to and at only 12 bucks. I got a lot of stuff around here and they all have their purposes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Vagueness was intended, what non-rod and reel gear do you like, what don't you like. Good information might help folks who want to make purchases make informed decisions on gear. :)

What didn't you like about your Blue Ribbon box? What model did you buy, there are several?
 

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lots of opinions on gear, but I will tell you that it all works. there are some incredible fisherman out there toting 1970's fenwick glass rods(seems old but they are incredible rods) old metal boxes, simple hand tied flies and rubber waders, and there are guys that are toe to hat top o the line that are also incredible fisherman, and vise versa.
brands I like, simms has great everything, though pricey. I really like alot of the stuff coming out of the rio, sage, reddington group, in particular I prefer sage rods(usually) and rio lines. ross makes the best reals for the money in my opinion. stuff I use, frog hair tippet if I have to fish dries, pricey but its the strongest and most supple. dai-riki hooks, and when it comes to most tying materials, I like the cheap stuff unless its deer hair or hackle. for things like nippers, forceps, line clearner.. I am going to lose it or brake it no matter how nice, so I get the cheap stuff, but I suggest getting some zingers to put them on. oh yeah boxes, I have used many many boxes, right now I have atleast a half dozen boxes within 10ft of me(thats really sad when I think about it) but anymore I get slotted foam C&F boxes, I have held #32 in there and they dont fall out, they keep my boxes organized, I love those boxes lol. I had some SA boxes that I liked too but I sat them on top of my car the other week and the glue under the foam on them melted, killing them, but my C&F's didnt melt.
 

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I think this is a great idea.I am a newbie and dont really know anyone else that ff.This will help alot in my disicions on what gear I need and what may work best for me.There is so much out there.I started out the summer with a really cheap fly combo just to see if I liked ff.I fell in love and stepped into a whole new world of fishing that I no hardly nothing about.All the info you guys want to throw out will be really usefull an appreciated.The way the economy is I cant afford to buy something that doesnt work for me or at all.So thanx fellas!
 

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I'm new at this too. I wanted a minimal initial investment. I've had too many hobbies fall by the way to go too high end.

I went with a Martin Caddis Creek combo: 15.99
Orvis Clearwater WF6: ~$35.00
Orvis leaders and tippet: ~$10
Assorted flies and streamers from theflystop: ~$50.00
Small 2 waterbottle and pouch waist pack from Wal-mart: $10
Light Medium Fly box from Orvis: $12.00

Spending time in relative solitude on the water: Priceless

I do like to hear what's working for folks. It lets me put together that list for future father's days.

Cheers,

D
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm new at this too. I wanted a minimal initial investment. I've had too many hobbies fall by the way to go too high end.

I went with a Martin Caddis Creek combo: 15.99
Orvis Clearwater WF6: ~$35.00
Orvis leaders and tippet: ~$10
Assorted flies and streamers from theflystop: ~$50.00
Small 2 waterbottle and pouch waist pack from Wal-mart: $10
Light Medium Fly box from Orvis: $12.00

Spending time in relative solitude on the water: Priceless

I do like to hear what's working for folks. It lets me put together that list for future father's days.

Cheers,

D
I think that is the single best thing about fly fishing where I do in WV, I almost never see anyone. It's awesome to have water pretty much to yourself, enjoy what Mother Nature has to offer, and not have to be elbow-to-elbow. :D
 

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I like my TFO professional rod, that thing's got MUSCLE. It'll beat the wind, no problem.

I also use the Rio Grand line that's just... spectacular. Shoots like a dream, and it's so supple. Floats well too. I want more of it for my 4 weight haha. I also like my Orvis clearwater line on my old rod, but I will probably spool it up onto the TFO to see how it throws.

I use the maxima hard mono to make leaders from, and it's awesome and a half. Orvis super strong tippet, but I haven't really tried much else so I dunno if it's great or not.

The best reel I've ever owned is my current one; sage 1650. I've fallen on it, hard. On rock. Straight on it. It still turns, it barely scratched, it's still ifne. This thing is a TANK, and i wouldn't have it any other way because I'm utterly atrocious taking care of my gear.

Now, in the supporting roles...

My Simms freestone mesh vest was the smartest buy I've ever made. The pockets get in the way sometimes (curse of the vest system), but I lug enough junk around with me to make an entire new leader (or 50), and all my fly boxes including my big streamer box, and usually at least one extra spool. So lots of cargo space is a plus, and this vest has that - and comfort - in spades. Get one. You won't regret it. It's sexy too :D

Orvis makes the boxes for them, but Mad River just got some great little boxes in. Kind of a milky white plastic, in 3 sizes. All slit foam.. the little brook trout one is great for nymphs, you can easily get 60+ in the smallest box, the biggest box (brown trout) is my streamer box. I do love fishing streamers, and I'm not even beginning to fill it up.

Glasses leash: Just get one, if you wear glasses. You'll regret the hell out of it if you don't, esp. when it costs you $300 dollars to get new ones :( Like it did me haha.

Dr slick makes good nippers, and the best indicators on the earth are Thingamabobbers, lol. Mmk, that's all for now. I'm sure I'll share more later.

OH! And put a Cliff bar in your vest. It'll save you the rumbling stomach syndrome.
 

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On the Flambeau boxes especially the one with the spring loaded popopen clear lids, they have a tendancy to pop open you open the box and your flies go all over. I do want to mention something about wading boots though. The biggest P.O.S I ever wasted money on were the Korkers Boa Guide boots! Not worth a plug nickle! Had to send them back twice for total of 3 fricken months! That is abig ole BS! When I told them give a new pair including the box so I can take them back to where I bought them and exchanged them for Simms Guide boots. Well over 200 miles and they are still working so well and not a problem one bit! Beside the Korker company try to say that is nothing wrong with the soles popping out all the time. That fricken Irked me right there! So up theirs!
 

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I like Power Bars and have to say that Cliff bars taste like tobacco and has the constisty to look like horse manure along the trails.

Thingamabobber, Is not very good either although I like it for certain situations, Why? When get a good snag the tippet will cut into the soft plastic rendering it useless. Beside I wouldn't dare use it on brookie streams in winter cause you will scare the crap out them! Best thing for Indicators on small stuff like I use is a piece of latex tubing and waterproofed yarn, makes a nice soft landing! See me on the Elk and it will open your eyes about it cause I am not kidding! They are ok for dirty water but when it is clearer than the water you drink then you know what I mean.
Well, got to get ready to head to the Elk Springs in the morning for my buddy wedding so I wont be back til Sunday evening.:D
 

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Simms Guide boots both the total leather boot, and the cordera "sp" and leather upper have well over 1000 river miles and 8 years and salt water they are finally seen better days. They did not lose any studs for the first few years but they did. I will purchase another pair of boots from them no doubt! Fly boxes have been a learning curve I love the fox box and bug luggage. My waders the breathable ones I love patagonia and will get another pair of them once my G3 self destruct! Patagonia too there waders back after 4 years no questions asked and gave me a full refund!!!!
 

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I like Power Bars and have to say that Cliff bars taste like tobacco and has the constisty to look like horse manure along the trails.

Thingamabobber, Is not very good either although I like it for certain situations, Why? When get a good snag the tippet will cut into the soft plastic rendering it useless. Beside I wouldn't dare use it on brookie streams in winter cause you will scare the crap out them! Best thing for Indicators on small stuff like I use is a piece of latex tubing and waterproofed yarn, makes a nice soft landing! See me on the Elk and it will open your eyes about it cause I am not kidding! They are ok for dirty water but when it is clearer than the water you drink then you know what I mean.
Well, got to get ready to head to the Elk Springs in the morning for my buddy wedding so I wont be back til Sunday evening.:D
Well I've had fish on the elk river come up and eat my thingamabobber. Take it down under the water 3x in a row :p He didn't seem scared!

I've thought about the yarn ones, but the thingamabobbers now have a brass insert in the hole, and line won't bite into the plastic. Well my line won't, but I don't appreciate how much it kinks the dang leaders!
 

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I love thingamabobbers, they are the only indicator i use anymore. They float great, cast great, they're easy to see, easy to use and i've never had problems spooking fish, in fact im with clayton i think they attract more fish than they spook. Sure, they kink your line, but so does...fishing. as for some other handy gear, dont forget those coin purse style split shot dispensers and a bottle of dry shake + floatant.
 

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I have very refined tastes, I know what I like.

rods wise I love scott, without a doubt one of the best. But i also like orvis' niche rods. Although I have been selling off my Scott's and Orvis' and have been building my own... Man are factory rods a rip off.

Reel wise, Lamson, Galvan and Orvis. I do own one ross, and it's the colorado zero. Outside of the Orvis, I tend to buy what the guides buy for one reason. Guides beat the living hell out of there stuff, and I am not careful with mine.

I wear a waist pack from fishpond. I wont buy anything else. Fishpond warrantys their stuff without question.

I wear waders only in the winter, but those are Simms freestones, and they are about 4 years old. great stuff, seeing as I went through every other pair of waders in a year or less. Wading boots I use are Korkers. I love them and the interchangeable sole. I use simms wading socks with them. they are GREAT!



Tiemco hooks, dr. slick tying tools, peak and renzetti vises. thats my fly tying stuff. I do use alot of hareline materials, whitting hackles, ectect blahblahblah.


Basically the stuff I use is because it's tried and true.
 

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I have 2 orvis reels and some orvis line. works for me. I also have cheap stuff like cabela's line and rod/reels and i think they work great too. I just don't notice a diff really. both are great, I guess I notice some diff in my orvis battenkill mid arbor. it cost alot more so it should be great tho.but still both the orvis and the cabelas reels work on steelies so to me why pay a fortune when u can get a good deal and spend more on all the other stuff! also on the fish hitting the bobbers had that happen before. if that happens try tying on a stimulator or hopper pattern and tying the nymph or whatever off the hook bend. then u will hook up with those trout if even if they hit the top or the bottom! try it out!
 

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Rods: I have a bunch across a variety of prices but my usual rod is a 4 wt. T3. I loved the Trident line but I broke my last one and got a T3 as a replacement and like it alot too.

Reels: Orvis Battenkill Mid-Arbor and a variety of Okuma reels. I like the Okumas just fine and they come at a really good price.

Waders: Orvis Tailwaters. I am one of those people who will wear waders consistently until the air temps are above 80 all day and these waders are just comfy.

Wading boots: Orvis Clearwater. I have bad feet and even I have no complaints about this boot. Will be switching to Clearwater Navigators soon due to the spread of rock snot in Vermont.

Vest/Pack: Safe Passage Complete Chest Pack or Clearwater Vest. Depends on how much stuff I need and temperature.

Line: Orvis Wonderline and Silver Label.

Misc.: Orvis Ketchum Release. I do carry forceps due to their all around utility but I love the Ketchum Release for its ability to slide right down the line and release the hook. It is a unitasker but a good one.
 

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Only been fly fishing for a few years now and not really "brand loyal" except on a couple items.
Most of my equipment/tackle is eBay bargains (such as a Sports Afield mesh vest and a Bass Pro regular vest).

I do like my 2 Sage rods, but I can't honestly say they are the greatest because the cheaper Cabela's and Scientific Anglers rods work well, too.
One thing I am "brand loyal" to is my Okuma Magnitude reels! Really lightweight, and the drag has a much wider adjustment range than the other reels I've tried (all reels have been under $60. in price). I bought the Okuma Magnitude for my 4wt (Sage) rod and loved it, so I bought one for my 8 wt rod, and plan to buy one in a 5/6 wt soon. (I'm also planning to buy a 5wt travel rod as soon as I figure out what brand to try - need an all-purpose rod to keep in my truck.)

Edited to add:
Almost forgot! One thing I wouldn't be without is my furled leaders!
I was having a terrible time with wind knots when I started, so I tried a furled leader - much better turnover, and no more wind knots!
I still use the furled leaders, but I add a tapered tippet to them now. I tie my own tippet out of copolymer line (bulk spools of Cabela's brand - no longer listed in their catalog) usually something like 18" of 10# (8# dia.) then a 30" section of 6# or 4#.
Works fine for panfish and bass!
 

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My go to waders are Orvis G3 that I got on clearance, with an old pair of Orvis Silver labels and a pair of Cabelas as back ups. All 3 have been very good.

I switched from a vest to a double chest pack, but in the summer I use a lanyard and shirt pockets. Love to wet wade.

Korkers for boots because I like the ability to change soles. I added orthodics from Dr. Scholl's because of heel spurs and I am very comfortable. I had a pair of neoprene booties for wet wading from Cabelas, but the seams were uncomfortable. I got a pair of Simms booties and they are great.

Smart Wool socks for the Steelhead season. Maybe the best thing I have found connected to FFing. I also use different thicknesses of polyester bottoms (usually Patagonia's Capilene) under my breathables = total comfort.

No more Zingers for my forceps. Those darn things are always breaking.

Frog Hair Quik-Shot Split Shot Dispenser - Just got it this season and I love it.

I use Glide line cleaner and the box that you pull your line through. Works great.

I tie all of my own leaders using Maxima for my mono and Orvis for my fluoro.
 

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I think this is a great idea.I am a newbie and dont really know anyone else that ff.This will help alot in my disicions on what gear I need and what may work best for me.There is so much out there.I started out the summer with a really cheap fly combo just to see if I liked ff.I fell in love and stepped into a whole new world of fishing that I no hardly nothing about.All the info you guys want to throw out will be really usefull an appreciated.The way the economy is I cant afford to buy something that doesnt work for me or at all.So thanx fellas!
It is difficult to recommend gear for other people b/c we all have different perspectives, casting styles/fishing methods, and preferences. For example, Clayton likes TFO rods. I've never tried a TFO rod that worked well for me. crkwader likes Scott rods. I like the look of Scott rods, but not how they respond for me when casting. Fishaholic likes Orvis rods. I have one Orvis, but that is the only Orvis that I like (I don't even like the other wts in the same model). In turn, b/c of their preferences, Clayton, crkwader, and fishaholic would probably hate my collection of Winstons and Sages. None of us has a "better" rod. We do; however, have rods that work for each of us.

This also is part of the fun of fly fishing - I made the comments above based on trying each of the above brands. The only way to determine what works best for you is to try as much equipment as you can before you make a purchase.

For things like fly boxes or vests, I've been known to take a bag with all the things I might want to carry in the new item to the fly shop, dump it on the counter, and say something like, "this is what I have, what options are there for carrying this." (Thank heavens for local fly shops!)
 

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It is difficult to recommend gear for other people b/c we all have different perspectives, casting styles/fishing methods, and preferences. For example, Clayton likes TFO rods. I've never tried a TFO rod that worked well for me. crkwader likes Scott rods. I like the look of Scott rods, but not how they respond for me when casting. Fishaholic likes Orvis rods. I have one Orvis, but that is the only Orvis that I like (I don't even like the other wts in the same model). In turn, b/c of their preferences, Clayton, crkwader, and fishaholic would probably hate my collection of Winstons and Sages. None of us has a "better" rod. We do; however, have rods that work for each of us.

This also is part of the fun of fly fishing - I made the comments above based on trying each of the above brands. The only way to determine what works best for you is to try as much equipment as you can before you make a purchase.

For things like fly boxes or vests, I've been known to take a bag with all the things I might want to carry in the new item to the fly shop, dump it on the counter, and say something like, "this is what I have, what options are there for carrying this." (Thank heavens for local fly shops!)

Never met a winston I didnt like :D. I just cant afford winston green. wish I could though.

Sage you are totally correct about. The new Sage's I cannot cast those rods worth a dang, but their old rods are my favorite, IE LL series.

not all rods fit everyones casting preferences like BlueDun said.
 
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