In order of importance the rod size will depend
Children need small rods with
a narrow handle. Even for an adult a rod longer
than 12' is to big to be efficient and rods from
8' to 11.5' are the norm
Short rods 7' to 9' are best suited
to small streams, brooks and burns. Longer rods
9' to 10' are best suited to rivers and reservoirs,
while longer rods are used for loch style boat
fishing and sea trout.
A rod of 9'6" is probably the
best all rounder.
If you are fishing a put and take
or reservoir for big rainbows you should use a
9'6" or 10' rod. Wild brownies tend to be much
smaller, but there are exceptions!
Rods over 10' tend to be for specialist
fishing for loch style drifting, where the extra
length allows you to dibble the fly close to the
boat for longer.
Unless you are already familiar
with a rod the advice is try it before you
buy it. Many tackle
shops today have a testing area and even
if you don't but it from them - have a go.
You will often see people in shops
pressing a rod against a roof - so say to see
what the test curve is like. No doubt a few rods
get broken that way and a few sales made. Here
is a better way:
Assemble the rod and hold it horizontally
Wiggle the rod up and down quickly.
The rings on the rod will become a blur - except
This is the pivot point.
The closer is is to the butt the more through
action the rod will have. On the other hand if
the pivot point is close to the tip then you have
a tip action rod in you hands.
from the States
Rods (and much fishing tackle)
is much cheaper in the US. Most rods cost in Dollars
what we pay in Sterling. So check out some of
the on-line shops. Just be aware of tax (?), shipping,
packaging and insurance.
AFTM number (American Fly-fishing Tackle Manufacturers)
is used to match line weight against a rod. If
you don't match you rod to your line you will
really struggle to make a decent cast. The AFTM
measures the weight of the first 10 yards of line,
which is what most trout anglers will use to load
up the rod before shooting the line. For trout
rods it is a very useful number.
Irrespective of their length a
fly rod can carry quite different AFTM's. A high
AFTM 9/10 indicates a heavy rod with a heavy line.
A low AFTM is a light rod rod a light line. Light
lines offer much better presentation (less splash)
and are preferred for dry fly work and nymphing.
Heavy lines and rods are better for distance casting,
heavy lures and high winds.
Typically short rods are for light
lines and longer rods are for heavier lines, but
there are exceptions. Some people (including me!)
like a long rod with a light line.
and nylon strength
There is no point equipping a
stiff heavy rod with a light nylon tippet, you
will be broken every time as the rod is unlikely
to have the flexibility to absorb the shock. As
a general rule of thumb your nylon tippet should
be close to the AFTM. Thus an AFTM 4 rod can be
matched to 2- 6lb nylon while and AFTM 7/8 can
handle 4 - 10lb nylon. But it depends on how good
you are and the test curve of the rod.
You can always insert a bit of
Powergum into your leader, but it does mess up
- Snakes Vs. Eyes
Snake rings are made from wire,
while eyed rings have an insert often made from
ceramic. The bottom ring is invariably an eyed
ring while the rest are a matter of personal choice.
Snake rings tend to be lighter, but they are slightly
more likely to trap a poor knot. I have to say
I like snakes.
Seats and Fittings
Go for a good quality seat. All
metal seats and fittings tend to come loose.
Matt rods are better than glossy
ones, they scare fish less.
Modern materials (carbon etc.)
rule the waves in my book, so much lighter and
stronger, but don't be overawed by technical specifications.
Cane rods are nice for the tradionallist,
they are not as efficient, but they have their
Glass fibre rods should be condemned
to the museum, unless you insist on fishing in