Fly Fishing Equipment : Fly Fishing Reel Parts

Ok, now here's the reel, I've removed it from the rod, so you can look a little bit closer at it The drag knob for tightening the drag and the other side, we've got the handle

And then this is the foot of the reel This is where it actually attaches to the rod Most reels you can remove the spool by some type of mechanism With this particular reel, there is a little lever there Just pull that back and then the reel comes off of the spool

Sometimes, you might want to have extra spools with different lines on it, so that's how you would remove them Usually, when you replace the spool, put it on the reel, push down and kind of turn and you'll usually hear it click back onto the reel

Fly Fishing Equipment : Fly Fishing Reels

The next part of your outfit is the reel And the reel's function is it holds your line

Fly reels are pretty basic, they are single action most of the time, which means you turn the handle once and the spool goes around once So, there's not a lot to them There's usually a handle for you to grab to retrieve your line, and then there's usually some type of drag That's what this knob is here This is the drag knob

This is used to increase or decrease the amount of tension that you encounter when you pull the line off the reel, but for the most part, they are pretty simple They are definitely the simplest reel that you will use in just about any type of fishing, other than maybe a tin can with line wrapped around it

Fly Fishing Equipment : Fly Fishing Tippets

Now, we've got our leader here and at the end of the leader we have what we call tippet and the tippet is the six x end of the leader The thinnest part of the leader

Now, these leaders come tapered and if you were to fish all day with the same leader, you would be cutting into that tippet as you change flies or get tangles or whatever, and pretty soon, you're going to run out of that six x and the leader is going to start to get thicker What you can do to rebuild your leader is to use tippet material, and the tippet material is going to have that same designation You can see here the six x diameter, but this is a spool of just that six x material, so I can take off a foot and a half, two feet, whatever I need and attach that to the end of my leader, to rebuild my leader On the other hand, if I had a heavier leader, say I was using a four x leader and I wanted to taper it down to a six x for smaller flies, what I could do is, on the end of that four x leader is put a foot or so of five x material, then I could attach my six x material to the end of that So, you can buy spools of tippet material that will allow you to use the same leader for a much longer period of time, or if you want to use the same leader for different applications, smaller flies, bigger flies

And tippet material will come in pretty much every size your leader will come in I usually carry two x, three x, four x, five x and six x and that usually covers just about any fresh water fishing situation I'm going to run into

Fly Fishing Equipment : Fly Fishing Backings

Another part of your fly fishing equipment that a lot of people don't think about is the backing The backing is what goes on before you put the fly line on, so here's the back end of my fly line and here's the backing

That's usually buried down inside your reel somewhere The backing serves several purposes One is your fly line is going to be somewhere between eighty and a hundred feet long If you happen to hook a fish that pulls out those eighty feet of fly line, you usually will have on your reel, a hundred yards or more of backing, so the backing comes into play if you hook a big fish Now, the other thing the backing does is it increases the diameter of the arbor of the reel

Since most of our fly reels are single action, that means you turn the handle around once, the spool goes around once The backing increases the diameter of the arbor in the center So, that allows you to pick up the line just a little bit quicker by having a larger diameter center on that reel The other thing it does is, by increasing the diameter of the center of the reel, the arbor of the reel, it allows your fly line to be wrapped around something that's a little larger diameter The fly line, because it has that plastic coating, has what we call memory, so it tends to want to stay coiled, so if you wrap it around the center of the reel, which is a pretty small diameter without the backing, then your line will come off looking like an old fashioned telephone cord with lots of kinks and curls in it, so the backing adds some distance if you hook a big fish, but it also increases that diameter so that you pick up your line a little bit faster and it also keeps your fly line from being wrapped tightly around the center of the reel

Fly Fishing Equipment : Fly Fishing Line Weights

The line weight basically tells you how large of a fly you can cast with that particular line and rod combination The heavier the line weight, say an eight weight versus a three weight will just mean you can throw a larger fly and most likely for a larger fish

But it doesn't have anything to do with pound test Most of your fly lines are going to be between twenty and thirty pound test and that's just because of the core The coating doesn't really do anything for the strength of the line That just adds your weight that you're going to be casting Now most of the lines you're going to be using are going to be what we call weight forward lines, which means the weight is toward the front end of the line and the back end of the line is pretty much unweighted

So, the lines will come in lots of different tapers, from level to weight forward to double taper, but what you're looking for most of the time, for most applications is what we call a weight forward line, and you just want to make sure that that line is the same weight as the rod you are casting So, we have a five weight rod here and we have a five weight line

Fly Fishing Equipment : Setting the Drag in Fly Fishing

Ok, there's a few things about the reel you need to know One is the drag

Usually you want to set this drag just tight enough so that when you grab the line and give it a nice jerk, you don't get a backlash You set it too much tighter than that and you have the problem of breaking the fish off The fish has to pull hard enough to pull that line off the reel If you set it too loose, then you have the opposite problem where the fish grabs your line and takes off and you get a backlash and now you've got a knotted up mess in your line, which is not good So, that's basically what you want to do with the reel drag is just set it tight enough that you can give it a good tug without having a backlash

Fly Fishing Equipment : Attaching Fly Fishing Reels to Rods

Ok, now we're going to attach the reel to the rod Depending on whether you are left-handed or right-handed, will determine which side you want to put the handle on and the line will have to be pre-wound in the right direction, but almost all fly reels are set up so that they can be used either left-handed or right-handed

The traditional way for a right-handed person would be to put the reel on the rod with the handle on the left side, so you're going to hold the rod in your right hand and reel with your left hand So, if you look at the handle of the rod, in the reel seat, there's usually some type of indention that the foot of the reel will fit in So, what you want to do is slide the front of the foot into that little indention and then the locking mechanism on the back usually has a similar indention that the back of the reel seat will fit into We'll slide that on, and then we'll use the locking nuts Most of the time you will have two locking nuts that will lock that reel in place and then this will keep the first locking nut from coming loose

And like I said, this is set up for a right-handed person, so I've got my reel handle on left side, I'm going to hold my rod with my right hand and I'm going to reel with my left hand, but you can do it the other way without any problem If you're left-handed, you'd hold the rod in your left hand and you'd have the handle here and you'd reel this way The traditional method was to rig your reel up, so that you reel with your right hand, even if you're right-handed, you'd hold it in your right hand and you'd switch it over, but it's much simpler to reel with your left hand

Fly Fishing Equipment : About Fly Fishing Equipment

Ok, so we'll start off first with the equipment This obviously is a fly rod

There's several parts to it We've got the rod We've got the reel We've got the fly line itself and we've got the leader There's also another component you can't see

It's called the backing that's on the reel before you put the fly line on it That's going to be the first part of it Then, the end of it, of course, where I've got this little piece of yarn tied on it to represent a fly, is our leader, and that's where you would have your fly attached and that's what's going to hook the fish All these parts go together You hear people talk about a balance outfit

That just means you've got a five weight rod and a five weight line and a leader that's going to match the size of flies you're going to cast with And all that information is usually on the rod You can see here, we've got the length of the rod, the weight of the rod, and then we'll have something most times, on the reel, that will tell you that that line is going to match the rod So, we've got a five weight rod and you can see there's a five weight line That little designation, weight forward is the type of line and five is the weight of the line

The weight is the most important part You just want to make sure you have a five weight line for a five weight rod Everything else is pretty variable

Fly Fishing Equipment : Fly Fishing Rods

Ok, so the first thing you're probably going to think about when you go to get your fly fishing outfit is the rod That's the most expensive part of it for sure, so that's where people focus most of their attention

Things you're looking out for are the line weight and the length of the rod Most fishing, freshwater fishing, trout fishing, bass fishing, something in the five, six weight range is going to be your best bet, and something between eight to nine foot is probably the best length And all that information will be listed here on the rod right above the handle They'll usually have some type of designation, like this says, eight, six, five which means this is an eight foot six inch, five weight rod and the dash with the two means that it's a two-piece rod And they'll come in two-piece rods up to five and six-piece rods

The number of pieces is just going to determine how easy it is to carry it and pack it in your luggage A two-piece rod is just fine and in a lot of ways it's a lot easier because there's less pieces to have to deal with Length-wise, anything shorter than eight foot is kind of a specialty rod for maybe fishing small streams where you don't have a lot of room to move around Something longer than nine foot is also a specialty rod, because that's maybe for fishing a bigger river or somewhere where you need a little bit of extra distance, but most of the rods you find, especially beginner, entry level rods will be eight and a half to nine foot, more likely in the five to six weight range

Fly Fishing Equipment : Fly Fishing Lines

Okay the next part of our equipment is the fly line and even though the rod is the most important, most expensive part, the fly line is probably just as important as the rod because that is actually what is going to be doing the casting Most of your fly lines now will be tapered fly lines meaning they will start off thin, toward the front they will get thicker and then they will taper off toward the back, so here is the front end of it, fairly thin and you can see that it is much larger here

That is the weighted portion of the line and then the back end of it will be pretty thin The fly lines are going to be weighted just like your rods They will start at most commonly 2 or 3 weight up to about an 8 or 10 weight Right in the middle is your 5 or 6 weight which is what we will be using most of the time for freshwater fishing, trout fishing or bass fishing The line is your weight so it's going to be a vinyl coating, a plastic coating on a braided core and that plastic coating is what gives you weight and it's almost arbitrary

It's just a system set up by the fly fishing manufacturers to determine line weight