Everywhere I go I'm always talking about fly fishing, it maybe be talking to people that fly fish, talking to friends and family about fly fishing, or just those random encounters. When I talk to many people that don't fly fish I normally get 3 answers to why they don't, A) there ain't no trout in these waters, what am I gonna catch with that, B) all that whipping around with that thing just looks like a big tangled mess,(translation it looks hard), C) that's way to expensive that's an elitist game.
Of course the answer to A is anything you can catch with a rod & reel you can catch with a fly rod, B it's really not all that hard, heck if I can do it.... and C) not exactly... Welcome to what I use part 1.
(A few of my favorite rods)
The 3 rods to the left are my most used fly rods, they are all Eagle Claw Featherlights! A 6'6" 4/5wt, a 7' 5/6wt, and an 8' 6/7wt with a switch conversion I did. None of these rods cost me over $30 the 6'6" came off eBay, the 7' and 8' came off walmart.com. I really must say these are absolutely my favorite rods to fish!
Let me give you a little back ground.... I started fly fishing a little over 5 years ago, I did like many do I went to a big box store and spent about $200 on a starter pack 5wt rod, reel, line, accessories, and a nifty little chest pack. It was a faster action fly rod that wasn't a bad rod but to me it never had much feel to it, I could cast but not really well, but I caught some fish and had fun!
Fast forward a couple years and on the beautiful Llano River I met Brandon Robinson onebugisfake.com we started talking about fly fishing and I mentioned to him my dislike for my current rod and how I had thought about upgrading to a more expensive rod, that's when he told me about his favorite rod and put one in my hand, he almost didn't get it back. I was amazed at how much feel that yellow rod had in my hand, how I could feel it load and if you let it, it told you what to do.
As soon I as I got home I began scouring the interweb searching for one I soon found one on ebay with a Martin 61 that I ended up getting for like $15 it was an older 7' 5/6 I put the cabela's wf6 I had on my other rod and soon began to make great feeling cast, further and more accurate than I had before. My addiction had begun I was on my way to becoming a #glassgeek! I then picked up the 6'6" on ebay for less than $20 and a few other glass rods all for less than $100!
I then ran across a featherlight switch rod on http://www.thisriveriswild.com/2012/06/eagle-claw-switch-rod.html and knew I had to build one, so again to the interweb. I found 8' claws at walmart.com for around $20 and a few other parts on different sites and made the switch, needless to say I love this rod!!
So a fly rod for $20, is it still too expensive? .... "oh a $20 fly rod I bet it's cheap and will fall apart" I've put these rods through the ringer, I've caught everything from stocker wimp trout to big striper and hard running carp on them in fact here is a video of Brandon putting the backbone of a 6'6" on a carp
It's funny to me, I go to a lot of fly fishing events and people talk about the latest greatest and the big bucks rods. In our little circle of Claw fans we talk about them to but they normally end in "yeah but my claw can do that"
If you're new to fly don't let the price of magazine page fly rods scare you. You can find Claws of all sizes on eBay, walmart.com, and thefiberglassmanifesto.com. Even if you are an avid fly fisher pick one up but beware, it might cause you to slow down and actually have fun!
Stay Fly, Be Blessed, see you on the river,