Fly fishing kit


Book Reviewer
Afternoon all.

One of the things I really appreciate about this site (apart from the humour and general abuse) is the wealth and depth of knowledge. Whilst shamelessly lifting info on reading matter and dog. I have to admit at this moment I'm baffled.

I've been fishing for a while, coarse fishing which is fine. But around the seaside residence there's a lot of scope for trout fishing which can only be lifted on the fly.
Fishing buddy refuses point blank to have anything to do with fly fishing. I have read books, wandered online. Liberated rod and reel and I'm stuck.
How long is line to fly, (Is that the leader?) from the heavy fly line? What do you use for leader?
I'm thinking Uni knot to the fly and and an albright to the fly line.
How far up the wrong tree am I barking?
More books?
Any thoughts?
Oh yes and recommendations for a useable rod and reel kit.
(Nothing too pricey)
Many thanks
Your leader or cast would ideally be at least rod length,
If your are fishing for sea trout 10ft would be average with n07 aftm line.
walk into the LOCAL tackle shop of the area and get your insight into how the locals fish,
I envy the fact that you are able to fish for sea-trout as they are dying out big-time over here...all caused by fish farming bastards.

Oh your leader....5lb is strong but still comfortable to use....go lighter if it suits.


Book Reviewer
I'm sure that J R Hartley will lend you his expert guide on fly fishing ^^
My advice - forget leaders and all that jazz for a while and learn how to cast first.

Of your budget, first buy the best quality fly line you can possibly afford. Then spend the rest on a rod. The reel is just somewhere to store the line, it plays no part much more than that.

Don't just buy any old bollocks on-line whatever you do. Go to a stockist local to the water you plan to fish and throw yourself at his feet.

The rod has to match the size of the water/stream and the line has to match the rod - he will know all this

Get someone to phsically show you how to cast the line, then practice with just the line on a lawn type surface somewhere with no fly.

Said stockist will sort you out with leaders etc - just short of the rod length will do, but nail the casting before you go anywhere water surrounded by trees and hedges.

Fly fishing is bloody brilliant, but the shine will take a long time to buff up if you just spend the day thrashing the water like it was a redheaded stepchild and leaving all your lovely flies in the tops of trees.

I dare say there's loads on youtube these days, but if you want that electric feeling as you play a fish on a fly rod winding the line through your fingers then the cast is everything, and you'll get most help from a hi-spec line than a hi-spec rod. although both is best, obviously.

The very best of luck and stick at it, it is a fantastically rewarding pastime!

Edited to add: I've done some sea trout fishing on the Royalty at Christchurch, Dorset at night, and that really is a hard man's sport!

Mentally I mean, casting a fly at night from the bank when you can't see the line - the bloody thing gets stuck on every bloody thing, classically behind you at maximum length.

I found the only way was to have a serious word with myself before starting about not loosing my rag with it all and remaining caaaaaalm at all times!
To answer your questions in turn:

Rule of thumb for leader length is the clearer the water, the longer the leader. For sea trout in average water I use around 6 foot of leader, which is plenty given the sea trout water tends to have movement so stealth isn't necessary.....they're also aggressive fish.

Best leader material is and transparent underwater. I'd go with 12lb.

You're better using a loop knot between fly and leader when fly-fishing. Casting weighted flies can put stress on the knot and I've had them break using knots with no give. Albright between line and leader is OK, but you're better off buying a fly line with a braided loop already factory fitted (Hardy make them). Then you have a simple loop to loop connection when you want to retie a leader......much easier tying a quick figure 8 when out on the water in waders, trust me. They're stronger too.

If you're new to fly fishing, take casting lessons. I can't stress that enough, seriously. Time practicing will REALLY improve your time on the water. Try to get a double haul going if you're usinig a short rod (9ft), or perfect your roll casting if using a long rod (12ft). Start practicing without a fly, so you get the rythmn right. Then make sure you practice with a relatively heavy fly, it'll make all the difference in the world.

Where in the country are you? I have some salmon/sea trout water in Devon.....may be able to hook up when I'm there next if you're in the area.

Micawber posted much the same whilst I was typing this.
I agree with Micawber regarding the line.....put more emphasis on a good line.
Don't fall into the label trap when buying a rod. it's only show and most modest rods these days are fit for purpose, treat yourself to a quality rod once you have casting sorted.


Book Reviewer
I'm sure that J R Hartley will lend you his expert guide on fly fishing ^^[/Q
Probably the only book on fly fishing I haven't had a look at.
Thank you everyone, keep it coming.
Oh God, casting. Lessons yes, absolutely, I'm still either spot on, or where on earth did that go?.
Good job we never went fishing around BBK I'd have been taking out helicopters left right and centre.
You mentioned the seaside residence; get your fly gear wet in the salt too. On dorset beaches I have caught mackerel on a large streamer fly with my no7 oufit (double haul and waders essential). They go like shoite off a shovel, if only they routinely grew to 5LB!
Wash your reel down with baby shampoo afterwards on the same day.
Salt Water fly fishing is the dogs, regularly take Sea Bass and Bream in West Wales with a fly. f@cking great fun and better than spinning or beach casting
Like Golf


It makes all the difference, as when fly fishing (particularly in the sea) you catch **** all :) so the joy is in the action of casting:)

Its like meditation....untill you **** up every cast and then its brain frying.

try the forum at UKSWFF - Saltwater Flyfishing In The United Kingdom

technique beats your equipment everytime!!! FACT a decent caster/fisherman will catch more no matter what kit he is using.

Tight lines
In full agreement with GIMP, apart from the bit about not catching anything in the sea!

I first cast a fly 21 years ago, at a small trout fishery on a really quiet day. Cos there were no other customers, the owner gave me about 1/2 hr tuition which probably saved me from a thousand wind knots and countless flies lost in the trees (not to mention a ******* siezure from the ball ache that those things give you).

Trying to learn on your own (just like golf) wiil most likely give you loads of bad habits that you'll find really hard to shake off, and might even put you off the sport altogether.

happy fishing

Top Tip:

Get yourself a sea fishing Kayak. In terms of fish caught and sport enjoyed, it is the best piece of fishing gear I've ever purchased. After 27 years of shore and pier fishing, I have only beach-fished once since buying the yak. caught more fish off the yak in the last 3 years than in nealry 3 decades of shore fishing.


AnglersAfloat - Login

to find out more.
Just been down to Aldi..... complete starter kit, rod reel and line for £20.

It's an old offer, but there were still some left, they usually sell worthwhile gear.
Stainmeister :)

I've got a prowler 14, got it out on hayling island caught a shit load of mackerel on the fly then fell off the ******* roof of my camper when I was strapping it on.......4 years later I still can't paddle the ****** (see my elbow phot on profile)

Its a ******* wonderfull way of spending a day though, exercise travel and fishing !!


Book Reviewer
Got an old Leeda rod, haven't a clue what the reel is, but it's stashed somewhere. Will hit Braddalls in Belfast for some decent line and leader . No boats, absolutely no boats will happily get the casting lessons. I do have two boxes of ancient flies, no idea what they are though.
Since you mention braddells I assume you are local to me,
Just out of curiosity where are you fishing for sea trout around here?
I am a paid boatman on lough-conn and I can assure you the sea-trout fishing is on it's arse in the west of Ireland ...regardless of what the tourist guide tells you ......the great western lakes are now no more than open sewers.
an indicator of the change in the lakes is the amount of lamprey eels and zebra mussells showing up..hadn't seen one in twenty years ,now they're friggin everywhere.

Oh while I'm here
one american 9.5ft aftm 6 fly rod for sale never used lovely rod but to short for my style of fishing. its a Martin rod.
Jeez Gimp, you sound more unlucky than I am. Hope you're gonna be able to paddle again. Complex and easily fucked up joint, the elbow? Lucky you didn't do your rotor cuff into the bargain, cos that is game over for a paddler.
Great way to fish isn't it, with a good bit of fitness thrown in. Have had mackerel on fast sink set-up from yak. Brilliant. The sport of kings. If you're on the south coast, get on that website when you're able to go out, loadsa guys fishing every weekend now, someone will you take you to a good mark. I'll send you a PM soon.
i know a fella called leslie from up the north of the country. he has a trout lake in the hills and if your new to northern ireland and lacking knowledge hes worth the charge for the day! hes also a brilliant casting coach!

Stone falls Specimen Trout Fishery & School of fly fishing Home Page

as for equiptment ive paid for a name (all my rods are grays), reason being my local is very sandy and it cuts the life outta the rods eyes. with these rods you get a lifetime warrenty, its just £25 per section to be replaced with no limit on exchanges! i even smashed a tip with a lead head and it was replaced no problems

once your casting well and confident you will keep it up id get a rod with a similar warrenty mate
Sonik do the best value rods nowadays. Don't spend on anything more expensive because you will be wasting your money. A good quality line is, as mentioned above, the essential - expect to pay £35 - £50. Buy some flies from the likes of Fulling Mill; good quality hooks and reasonable quality materials. Get a couple of simple dry flies (Grey Duster, Tups). some wets (Invicta, Butchers) and some nymphs. Don't forget stuff like forceps etc. you'll have it from your course gear but its easy to get distracted by something new.

Buy some copies of Trout and Salmon because they tend to do good honest reviews (unlike the coarse fishing mags).

Take some casting lessons from a proper instructor (APGAI - Advanced Professional Game Angling Instructors) otherwise you'll learn someone else's bad habits!

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