Choosing a Fly Rod for Smallmouth Bass
Now this is the most controversial and personal preference based of them all. Some people like making their own leaders, while others like buying one and putting their tippet on the end. So I will just tell you what I do. For my floating line, I use an 8 or 9 foot tapered leader that goes down to 8 or 10lb tippet. For my medium sinking line, I use about 36 inches of 25lb Maxima joined, with a blood knot to about 18 inches of 12lb Maxima. All of my flies are connected to the lines with a Rapala knot to allow for maximum movement.
Fly fishing for Smallmouth can be both a blast, and very tiring, but with a little instruction from a casting class, the right rod for you, a smooth reel, and a good bass fly line to match the rod, you will be double hauling, Belgium casting, and U casting in no time.
Now go to your local fly shop or big box tackle store and start trying out some rods. Don’t worry! The people will not look at you funny when you ask if you can test cast it at the store. If they tell you no then take your business elsewhere. Some stores have areas set up specifically for this and others, like my local shop, let you go out back and try it in the lawn. This is not quite the same as using it on the water, but it will give you a good feel for how the rod will react with your motions. Tell the salesperson what you would like to spend and listen to their suggestions. By all means, tell them this is your first fly rod, and ask for some casting pointers. Decide what you like or what feels right, and go with it even if you have to wait a few weeks and save up some more cash. Trust me it will make your fly fishing that much more enjoyable. If you like your rod and can almost effortlessly cast with it then your mind will be on fishing and not what the rod is doing.
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