Tuesday, March 22

Beginning fly fishing, buying the fiddly bits.

You've got the combo. Everyone starts with a combo. Well, lots of people. Some people go to the fly shop and do it by just waving a hand and letting the sales person get on with the salesing. Not an option for everyone, certainly not if you're a budget kind of guy. That guy can skip this post. That guy probably never would've put the words in the google to get here to read this post, either.

So, you got the combo from the box store, or as a gift from someone who thought you'd like it. Remember this moment, because when you're eyeball deep in jungle cock someday, you'll want to recall this time when you were naieve and innocent and didn't wonder if you needed to re-buy all your equipment because you bought the silver finish instead of the titanium.

Because, yeah, the combo while exceedingly important, that's only the first part.  Your typical fisherman with a vest packed solid with gear, this is not an accident, dude, that's by purpose.

Didn't say it was neccessary, though. You'd be surprised how little is neccessary.

You could fish all day on just that. I routinely do.
Let's keep it simple, there's only a few sundries you really need. If you start out to the bone minimal, you'll figure out what you're missing and add accordingly, anyways.

So, let's skip the obvious rod/reel/line, right? We'll skip leaders, too, because they're important enough to warrant a post ont hem someday, and why should I do this in any order anyways?

So, what's left? Basic tools and supplies.
  • A nippers: Nippers. Fancy fishin' talk for something to cut with. You can buy a fancy one, or you can use a nail clipper if you're cheap. I'm cheap, but I still bought a decent nippers with a nail knot tool on top. I find it invaluable.
  • Hemostats: More than just a roach clip, you will use this to crimp barbs, remove hooks, crush shot, hold your J, occasionally assist in knot tying, etc. I usually use, and lose, the $1 Pakisteel jobs, which are servicable. 
  • Floatant: Helps keep waterlogged flies up top. You can use any number of things, but Gink is cheap and effective. Albolene is way cheaper, and the same as Gink, if you'd rather.
  • Sinkers: Split shot, soft tung putty, lead, tin, whatever. The putty is nice because you can use as little as you want. The shot is cheaper. Fly fishing usually uses little itty bitty shot sizes, not the Watergremlin stuff you can just buy at a tackle shop.
  • BobbersIndicators: Bobbers. Thingamabobbers, yarn, foam pinch on, etc etc etc. Some guys don't use them and think they're a crutch. If you're going to make me nymph, I need a crutch. YMMV.  I make my own. I told you how to do it, too.
  • Tippet: You could use fishing line, but just spring for a couple spools of tippet. Here in SEPA, you could live with spools of 4x, 5x, and 6x and never really worry beyond that. Flourocarbon is stupid expensive and doesn't break down when left outside. I never use it, mono is good enough for me.
  • Glasses: Yes, I've got to spell it out because some people think they won't need them. Some people like me. I'm sold now. Not only that, but when I got a good pair instead of the cheapest polarized glasses I could find, things got better. I accomplished this cheaply with a rad pair of clip-ons for my prescription shit. I would suggest the little nerd strap that holds them on though. Ever pick $300 worth of glasses out of 4' of cold spring creek all the while wondering if they shift how far they'll float away and if you'll ever see them again? I did. Once. Then I bought the nerd string. If you're picking a shade of lens, let the following guide you: Grey will preserve colour defination, amber will cut the most glare, and yellow will make you look like a douche but preserve more clarity as the sun slips into shadow.
 So, that's it. Add some flies and the thing you wave around, and you're ready to fish. Oh, sure, using it is all part of the learning process, but the actual hardware required? Its all right there. Just that simple.

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