Saltwater gear recs for a newbie
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Author:  Sugarloafer [ January 20th, 2014, 10:10 am ]
Post subject:  Saltwater gear recs for a newbie

I'm an avid freshwater fly fisherman and looking to try my hand at saltwater. I'd be going mostly for blues and stripers along the coast of maine and in buzzards bay in MA. Mostly shore/wading where possible with some casting off a boat. I reached out to Orvis for some help and they recommended a 9 wt rod, does that seem appropriate? Any thoughts and recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Author:  bottom feeder [ January 20th, 2014, 10:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Saltwater gear recs for a newbie

It does. I fish a 9 or an 8, usually the 8 early season when we're into schoolies. Down south where you may have a better shot at bigger fish, the 9 may be more of an all-rounder.

One difference is the standard line for salt will be an intermediate. If you are in surf, it gets just deep enough to avoid being too tossed by waves. It doesn't allow easy topwater fishing, and won't be enough for deep fish on bright days, but a 9 with an intermediate is a good place to start.

Author:  Jeff Reardon [ January 20th, 2014, 5:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Saltwater gear recs for a newbie

You'll also need a bigger reel than you're used to, to hold enough backing to let bigger fish run. Don't buy the hype of the super high priced reels with drags that can stop tuna. (You might want such a reel if you want to include false albacore, schoolie tuna, tarpon, etc. in the species you chase, but don't need it for stripers and blues.)

My first saltwater reel was an Orvis Battenkill around 1994, and I still fish that reel on occasion. You may want something better than that, but you don't NEED it. Get one big enough to hold a 9 weight line and 150 yards or more of backing. You'll probably never need that much, but if you do you will be glad you have it.

Author:  Tom_W [ January 27th, 2014, 11:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Saltwater gear recs for a newbie

I agree with Jeff that stripers and blues (haven't seen any blues for a few years 'round here) can usually be handled on some reels and if you have one use it to see if you like the salt. You did say "mostly stripers and blues here and in MA. If you become as avid a saltwater fisherman as you are freshwater, and want to expand to more saltwater species and destinations, the reel can quickly become as important or more important than the rod. I've been with more than a few anglers who invested in trips only to have their reel burn up when the fish of the trip takes off with their fly. Most times from "not so big fish" that just swim really fast. I've done well buying Abel Big Game Series reels on ebay at about 1/2 of list price, just the reel that I have been using and trust for years. Others have their favorites.

Also would agree that a 9 wt is the best rod if you have only one. You can save some money on rods also by looking for a model once or twice removed from the latest and greatest current model. Enjoy the saltwater baptism.

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