Choosing the right one.
Choosing a fly-fishing-rod is not a straightforward matter of strolling into your local tackle-shop and picking a nice new shiny one because you like the colour. Though fly-fishermen do have a tendency to opt for the shiny, black (usually carbon fibre) one.
To make the selection process a little easier you should have some idea of the type of rod you want before you even go into the shop. You need to know what type of fishing you will be using it for, how many pieces it breaks down into (important if you ever have to store it in an aircraft locker) and your budget. Does it come with a travelling tube etc. Knowing a few basic facts can make choosing a rod much quicker and easier.
If you are a novice and not really sure what constitutes a suitable rod you have two choices. You can ask your local tackle-shop for their advice and trust them not to sell you some overpriced, over-hyped piece of kit or you can make enquiries amongst the local fishing fraternity as to the type of rod you should buy or at least the name of a reputable dealer.
There is of course another option, one that should be avoided at all costs. Buying your fly-fishing-rod through mail-order. Apart from the risk of damage in the post buying by mail order denies you the opportunity to properly test the rod.
Each individual fly-fisherman is unique, and it is impossible to mass produce fly-rods suitable for everyone. Equally it is just as difficult to produce a fly-fishing-rod that perfectly matches a fisherman’s characteristics. What you have to do is find the rod that comes closest to perfection for you, and the only way to find such a rod is to ’try before you buy’.
Go to your local tackle-shop and select those rods that are appropriate for your type of fishing. Take your time, you don’t want to be rushed into choosing a rod that you are not completely happy with. Remember, you and your rod will hopefully be together for a very long time.
Ideally you would be able to try the rod bankside, but this option is generally not available.
If you are overwhelmed by the sheer number of rods on the market then you may need to carry out some research. Most fishing magazines regularly carry reviews of the most popular fishing rods. You should study these closely and see if any particular make or model takes your fancy.
What type of rods do your friends use? Could they be persuaded to let you experiment with their rods? This would be ideal as the best way to test a rod is ’on the water’.
However you come to your decision always remember that only you can decide which fly-fishing-rod is the best for you. Trust your own judgement and don’t allow yourself to be bullied into buying an unsuitable rod by an overzealous salesman trying to meet some arbitrarily imposed sales target. At this point I should wish you good luck but, if you follow the advice given here then you won’t need it.