Category Archives: Tools of the trade

How to setup your new fly rod


I just purchased a fly rod and reel. I am brand new to fly fishing and I did some research on what to get because fly fishing and types of rods are totally different then regular fishing rods. Fly fishing rods and reels use a number system from 0 to 14 weight. 0 being used for small fish to 14 being used for off shore fishing. If you are doing something other then those two types of fishing your rod will land somewhere in between. I have done a lot of research on the rod weights and the different kinds of line and what is used before I bought it so I am going to tell you how to find the right fly rod and reel and how to rig the reel with the four different types of line used for the reel.

Lets get started with the weights of the rod and reel. Weight has nothing to do with how heavy the rod is. It is how strong the rod is. To make it simple the normal size for inland trout or stream fishing, a 5 or 6 weight rod and reel is sufficient. For inshore saltwater fishing a 7 to a 9 weight should be used and anything off shore or fishing large tarpon a 10 weight or bigger should be used. For the most part you keep all your numbers the same. If you get a 7 weight fly rod you need to get a 7 weight reel and line. I have a 7 weight setup (St Croix Avid Inshore Fly Rod) for inshore saltwater fishing here in Florida.

Finding the rod and reel is the easy part. I was confused at first when I went to get the line for my setup. A normal spinning reel has the braided line and leader. Easy enough. A fly reel has backing, fly line, tapered leader and tippet. The backing and fly line was easy to figure out but what the heck was the difference in a tapered leader and tippet? I am here to explain the difference so you aren’t as confused as I was when I set up my fly rod. 

Backing – backing is a dacron line which is a type of braided line used for fly reels. This line attaches from your reel to your fly line. This is the first line that goes onto your reel. This is used incase your fly line runs out while fighting a fish you have extra line. Your fly line is only about 100′ long so it is good to have extra line just incase. You should see how much your reel can handle but it should be about another 100 to 200 yards of extra backing line. Depending on what size fish you are fishing for.

Fly line – the fly line goes on after you put the backing on the reel. This is your main line. If you are a beginner you should get floating line. There are many kinds of line to get and I will go into that at another time. It is good to get floating line to start with. Also there are different types of weighted lines, get the weight forward line if your new at this and that will make it easy on you also. It will give you the best casting action and get you use to casting a fly rod. It is the easiest to learn from.

Tapered leader – this is the next line that attaches to the fly line. This line should be about the lengh of your rod. This is exactly what it sounds like. It is tapered. It starts out thick and thins out as it gets closer to the tippet.

Tippet – the tippet attaches to the tapered leader. This is really thin line that is strong. This line should be about 3′ to 4′ long. This is the line that you attach your flies.

I suggest once you get it setup to practice without hooks in your back yard or wherever there is a sufficient enough room to practice casting. Stay away from concrete because it will scratch up your line. I also recommend that you use some type of eye protection because that line came really close to my face the first couple of times I cast it to get the hang of it. It takes a little while getting use to casting with the fly rod. It is totally different then the traditional fishing rod. I am just now comfortable enough to put a hook on it and try fishing with it. I am not going to get into casting with it or fishing with it yet because I am still learning. I will cover that at a later time.

Wether you use a fly rod or a regular rod go out and have fun fishing. It can be a calming experience. Thanks for reading.


New Fishing Rod

I got a new fishing rod! It is a St Croix Avid Inshore Rod. They have had this model for many years but they just came out (about 2 weeks ago) with a new version of it. This rod is extremely sensitive to anything that touches the bait on the end of the hook. Paired with a braided (Fishing line talked about here) Power Pro fishing line, this rod is awesome!



It is a really pretty color and it has titanium guides on it. I only (as of right now) fish in saltwater so the corrosion proof titanium guides are a must. They also help to keep the weight down on the rod because titanium is super light.


This rod is a 7′ medium light rod with a fast action. It is a fairly skinny rod but is really strong and light because of the carbon they use in the rod.

This rod is definitely not an inexpensive rod but with the warranty they have on it (15 years) and what I have heard, never had to use it yet but St Croix has a customer service that is far more superior than a lot of other rod companies. They definitely stand behind their products. This is my dream fishing rod and it was well worth the money. It will hopefully be the last fishing rod I buy. Lol.

This rod I would say is for an experienced fisherman. If you have been fishing for a few years and are tired of buying cheap rod and reel combos once a year or once every year check out St Croix Rods. They have very good beginner rods (salt and freshwater) that start around $100. Those rods are very sensitive and strong and you will get many years out of them. (Check out my other St Croix Rod here ) If you fish a lot and have a little extra money to spend on a rod that will last, check out St Croix Rods. You won’t be disappointed! Until next time…. keep your rods bent!

Fishing Knots

There are a ton of fishing knots out their that don’t need to be learned. There are a few important ones that are good to know that can save you time on the water, otherwise keep an app with knots handy on your phone for the knots that aren’t used much and are forgotten. Read the rest of this entry

Minn Kota Saltwater Trolling Motor


I fish in saltwater over on the Intra Coastal in Florida. I fish out of a small boat, more like an over sized canoe. Read the rest of this entry

My tackle box


Things in my tackle box

Things in my tackle box

I have many different things inside my tackle box as you can see. You never know what you might need while out on the water so you have to bring a little bit of everything. It is better to have too much and not need it then not have something and need it.

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D.O.A. baits and how awesome they work


D.O.A. (stands for, Deadly On Anything) Baits are awesome! I fished with nothing but live or frozen shrimp for a while and other live or dead baits. Then my buddy got me into these D.O.A. baits. Sense then I have used them quite a bit with lots of luck over the last year or so. I love how sturdy the plastic baits are. Plastic baits are a soft plastic similar to rubber.

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