The gear that I use – part 1

It’s always interesting to find out what others are using to do the things you’re interested in, so in the spirit of sharing here’s a list of the things I use the most when out fishing.

As you’ll see, I have a barely under control case of “tackletartitus”. I also have a fondness for Orvis gear (as you’ll quickly notice).

Rod

When I first started fishing up here I did it with the rods and lines I used back in Lincolnshire. It quickly became apparent that what worked well at Rutland and Toft Newton wasn’t going to cut the mustard on a North East trout stream.

After much searching around I came across a 6’ 6″ 3# Greys Streamflex for sale second hand on the Fly Fishing Forums. Described as “like new” and going for only £70 I thought it too good a deal to pass up and duly parted with the folding.

When the rod arrived it was indeed in superb condition, a real bargain. I still can’t get over the size of the rod tube it lives in – compared to my other gear it’s tiny.

In hindsight 6’ 6″ is a tad small for the majority of the Derwent. If I go up the The Sneep, it feels perfect – the overgrown nature of the bank side flora and fauna calls for a shorter, more nimble rod. On the lower more open reaches of the river I think an 8’ 6″ or even 9’ rod might be a better option.

Having said all that, I do love fishing with the Streamflex, even the smallest of Browns becomes great sport.

Reel

To be honest I’ve never really seen the point in buying fancy fly reels, I don’t remember the last time I played a fish of the reel – and if you’re not playing them on the reel then all it’s good for is holding the line.

On a speculative shopping trip down to Frasers in Gateshead a Greys G-Series caught my eye. At only £29 it looked to fit the “robustness vs cheapness” criteria I had in mind. As its been my only reel for the last 3 seasons AND still looks like new, I think it was a good buy.

If I had a complaint, and this may be the same in all reels (perhaps you can tell me differently?) it’s that when pulling line off the reel ready to cast, it seems to over run without too much effort. So if I’m walking along the river bank and spot a rising trout, I have to be careful about pulling the line off the reel too quickly otherwise it gets all tangled up around the spool.

It’s easily resolved, I just need to show a little patience and draw the line off the reel   s l o w l y.

Fly Line

When I bought the G-Series reel I also bought a box of Greys Platinum WF3 line. For the last two and a half seasons it’s done it’s job – didn’t suffer too much from memory and seemed to shoot fine.

It started to let me down this season though. The tip was rarely floating and really wasn’t casting as well as it used to (yes, I know I was pushing my luck, but the second season wasn’t too busy, so I thought it might last).

What I needed was a new line, perhaps something from the premium end of the market. For that to happen I needed to either, a) find £70 down the back of the sofa, or b) find a tackle store with a big sale on.

I’m still looking for the £70 in the sofa, but I did get lucky on the sale front. Orvis had a closing down sale at their Corbridge store with everything at least half price.

So of I toddles, third day of the sale, cash in hand expecting all the good stuff to have gone but hoping something would be left.

Well there wasn’t that much left, but what there was, was a box of WF3 Hydros Superfine – bingo!

I’ve had it on the reel for three outings now, and it’s absolutely superb. The tip floats high in the water, the pre-made loop is a great idea, the colour is an idea compromise between being seen but not dayglo. Oh, and it makes me cast almost like a pro.

All this and with the discount I paid the same for this line as I did for the Greys Platinum. I was always a bit sceptical about the more expensive lines, and if they did indeed offer anything over the budget/mid priced stuff – on the strength of this I’d say they do.

Leaders

Not much to say here, been using x5 and x6 Hardy and Orvis tapered leaders, not noticed much difference between the two, both seem work fine.

Tippet

I’ve tried a stack of tippet material, with none turning over and holding a knot like Orvis Super Strong Nylon. I use x6 and x7 almost all the time, but have some x5 on hand just in case.

At the moment I’m giving Stroft 0.12mm a try, it looks to be a real Marmalade line – I’ve yet to decide if I love it or hate it (though I’m leaning to mild dislike).

More to come…

I’ve still got waiders, net, fly boxes and vest to come, but for now this’ll do 🙂

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