Top critical review
47 people found this helpful
Good Starter Kit
on October 20, 2011
To start off, this is a pretty good deal. I bought it so I could present light poppers and flies to the local panfish population, and to learn how to cast a fly rod. As such, it works well. The fit and finish of the rod and reel are great, with a comfortable cork grip, a fine shine on the rod, and a metal reel. The kit also included everything I needed to hit the water on the first day.
You get what you pay for however, and there is at least one thing that you may wish to upgrade before you even get started. The biggest problem is the included fly line. It is level, which is more difficult to cast than tapered or weight forward line. It also sinks in the water. This is desirable for some situations, but if you let your fly sit on the water for any length of time, you will have to pull most of your line in before you can make another cast. Sinking line also makes the roll cast very difficult for all but the shortest casts. Finally, the line has memory, meaning curls prevent easy shooting of line while casting. I rate the line a 2.
The rod is fiberglass, and has a pretty slow action, which means it bends all the way to the reel on the cast. For short casts that's fine, and pretty forgiving of inexperienced users, but when you want to cast for distance, the rod is too highly loaded to go much beyond 30 feet. I rate the rod a 4.
The reel is made of metal and so I expect it to be durable, but it does not have a drag adjustment. Therefore when casting, occasionally I accidently pull out a little line with my line hand. This is not a problem because with small fish and short cast distances, I could fish without a reel altogether, and it does a perfectly fine job of holding the line once I'm through fishing. I rate the reel a 3.
The tapered leader is pretty lightweight, and although perfectly adequate, I think I nearly broke it pulling the knot on my fly tight because I'm used to 8-lb mono. You are going to need a few spare leaders, because you will put casting knots in it and break it several times when you first start using it. The flies are decent, aimed at mostly smaller fish. I give the leader and flies a 4.
To summarize, I think this is a good deal and it met my price/performance target to get me started in fly fishing. This combo can catch dozens of fish right out of the package and is not a bad tool for learning to cast. If you want to pursue the sport further however, I would strongly recommend getting some new fly line at a minimum.