Tackle Talk First saltwater rod / reel help

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    Hey all, I’m basically a complete beginner when it comes to fly fishing. had a guided day fishing trout in the blue mountains which was great, but was hoping to do some fly fishing closer to home, like Lane Cove / Pittwater in Sydney.

    For this kind of estuary fishing I’m guessing a 8wt would be suitable? I assume it wouldn’t be worth going any lower?

    I’ve been keeping an eye on used rods but nothing much has come up. Also been looking at TFO & Primal Rods. Can anyone recommend a rod / reel combo to start off with? As for a budget I’m not really sure, to be honest something mid ranged, I’d like to one day spend a bit more on something smaller for trout fishing.




    The Primal Mega Salt is cracking value at $495.The 6wt.(which comes with a fighting butt) would be ideal for estuary fishing for your target species of Flathead/Bream etc.but an 8wt.wouldn’t be out of place.Similarly the Redington Behemoth reels offer big bang-for-your-buck.They have large arbors that come in handy for fast line retrieval.The 5/6 size for a 6wt.rod and 7/8 for an 8wt.I’d also consider asking for pre-loved gear on this forum or the Australian Salt Water forum.Good luck!



    Awesome thanks dynaflow, that’s good to know. I’ve been a few hours late on a couple of second hand 6wt salt setups so I’ll keep trying. Cheers.


    Chris Beech

    It depends on what fish you are chasing. Bream, whiting, flathead bass etc a #6 is ok. But not so much when it’s windy, or you’re out chasing salmon and tailor, kingies and small tuna or casting bigger flies. Then you’ll need an #8 weight at least. Start with the rod weight you will use the most and build from there. A 7 is a good compromise.

    Your 6 weight outfit doesn’t need a top reel, spend your money on the rod and lines. An 8 weight outfit will need a better reel.

    There’s lots on the market. Try to get a machined reel rather than one that is cast – they are more robust. If you plan to spend $1k on a rod, reel, backing and 1 or 2 fly lines you’ll end up with a reasonable outfit.



    Things people didnt tell me when i started and wish they had:

    start with something that can comfortably help a novice cast an 8 wt line – casting 6 weight lines in high wind needs a fairly proficent caster and most articles are not written by novices.  Its hard to cast in the salt and wind anyway unless you are very experienced. Its usually windy on the beach, more often than not. The flies are often bigger.

    rod:- cheaper one at first. if a medium action rod then an 8 to cast an 8 wf line, or if fast action, then overline it, by one (8 wt line on a 7wt) or two (7 wt line on a stiff/fast 6 wt) depending on the rod and assuming a normal weight forward saltwater line taper (less if something extreme) i.e tune the rod to your style (you already have one) by adjusting the type and weight of line that suits it.  Go cheap to start with then have fun not worrying about using a rod that costs a grand or two.

    reel – get a cheap one to start with, and second hand. If you like this sport THEN upgrade to something that is sealed, doesnt corrode, and has a decent drag to play a fish on the reel. First comes the basic learning.  Quality Saltwater flyreels cost a bundle

    Know your species. Read up on the fish and how to catch them, not on the gear.  Tides.  Flats. Structure and surf.

    many saltwater fish come fully equipped with sharp or spiky bits. Know how to release them (avoiding flatfish and bream spikes for example)

    hooks also come with barbs. remember to crimp the barbs on yr hooks. For when you bang the fly on the back of your head or back.

    wear a hat/cap. And shirt. See above point. Also softens the impact when big flies weighted with dumbells hit you. Dont worry about the bruises they will be testament to your commitment.

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