Jun 3, 2013

Fly Fishing for kids: A short buyer's guide

Let's go fishing
I know father’s day is coming up, so why an article about kids gear. This is an easy answer, what better way to enjoy father’s day than getting the kids into fly fishing. Their first fish will be more exciting and memorable than any fish you could catch!

Let’s talk about fly rod outfits for the kids.
First you need to ask yourself a few questions;
  • How old is your child?
  • How big is your child?
  • Where and what are you going to fish for?

These questions will really help decide what size rod to get your child. You don’t want to get a 14 year old a 7’6” 4 weight if they are going to fish larger water, they need a more all around rod. Likewise you don’t want to get a 10 year old a 9’ 6 weight; the rod will be too big and hard to cast for them. I would tell you most kid’s over 12 should get a full size fly rod like an 8’6” or 9’ 5 weight, this will be more versatile and better as their skills build. From here on out I am going to focus on those kids 12 and under, they are the ones that need special gear. These kids should start with a shorter and lighter rod. The preferred rod should be 7’6” to 8’ in length and a rod weight of 4 or a light 5. Here are a few of my favorite outfits and rods.

Ross Journey Youth 7’6” 4 WeightOutfit; I think this is the best rod of all of them. I do find that this rod cast easier with a 5 weight line. Available in Pink Or Blue

Redington Minnow Outfit: This is by far the best value, for the price this rod cast well; it is hard to beat the price.

Echo Gecko Rod (not available in an outfit, you will need to purchase a reel and line), but make your own. The Echo Gecko is one of the kid’s favorites with the wild colors. Also a very nice casting rod. 

I will tell you that you will help your kids greatly if you take the cheap line that comes spooled on the reel in the outfit and replace it. They will benefit greatly from a good line; my preference for all these rods is the Rio Gold. I do personally think that the kids will learn quicker if you put a 5 weight on the Ross 4 weight rods, this will load the rod easier for them. I have found this combination of the Ross Journey Youth outfit matched with a 5 weight Rio Gold line to be the best outfit, plus dad you will have a lot of fun with this rod. I have caught some really big rainbows at Crane Prairie reservoir on my daughter’s pink, yes pink Ross Journey rod.

Next would be to consider waders, but please you common sense when letting kids fish in waders. Remember they cannot wade like we can and waders should only be used in easy, shallow, calm water.

Here are my picks for kid’s waders and boots.

Now the kids need something to put their fly fishing gear in. Nothing is more exciting to them than sitting on the floor going through their vest looking at their fishing gear! They dream of all the big fish that they will catch on that magic fly.

Fishpond Elk River Youth Vest: This is a very nice kids fishing vest! 

Now no more leaving them at home, get those kids out on the water. For more great kids gear see our kids section.

Travis Duddles
Gorge Fly Shop Owner

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