Best Fly Reels Under $100

Fly Reels Under $100

Fly Reels Under $100Unlike conventional fishing methods, fly fishing has long been considered a “rich man’s sport” and, when you consider the $500 to $1,000 price tag that some fly reel manufacturers place on their top end, machined aluminum fly reels, it is easy to see why this perception persists. However, it is important to realize that while fly reels that have been machined from a solid block of aircraft grade aluminum are often the most aesthetically pleasing, they are not absolutely necessary for the novice fly fisherman.

Fortunately, many fly reel manufacturers in recent years have realized that there are numerous anglers who would like to explore the art of fly fishing but who are not yet committed enough to be willing to purchase a top end fly reel. So, they are now offering entry level fly reels that are made from either molded composites or cast aluminum. While some may lack the visual appeal and the highly sophisticated disc drag systems of the more expensive, machined aluminum, fly reels, in most cases they are perfectly adequate for the job at hand.

Okuma Cascade

Click Here For Product Page

Available in two sizes to hold line weights 4 through 9, the Okuma Cascade is a large arbor fly reel that features a lightweight, molded graphite, frame and spool with a fully adjustable, multi-disc, drag system combined with a single, one-way, roller bearing that only engages the drag when line is being stripped from the reel. In addition, it also features a precision machined, stainless steel, spool shaft and a machined aluminum brass bushing drive system that provides a very smooth retrieve. Size: 2.9 to 3.3 in. Weight: 5.0 to 6.0 oz.

Redington Crosswater

Click Here For Product Page

Similar to the Okuma Cascade, the Redington Crosswater is an entry level fly reel that features a large arbor, molded graphite, frame and spool in four different sizes designed for line weights 4 through 9. Also, it has a fully adjustable, multi-disc, drag system and is easily converted from left hand to right hand retrieve. Size: 3.55 to 3.95 in. Weight: 5.0 to 6.9 oz.

Ross Eddy

Click Here For Product Page

Founded on the concept of producing high quality fly reels at an affordable price, Ross has long been recognized as a manufacturer of high quality fly reels and their “Eddy” fly reel is no exception. Featuring performance-based craftsmanship at an entry level price, the Ross Eddy is available in three different sizes designed to hold line weights 3 through 8. In addition, it features a large arbor frame and spool constructed from cast aluminum with a tough AGP coating and a fully adjustable disc drag system. .Size: 2.9 to 3.7 in. Weight: 4.7 to 5.9 oz. MSRP $70.00 to $80.00.

Temple Fork Outfitters NXT LA

Click Here For Product Page

The Temple Fork Outfitters NXT LA is one of the prettiest fly reels in its price range with the appearance of a much more expensive machined aluminum fly reel without the accompanying price tag. Featuring a cast aluminum frame and spool with a large arbor designed to hold line weighs 4 through 8, it also features a fully adjustable disc drag system with a positive click adjustment knob for precise and repeatable drag settings. Size: 3.37 to 3.68 in. Weight: 4.7 to 5.3 oz. MSRP $80.00 to $85.00.

Orvis Clearwater

Click Here For Product Page

For many fly fishermen, the Orvis name represents the top of the line in fly fishing gear and the MSRP of their machined aluminum fly reels often reinforces this perception. However, their Clearwater fly reel is a relatively inexpensive, entry level, fly reel that features a large arbor frame and spool made from cast aluminum with an extra-smooth, stacked stainless steel/Rulon, disc drag system with a positive click drag adjustment knob. Size: 3.3 to 6.8 in. Weight: 5.5 to 6.3 oz. MSRP $89.00 to $98.00.

So, if you are one of those anglers who would like to explore the art of fly fishing but are dissuaded by the excessively expensive price of top end fly fishing gear, you will be glad to know that fly fishing gear manufacturers have heard your plea and are now manufacturing a wide range of inexpensive, but well built, fly reels for the novice fly fisherman. Consequently, fly fishing is no longer a sport reserved for rich “trout snobs” sporting handcrafted, $2500, bamboo fly rods and $800 fly reels but, is instead now available to any angler who would try their hand at this most fascinating of angling pursuits.

Best Live Bait For Bass

Live Bait For Bass

Live Bait For BassSome bass fishermen think of fishing with live bait as easy, or even cheating. It might not be as much work or require as much experience as fishing with some artificial lures, but that doesn’t mean anyone can do it.

There are certain factors to consider when fishing for bass with live bait, but the most important is determining what the best live bait is for where your fishing.

1. Minnows

How to rig a shiner through the backMost fishermen refer to minnows used for bait as shiners. They are small, silver fish that bass consider a perfect meal. Typically they are sold in three sizes at bait shops, small, medium and large.

They are most often rigged in two ways, either through the nose or the back. Anglers claim that shiners stay on the hook better when rigged through the nose but swim more naturally when hooked through the back. It’s really whatever you prefer. You also need to stermine the depther your going to be fishing as this will tell you if you need a weight or a bobber.

Shiners are great because they’re readily available at any bait shop, they’re easy to rig, and they’re easy to keep fresh. If you keep them in a bucket out of the sun they will stay alive a long time. They will last even longer if you keep the water aerated with a cheap battery powered aerator or aerator tablets.

2. Crawfish

How to rig a crawfishIf you’ve caught a bass with food in it’s mouth and it’s not a fish tail, then its a crawfish. Bass absolutely love smashing into the bottom of the lake to grab a crawfish. That’s why you should always fish them with a weight so they get to the bottom and stay there.

Rigging the crawfish with a small hook through the tail works best. It allows it to stay alive a while and move somewhat freely to attract hungry bass. Many anglers use a Carolina rig with great success.

They’re not sold in every bait shop and are even considered an invasive species in some states so transporting them to different bodies of water can be frowned upon. Your best bet is to catch them yourself in the body of water you plan to fish. You can either flip rocks over and catch them with a net as they flee or simply use a crawfish trap. For bait use a dead fish or even some chicken.

3. Worms

Rigging a live wormBass love and will eat worms or night crawlers all day long. The only problem with fishing with them is your hook will often get picked clean by a swarm of sunfish and perch before a bass even has a chance to see it. So before you go casting them out, make sure your not in a vicinity of a school of sunnies.

When you rig a worm you want to poke the hook through the body a bunch of times to ensure the worm does not going flying off when you cast it. Leave the both ends over hanging an inch or so so they can wiggle and attract bass.

You can purchase night crawlers at any bait shop or find them yourself in the ground and under rocks. After a rain you can often find them in the grass at night, hence the name “night crawlers”.

Night Fishing For Bass

Night Bass Fishing

Night Bass FishingAs the night sets in and the water’s surface becomes still, bass tend to head for the shallows in search of food. This is a time when bass fishermen can have some really big success, some even say its prime time. Although night fishing can take a little getting used to, the results can be well worth the effort.

Night fishing for bass is at its best during the summer months. This is especially true after a calm day with blue bird skies, days when bass generally do not feed as much. These daytime conditions can lead to an action packed evening.

Lateral LineThe great thing about fishing for bass at night is that bass don’t need to see a lure to know its there. Bass can feel movement and vibrations in the water through nerve endings on the sides of their bodies. The nerve endings run along each side of a bass from head to tail and are referred to as a bass’s lateral line. What this means for you when your selecting a lure is: think noise.

When your fishing at night you want to use lures that make noise. Whether it be a rattle or a lure that uses the surface to create popping or splashing noises. This will allow bass to locate the lure easier, but be sure to use a slow retrieve. Since bass will be relying on their lateral line more than their eyes, reeling the lure too quickly can make them miss when they go to bite.

Surface lures are very popular for night fishing because usually the water is very calm, allowing them to achieve their optimal presentation. Not only that but their sounds and vibrations can travel a lot further in calmer waters. Here are few Lures you should definitely try first.

  • Surface Poppers: These are great because they can retrieved very slow, and in most cases when night fishing that can be the key to getting strikes. You can speed them up but unless bass are very aggressive its not recommended.
  • Walk-The-Dog Lures: If dead slow isn’t doing the trick then you can pick up the pace a bit with a walk the dog lure. This will allow your to retrieve the lure quickly for short spurts then slow it down or stop it and see if it triggers a strike. It’s also just a different action than a popper and sometimes thats all it takes.
  • Crawlers & Wobblers: The best, most popular example of this is the jitterbug. These lures wobble back and fourth as they are reeled across the surface. It’s a very steady and repetitive movement that bass can home in on very easily. They also allow you to cover more water faster.

So if your planning to try night fishing for the first time here are a few tips that will help you have a more comfortable and more successful experience:

  • Silence is key: Do your best to keep quiet. Bass are used to quietness at night with calmer water and less boat traffic, so unnatural noises can spook them.
  • Flashlights: Pretty obvious but you don’t realize true darkness until your in the middle of pond or lake in the middle of the night. You should always have a couple standard flash lights but the best tool is a headlamp. Its great, hands-free lighting for tying lures, unhooking fish, or looking through your tackle box.
  • Take Notes: Certain hours can be better than others for fishing during the night and it differs from lake to lake. Keeping track of the time of your catches can give you great data for future trips.
  • Keep it simple: Finding tackle and other things should be as easy as it can be when your fishing in the dark. The last thing you want to be doing is fumbling through tons of stuff to find what you need. Leave unnecessary equipment at home and only bring what your really going to need.