Driftless Fly Fishing Gear Essentials

Show Notes

In this episode of the Wisconsin Sportsman Podcast, Josh talks with Pierce Nelles of Good Chance Fly Fishing about essential gear for Driftless fly fishing.

The guys kick things off with a quick recap of the last couple weeks of Pierce's turkey season then move on into the topic at hand: Driftless fly fishing. There are lots of options when it comes to fly fishing gear, and much of it can seem financially out of reach for the newbie starting out. Josh and Pierce discuss the most important gear for getting started, where to really invest your money, and where you can skimp on your Driftless setup. Tune in, gear up, and go catch some Driftless trout!

Connect with Josh and The Wisconsin Sportsman Podcast on Instagram.

Connect with the How to Hunt Deer Podcast on Instagram.

Connect with Pierce and Good Chance Fly Fishing online or on Instagram.

Show Transcript

Josh Raley: What is going on everyone? Welcome back to another episode of the Wisconsin Sportsman Podcast, which is brought to you by tcam. This is your home for all things outdoors in the Badger State, and I am your host. Josh Rayley, we've got a great episode in store for you. I have my buddy Pellis on again, and we're talking, uh, Driftless Trout, fly Fishing [00:01:00] Essentials.

We talked about the essential gear that you need to get out there on the water without absolutely breaking the bank. So the original plan was we were gonna have an episode where we talked about all that gear and you guys would be good to go. But uh, after talking tonight, we quickly realized, Hey, this is gonna take a couple of episodes.

Probably we're not gonna be able to cram this all into one. So, In this episode, we're gonna cover your rod, your reel, your fly line, and a couple of other basics about casting mechanics. Next week we're gonna get into the nitty gritty of, uh, leaders and tippet and what flies you want to use, and then probably jump into.

Uh, you know, trout fishing techniques and tactics for May and June. Basically this window of time before we get into big terrestrial season, which we will talk about eventually towards the end of this. I don't know how many episodes this is gonna end up being. We may run them consecutively, we may break 'em up, space 'em out a couple of weeks apart.

I don't really know yet, but what I do know is I'm [00:02:00] behind the eight ball. I've got a couple kids running around upstairs right now. I can hear pitter patters up above me, and I don't think my wife is home. So I need to get upstairs and figure out what in the world is going on up there. Before we jump into the episode though, and before I go upstairs and see.

What's going on with the kids? I do need to say a big thanks to our partners guys. These brands help me put this show out each and every week, and I could not do it without their support. First of all, TCAM, like I said, title sponsor of the show. Turkey seasons are wrapping up pretty much across the country.

Um, you know, even there in Wisconsin we are. Getting closer and closer to the final days of Turkey season. And, uh, man, it's been a really good one. I hope that you picked up a tact cam 6.0 camera for your Turkey season, but if not, you've got time before fall. I hope you're considering, uh, filming your hunts this year.

I think tact Cam provides you the most affordable and simplest way to get started filming your hunts. They've got all kinds of mounts and adapters where you don't have to worry about your camera and getting it [00:03:00] aimed at the action. You throw the camera on your weapon. Your weapon becomes your camera. So if your weapon is aimed at your target, you're gonna get that shot on film.

Right now, they've got their 6.0 camera, which gives you 4K footage. It's got excellent image stabilization. It's got really, really great low light capabilities. Super simple OneTouch operation. It's got the touchscreen on there, which is huge. They also have their solo extreme camera, which if you're looking for a little bit more of a budget friendly option.

That's going to be the camera for you. It still gives you the one-touch operation. You still got totally waterproof housing. It's just not gonna have that LCD touchscreen, and it's gonna give you HD footage instead of 4K footage. Either way, though, you cannot go wrong. Head over to taxi cam.com and check out their cameras as well as all their mounts and adapters.

Next up, hunt worth. Uh, ma'am, when you get to the end of the season and you're putting your gear away, I have realized that is one of my saddest days when I actually take the camo and. Instead of leaving it in the bag by the back door in my basement with my boots, [00:04:00] uh, you know, like I've done for all of Turkey season.

It's time to put it all on a tote and put it all away, uh, until fall. And as I was putting away all of my hunt worth gear the other day, I couldn't help but think about how well that stuff has served me. Not only last fall during deer season, but also this spring during Turkey season. And there are a couple of pieces like the Durham lightweight pants that I kept out because I'm gonna be wearing those bad boys for summer scouting, for hanging trail cameras, for all kinds of good stuff for fishing.

Uh, they're just really, really good lightweight pants. If you haven't tried 'em out already, you need to head over to their website and check out a pair. They've got 'em in camo. They've also got them in gray, and I think they have them in a couple of other colors, but those are the two that I have, and I personally, I.

Love them. You can find those over on their website. Hunt worth gear.com. And then last but not least, OnX, we are, uh, wrapping up Turkey season. Like I said, it's time to start thinking fishing. I had my OnX up to date and I was looking for public access water. I'm trying to find easy places where I can [00:05:00] make it to the water on public land where I can make sure to keep my feet wet so that I know these creeks and streams around here or these lakes in my area.

Uh, are fishable by me, and that's so that I can get onto them legally. And OnX is helping me do that. It gives you all kinds of good information about public and private lands. If you are not already using OnX, you need to go check 'em out. You can find 'em on their website, onxmaps.com, or you can find 'em on the app store of your choice where you can get a seven day.

Free trial right now, and uh, hey, if you are already a member, if you did not know, the Elite Membership not only gives you access to all 50 states, but it gives you a ton more perks as well, including huge discounts for some of the brands that you trust. Brands like Vortex Optics, brands like Woodhaven, custom Calls.

So if you're not an elite member already, you need to consider upgrading to the Elite package because it will. Pay for itself, not only in the product that you get, but in how it's gonna help you save money on other products. Now guys, please go support the partners that support this show because like I said, I couldn't do this without them, [00:06:00] and so it would mean a lot to me if you would go and support them as well.

If you're not already, follow along with us on Instagram at the Wisconsin Sportsman. Or at how to hunt deer. Uh, and if you can please go, leave us a review wherever it is that you get this podcast, whether that be on Apple Podcasts or Spotify or, uh, man, if you're not doing one of those two things, then you are in the.

The extreme minority. But, uh, yeah, if you can leave a podcast review wherever you get this thing, that would be awesome. Now let's jump into this episode talking Driftless Trout gear with Pierce Nellis. Back with me on, uh, this week's episode of the Wisconsin Sportsman Podcast. Is Pierce Nellis Pierce.

What's going on buddy? Not much, dude. I'm just

Pierce Nelles: kinda wrapping up Turkey.


Josh Raley: back to fishing, man. Life's good. Wrapping up Turkey season. So, uh, had you on not long ago. We talked about your Turkey season that almost different didn't happen. Uh, hope you liked the title. [00:07:00] It's a little bit dramatic maybe, but, uh, you've killed another Turkey since then. Yeah. Like you've, you've gotten another bird since then.

I did. So I've also missed another Turkey since then. But we don't need to talk about that. So what's your missed total for the year? Two. Two. Okay. All right. That's, that's not too bad, man. That's not too bad. You can live with that. No, two misses and two birds still. So I'll take it. Are you gonna be doing any more Turkey?

As long as both tags are filled, I don't care. Yeah, that's, that's, that's a good point. That's a, it's not like you, you missed one and then that tag went unfilled. Right,

Pierce Nelles: right, exactly. It was more just like a, are you kidding me? Did I actually just do that again? But, uh, yeah. I am gonna hunt, um, six season now.

Uh, over in zone one. I think probably just gonna see about. Squeeze in a morning or two in, uh, next [00:08:00] weekend. Okay. Um, which I dunno, we'll see how that goes. From what I've been seeing so far, vast majority of Tom's, uh, in the areas that I hunt are pretty over all of the breeding and just hanging out in bachelor

Josh Raley: groups again.

So yeah, they're kind of done with it. Kind of done with it. I had a, yeah. A buddy of mine went with another guy that we both know now, uh, John. Mm-hmm. And got his first Turkey the other day. They went out early in the morning on some private ground that doesn't really get hunted. They only heard one gobble, I think, on the roost.

And this place is covered in birds. Yep. Like there's tons of em. Um, and. Uh, they ended up driving down the road, found some birds right next to public. They've got permission on this specific farm that they were on though. Um, it's a farm that I also have permission on and. Uh, they had to put the crawl on them.

They had to put the sneak on 'em, uh, through the, did they rape 'em through the tall weer? No, [00:09:00] no. Just straight up sneaking on 'em. So, uh, yeah, but they didn't end up getting one of the birds. I think there was some calling involved, but they weren't super interested. So it was, mm-hmm. I think it was just, uh, You know, the calling maybe kept the birds in the area, but it certainly didn't.

Sure they didn't come screaming in or anything like that, and they ended up, um, get in the right spot. So Scott killed a bird. Scott, if you're listening, man, congratulations, John. You did a good job getting 'em on a bird, uh, even after Scott missed one the week before. Uh, extremely painful for him as well.

So anyways, but dude, we're as much as it as, okay, it hurts to say this, I'm realizing. As much as it hurts to say this, we're not here to talk about Turkey awning today. No, unfortunately not. I just, I don't feel like it's time for that yet. I feel like that's a little too soon. Uh, we will have another Turkey episode next week.

I'm gonna be talking with Matt Str [00:10:00] from Weather Oaks Game calls. Uh, so we'll air that episode next week. Then I think the following week after that, or at least that's the plan right now, who knows how long this conversation's gonna take. We'll see. But after that, I've got an episode on some deer scouting that we're gonna do.

And uh, man, it just, it doesn't even seem like it's time for that yet. But before we get into deer scouting and before we leave spring behind, uh, man, we're talking, we're talking fly fishing in the Driftless again. You bet part two, that Yeah, man, that's your, that's your jam. Uh, for folks who don't know, uh, good.

My goodness. If, if somebody's listening to this show and they don't know what you do yet, like they obviously haven't listened to very many episodes of it, cuz I've had you on, uh, a whole bunch of times. But for those who don't know, tell them what you do when it comes to fly fishing. Yeah. Uh, I

Pierce Nelles: am, uh, an independent fly fishing guide.

I'm the [00:11:00] owner of, uh, good chance fly fishing. We specialize in walkway, uh, trips for, uh, our driftless trout here in the great state of Wisconsin. Um, yeah, it's, uh, it, it's, it's a really, really unique. Type of fishing if you haven't done it before, but it's a lot of small creek, um, you know, fishing some of the most beautiful little trout you've ever seen.

Um, some of 'em not even so, so little. Um, but, you know, the, the Driftless game is just goofy. It's a lot of small creeks and, you know, cattle pastures and uh, you know, beautiful spring cooley and limestone creeks that are just popping with bugs and. Awesome

Josh Raley: Trout. So yeah, very unique Fisher Fishery. I mean, one of those places that just, you can't get anything like it anywhere else.

It's not, um, it's not your, your North Woods fishing, you know, like folks might be used to if they're, you know, fishing up in northern Wisconsin or fishing in northern Michigan or some of those other places. Northern Minnesota, [00:12:00] it's, it's, but it's also not your west coast fishing. Mm-hmm. Or your, you know, west of the Mississippi fishing for trout.

And it's not your like Appalachian region, fishing for trout. I mean, it's, it's, it is unique in and of itself. Like it's so different from anything else. Uh, but, but a wonderful fishery all the same. And so what I wanted to do today is have you on talk about all things, um, gear, right? When it comes to getting set up.

I think it's one of those things that guys look at and they think, you know, I'd really, really like to try that. But it seems like there's a big barrier for entry, right? Like, For me, when I look at, you know, okay, today I wanna start fly fishing, so I need to go buy myself a kit. And if I happen to stumble my way into an orvis shop and I have nothing, I'm probably gonna turn around and walk back out.

Mm-hmm. Because I'm like, oh my goodness, it's gonna cost me three grand to get into this sport. Like, how am I, how am I ever going to Yeah. Gonna even get [00:13:00] started? Um, but it doesn't have to be that way. Um, you can even get high quality equipment. Mm-hmm. Like orvis stuff and ease your way into it, work your way into it.

There's lots of ways to get into it at an affordable, um, at an affordable uh, rate. But at the same time, I think if people are armed with just a little bit of knowledge, they can know where they can save money. They can know, you know, the, where, where do I need to sink the money? Like if I've got this much to spend, how much do I need to allocate and budget for?

Uh, the reel as opposed to the rod, as opposed to the line, um, and all of that. So let's kick it off and just say, all right, Pierce, I'm a new guy. I want to come fish the Driftless. I want this to be my new hobby. What do I need to get started? Like, how do I get out the door and on the water for, as, uh, affordable as possible, but still have a quality time?

Like, I don't wanna go out there with junk equipment and have a miserable time cuz my stuff's garbage. [00:14:00] Right.

Pierce Nelles: Right. Um, But you, you mentioned, uh, the big O um, Orvis there as you were, uh, given that, that sort of, uh, intro, um, I do just wanna say, you know, as a, as an Orvis connoisseur, um, and just, you know, fly rod purchaser as well, like, they, I can't say a, a single bad thing about the company of wars.

They're fantastic. Sure. Um, you know, I've, I've done some work with them as well. They're fantastic to work with. Um, in no way, uh, professionally. Affiliated, uh, by them or endorsed in any way. But this is just me saying this as an orvis and, you know, uh, an orvis rod connoisseur, you know, purchaser of products.

Um, I mean, if, if you're worried about the barrier there, like don't feel like, you know, okay, Orvis, you know, big name, it's gonna come with a big price tag. Yes, you can spend just about a thousand dollars for a fire rod. However, the Clearwater series, the Encounter series, um, Push towards the Clearwater series.

Just shy [00:15:00] of 300 bucks. But I mean, I, with those rods, I fish with those rods, um, for that price point in, in my opinion. The best out there at this time. Yeah. Um, so, um, Orvis, if you do wanna throw me any commission, that'd be awesome. I'm kidding.

Josh Raley: Yeah, we, we don't have a discount code or anything, but if you just keep mentioning good chance whenever you go in, eventually they'll catch on.

So, get guys, listeners, give it a shot. Hopefully, we'll, we'll see. Um, but yeah,

Pierce Nelles: so, so when it comes to targeting trout in the drift list, um, what I always tell folks is you're gonna want a rod that's probably, you know, for starting out, that's gonna, if you're just getting a fly fishing, your best, best gonna be a five-way rod.

It'll do everything you need. Handle pipe or panfish, driftless, trout, uh, some light bass. Um, I know guys who carve fish with them, which I dunno

Josh Raley: that I

Pierce Nelles: recommend that. But, um, you know, it's a super [00:16:00] versatile rod. Um, fourways gonna be a little bit more geared towards the Driftless trout. Just a lighter rod.

Um, a little bit more user friendly for, you know, casting smaller drives, more delicate presentation type stuff. Um, during our hatch season, uh, my personal, my favorite Rod is an eight and a half foot four. Um, That eight and half foot mark just, you know, you wouldn't think the six inch difference between an eight and a half foot rod and nine foot rod would be that, uh, that drastic.

But just, you know, when you're in tall grass, um, when you're, you know, in those tight quarters type areas of the drift list, um, where our streams are. You know, anywhere from wide as a sidewalk to, you know, I guess pretty much as wide as, uh, as a two-lane road. Um, for the most part, you know that that eight and for Rod does everything you need.

And, uh, shorter rods tend to be a little bit more accurate anyways, which on our [00:17:00] tiny creeks can be. Particularly helpful. Um, but my recommendation to to folks would be a four or five weight rod for Driftless fly fishing, um, in that eight and half or nine foot range. Uh, now if you do wanna go down a little bit too, and you, you know, say you're gonna do it already and you're like, all right, I've got a five weighter, I've got a four already.

I mean, shoot, grab a three, three-way. Like grab something just kinda quirky. Um, you know, we, we see some really, really funny. Gear set here, the Driftless, which is always fun, just kinda seeing how folks can tweak different things and, you know, fish, you know, six foot rods that seemed like a six and half foot two weight.

Um, you catch fish in the, uh, I've got, lot of my lighter rods are, you know, sub nine foot in that eight and half to, uh, seven and a half foot range. Um, fiberglass rods are super fun in the, they're just real, real slow action and, Uh, you know, they'll, they'll bend deep down near the coic into the rod, and they just are a really, really [00:18:00] kinda fun, sort of old school way to fish.

Um, and you know, I, I was actually with a guy who, um, is just an avid fly fisherman, uh, over the weekend, who, I think he got it off of Craigslist or eBay or something like that, but it was, uh, it was like a, I think it was a nine foot or maybe an eight and a half foot. Four Wade that the previous owner had basically cut the butt section in half and then put his own grip on.

And so when you this rod or like loaded it in any way, you could literally feel the grip inside your hand. Like folding just a little bit. Oh my goodness. You could feel that bend literally like to the bottom of your hand. It was really, really funny. Um, what, but he, the guy that I was with was saying like, yeah, that's my son's favorite Griffs route.

Like, I picked it up just on a whim, like, whatever. We'll check it out. We'll see what happened. Um, that's and [00:19:00] avid about it. Now guys who, you know, they figured out ways to throw, uh, You know, small streamers on three-way rods and stuff like that. It's just, there's so much goofy stuff you can do here in the drift list.

But, um, you know, if you're getting into it, I would, I would recommend a four or five weight rod, um, lighter stuff if you're, or interested in the dryly enthusiast type stuff. But, uh, the four and the fives can allow you to do. Everything you could possibly want to do, whether it be streamer fishing, throwing dries, umr rigs, you name it.

Um, and that being said, if you got a six weight or something like that and you're like, ah, shoot, I don't wanna buy, you know, a new rod. Well, I'll tell you what, my first three years of fly fishing in the drift was. I used a nine six. I now realize it's way overkill, but it, uh, you know, it still gets the job done.

Um, still a little more aggressive than you need. Um, yeah. [00:20:00] So, yeah, I, I would say off the bat there you're gonna want, um, you know, four and a four, four or five weight rod in that eight and a half to nine foot rate. Well, I should say more so like the seven and a half to nine foot range, depending on what you can find.

Ok. Um, But the big thing to keep in mind is like if you're buying a rod, you do your research and stuff and you may find, uh, reviews on different rods. Say you're buying like a used one off of Craigslist or Facebook marketplace or something like that. You know, read some reviews on it. Um, go to the company's website, see if there's stuff on there that kind of says like, okay, this is the faster action rod, or slower action rod.

Good for this and that. Um, find some reviews, but also use a little bit of discretion that, you know, you may have somebody say like, This Rod, um, you know, was way too stiff, was definitely not marked, marketed as advertised. Like, this thing sucks. I would never buy this again. And, you know, it could have been one, either it mismatched with the line that was on it.

Maybe if you would've bought a line that was a half a line weight heavier or a full line [00:21:00] weight heavier or something like that, that could load it a little bit more and put a little bit more bend in that, um, you know, that that could. A lot of times that helps people a ton. Um, could also just be that, you know, that with their casting stroke, that Rod just doesn't work as well for 'em, uh, just doesn't drive with them.

I always tell folks, you know, we're doing casting instruction and stuff like that. Everyone's fly cast, kind of like everyone's golf swing, you know, none of 'em look the same. Um, it just kind of comes down to the, the same. Core principles of stopping your rod in the right position, pausing and letting your line get back behind you and expanding, you know, loading your rod properly and doing the, the basic functions.

But how you get to point A to point B, um, it may look completely different between two people. Yeah. Um, so just use that discretion when you're, uh, when you're, when you're doing that kind of stuff. And when I say like, you know, we're kind of gonna segue here into. [00:22:00] Talking about fly lines as well. Um, when I say look for a a or a line that's got, um, you know, a half a line weight heavy, a, a full line weight heavy, basically what that, what that means, um, for those who aren't into fly fishing yet who are maybe looking to get into fly fishing, basically you have, um, every rod is matched to a line weight.

So you generally wanna match a four weight rod to a four weight.

It goes in basically the, the front 30 or 40 feet blinking on that discrepancy there. Um, there's like x number of grains in the, in the head of the fly line. Um, most fly lines you're gonna buy are gonna be front taper, which basically means that you've got the tip of the line. It tapers up into a heavier section known as like the belly, and then that taper.

Goes down after the, the thickest part down into your running line, which is basically just, uh, [00:23:00] kinda like a coated thin mono that's super lightweight. Um, so that if you are making longer cast, that you have the, the full weight of the line, carrying that running line with it, with little resistance. Um, but basically what I mean by uh, You're gonna have a line weight that's a half a line weight heavier or full line weight heavier.

Um, is, say you've got a four weight rod, you buy one that's a, a line weight heavy. It would basically be you're buying a four weight or a five weight line for a four weight rod. Or if you're going that halfway, it kind of bridges the gap between the grains of, you know, there's, I'm totally kicking myself right now for spacing on, uh, I should know this.

I've got, I can picture the chart in my head right now of the, the line, the line weight in grains and stuff like that. But basically, um, you wanna have about, I believe 20 or 30 grains apart. Um, and so if you're going half a line weight [00:24:00] heavy, it's gonna be kind of in that mid range between the four and the five weight.

Ok. And again, all that's gonna do is just add a little bit more weight so that you can load your rod a little bit easier. It's. Again, for those who aren't as familiar with, uh, with fly fishing, you're looking to get into it. You've got your fly line, which is, um, coded in a, a PVC coating or some other weighted coating.

Um, and then you attach your leader to that fly line. That leader is also tapered and it goes down and then you attach your fly to tip section of thater, the tip section of the leader. Essentially just the business end the very fine. Um, Section of that leader. Um, so everything is just basically from the front end of your line, above the belly.

Um, everything's just in this downward tap all the way down to yours. Essentially, when you make your cast, everyone fly fishing, um, that slow motion line loop unrolling, you [00:25:00] know, Yeah. Spraying water everywhere that fly just gently drops down on the water. Everybody's seen that. Um, all of that wouldn't be possible without a, a downward taper, uh, towards your fly.

Yeah. And I,

Josh Raley: it helped me when I first really started taking some of this more seriously. Not that I'm a serious fly fisherman by any means, but, um, once second on YouTube, Hey, I'm a huge fly fisherman. Um, I, I'm not that guy. But, um, when I started to understand that it was all about the transfer of energy down the line.

Like that's what mm-hmm. I, I'm not using the pole to like, or the rod. Sorry. Oh my gosh. I called it a pole. Uh, people come on glue for that Pierce, I'm sorry. People are gonna know that you associate with someone who calls a, a rod a pole. Um, so a fly rod, uh, when you, you're not just slinging the stuff over there.

You are, you're like, Loading and transferring that energy down the line from, from your rod all the way down to [00:26:00] the very tip, right? And that tape correct is necessary for the transfer of energy. And if there's an incorrect, uh, part along that, if something is done in a incorrectly or if the, if the weights aren't lined up appropriately, if you don't have the light right line for your rod, if you're trying to float, throw.

A fly that's way too big or something like that, the whole system breaks down and so mm-hmm. You can have fairly good mechanics, but you're not going to be able to cast very effectively. One thing you mentioned there, um, that I'd like you to go into just a little bit is the fast versus a slow rod. What, what the heck does that mean?

So basically like, and you'll

Pierce Nelles: see this in, in spinning rods and stuff like that too. Um, or bay casters, whatever, where there's like the. Um, I guess in that, I haven't touched too many spending rods or casters for quite a few, quite a few years now, but you've got your, your, and you've got your, your heavy, your medium heavy rods, obviously [00:27:00] heavy rods, fly fishing.

Um, we've got basically fast, medium, and slow action rods. They're basically, um, or sometimes it's described as, uh, you know, aflex or a full flex or a tip flex, which basically has to do with, um, where your rod bends when you're casting it and loading it. Um, now as you were mentioning there, that that transfer of energy and the stopping of, or, you know, basically the, the transfer of energy in your line to.

On to straighten out the turnover that loop essentially. Um, none of that's possible without, and this is what a lot of people kind of forget is without fully stopping their rod on the back. Cal is your rod acts like a lever. And so that lever, think of it as if you're trying to pull vault. Um, yeah. Think of it as if we were trying to pole vault.

You know how when they're running down the track, they've got that little notch in the [00:28:00] ground that they jam the end of the pole into? Yep. It's a solid fixed position, and then that allows all their energy to go into bending that pole and then spring them forward. If that was like, I mean, just think about it.

They had to do that into sand and. Or mud or whatever and all of a sudden, like they stick it in and then it like kind of moves and then it's like, you know, maybe it slides or loses position. That thing that rod the pole isn't gonna bend. The same thing happens when we're casting a fly rod. So don't stop our and allow that rod to then have a solid point de-load on.

And basically when it's, when we lift our rod, it bends forward and then we stop it and it straightens out and it shoots our line back. And then as we come forward, it bends backwards and then we bring it forward and we need to stop it again going forward in order to create the point of which that line or the rod straightens itself out.

At which point the rod creates the [00:29:00] point of turnover on our line, which then transfers that energy out. Um, That's the thing, man, is you're having good casting mechanics and you know, making sure that you're fully stopping and, uh, you know, aware of the angle at which your, your rod is at. Um, you know, basically said it's not too far back or too far forward.

If it's too far back, you know that, that Rod doesn't have. There's no energy going like perpendicular to the rod to bend it essentially. Yeah. Um, and it become too far forward and basically just throw our fly lines straight down into the water in front of us and just my hands in a big pile. Yeah.

Josh Raley: Um, let me ask you a question on the, totally went off on a tangent.

No, that's, that's perfect because my question Sloan, fast action wise, my bad. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I've, I've got a question. Remind me that I have a question for you about casting mechanics. Don't let me forget it cuz I, I don't wanna blow past them. Yeah,

Pierce Nelles: gotcha. I'll be quick here. No, you're good. So basically fast action, [00:30:00] action.

Uh, you know, tip flex mid, uh, full, full and slow action are the exact same. They're you each other. Flex and fast are. So basically if you were to cast your rod and load it, where is the bend point? If you were to draw a line in the center of like the bend in your rod, if you took frame when it's fully loaded, where is it?

Is it up towards tip? Is it in middle of the rod or is it down to grip? So those, you know, the full flex rods are really, really slow action cause there's so much bend and it takes so much longer for that rod to deload. You know, spring that line forward. Whereas the fast action tip flex stuff, um, you know, the, the butt of that rod, the lower half of that rod is pretty darn stiff, um, as is the tip section.

So it really has a ton of power, um, as you, you're loading your rod, so you fast action rod tip flex stuff is awesome for, you know, [00:31:00] fishing and windy conditions. Um, super popular like out west. Um, You know, I'm the salt flat and stuff like that. Or you've gotta punch a fly through some serious wind, um, at a distance, especially slower action rods.

Um, it's gonna be more of a, a close quarters, uh, very delicate presentation, um, kind game. So slow action rods are pretty fun in the drift lists. You know, a lot of, a lot of 15 to 30 foot casts. Um, It's, you know, it's just a good time. Yeah. They're real springy. When you get a fish, they'll, they'll fold it over.

Josh Raley: Yeah. And you, I mean, you feel it all the way down the rod. Like that goes right into the Oh, yeah. Yeah. The fight, the fish too. Like, you feel it all the way down as opposed to filling your, your tip, you know, shaking or whatever. Um, when it comes to that. Exactly. When it comes to that, then, uh, and this, that may play into the question that I was gonna ask you a second ago.

One of the things that I've noticed about my current. Rod, not, not my fishing pole, the [00:32:00] rod. Um, when I, when I, when I'm on my, my cast a cast forward, right? And I'm, I'm trying to roll out that line out in front of me, get it going where I want it to be. I feel like there's a lot of shaking and vibration in the tip of my rod, and I feel like that's, that can't be right.

Sure. Does that make sense? Like it's, it's like I, I unload all that energy and it gets to the end and it just wiggles out there and I can feel it in my hand. Uh, when I'm at the, like when I stop it on my front cast, is there, is that just a mechanics issue that I'm running into? Yeah. Is that just a, am I stopping short or what, what am I doing?

Honestly, from what

Pierce Nelles: you've told me just about your rod, we've been texting about potentially getting you a new rod here and what you were, you were looking for and what you've got right now. Um, basically what there's, there's two things that can happen. Um, the first one is you could be. You can be really whipping it forward, which is [00:33:00] very natural.

It's a natural thought to have as like, okay, I'm fly fishing right now. Like I wanna go further forward. I should put more for like more power into my cast going forward. It's totally counterintuitive as fly fishing. We wanna punch our line back with more force, then we bring it forward. Cause if we punch it back, We load our rod properly, that rod is a freaking loaded cannon or a compressed spring, and it's ready to launch that line forward.

Um, so a lot of times it happens. Uh, it, it could be one of two things. It could be coming to like two abrupt of a stop and kinda like really punching it forward. Okay. Um, or it could just be material in the rod, just kinda rod quality. Okay. Um, just as. Not to, not to bash your rod or anything, but just from what you've told me about it, it

Josh Raley: sounds a little, dude, you're crapping on my flower.

A little iffy, Karen.

Pierce Nelles: I didn't mean to, but I mean it's only cause you've been crapping onto me all week

Josh Raley: now. To be, [00:34:00] to be perfectly fair, to be perfectly fair, I bought this rod from St. Vinny's for $2. Right. Like, oh yeah, it, it should not be high quality. This was, this was a, I need a new, cuz I had one that was an old Shakespeare rod that I bought back when I was in high school, um, in a little kit for 20 bucks from Walmart.

And I was out fishing one day and I noticed on my back cast, I felt something funky. And I was like, man, that's weird. And I went to cast forward and the, the thing came apart. I was like, huh, that stinks. I ended up breaking one of the, I guess where the sections come together. The ferals? Yeah. There was like a crack down, one of the ferals and yeah, I tried to tape it, but after, like, even once I taped it, it just didn't, it didn't act right anymore, you know?

Right, right. And so it was, it was time for that one to go. So I needed something in a pinch and uh, I bought this one for $2 at the thrift store. [00:35:00] Um, You No. Which was, which is fine. Uh, it's, it's, it's served me, I mean, I've caught a lot of fish with it. I, yeah, I don't, I, I'm ready now for something else though.

For sure. I'm ready for something else. For sure. So, uh, talk to me a little bit

Pierce Nelles: what happens with, with rod quality and stuff like that, and especially in more modern fly rods and stuff, is, you know, when you are in a rod shop, um, And you like, say you are just holding a rod and you kind of bounce it or you flick it in your hand to like feel that kind of flex you feel where it bends and stuff like that.

Give it a solid, just like a little like flick and just pay attention to how quickly it straightens back out and quits vibrating. Okay. Um, basically what happens with fly rods, um, It obviously depends on the rod. You're, you really wanna look for a rod that, uh, [00:36:00] that stabilizes as quickly and it stops that vibration quickly.

Um, cause otherwise basically that, those micro vibrations will then travel down your line as it's trying to straighten out. Yep. And it'll cause. Basically it can just lead inaccuracy, stuff like that. Yeah. So folks wondering what, what the difference is between the thousand fly rod and the, you know, Hundred $50 fly rod.

It's gonna come into quality of material. Um, but nowadays, typically graph light, um, and basically how quickly it stabilizes, how accurate it is.

Josh Raley: Just wanna take a quick minute to let you know that the Wisconsin Sportsman Podcast is brought to you by tact cam makers of the best point of view cameras on the market.

For hunters and anglers, they're on the cutting edge, making user-friendly cameras to help the everyday outdoorsmen share your hunt with friends and loved ones. Their new 6.0 camera has a ton of upgraded features this year, but the one I'm most excited about is the new l cd [00:37:00] touchscreen. In my mind, that is a total game changer and one area tactic cam really shines is with their mounts and adapters that are made with the sportsman in mind, if you've tried to film your hunting and fishing excursions, you know just how frustrating it can be to try to get an action camera aimed just right or get it attached to your weapon or in a good spot for a second angle.

Well, TCAM makes all of that a breeze with their line of mounts and adapters. This fall, I'm gonna be using their stabilizer mount on my bow with the 6.0 camera and their Bindi clamp paired with the 5.0 wide camera for a second angle, and to make sure I don't miss any of the action. So learn more and check out their full line of products.

Head over to their website, tcam.com, and share your hunt with tcam. And that leads to forgiveness, right? Like forgiveness in your form. Like your, yeah, your form can be a little more out of whack and still get a good cast. So I went fishing, forgive with, I fished with you. What's that? Mm-hmm. What were you saying?


Pierce Nelles: I, I [00:38:00] totally spaced on, uh, I said forgive, and I was like, that's not the word. Am I trying to say

Josh Raley: forgiving? That's what it was. Look, we're looking for a forgetful ride. Forgive. Kind of, kind of Rod. Cut that out. Yeah. So I, I fished with you before and, um, I fished with another guy as well in the Driftless.

Um, and both of you guys put me in with, on an Orvis rod. Uh, I think you ha you gave me an nervous ride, right? So I was fishing with one of your, was it the Clearwater? Yeah. Yeah. Okay, man, what a difference. Like just the, the whole experience. It's the difference between shooting for, for guys who are listening to this that are maybe deer hunters.

It's the difference between shooting the $550 kit bow that you buy from Bass Pro shops and then shooting a Matthews, like a flagship Matthews, when it comes to just dead in the [00:39:00] hand, shooting experience, forgiveness, all of that stuff. That to me is the difference between. You know, a cheapo rod that I use, and then a, you know, obviously much nicer, although not necessarily extremely expensive, rod.

Does that make sense? Mm-hmm. Yeah. So, man, I'm, I'm already looking. We're about, we're about 30 minutes in. I don't want to shortchange this, so if we need to break this up and do multiple episodes out of this, like let's go ahead and make that call because. I, I think this is important, especially for guys who, who want to get into this kind of stuff.

Um, mm-hmm. All right. So we're, we're talking about it, it, this all came from we're talking about the essentials, right? What we've, what we've gotta have. Yeah. Um, we've gotta have our rod, uh, when it comes to choosing said, rod, is there a helpful way for me to find one that [00:40:00] works for me? Like can't. I'll be honest with you, over the years, uh, there are a couple of different places that have been intimidating for me, and I'm not an easily intimidated person, but fly shops and archery shops are two of those places where I feel intimidated because you can walk in a lot of times and you get the look right, like you, you know what I'm talking about.

Mm-hmm. It's, it's the look like, yeah, you don't, you don't belong here. Uh, or it's, it's usually probably a look of like, I've just never seen you and so much of our clientele is like regulars kind of clientele, right? Um, but it feels like, uh, you ain't from around here. Are you kind of, kind of a look. So are there places where I can go, where I can try these things out?

Like, am I gonna get crucified if I walk in and say, Hey, can I cast this one a couple times? Can you set it up for me? So first

Pierce Nelles: of all, um, the majority of good fly shops. Should not make you feel that way. Like, like, yes, it's intimidating, especially if you're new into the sport. Yep. Um, the, you know, [00:41:00] you're absolutely right.

Just like archery shops. Just, I remember I'm, as you were saying that, I was like imagining going back to archery shop for the first time and walking in there and kind of, you're right. You get the luck of like, oh God, this guy doesn't know what hell he doing. Like, here we go. Yeah. Which like, ah,

That's your, I mean, that, that's like, what are you doing? Not just running to that guy? Yeah. Cause if you do your job, he's gonna buy a bunch of stuff from you. So like over and over and over again. I never understood that whole kind of like Right. Exactly. And so it's like, you know, I dunno, I never understood that kind of thing where it was sort of the, the making, the, basically just being unwelcoming, you know.

To people in the sport. Um, you know, it, it just never really made sense to me, I guess. Um, [00:42:00] so if you're in a fly shop, you know, and you're shopping for a rod and they're standoffish, I mean, call 'em out. Be like, what the hell? I've got a pocket full of money and I'm, I'm interested in buying a fly rod. What do I need?

Like, just talk to me. Yeah. And I mean, be transparent with them too, and just say like, Hey, I'm totally new to this. Here's what I wanna do. Um, You know, this is kind of what I, where I think I wanna start. I really like pan fish and you know, I like to, you know, take my kids out in the canoe and go for pan fish and like you'll catch some large, but.

Know, it's mostly stuff around here. Like if it's a fly shop from that area, they'll set you up for that area with everything you need, or at least they should. Um, as far as like testing out rods and, uh, trying things out. Obviously if you're buying over crisis or Facebook marketplace or whatever, you, you're not really gonna have the opportunity to, um, unless of course you were to go back to said fly shop and [00:43:00] pick up the rod that you're looking at buying.

For much cheaper from someone else. And,

Josh Raley: uh, don't do that. You know, don't, don't pick that up. Not

Pierce Nelles: that I'm not, that I'm

Josh Raley: recommending that. Yep, yep. No, no. I don't wanna give anyone bad ideas. Yeah, that's right. Um, but if, but if it happens, I mean, like going in if you happens, you know? Yeah, it is. It is what it is.

Buy some flies, dude. Buy a ton of flies. Buy, buy $200 worth of flies cuz you're gonna buy 'em anyway. So just go ahead and load up. Mm-hmm. And you know, tell 'em you're sorry you didn't buy a rod from 'em.

Pierce Nelles: Right, exactly. Um, cause they've all seen it too. That's the other thing. They've all seen it. Yep. Um, yeah, as far as like testing stuff out, you know, going to shops, you're never gonna inconvenience anyone by.

Asking if you can cast a rod. You know, if it's like super, super busy and there's one person to buy on the counter, yeah, maybe they might be like, can you wait 45 minutes? Or

Josh Raley: something like that. But, or maybe just say, Hey, is there a good time for me to [00:44:00] come back and, and, you know, I'm interested in these two, uh, you know, the boat that I'm in right now, I l I really like the idea of a clear water.

An encounter looks like it's more in my price range. I want to know, you know, what's the, what's the field difference between the two? Like, where am I, where am I at? So, hey, call 'em up. Is there a good time I can walk in and check these two out or whatever and, and get a feel for how these are gonna cast.

And if it's a, you know, substantial difference between the two, I'll go with them. I'll go with them. More expensive or, or whatever, you know? Yeah. Right. And I mean,

Pierce Nelles: ask, ask them to what their recommendations are. Ask them what their favorite rods are to fish. Ask them why, you know, say like, this is kinda, you know, cause really it's.

It comes down to what you're gonna be doing the most. And you know, say you buy a rod that's just kind more of a generalist, like set price range, kinda rod, it's not quite as specialty or whatever. Um, kinda knew we were gonna allude to this here, but [00:45:00] what fly line you put on that rod can make a world of difference.

Yeah. It really, really can. Um, so, you know, experiment with different stuff. And really, like if you're, if you're set on a rod and you're like, you know what? I've heard good reviews on this. I really like this rod. Um, but you know, it's not casting that well for me right now. And you're gonna have to figure it out too.

If it's faster, rod, you're gonna have to put a little more power into loading that rod. Um, you know, you might find that here. You don't, you know, say you bought a slower action rod and you're like, God, I really don't like this. It just, its like kinda a drag to cast for me right now. Okay. Put a lighter light.

You can do that. I would only go like one line way lighter. Gonna stiffen that rod by putting the glass weight into it. Um, that's totally an option. You can, you can do there. Um, but yeah, I mean, just go in, pick up fly rods after, you know, cast stuff. Um, you know, there's fly fish and expos every spring or in the winter, um, depending on where you're [00:46:00] at.

Like go in there and, you know, Asked to grab a rod and feel it or whatever it may be, just say like, Hey, I'm thinking about this. Like, I'm not quite sure. Um, you know, if you're gonna go back to that fly rod and you don't buy a rod, you know, just for their time, snag a couple flies and or some time material, whatever it is.

Um, you know, you're kinda exchange of goods there. Yeah, yeah. Um, yeah. Yeah. Just do whatever you can to get, get your hands on a

Josh Raley: rod. Yeah. Yeah. So when it comes to that fly line thing, then, cuz we're, we're obviously talking about, about, um, you know, we're, we're getting around to that topic, we're talking about, you know, weight, you know, getting a, a weight heavier, getting a weight lighter, it can change the way the rod feels and casts and all that good stuff.

Mm-hmm. Given my budget, right? Like if I've got a couple hundred bucks that I wanna spend, let's say I've got, you know, 500 bucks that I, I need to be all in for 500 bucks like I need to be Yep. [00:47:00] Catching fish for 500. And that may be even as a stretch. Mm-hmm. But I'm gonna, I'm gonna give you 500 just for the purpose of, of what we're talking about here.

How much of that 500 bucks Sure. Am I gonna allocate to something like line? Because from a traditional fishing perspective, Line is not that important to me. But, and I say traditional fishing perspective, I come from, uh, do doing some insure, um, saltwater fishing as a kid. And then a bulk of our fishing was what, what I would consider like deep sea fishing for snapper amberjack, king mackerel, you know, large fish where.

Um, finesse is not an issue. Casting is not an issue. Like we're not worried about any of that stuff. We're just putting big live things out in the water and let other bigger live things come eat 'em. So, um, totally. So lying to me is not that important until you come to, to fly fishing. So how much of that $500 budget are [00:48:00] you gonna allocate to the actual line itself?

I can't

Pierce Nelles: exactly set like a percentage. Um, of that 500, I would

Josh Raley: say, um, I need specific experience and I need you to calculate in the tax too. I need specifics and I need the, I need the, the tax on there as well. So, um, I'll just

Pierce Nelles: put together a purchase

Josh Raley: order for you. That would be great. Just go ahead and build it out.

Oh goodness.

Pierce Nelles: Um, I'm ringing you up for that thousand dollars Rod though. Oh, there it's. Uh, the, basically when you're, when you're building out your kit, you most fly rods are gonna be between 40 bucks and 20 top, top end. What basically gonna funds is put into your rod first. You're line second and your real third, especially in the drip list.

The majority of our fishing is done. I mean, I mean [00:49:00] the majority of our trout are between the average trout, between eight.

You're gonna catch a pile of them. Um, not that they don't get 20 plus. I mean, buddy of mine pulled at 24 out a creek a couple weeks ago up here on throwing streamers and stuff. But, um, yeah, we do have big fish up here too. However, on these creeks and stuff like that, uh, where it is tighter quarters, smaller water, um, quite frankly, just fishing for smaller fish, uh, unless you're going for carp, um, you know, Pike and Musky, and even then, it's kind can be kind of hit or miss or doing the Great Lakes salmon and steelhead game.

Um, or salt water. Your reel is, for the most part, gonna act basically just as a line holder. Um, the majority of our fish are gonna be brought in just by stripping wine. Uh, we're not gonna be, you know, putting fish on the drag for the most part. Um, especially in drifts [00:50:00] creeks where things get, I mean, you can walk 10 feet and, you know, Hit, you know, big rock piles or, you know, root wads or whatever sort of structure undercut banks or barbed wire or, you know, fence post what, whatever's in these, you know, random creeks.

Yeah. Um, for the most part it's just a line holder. So, you know, not that I would fully recommend it, but like we had people, you know, come into a shop I used to work in with the $30. Uh, you know, reel off of Amazon and, you know, I'm sure it works just fine. Um, reels tend to be, especially for like Driftless stuff, they tend to be a little bit more like jewelry, um, than, yeah, than, than, you know, a functional piece of equipment.

Um, simply just cause like you're, we don't have as much of a need for that drag here, um, on our, you know, 12 inch brown, you know what I mean? Yeah,

Josh Raley: yeah. Not necessarily gonna be stripping it. So, uh, alright, so we've got, we've got our [00:51:00] rod, we, we've put our money into the rod, we've put our money into the line.

What's a good fly line gonna cost me? So if I'm looking at, uh, I mean, gosh, you can spend a lot of money if you want to, but is there like a threshold that it's like, Hey, if you spend under this, the line you're probably getting is crap. Um,

Pierce Nelles: I mean, it's not even crap necessarily really? Uh, I would say under like most lines, under, I'm gonna say on a lowest end, 70 bucks.

Okay. Are not gonna be super high quality. Okay. Um, buoyant now, like sort of what you get with the high quality line is basically gonna be a more durable coding. Um, I, I'm a big fan of scientific anglers lines. Um, they have AST or advanced Shooting Technology or AST [00:52:00] plus, which basically just helps kind of keep the line buoyant, like prevents its, or prevents it from cracking to an extent.

Um, and basically just makes it that much more durable and, uh, You know, resistant to, to general wear and tear or basically, you know what, what happens is eventually, like the more you fish that stuff, uh, you know, the more it takes, it'll start to collect dirt, it'll start to crack, it'll start to kinda deteriorate and break and stuff like that.

Um, a lot of that stuff can also be avoided. You know, I mean, you can. Have a real good time with some cheap fly line, and you can fish it for many, many years as long as you take care of it. So lion care does kind come into play. Um, regardless of what you're using, um, you just, your more expensive fly lines are gonna have, um, a more specific taper typically, um, meaning that they're, they're gonna load pins better.

The transfer of energy is gonna go a lot smoother than your general. [00:53:00] $40, you know, whatever, $45, you know, kind of cheaper line. Um, I, I always would urge people to, you know, seek out wine probably in that 80 to hundred dollars range. Um, just cause you will notice a difference. You really will. You'll notice a difference in feel, you'll notice a difference in how well your rod loads.

Um, you know how your, your leader and you know, your flies turn over. Um, that I, I. It does make a difference. Don't skip on, I'll say that.

Josh Raley: So I, I ran into an issue, so I, I bought the rod right for super cheap. I also found a, a real, uh, and kit that was missing the rod, but had some flies in it and some mixed things.

This is a, again, in a bin at St. Vinny's, and I found this line that mm-hmm. I really like the feel of the line. So I was casting in the yard, really liked the line, like, man, this is, this is pretty cool. I got, you know, some decent line at whatever it's kit line. So it's not [00:54:00] good. I just liked it personally.


Pierce Nelles: mashed the rod. At least it was loading

Josh Raley: the rod how it needed to, yeah. Yeah. It, it did great with the rod. But then I got out on the creek and it started sinking. Like every time I would cast it, it would just start sinking. Mm-hmm. So what, what the heck was happening there each.

Pierce Nelles: Check it for

Josh Raley: cracking or anything like that?

Well, of course not. I, I didn't call you about it. It could just be that

Pierce Nelles: it maybe the entire line was sinking. It could just be a sinking

Josh Raley: line. No, it was, it was like at the, it was like at the tip. Um, that, that's pretty common.

Pierce Nelles: Um, a lot of times it'll happen there, you'll just get cracking. Um, it's the tip of the fly start to wear out.

Um, So that could be it. Um, you know, you might just need to clean your fly line. It could be gun up down there. Cause that is, I mean, quite frankly, the tip of your fly line. What collects the most dirt? Cause that's what's on the water the most. That's what's kinda getting drugged through the guide and everything of your line takes a ton of abuse.

Um, so it could just be kinda [00:55:00] worn out. Um, one trick you could do again. I would say try, try cleaning it. Um, just have, you know, two buckets of water. One with some hand soap in it, or dish soap, and just strip your fly line into that. And then let it soak for 10, 15 minutes and then take that fly line, um, and basically run it through a, a dish, uh, and strip it through the dish and put it into the, the totally plain water.

Um, but just kinda rinse there and then, Reel it back up that way. That's good. Quick and easy way to clean it. They make fly line dressings as well, um, which are basically like silicone based coatings that kinda like rejuvenate your line or it that way. Uh, um, otherwise you can kinda do the cheap way and just like grease it floating, which will get you by for a little while.

But yeah, isn't, isn't exactly a

Josh Raley: [00:56:00] permanent fix. Gotcha. Gotcha. So let's, let's, unless of course you've got a slower

Pierce Nelles: carbon liter on that, it's like

Josh Raley: dragging it down. Oh, okay. Well, you know, that's, that's the next topic that we need to get into. Um, moving away from the actual, uh, you know, hardware that's in your hands into.

Uh, some of the other stuff, but man, I'm, I'm thinking we need to split this thing up. You know, we were gonna try to squeeze this all into one episode. It looks like at this point we should probably split it up into two. We're having a couple of, uh, couple tech issues, but we're also, you know, nearly an hour into this thing at this point.

So, man, thanks for coming to the show again. Where can folks find you if they want to get ahold of you, pepper you with their questions about. Uh, fly gear and maybe even book a trip with you.

Pierce Nelles: You, you can find all of my info at, uh, good chance fly fishing.com. Uh, or if you're on Instagram, um, just at Good Chance fly Fishing.

Um, yeah, all my contact infos, um, on either of those, uh, you can [00:57:00] shoot an email to good chance flyfishing gmail.com. Otherwise, the website. Um, there's a spot where you can, you know, book a trip or submit an inquiries, um, or, you know, shoot a DM on Instagram. All of it works. All the contact info is there. But we'd love to get you out in the drift list and, uh, get you into some

Josh Raley: trout.

That's all for this week's episode. As always, thank you so much for tuning in. If you dig this show, be sure to subscribe to this podcast wherever it is that you get your podcast. While you're at it, if you could lead me a five star review, I would very much appreciate that. You can also follow along with my outdoor adventures on Instagram at the Wisconsin Sportsman or at How to Hunt.

Dear. That's also the best way to get ahold of me. Suggest topics, guests, or questions that you'd like me to explore on the show. Big thanks to our partners tact Cam. Hunt worth and OnX, please go support the brands that support this show. And if you're looking for more great outdoor content, check out the sportsmans empire.com where you'll find my other podcast, the How to Hunt Deer Podcast, as well as a ton of other awesome outdoor podcasts.

And until next time, make sure [00:58:00] you make the time to get outside and enjoy the incredible natural resources that are ours as Wisconsin Sportsman.