Welcome to Quick Tips! A new series presented by Redington where we ask some friends their quick tips to teach anyone new they take out on the water. We were all beginners at some point and all of us are always learning new tips and tricks! Whether it is your first time out, or you have been fishing for 20 years, we hope you can take these tips and use them yourself or help a friend you might be introducing to fly fishing.

My name is Mario Guel from Taco Fly Fishing company. When I take beginners fly fishing, one of the first things I show them is how to wrap their leader on their rod and how to carry their rod for easier transportation through vegetation. Beginners need to know the basics for properly wrapping and carrying these long scepters through the trees so that they don’t lose flies, tangle up, or even worse, break a rod along the way to the fishing hole. Learning these simple techniques will open up more water for new fly anglers as they will have more confidence when trudging through vegetation as they pursue unfrequented areas.

Tip 1:

The first tip for bushwhacking is using a technique I call “The Game Changer”. No, not the streamer. The rod break-down/wrap-up makes it easy to transport these long swords through vegetation and in and out of our vehicles.

Demonstrating the game changer tip with my Redington Wrangler.

First, make sure you have about a rod’s length of leader out of the tip of the rod. Then, put your fly on the guide that is first below where the rod breaks in half. With your other hand, break the rod down in half. Things can get messy here so pay attention! Bring the bottom end of the top section towards to butt of your rod(the butt of the rod is the very bottom of the fly rod), making sure not to pinch any line during this movement.

You’ll notice you’ll have a bow of line that you’ve created. In one hand, grasp both sections of the rod. With the other hand grab the bow of the line and wrap it behind the back of the reel foot. Then reel up the slack. The two sections of the rod should naturally come together. Now grab the line that is free from the guides and wrap the rod 2-3 times. This makes the rod half the length and easier to store in smart cars, lay down on the front seat of your Lambo, or even for trudging through the thickest of trees!

Final Product of the “Game Changer” with the Redington Wrangler.

This move takes practice so try it a few times and you’ll get it. You’ll also need to practice taking it apart, simply follow the steps outlined by going backward. Patience and practice with “The Game Changer” will make your friends think you know what you’re doing. If you are having trouble, head over to the Flylords Instagram to watch a video of these two Tips!

Tip 2:

A basic understanding of fly rod anatomy will help an angler understand the leader wrapping instructions. From bottom to top, most all fly rods are made up of the reel seat (where the reel attaches to the rod), the reel, the handle, the rod, the guides (sometimes called eyelets) that lead the fly line, and the tip. Guides are the little metal parts that go up the rod. The circle-shaped ones are stripping guides and the ones that are twist shaped are snake guides.

Learn more about fly rod basics HERE. 

Step 1: 

To begin, leave about 6-12 inches of fly line out of the tip of the fly rod. This will avoid having the leader knots navigate their way into your guides, which can make it difficult to pull the knots through when you’re ready to fish. This might be unavoidable when you are using long leaders but try your best to keep fly line out of the tip of the rod, you’ll thank me later.

Step 2:

Next, pick a guide to secure your fly onto. For a longer leader, choose a guide higher up on the rod. For a shorter leader, choose a guide closer to the reel. I generally prefer the 2nd or the 3rd guide up from the handle. One important thing to note is to not hook onto the circle part of the stripping guides as they are usually ceramic and can be damaged. Only hook onto the metal part of the guides. While some rods have hook holders, I choose to use the guides to hook my flies onto as the hook holders are usually very low on the rod making this technique not as effective.

Step 3: 

Now take the bow of the line that has been created and wrap it around the back of the reel foot. The reel foot is the part that connects your reel to the reel seat. Then reel up the slack and tighten up the line. I reel it up just tight enough until the rod tip barely starts to bend.

Step 4:

This is a great way to transport your rod in open areas. Although to transport that wizard stick through the thickest of vegetation we need to do one last step to reduce snagging into branches, leaves, and trees. Take the line that is coming down from the tip of the rod and grab it in the middle, then wrap it around your rod two to three times. You can achieve this by twisting your rod with the opposite hand that is holding the rod. The line will secure itself onto the guides. You now have a streamlined trident you can easily manipulate through the forest.

Step 4.5: 

Finally, we need to carry the rod properly so that it’s easy to navigate through the vegetation. This might be the most important part of bushwhacking with a fly rod. Most beginners want to carry their rod pointed in front of them. Simply turn the rod around and point the rod tip behind you while holding onto the handle. This will make it so your rod is trailing behind you as you pass through the branches and trees. For some reason, it also just looks cooler this way.

Have fun out there, hug your friends, pick up trash, and remember to go eat tacos and go fly fishing every single day.

What are some of the quick tips you always use on the water? Let us know below!

If you are looking for a quick way to get out on the water and test out these tips yourself, check out Redington’s new Wrangler Kits! They all come “ready to fish” with a rod, reel, line, and leader. Check them out HERE!

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