That's some very good info there, much thanks. My buddy who used to do a lot of trout fishing suggested something around a 4wt., but I'll probably go with something more around the 6 wt. I'm actually getting pretty stoked about doing this. I haven't picked up a fly rod(for actual fly fishing)since I was 11.
I'd suggest a 7 weight for bass. You can fish 6,7, 8 weight lines, which will handle the majority of smallmouth and largemouth scenerios. Plus, it's nice having the larger weights if you are so inclined to fish deerhair rat/mouse patterns.
When I was growing up my Dad liked to fly fish with popping bug and also use small spinners on his spinning rod. When I was big enough I was put on one end of the boat and he on the other. We would alternate between the spinning and fly.
Once he bought a fly rod...it didn't feel like his old one so I was given it. I thought I had been given a piece of gold. It was my first fly rod. I practiced and practiced with that rod. It was stiff as a board but I finally succeded. That was over 40 years ago. I eventually scraped it down, repainted it and put new snake guides on it about 15 years ago. It is still my favorite fly rod. It is a heavy rod must be a close to a 10 weight.
We would rig our fly rods with regular mono instead of tapered leaders about 6 foot length and put small hook and split shot with small cork and fish between trees in flooded timber areas. Man would we haul out bass, bluegills, shellcrackers, and catfish with this stlye of fishing. We would mostly use crickets or nighcrawlers for bait.
Late in the evenings we would skull the boat along even with the bank about 20-30 foot out and cast popping bugs up against the bank. The bream and bass would kill those bugs. Now bream will hit the bug once then come back and take it. So don't just try to set the hook when you see a swirl at your bug...let him take it until you feel him on good. Some times those bream like to mouth it before taking it especially if they are on a bed. While on a bed they will pick up anything that comes close and just move it away without getting it all in their mouth.
I have used the light weight special trout rods but if you learn on a heavy weight you will be better off. You are still feeling the line instead of the rod in most cases. The heavy rod allows you to get out of bad situations better with out breaking a rod tip. You know like landing in over hanging tree limbs that you are trying to cast under but don't quite make it.
the weight is all personal preference and also depends on the type flies you will end up settling on. I have in the past fished for smallies like I fished for trout, in which case the 5/6 wts were what I needed. If you are looking towards streamers or deer hair bugs, you may go up to an 8 wt. One thing that I think I should stress is that, despite common belifs, you don't have to spend a ton of money at all getting into flyfishing for bass. You don't even really need to worry about the reel, almost any fly reel will do - so just pick a decent rod to learn with.
I started using a fly rod several years ago and use a 5/6 for bass fishing, for some added fun you may even try doing a little carp fishing with it, Its a blast closest thing to fishing for salt water striper that I have found in Kansas. Fights are are long and fun.