Jump to content


 Welcome to FlyTyingForum.com


FlyTyingForum.com is the largest fly tying community in the world and we hope you take a moment to register for a free account and join this amazingly friendly and helpful group of anglers. FTF has over 12,000 registered members that have made over 300,000 posts and have uploaded over 6,000 patterns to our exclusive fly pattern database!

If you are an experienced fly tier or just starting out FTF is the perfect place to call home. Click Here To Register for a Free Account

Fly Pattern Database / Browse by Topics / Browse by Material / Fly Tying Bench Database / Fly Fishing & Tying Videos / FTFCurrent(NEW!)
Featured Products: Fly Tying Hooks / Fly Tying Scissors / Waterproof Fly Boxes
Photo

favorite smallmouth gear?

smallmouth gear

17 replies to this topic

#1 wr1nkles

wr1nkles

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 81 posts

Posted 06 January 2019 - 09:51 AM

Hey guys. Really looking forward to warmer weather and getting back to smallmouth fishing. I've caught some on my 5wt with small buggers, but am looking to throw bigger streamers at them and am in the market for a 7wt. Thinking about picking up one of the old Orvis Clearwaters while they're on sale and available.

 

I wanted to hear what you like to use for smallmouth fishing including:

   - Rod weight/length

   - Lines

   - Leaders

   - Flies

 

 

Thanks in advance!


My psychiatrist told me I was crazy and I said I want a second opinion. He said okay, you're ugly too.


#2 steeldrifter

steeldrifter

    100% Pure Au Sable River Rat

  • Admin
  • PipPipPip
  • 16,321 posts

Posted 06 January 2019 - 10:23 AM

Not long now...only 5 more months till warmer weather LOL ;) ) well at least here in Michigan anyways. While trout are my favorite species I will admit I do love chasin' smallies on the fly. Do a ton of smallmouth streamer fishing every summer on the Au Sable for smallies up to 20-21" range. A 9' 7 or 8wt with a 150-250 grain line (depending on the water you're fishing) streamer sink tip line with about 2ft of straight 10lb Maxima is the way to go. I personally use the Rio 24' sink tip line (250 grain) and found that to be perfect for the faster movies flow of the river I fish. For a rod check out the special I am currently offering to guys here in the trading floor on 9' 7/8wt 4pc rods. That would be a perfect rod for smallie streamer fishing.


mcfr.jpg
Owner- Steve Clark
Midwestcustomflyrods.com


Better to have a short life that is full of what you like doin, than a long life spent in a miserable way- Alan Watts

 

 

 


#3 Rocco

Rocco

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,048 posts

Posted 06 January 2019 - 10:34 AM

You did not say where you fish.

 

Smalmouth waters closest to me  mainly hold smaller to mid size fish so even 3 and 4 wts work fine with smaller clousers and Mickey Finns, wooly buggers, nymphs  etc. 

 

For larger SM bass waters  I use an older ORVIS 5 WT 10'  Power Matrix with a 3" fighting butt added and a an old SA System 2 789 M reel with a Wulff 5wt Ambush line.  It belts out long casts with largish  -- size  4 -- streamers; smaller poppers and hair bugs -- mice mainly; big buggy dry flies;  and large nymphs -- stoneflies, hexes, and helgrammite patterns.   The rod has landed some big smallies w/o a problem.  I also use the rod with a spare spool set up with an OPST 200 gr Commando head for skagit casting in tight quarters and high winds situations. The Commnado system sink tips give access to fish lying deeper too.

 

I am also experimenting with a custom made Gray Wolf CTS quartz 8'6' 6 wt S glass rod and another Ambush line. It looks like a real winner so far.  

 

Rocco

 

.



#4 tjm

tjm

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 984 posts

Posted 06 January 2019 - 12:26 PM

I had one of the earliest Clearwaters, 9'-5wt and with a Triangle Taper 7wt line it shined for trout and bass, just change the leader for bigger or smaller flies.

 

I use mostly 7-8 weight rigs in 7.5'-8.5' and moderate to full flex.

I use floating lines. DT, TT, WF, L are pretty interchangeable out to 30' or so, the Triangle Taper is my favorite past 30' because it rolls well. 

Leaders are tied on the spot to accommodate the fly and the conditions, generally longer for small flies and shorter for big flies; but , a book could be written on all the variations. Probably has been.

My smallmouth gear is the same as my trout and whatever gear, I've never found a reason to use a different rod or reel except "I want to".



#5 Poopdeck

Poopdeck

    You damn kids, get off my lawn!

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,528 posts

Posted 06 January 2019 - 04:20 PM

Lefty Kreh and Bob Clouser both recommend and 8wt for SMB. I use an 8wt. I have all the other sizes and can tell you SMB fishing with a 5 or 6 wt blows. There seems to be a lot of people who pride themselves SMB fishing on 5 and 6wts. I've tried and I think it sucks. I. Find an 8wt to be perfect for bigger streamers and topwaters I use for SMB. I would never use my trout gear (3 thru 6) for SMB fishing. I think steeldrifters 7/8 weight is a perfect choice. In fact I may inquire about this rod myself.

I fish the Delaware river typically in less then 5' of water. I fish mainly a standard ordinary weight forward line. I have a second reel loaded with an intermediate sink Rio outbound short. I really like the outbound short because I can pick the line up and shoot with a flick out to 60 feet, it's almost like using a spinning rod.

Gurglers, clousers, poppers, wooly buggers, and baitfish streamers that have no names is what I chuck. If you want to throw them into the wind with a 5wt have fun.

#6 rstaight

rstaight

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 929 posts

Posted 06 January 2019 - 07:10 PM

I have 3 rods I use for smallies. They are 5, 7, and 9 weights.

The 5wt is used for the surface such as terrestrials and some nymphs. The 7wt is used for heavier weighted streamers such as Clousers.

The 9wt is used for the weighted flies that are predominantly bunny strips. Those are like casting a wet sock.

All 3 rods are the previous generation St. Croix Avid. The 9wt is also my saltwater rod.

"Scholars have long known that fishing eventually turns men into philosophers.  Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to buy decent tackle on a philosopher's salary." - Patrick F. McManus


#7 Bryon Anderson

Bryon Anderson

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,845 posts

Posted 06 January 2019 - 10:15 PM

Smallmouth are my favorite species, and I've fished primarily smallmouth waters here in Michigan since I started fly fishing in 1996. The smallmouth I fish for here top out around 18-20 inches, or 3-4 pounds. I've used everything from a 9' 5 wt. to a 9' 8 wt. I've finally settled on two favorites, both 9-footers. One is a 6 wt., the other is a 7. Both are moderate-fast action. These are both rods that I built myself (although one has a sweet custom grip made by our own Steeldrifter :) ) on Pacific Bay Quickline series blanks. The Orvis Clearwaters are great rods and well worth the money, especially if you've found some on sale.

 

My current 6 wt. line is the Scientific Anglers "Sharkskin" line--I would never have paid the full retail price for it, but I got it on clearance and I have to say it's been one of my favorite lines ever. My 7 wt. line is a WF Cabela's "Prestige Plus", which the salesperson at Cabela's told me was made by Scientific Anglers. It, too, has been a great performer.

 

My preferred bass leader these days is a 7 1/2 foot, 2x leader, to which I add a foot of 3x. Cabela's used to sell a series of bass leaders under their own brand that were 6 feet long and tapered to either 10 or 8 pound tippets. They were my all time favorite bass leader, but they don't sell them anymore.

 

I have three smallmouth fly boxes. One is all woolly bugger variations, from simple, unweighted ones to variants with tungsten beads and rubber legs. One doubles as my trout streamer box, and it contains all manner of streamers in sizes 2-6. The third one is all floating bugs; some poppers, but mostly sliders, mostly deer hair but some cork and foam as well. This coming season, I plan to try some streamers with the silicone twisty-tails, and also some with the ultrasuede baitfish tails.

 

Have fun getting back into the smallies--I know I'm really looking forward to it myself. :)


"... trout do not lie or cheat and cannot be bought or bribed or impressed by power, but respond only to quietude and humility and endless patience." -- John Voelker (aka Robert Traver), Testament of a Fisherman


#8 wr1nkles

wr1nkles

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 81 posts

Posted 07 January 2019 - 01:33 PM

You did not say where you fish.

 

You're right, I'm sorry. I fish kettle ponds from shore (sometimes on SUP) on Cape Cod.

 

I have 3 rods I use for smallies. They are 5, 7, and 9 weights.

The 5wt is used for the surface such as terrestrials and some nymphs. The 7wt is used for heavier weighted streamers such as Clousers.

The 9wt is used for the weighted flies that are predominantly bunny strips. Those are like casting a wet sock.

All 3 rods are the previous generation St. Croix Avid. The 9wt is also my saltwater rod.

 

I also have a 5wt and 9wt (striper rod), and adding the 7wt would allow me to do exactly what you describe. I really had a ton of fun catching them on my 5wt, but I want to throw bigger streamers or have a little extra rod if it's windy (which is always is here on Cape).

 

 

Smallmouth are my favorite species...

 

They became mine too after this last summer. I'd hit the trout and Striper schoolies in spring, then move to smallmouth and panfish all summer, then back to trout and schoolies in the fall. I'm really lucky to have such a large variety of fishing all year long.


My psychiatrist told me I was crazy and I said I want a second opinion. He said okay, you're ugly too.


#9 vicente

vicente

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,830 posts

Posted 08 January 2019 - 12:23 AM

If your fishing pin has or fishing is similar then I fish for largemouth bass, I use a 7wt typically, my favorite line so far has been the sa gpx hover it's a suspending line so very slow sink rate still fishes topwaters like poppers very well but works better with things like dahlberg divers, and if you add a versa leader it fishes like a hinge free sink tip.

#10 wr1nkles

wr1nkles

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 81 posts

Posted 08 January 2019 - 07:45 AM

If your fishing pin has or fishing is similar then I fish for largemouth bass, I use a 7wt typically, my favorite line so far has been the sa gpx hover it's a suspending line so very slow sink rate still fishes topwaters like poppers very well but works better with things like dahlberg divers, and if you add a versa leader it fishes like a hinge free sink tip.

 

Yeah, I actually don't have any kind of sinking line for freshwater for that reason. Polyleaders are all I need. Cheaper, easy to change and have little to no memory.


My psychiatrist told me I was crazy and I said I want a second opinion. He said okay, you're ugly too.


#11 tjm

tjm

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 984 posts

Posted 08 January 2019 - 07:46 AM

In your situation I'd fish the 7wt mostly and switch to 9wt on windy days. When I lived in RI the 9wt was all I used for trout, bass, pickerel, and the bay. The extra weight makes roll casting from shore or near shore in those ponds so much easier for me.

You may find that Clearwater likes a line weight heavier than it's marked, mine was marked 5 and worked best with the 7 for me.



#12 wr1nkles

wr1nkles

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 81 posts

Posted 09 January 2019 - 08:43 AM

In your situation I'd fish the 7wt mostly and switch to 9wt on windy days. When I lived in RI the 9wt was all I used for trout, bass, pickerel, and the bay. The extra weight makes roll casting from shore or near shore in those ponds so much easier for me.

You may find that Clearwater likes a line weight heavier than it's marked, mine was marked 5 and worked best with the 7 for me.

 

Good to know! I was looking at the new SA Mastery Bass Bug line, which is overweighted by 2 sizes for it anyway. Now to find a decent reel...


My psychiatrist told me I was crazy and I said I want a second opinion. He said okay, you're ugly too.


#13 wr1nkles

wr1nkles

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 81 posts

Posted 16 January 2019 - 09:25 AM

So I typically used polyleaders instead of sinking lines, but I'm thinking I may change that approach. Anyone any a preference of line type for smallmouth in lakes? Probably don't need to get down below 20'. Maybe an intermediate?


My psychiatrist told me I was crazy and I said I want a second opinion. He said okay, you're ugly too.


#14 steeldrifter

steeldrifter

    100% Pure Au Sable River Rat

  • Admin
  • PipPipPip
  • 16,321 posts

Posted 16 January 2019 - 10:40 AM

I like the Rio DC 24' sink tip line in a 250grain myself. Works very well with big bass streamers and gets down as deep as you'd want it with a count down method. Only thing I don't like about it is the price, its cost me $80 when I bought mine last year and now I think they have gone up to $99 last time I looked.


mcfr.jpg
Owner- Steve Clark
Midwestcustomflyrods.com


Better to have a short life that is full of what you like doin, than a long life spent in a miserable way- Alan Watts

 

 

 


#15 vicente

vicente

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,830 posts

Posted 17 January 2019 - 10:20 PM

Check Sierra trading post for lines guys, I have bought 4 lines that retail for around 80$ and never paid even half that for them.



Reply to this topic



  



Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: smallmouth, gear