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Letís hash this out...specific rod for a fly

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45 replies to this topic

#16 Dave G.

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Posted 03 May 2019 - 05:09 AM

It's the old story of pleasing man. For years I wanted the ultimate 9'4wt, finally picked a blank and built the rod, love the rod even. Then I found it's limit on large fish, so think about another blank.


And technology moves on, that blank is out there. It will have the general feel of my present one with more reserve back. Wrapping designs change, like cars no longer need a couple 100 watt light bulbs under the hood on a cold night to insure they will start in the morning ( remember those days, I do)..

John 7:38 ESV  is about "Rivers of Living Water"

#17 Philly


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Posted 03 May 2019 - 09:53 AM

I have two 5 wgts, an  8 1/2' and a 7'.  These are my "trout" rods and of course pan fish rods.  I have a two 6 wgts.  81/2' and 9'.  These are my all purpose rods.  I use them for trout, pan fish, bass and light salt water.  I have three 8 wgts, I'm not sure why.  I very seldom use them these days.  Two of them  have screw in fighting butts and can double as spinning rods, if I don't feel like dragging a spinning rod with me.  The third is a 4 piece that I brought for my trips to Guam.  The last of those trips was 16 years ago and I haven't used it since then.  Just stripped the snake guides off of it and replaced them with single foot spinning guides.  The last time I built rods for myself, I built four of them, Cablela's was having a buy three blanks get the fourth for free.  I averaged out the cost for each rod.  Blank, the specific guides I use, good cork for the grips and a nice reels seat and it came to $110 per rod.  So I don't see the logic or expense of having a rod for a specific fish or occasion.  If you have the money go for it.  It fits into the same idea that you need a specific type of fly line to meet the conditions or the type of fish you're going after.   

"All things considered, I'd rather be in Philadelphia."

#18 RickZieger


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Posted 03 May 2019 - 10:01 AM

I have several rods. None of them are expensive. Got the bug and built a few.

Then I got the bug to get into bamboo. Have a few of them now.

Now I just fish the rods and have fun.

Since I fish a lot from a canoe I can always moved it so I don't have to make 70 ft casts.



#19 yooperflyfisher


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Posted 03 May 2019 - 10:10 AM

I have two rods one 9 foot 10 wt for pike, bass, lake trout, salmon and steelhead and a 5"6 3 wt for any thing else. And I really want to get a 6 wt for bass and splake.

#20 vicente


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Posted 03 May 2019 - 10:54 AM

I have a few 9'10" 4 wt I love it but I have lost good size bass because it just doesn't have the power, great trout rod fun for little bass a pan fish though. A 10' 8 wt I got from Steve which is great also my most expensive my favorite rod. I also have a reddington 9'6" 7 wt I got from another member here it's probably my most fished rod either that or the 4 wt I feel more comfortable keeping them in my truck all the time than my 8 wt and most of my fishing happens when I have a shortish work day.

#21 utyer


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Posted 03 May 2019 - 06:40 PM

When I started fly fishing, I had one very antiquated glass fly rod.  I adapted to it.  I found enough parts and pieces of old bamboo rods to build what I thought would be an "upgrade."  What I ended up with was a 9' 2" 9 weight monster,  harder to cast than my glass rod, and not at all suited to dry fly fishing for trout.  I then started working in tackle stores, and I could get any and all rods for a nice discount, and I ended up with at least a dozen.  Small light rods for small streams, these were 4 weights, then a few different 6 weight rods between 8 and 9 feel.  I also had three 8 weights 8.5 to 10 feet for still water and popper fishing.  Many of these rods were built from blanks from several different manufactures.  Since all I fished for were trout, there wasn't a need for any specific rod when I sometimes fished for panfish, or bass.  When I fished in Michigan for Salmon, or PA for Steal-head, I just used my existing 9' 8 weights. 


After moving to Florida, I focused on inshore saltwater fishing for larger fish like Red Drum, Snook and Juvenile Tarpon.  And I continued to fish my existing 8 weight rods.  Never found a rod yet that I couldn't adjust to, and I never found that any rod no matter how expensive made me a better caster.  The way to do that is to perfecting proper casting technique.  I Still have one rod (a Sage,) that is almost 30 years old, and my newest rods are very inexpensive by today's standards, both under $200.  I can cast them as far as I can cast my Sage.  


There are rods marketed now for different species, and far too many different types of fishing.  I just don't buy into that, why would I want to have a Red Drum rod, A Tarpon rod, and Sea Trout rod, and a Snook rod, when I can (and have,) caught all these fish and a few more on the same rod.  i use a 6 weight most of the time, and only switch up to my 8 weight when I think I will be finding fish in excess of 15 to 20 pounds.  I have landed lots of trout up to 5# on a 6 weight, and use the same rod for fishing in Saltwater, and use it Bass, and Shad fishing in the winter months.  My Sage 8 weight has work for me in Mexico for Bonefish, Permit and Snook,  Steal-head,  Salmon, Bass, Pickerel, Bowfish, and Trout.  


You need a rod that will deliver the fly you want to use, and then be able to "handle" the fish.  By that I mean able to bring it to net quickly in good shape and release it will a good chance of full recovery.  


Two 9' rods one a 6 and one an 8 will do me nicely.  

"We have met the ememy, and he is us." Pogo by Walt Kelly

#22 tjm


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Posted 03 May 2019 - 07:24 PM


You need a rod that will deliver the fly you want to use, and then be able to "handle" the fish.  By that I mean able to bring it to net quickly in good shape and release it will a good chance of full recovery.

I like for it to also be soft enough to protect the tippet. I've had several 7'6"-9' in 5-9wts that did these things, although I'll admit the 5wt rods used 7wt lines in my hands.

The theory is that we can't own too many rods and the justification for owning more rods is specialization: by species, by fly pattern and by line taper, maybe by time of  year or water depth.

Someone had a tag line to the effect that fly tiers/fishermen like to make things difficult; to me that includes any use of lines lighter than 6-7, it simply takes more work to impart the same energy into the tippet with lighter lines, and I'm a lazy fellow. being lazy, I'll adapt the leader to the fly and cast with half the rod rather that tote two rods.

I also believe that many of the fish sought with fly would be easier taken with other methods, so the good tool theory is moot. A good/best  tool might be a gig or a net. 

We don't always chose the flyrod because it's the best tool or most appropriate tool, we chose it because it suits us to use it, and, by the same token the choice of rod length or line weight is also for no other reason than it suits us at the moment.

#23 Charlie P. (NY)

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Posted 03 May 2019 - 08:03 PM

It's not the rod - it's the fly line.  ;-)


Lines are sized to the fly, and whether floating, sinking, shooting.


THEN, the rod is selected to the best match.


With a lot of leeway in the useable range of weights/sizes/lengths.


Use what you like.


The happy man does not have all he wants.  He enjoys what he has.

   Not that Pearsall



#24 mikechell



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Posted 03 May 2019 - 08:06 PM

I also believe that many of the fish sought with fly would be easier taken with other methods ...


To a point, I disagree with this statement.  Fly fishing has saved many a trip for me ... producing when nothing else did.


I've even out-fished people using live bait.


There ARE fish that can't be reached with a fly rod ... but that's different.

Barbed hooks rule!
My definition of work: Doing something in which effort exceeds gain.
Ex-Marine ... quondam fidelis

#25 Mike West

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Posted 03 May 2019 - 08:11 PM

It's not the rod - it's the fly line.  ;-)

The happy man does not have all he wants.  He enjoys what he has.

Thanks for the memory jog.
The last two Women I’ve been with I used to tell them,
Be happy with what you have and not unhappy with what you don’t have.
They didn’t get it and that’s why they’re both my X’s

#26 saltydancindave


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Posted 04 May 2019 - 05:48 AM

[QUOTE]Just buy a rod that will cast the size flies that you plan to use and go fishing...same with the reels.


Antbody else feel like me?[QUOTE]


Used to just have a flyrod which was good enough for bass until it was stolen, then had to search for a replacement & recall being told all kinds of info for a 9' fly rod, where if I couldn't reach the tip top to undo miscasts unless holding it close to the middle, preferred something shorter. That first 8' rod was so much easier to handle, but then fly shops tried selling trout rods that didn't have enough for larger bass. Years later fly rod selling was choose the prey, choose the appropriate size fly & only then choose a fly line. Seemed a different approach & then reading a chart where hook size ranges for species were categorized & matched to specific fly lines that made the fly rod weight choice calculated for customers was science for the waters being fished.

#27 Mike West

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Posted 05 May 2019 - 11:25 AM

Lots of excellent responses.
Your 1st post I respectfully disagree with...your second post about the hammer & a nail cracks me up..
I haven’t heard that in years but that’s kind of my point.
My 5wt...Beaver ponds with 4”-10” super spooky fish...4wt DT and 14’-16’ leaders..not a ripple on the water.
Rivers with big brown trout and small tanks with bass WF 5wt and shorter 4’-6’ leaders.
Salt water Reds and specs...larger flies and bass...SWT taper 6 wt and short stiff leaders.
Until I got into some private water fishing the fourth biggest bass I’ve ever caught in my life was around 8-9 pounds.
It was caught on that 5wt with 6# tippet.

I missed a worlds record one time on a Bass by 4 ounces on the class tippet I was using at the time 16 #
When I went to look it up and check into it Some guy in Florida caught a 14 pound bass on 4 # text tippet..Line wt wasn’t stated.
But anybody fishing with 4lb test line trying to catch Bream, what are they using a 4-6 wt rod?

You missed my point?
My point was for new guys getting into the sport.
You don’t need a $800 streamer rod, you don’t need a $800 nymph rod,you don’t need $800 dry fly rod to ahave a good time to catch fish.

If you are just one of those guys(not you Rocco) that is just OCD and as to have the best of everything and you can afford it go for it.

Do you see any of the guys in the bass pro circuit spending $800- $1500 on a worm rod?
Hell no!
It’s silly how much flyrod’s cost now days and it just gets under my skin seeing new guys getting sucked into this. Once again same with reels.

What’s the most exspensive high-end bait casting reel and spinning reel not counting salt water?
$250-$300...some go $400...but that nuts too...you can by a nice functional reel alday for $50-$100 if that.
And they are 100 times more complicated than any high end fly reel made.

Really enjoyed your comments too

#28 steeldrifter


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Posted 05 May 2019 - 11:54 AM

Mike I think you are actually talking about two different things if you ask me. There's a difference between certain types of rods doing things a bit better than another and being able to get by with the least amount of rods you really need, as compared to cost.of rods they charge these days, which seemed to be the focus of your above reply.


There are certain rods that do things much better than other rods. Just because you "can" do something with a certain rod (8lb bass on 5wt) doesn't mean that it's honestly the best choice for a rod for that situation.


Now as to the cost, that I will fully agree with you on. I get told all the time I am not charging enough for my custom rods. When I sell a rod for $125-$175 range quite often I get told it should be at least twice that price. Why? Just because I could charge more doesn't mean I should. Factory rod prices these days are all about money. They do try to tell you that you have to have this or that and then it's gonna cost $500,$700 or even now $900 for some rods. IMO that is just insane. The majority of the price on those rods is for the marketing and nothing else.


So I agree with you on price of factory rods being crazy, you don't need to spend a ton on a rod. With that said, I do feel that there are many times when just because you "can" use a rod in a certain situation, that doesn't mean it is actually the "best" rod to choose for that situation.

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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

#29 Mike West

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Posted 05 May 2019 - 12:42 PM

Totally agree with you Steve.
It’s back to my point about new people getting into this sport and not getting sucked into all the marketing hype. It just really bugs me and I think it scares a lot of new people away.....it’s a rich mans sport when it’s really not..unless you want it to be.

And you’re right my five weight was not the best tool for all the fishing I did... but I made it work.The only thing I really haven’t touched on is wind. That’s when the line wt. really comes into play.

Try throwing a size 1 streamer on a 5wt rod even using a 6 wt line in a 15mph wind..probably not going to happen.

And don’t get me wrong I’m not one of those bitter people jealous of people that can afford things I can’t.
For about 7/8 years in my life and my 15 minutes of fame I made $150,000-$3000.00 a year
I could buy whatever I wanted and I did because I got sucked into the hype.
Now I live paycheck to paycheck just like 90% of America and I look back of those days and think how freaking stupid.

The whole reason for this thread is over last couple years I keep seeing threads “I’m going to Joe blow United States I need a dry fly rod” I’m going to Joe blow united states I need to streamer rod”...ect. ect
I bang my head against the wall and in my head I’m thinking I don’t know what do you have now I’m sure it will work.

I knew we would get ton of responses from people just getting into the sport and then from people that have doing it for years like you and I.

It’s all ready done what I wanted to do, be educational and a informative.

#30 tjm


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Posted 05 May 2019 - 01:04 PM

Mike, I've been fly fishing since the mid 70s and I can do all the trout, bass, and pan fishing that I'll ever want to with an 8' 7wt.

I always encourage new folks to look at similar mid-weight rigs (5-7wt) in medium lengths that don't stay up in the tree tops and you can reach the end of, and suggest a price of $100-200 tops. My thoughts are that the great majority of new buyers won't stay in the sport long and the high priced stuff will live in a closet or ... If and when the newbie decides he/she wants to specialize or upgrade, he should have the acquired knowledge to make informed decisions.


What drives the price up on some top name rods is the guarantee that they will replace it 2,3 or 10 times if you are careless and break it, no free lunch- just raise the door charge. And then there is a class of fly fisher that has to pay more for every thing as part of his personality; doesn't matter to those guys which thing is best, only which one cost more.