5wt or 6wt?

I am in the market for a new rod (stoked!). Currently have a 4 and a 6 and planned on replacing my 15 yr old 6 with another 6. But, have recently begun considering a 5wt instead. I fish exclusively for trout primarily on the Yakima & various eastside lakes.

Based on my needs would you recommend a 5wt or 6wt?

Thanks in advance for any input. :thumb:
5wt or 6 wt?

Just go for a 6. It doesn't handle that much different than a 5. Plus it will give you a little more backbone in the wind, casting bigger flies or fighting bigger fish.

It can also be used for summer steel, pinks, bass, pike etc.

mike doughty

Honorary Member
5wt or 6 wt?

Backyard said:
Just go for a 6. It doesn't handle that much different than a 5. Plus it will give you a little more backbone in the wind, casting bigger flies or fighting bigger fish.

It can also be used for summer steel, pinks, bass, pike etc.
Backyard's on the money, especially if your 4 wgt is still in good shape. If I could only take one rod with me to any given water, it will be my 6 wgt. as my all rounder.

Half the time the wind is a factor that needs to be reckoned with. If I don't have my 6 wgt with me, at the least, my shoulder with be sore the next day from fighting the wind, and my casting will be frustrating instead of just challenging. I use it for summer steelie's, sea run cutts, resident coho's, pinks, and when the big trout are rising in strong current, its hard to turn a 20"+ trout's head when it decides to go down stream without a rod with some authority.


Piscatorial predilection
I actually have 2 6wts one is slow the other fast. I prefer the slow one on the Yak with dry's.
I do think a 91/2 or 10 ft rod is better on the rivers I fish, especially when sub-surface fishing because they roll cast so well.
With a 4wt, 7wt, 2-8wt's & 9/10wt I still use the 6's most.
Whad're y'all crazy??! Buy both & don't tell your wife.

...One shouldn't burden himself with such difficult decesions

...when you come to a fork in the road, take it...

....who's for 5?...who's for 6?....alright, I'm with you fellers.
A note of dissent. Get a light, fast 5 (I love my new Powell TiMax I picked up at the show). Overline it to a 6 for throwing from a boat on the Yak (especially big dries with a dropper). Get a long bellied 5 wt floater for lakes and you'll be able to toss it a mile.


Only 3 more years until I can think like a fish.
If you are already using your 4wt I would go for the six, and you can set the 4 up for your dries, and the 6 for casting bigger flies, and nymphing.
My go to rod for trout is a six weight when I am fishing from a boat. Steelhead, pinks, sockeye, large trout, small mouth you name it. Great rod! :beer1:

Old Man

Just an Old Man
Well I prefer a 5wt in the good old summertime. A 6wt is nice for the wind but I still prefer the 5wt. Got some big fish on the 5wt with no problems.



Active Member
Both. For the yak, I fish a 5 weight for drys, medium fast action. For streamers and the dredded "double nymph rig" I use a fast 6 weight. Same with lakes over their, in fact, if I can I take both rods with me. YT :cool:
My 5 wgt is a slow rod, closer to a 4 wgt., that I use when delicate presentation is a factor; my 9'6" 6 wgt is fast, closer to a 7 wgt., in fact loads better with a 7 wgt line when distance/wind casting. The 5 wgt is nice to use as it has a softer touch and very sensitive tip. Most of the fish caught in the Yakima are readily taken on the 5 wgt. However, to this day I still recall standing helpless on a mid-river bar watching a true trophy Yakima Bow leaping down stream from me about 250 ft away with my size 16 green butt caddis in his mouth before I had to bust him off as I just couldn't pull the fish out of the fast water with the 5 wgt. It just doesn't have the butt to play a big fish hard in hard current. Where the river banks allow running after a fish and playing it, I have landed summer run steelhead on the 5 wgt., but that Bow kicked my butt that day. If I ever get another shot at a trophy fish, I will be using the right rod to bring 'em to hand. If I had been using a stiffer 5 wgt., I might have pulled it off, I dunno. :confused: I have purchased a medium fast 5 wgt this winter to hopefully bridge the gap.

Richard E

Active Member
If you like to fish with dries and nymphs, get a fast 5 wt.

If you fish damsels and chironimids in lakes, get a fast 5 wt.

If you like to fish heavy weighted flies and sink tips and streamers in rivers, or fish buggers and fish deep in lakes, get a 6 wt.

I differ with the popular theory here; I have GLX and SP 6 weights, and XP and TFO TiCr 5 weights, all fast rods. If I fished trout primarily, I'd stick with the 5 weights, because the 5 weights fish small dries (say, #12 and smaller) better than the 6's.

There's a reason why, when a rod company comes with new rods, that the first 2 rod weights offered are 5 weight and 8 weight. Think about it. :thumb:
I'd agree with the guys pushing you toward the 6 wt. You don't need rods with so close a line weight, 4 and 6 wt would be a good combination. Then you can add an 8 and a 10 wt in the future. Over the years I have gone to 3, 5, 7, 9, & 12. Think down the road and you will eventually find you need a wider spread of rods to cover all fishing situations.