3wt question.

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Ab fisher, Apr 29, 2010.

  1. Ab fisher New Member

    Posts: 35
    Utah
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    ok so i am looking to get a 3wt rod and was wondering what is a typical trout size that most people would be willing to put on a 3wt? am curious if a 20" brown fighting with the river current would be to big for a 3wt.
  2. Trout Master Active Member

    you dont see a Kia with a fifth wheel hitch pulling a trailer do you? I would say no in a river
  3. Kyle Smith Active Member

    Posts: 1,813
    Bozeman, MT
    Ratings: +166 / 0
    For medium-sized, faster rivers with large trout, I wouldn't recommend anything less than a 4wt for dries, and a 5 for nymphing. On small streams, a 3 can bring in the big ones but you might not be able to stop them from heading for cover.
  4. Lugan Joe Streamer

    Posts: 2,333
    Beautiful View, WA
    Ratings: +677 / 2
    20" fish on a 3wt is going to stress that fish because you'll need to fight it longer and likely to exhaustion. Fish that stressed tend to have lower chance of survival. Then again, you'd probably fail to land such a fish in a real river on a 3wt.

    Why not use a 5wt? You'll still "feel the fight" and be able to cast small flies as delicately as you'd possibly need.
  5. Ab fisher New Member

    Posts: 35
    Utah
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    i typically fish a 4wt rod for the rivers here and am able to get a fish in within 2 or 3 minutes tops most rivers i fish dont have much room for running and is pretty scarce when it comes to sub surface cover. the fish are typically 15-18 inches but i have snagged a few 20" + fish. I really wouldent want to fight them for to long if i was able to snag one of them. i do have a few high elivation lakes and streems that hold 12-14" bows and brooks so mostly plan on using a 3wt for them but was wondering what i was limited by as far as fish size with a 3wt. thanks for all the help so far guys
  6. Trout Master Active Member

    The 3 wt in lakes is a blast, I have been using my 2wt as a chronnie rod for years, Also for small drys and have gotten quite a few hogs with it. Main thing is to get them in quickly so have a good reel also.
  7. Rick Todd Active Member

    Posts: 1,790
    Ferndale/Winthrop
    Ratings: +206 / 0
    I think on a lake or a small river like the upper Skagit in BC a 3 wt is a lot of fun, and my Sage Light Line 389 is my favorite rod. Bringing large fish in is as much a matter or tippet strength as rod weight. On fast rivers like the Yakima a 4 wt is as small as I usually go. REmember you typically have wind to contend with and need a little more backbone for casting in the "W"! Rick
  8. Ab fisher New Member

    Posts: 35
    Utah
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    i will be using a voseller DC3 and an Allen&co alpha
  9. Plecoptera Active Member

    Posts: 613
    Bellingham
    Ratings: +26 / 0
    If your planning on mainly catching larger trout (15"+) I would step up to a bigger rod. If your only catching larger fish occasionally a 3wt will work fine. I've caught rainbows to 22" and a 25" bull on my 3wt. While I felt a little under-gunned, it got the job done. Not all 3wts are created equal however. Some have a surprising amount of backbone.
  10. Brookie_Hunter aka Dave Hoover

    Posts: 1,313
    Phinney Ridge, Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +102 / 0
    From my experience, I would say a 3wt is comfortable for up to a 13-14 inch trout, if not in too fast of water of course. But you're right that if you're on a small creek where the fish has no room to run unless it sprouts legs, you can often get away with a lighter weight rod that might not work on a larger piece of moving water.
  11. Stew McLeod aka BigMac

    Posts: 1,131
    Renton, WA
    Ratings: +74 / 0
    You'll love that Voseller ...
  12. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,273
    Kitsap Peninsula
    Ratings: +1,236 / 9
    Plecoptera is $$$ right here! I favor a 4wt and have too many of them. Some excel with delicate presentation (if I ever learn how to do that) and others are very fast and have plenty of punch for streamers in the wind. Just for dries I have a 3wt that can handle the slightly bigger fish I might catch. Now I just have to catch them.
  13. Ab fisher New Member

    Posts: 35
    Utah
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    hey thanks everyone i think i will just go with my 4wt for my main rod still and fish the 3wt on the smaller streams
  14. Stew McLeod aka BigMac

    Posts: 1,131
    Renton, WA
    Ratings: +74 / 0
    I think that will work out for you Ab Fisher. I use my 3wt mostly on the small forks and rivers around the area and occasionally on the Yak. I save my 5 wts for the larger rivers and waters.

    Stew
  15. robl Member

    Posts: 422
    Richland WA
    Ratings: +5 / 0
    I use a 9' 3 weight for high lakes with fish up to 20". I always feel way undergunned on the big fish though. 16" is more do-able. Rivers is a different story. Small river, dry flies. and 10-15" fish 3wt ought to do. I nymph quite a bit with a 4 wt but like the 5 wt a lot better. I pretty much just fish 9' rods and look forward to buying a switch for the extra length. I have a shorty 7' 3 wt that is a killer creek rod for x-caddis and hungry natives.
  16. Alastair New Member

    Posts: 47
    Abbotsford, BC
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    There is no problem using a 3-wt for larger trout. When playing the fish, play it more off the butt of the rod and not off the tip, and use an appropriate strength leader. A reel which allows you to increase the drag significantly will also help. Just because it's a 3-wt does not mean you have to fight the fish like it was a12 inch rainbow from a small stream.
  17. bitterroot Love vintage graphite!

    Posts: 1,426
    Snohomish, WA
    Ratings: +213 / 1
    IMHO...If you are catching large fish on a 3wt and having to fight them off the butt of the rod then it's time to move up a rod size or two. It doesn't make sense to have a dainty little rod and then have to play all your fish off the butt to land the fish before exhaustion. Use a rod that is sized appropriately so that the tip of the rod can do the job it was intended to do, i.e. protect the tippet. I think a 3wt may have its place but that place is targeting small fish. Just my $.02
  18. colton rogers wishin' i was fishin'

    Posts: 874
    gig harbor, washington
    Ratings: +10 / 0
    i use a 7'3" 2 weight and was losing alot of fish due to broken line when they hit. my knots arent bad! i think 2 pound test... but you could fish a longer 3 weight to put more pressure on the fish. and like said above a good reel. just becasue its a limp 3 weight doesnt mean you cant put a 4 weigh line and a stronger leader on and just get the pole to bend a little more when fighting fish.
    i say go for it and if it doesnt work out then go to a 4 weight.
  19. shotgunner Anywhere ~ Anytime

    Posts: 476
    45th Parallel NW Michigan
    Ratings: +18 / 1
    Light line disciple

    Ages old argument.. LEAN into your fish hard or play it with kid gloves consumed with fear of popping the knot? A "dainty little rod" has more to do with presentation. Much less disturbance [SHINES on flat glides] with a light line and better tippet protection. IMHO you can whip a fish quicker off the butt vs the tip. As you scale the tippit size down the line class can naturally follow. "All" fish wont be a big.. or I'm fishing in the wrong place?

    Bigger fish in heavy flows.. No. Per norm, your water will dictate.