5 weights 8.5 or 9

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Westfork, Oct 21, 2011.

  1. Westfork Member

    Posts: 108
    too far west
    Ratings: +4 / 0
    Just got off the phone with a buddy that owns a fly shop in MT and had an interesting conversation about what the ideal length a 5 weight ought to be.

    This guy has been casting rods for way longer than I have and spent his formative years among some of the best rod builders and casters in the Bay Area starting back before rods were made of plastic.

    Gist of it is: 8 foot 6 and 8 foot 8 are the ideal lengths, any thing longer is less efficient...

    It may be this is too fine a point for me to notice, but like I said, his opinion isn't one just grabbed out of the ether.
  2. buckkiller1 Banned or Parked

    Posts: 28
    Yakima Wa
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I would need to know what you plan to fish and how, what rods you are considering since rods made of different material in similar lengths will cast very different.
  3. Westfork Member

    Posts: 108
    too far west
    Ratings: +4 / 0
    That's just it, we were talking about casting, not fishing... It started when I said that I had a well known maker 8.5 rod that I preferred to cast over any of my 9 footers, because it did it so organically I really didn't have to think about what I was doing, as opposed to any longer rods I own.

    Of course, he could have been pulling my leg.
  4. Patrick Gould Active Member

    Posts: 2,356
    Ellensburg, WA
    Ratings: +688 / 1
    That a pretty objective problem if we're just talking about distance. Just cast the two identical rods in the different lengths. My guess is that all things being equal a fast action 9' 5wt with a powerful, experienced caster would cast longer. With a more classic action I bet your friend is right.

    Longer rods do make it easier to mend and get good drifts if you're using an indicator.
  5. Patrick Gould Active Member

    Posts: 2,356
    Ellensburg, WA
    Ratings: +688 / 1
    Do you know what kind of rod the guys who do single handed distance competitions use?
  6. Drifter Active Member

    Posts: 1,627
    Ratings: +635 / 2
    http://www.troutrods.com/graphite.html

    what Tom Morgan thinks about rod length . many other thoughts on rod actions and materials on his sight .

    Although i like a nine footer , i high stick nymph a lot .
  7. Drifter Active Member

    Posts: 1,627
    Ratings: +635 / 2
    From my research the 5 wt. competitions are done with 10 foot being the longest you can use .

    In years past the glx 10 ft. 5 wt. and z-axes were the norm with the expert distance lines and now rio makes a competition line also .

    S.A. distance taper line has a 70' head and the full head length weighs 324 grains for a 6 wt. so the 5 wt. would weigh close to 290 or 300 grains - quite heavy !

    rio tournament 5 wt. line has a head that is 75.5 ft. long and weighs 324 grains and is 120 feet long .

    also i do not believe shooting heads are allowed , but i'm not sure .
  8. Randall Clark Active Member

    Posts: 668
    Orygun
    Ratings: +181 / 0
    it also depends on the materials....for graphite, I really like my 9' 5wt, but for glass, there's is nothing better than my 8' 5/6 (I actually fish it with a 6)...and I mean nothing. I don't really notice the difference in length when high-sticking that much.
  9. Patrick Gould Active Member

    Posts: 2,356
    Ellensburg, WA
    Ratings: +688 / 1
    The RIO distance line looks interesting. It has a 75', 320 gr head. I bet the first 30' squeak in under the 5wt limit. Both the line and those fast 10' rods seem designed to cheat the rule. Do they use extra long running line for the competitions or connect the running line to mono or what?
  10. Drifter Active Member

    Posts: 1,627
    Ratings: +635 / 2
    I looked up some winning distances for the 5 wt. comps and some are 115 to like 120 feet . like i mentioned the rio full line length is 120 feet - the head itself is 75.5 - the s.a. 6 wt. distance line stays right at the 160 grains for the first 30 feet which is normal for a 6 wt. but the head is still quite heavy for its length and they could be casting further now .

    I was actually thinking of competing at the orvis casting competition in oregon but the worlds best SCARED me off lol !