6 wt for steelhead

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by wanative, May 30, 2013.

  1. Shad Active Member

    Posts: 94
    Elma, WA
    Ratings: +72 / 0
    Lots of good points being made. It just occurred to me that nobody has addressed what I think might be the best reason to fish a weight or two above the bare minimum: While you may be expecting fish between 6 and 10 pounds, and that may be a very reasonable expectation, Nature does grow 'em bigger on occasion, and sometimes, the occasional freak is the fish that comes to play. When that happens, in all but the very softest of water, you won't be able to turn that fish with a 6-wt. Then, you have three choices, none of which is ideal:

    1. Break the fish off. It seems some of the posters here have caught so many steelhead that they don't mind doing this. I've caught my share, and I would still much rather be able to land that fish. That way, I get a close up look at a cool fish, and I get to keep the fly that fooled it.

    2. Break your rod, which may be fixable but will likely never cast the same again. When you start hearing a creaking sound, this is about to happen, and it's not cool when it does.

    3. Pull as hard as you can without breaking your rod and wait for the fish to exhaust itself. If it's a wild fish, it's as good as dead. If hatchery, its flesh will be considerably less tasty, due to acid buildup.

    Why leave yourself open to making this choice if it's not necessary?

    For the record, I'm not suggesting that those saying a 6-wt. is sufficient are wrong. Many of them may be more experienced than I am, or else they may have the healthy attitude that a hookup is cool enough without dealing the deal every time. Only speaking from limited, personal, subjective experience here.
    aplTyler likes this.
  2. Jeremy Floyd fly fishing my way through life

    Posts: 2,570
    Quesnel, BC
    Ratings: +323 / 0
    I don't know anyone that invests the time and money into steelhead with the attitude of "whatever.. I don't need to land them".

    I know from doing it lots of time trying to turn a fish before it hit the chute below the riffle that I can snap off a steelhead with 8lb maxima at will with a 5 or 6 weight. You can't pull any harder with an 8 wt, instead of a 5 or 6 wt, if you can already break the leader that most guys are using for summer fish. (I bet if you use 10 lb maxima you can turn the fish or rip the hook out or break almost any 8 wt)

    You guys are totally nuking this thing out with internet logic... Just go fish, put good side pressure on them all the time, and get them in with the rod you choose to use.
    Randall Clark and Salmo_g like this.
  3. Salmo_g Active Member

    Posts: 7,589
    Your City ,State
    Ratings: +1,711 / 0
    Yeah, what Jeremy said. Technically, altho the rod is handy, it really isn't necessary for playing a steelhead. Knowing that 8# Maxima can land a 26 pound steelhead in 25 minutes, fish with confidence with the rod of your choice. If you don't land the steelhead, it isn't because of the rod you're using. That said, I do prefer using a rod for playing steelhead, and I like 7 & 8 wts in single hand rods.

    Sg
  4. FT Active Member

    Posts: 1,245
    Burlington, WA
    Ratings: +103 / 0
    As long as you don't try to lift a large fish with a 6 wt, you will not have any problem using one for summer runs. Heck, you can land 35 lb kings on a 6 wt if you don't use the rod to lift the fish. Simply point the rod at the fish if it is a large one, have minimum bend in the rod (i.e. you are not lifting the fish with the rod), and play it off the reel and you can land fish in a decent time without exhausting it.
  5. Fishee Member

    Posts: 156
    seattle
    Ratings: +19 / 0
    I have a 6wt Winston LTX 9'-6" i use for my summer runs and i feel the rod is more than adequate. And Maxima 6lb tippet is plenty strong for any summer run steelhead.
  6. Terry Bare Member

    Posts: 149
    Independence, Oregon
    Ratings: +4 / 0
    I totally agree Kerry..a good six weight is enough just get it done right.