9 weight for steelhead

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Meanpressure, Jan 16, 2007.

  1. Meanpressure

    Meanpressure New Member

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    Hi everyone

    First time posting here. I was wondering if a
    9 weight rod and reel combo would be too much for steelhead
    that average in the teens?
    I am also looking at 8 weights, but a buddy suggested i get a 9 weight.

    Thanks for your help.
     
  2. bigtj

    bigtj Member

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    I want to know where you are fishing that the steelhead average in the teens!!! I want to go there!!

    Anyway to answer your question...and assuming we're talking single-handers here.... a 9-wt is on the heavy-ish side but that being said it sounds like you are going after some pretty big fish. I would say I would use a 9-wt if I were throwing big heavy flies and heavy shooting heads. To put things in perspective, I use a 9 or 10-wt when chasing Kings that average 20-25 lbs.

    My choice for an all-around winter steelhead rod would be a 10' 8-wt, which is plenty of stick for a 15-lb steelhead, and perhaps a bit more of a comprimise for use in situations with smaller steelhead.

    Ask 5 guys you'll probably get 5 different answers though so utimately go with your own judgement.
     
  3. rainbow

    rainbow My name is Mark Oberg

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    Winter steelhead and salmon I use a 10' 8 wt. Summer steelhead I use a 10' 6 weight. And I land these big fish fine with these rods. I prefer sage because of the warranty, just encase.:thumb:
     
  4. Riane

    Riane Mouse doctor

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    My opinion is to match the equipment to the water. If you are casting in bigger water in the wind with a shooting head, go heavier and longer. Smaller water, well go smaller. Personally I wouldn't get a single hander bigger than a 6 wt. If you want to fish big water, I'd reccomend a two-hander.
     
  5. Ryan Nathe

    Ryan Nathe Member

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    I have a sage 9' 8 weight and I love it. The only thing I would change if I re-bought would be to look at 9'6" 8 weights. I would not go heavier than an 8 weight for steelhead. You can land even the big guys with a rod that size and smaller fish will start feeling like nothing if you go heavier. Just my opinion.
     
  6. Zen Piscator

    Zen Piscator Supporting wild steelhead, gravel to gravel.

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    I just ordered a 10ft 9wt for salmon and steelies in big water. However I also have a 9ft 8wt and a 9ft 7wt. The 7wt is my standard steelhead rod.

    I would recomend an 8wt.

    Peace,
    Andy
     
  7. otter

    otter Banned or Parked

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    I have a 9'6" 8wt which I use for winter fish/big water. And a 9' 6wt I use for almost everything else. And I'm working through all the combinations of an 8' or 8'6" 5 or 6 wt, for the small op rivers and creeks, winter or summer ( hi kristin!), for my next setup.

    otter
     
  8. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    Meanpressure,

    A 9 wt is fine for steelhead, and was nearly a standard when our fly rod choices were bamboo and fiberglass. With so many good graphite rods available, I think most fly shops would say 8 wt has been the most popular steelhead rod for the last 20 years or so. The 9 wt does the job well, but most of us find that an 8 wt is more comfortable to cast from can't see in the morning 'til can't see at night, even during the short winter days. The only way you're going to go wrong with a 9 wt is if you're not accustomed to it and become tired from casting it when there are still a lot of good fishing hours left in the day.

    Sincerely,

    Salmo g.
     
  9. Meanpressure

    Meanpressure New Member

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    I really appreciate all the replies. The rod i am looking at is 4 1/2oz. The 8 weight in this same rod is 1/2 oz lighter at 4 oz.Do you think the 1/2 oz more will make a big difference for me to get the 9 weight?

    Thanks
     
  10. James Mello

    James Mello Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"

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    It can, but in general I'd be more worried about whether you can even cast an 8wt the whole day. Lots of folks aren't great casters, and when they go out to fish for steel, they aren't used to throwing 60'+ cast after cast with deeply sunk tips.... Oddly enough the 9wt may be easier to cast by the end of the day because it *may* be more "powerful" to lift tips out of the water.
     
  11. bigtj

    bigtj Member

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    Meanpressure,

    Probably not that big of a difference. You can't really go wrong with either an 8 or a 9 you will be able to fish for steelhead with both of them and enjoy yourself.

    The only other thing to consider is what I call the rule of odds and evens for fly rods. It makes a lot of sense to go with either even or odd weight designations to fill out a rod "quiver" for the fishing you do. 3,5,7,9 or 4,6,8,10, for example. For example, if you already have a 5-wt, then maybe a 9 would be best, because then some day a 7 could fill in the gap for a lighter steelhead rod. If you don't already have a rod, then you might think about what kind of fishing you might be doing in the future for trout and what would work best for you. Kind of a big-picture thing but something to consisder for the long term.

    Again good luck to you, I hope you end up with the rod that suits you best.
     
  12. Meanpressure

    Meanpressure New Member

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    Thanks for the info, i appreciate it.

    It will be my first rod, so that is why it is taking me so long to choose.
    Besides using it for Steelhead and maybe salmon i will be using it a lot for snook redfish and smaller tarpon in the Gulf of Mexico.

    Thanks for all the great information. Anything else anyone can add would be great.
     
  13. Josh Benjamin

    Josh Benjamin Member

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    I chose to go with a 9wt for winter fish purely because i don't have a lot of rods. the 9 will work fine for steelhead, maybe a little on the heavy side but it works. at the same time i can use it for chums, king salmon, etc and it will do it all. for summer fish i use a 10' 6wt, but i don't catch any steelhead ever so what do i know anyway. thats my psychological reasoning.
    in my version of a perfect world, i would have an 8wt for steelhead, a 9 for chums and kings, one of every other weight that i'm sure i could come up with a reason for having each of them, 2 of each maybe.
     
  14. bigtj

    bigtj Member

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    Meanpressure,

    Given the extra info about salmon and saltwater I would get the 9. It will be a better all-around rod for the conditions you described and will give you fish-fighting power you will need with Salmon and bigger SW fish. You are going to have a blast with that rod.

    Best regards,

    -John
     
  15. Meanpressure

    Meanpressure New Member

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    Thanks everyone i am leaning towards the 9 weight. There sure is a lot to learn about fly fishing.
     
  16. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    Meanpressure,

    It isn't the difference in rod weight that will affect your comfort or ability to cast it all day long. It's the small but significant difference in line weight, coupled with line speed while casting (F=MA) that requires more force to be exerted on every cast, for as many casts as you make in a full day's fishing. That is what you will notice, and specifically, your casting arm's elbow and or shoulder will notice, depending on how good your casting technique is. I see in another thread that you are favoring a tip flex, or stiff, fast action fly rod. As a novice, if your casting skills are imprecise, a fast action 9 weight is an excellent set up for tendenitis or shoulder pain unless you are quite athletic and have no family history of joint pain issues.

    The point made about going with either odd or even line weights for rod sizes is a good one, except that most avid fly fishers end up with such a large quiver. We end up with one or more rods in both odd and even sizes anyway. I wouldn't worry too much about that in the long run.

    One thing you got right: there sure is a lot to learn about fly fishing.

    Sincerely,

    Salmo g.
     
  17. James Mello

    James Mello Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"

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    What Salmo said. If you don't have a good stroke, invest in the money for casting lessons and practice your butt off. I'd also consider *not* getting a fast/tippy rod as the timing required to get a nice cast is quite a bit harder to learn. There are significantly better casters on the board here, so hopefully they can chime in. But in general I don't think anyone would disagree with casting lessons and practice being more important than whether you have an 8 or 9 wt rod....
     
  18. JS

    JS Active Member

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    Right on the money, for winter small streams I use a 9' 7wt and everything ronde sized and bigger gets a 9'6'' 8wt. And then summers get the old trusty 6wt
    cheers
    skeels
     
  19. bigtj

    bigtj Member

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    Guys,

    Respectfully, I think that perhaps the whole tendinitis deal and Newton's second law of motion is not germane to meanpressure's decision. I think this situation is a whole lot simpler. My guess is this guy is going to pick things up quick. And if you saw his other post he's going to use the rod in the salt on the gulf coast (he is from Florida). I bet in 2 or 3 weeks this guy will be casting lazer loops and fighting 10-lb snook with that rod in windy conditions in the salt. If he ends up with a mid-flex noodle in the salt he's going to regret it. Not all novice casters stay novices for very long. And I don't buy the idea that a beginning caster needs to learn on a mid-flex rod, I think that's hype from the rod manufacturers used as a marketing strategy. I've seen beginners learn equally well on RPLXi's and 20-year old generation 1 graphite winstons. Why tell him to get a rod he's gonna outgrow in a hurry? He needs a fast-action rod that can fight steelhead, salmon, and a mixed bag of gulf-coast saltwater fish such as reds, snook, and baby tarpon. To me a 9-wt tip flex rod, a few casting lessons, and 2 or 3 weeks on the water is just what the doctor ordered.

    Another thing....any rod cast improperly, from a 2-wt to a 14 wt, is recipe from shoulder problems. I fished in AK with a 12-wt RPLX, a heavy Pate reel, and a QD 525 on a regular basis during King season and my shoulder never gave me problems because I let the rod do the work. You can still screw up your arm with an orvis superfine 2-wt if you are flogging the water to a froth. That's where casting lessons come in. www.sexyloops.com has some great advice on not overpowering the cast in this thread: http://www.sexyloops.com/beginners/lesson1/castingloops.shtml . With some lessons and advice a 9-wt does not necessarily mean shoulder problems. In fact, trying to use a rod with not enough power for the situation - like a mid-flex rod with too light of line - can actually make things worse. If I were fishing for baby tarpon in a still breeze it would be a lot more work with a mid-flex 7 or 8 wt than a tip-flex 9 that can really shoot line. There is a lot to be said for using a powerful enough rig to match the situation.
     
  20. James Mello

    James Mello Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"

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    Well, it really depends on how much he gets out, and how much he practices. In general, people *can* learn quickly, but more often than not, they don't have the opportunity to put the time in to do so. This is why I stressed lessons and practice being more important than the rod choice.

    Personally I'm amazed at the hype that you *need* a fast action rod to cast far. For *maximum* distance, this is true. But for most distances, a slower action rod can still be used. While it is theoretically possible for me to always throw longer lines with a Sage TCR, in practice, I usually cast a slow action rod like a GL3 further. Why? Because while I'm a decent caster, I don't have the precise stroke to always track the rod *straight*. Because of this the TCR laughs at me, and I get shorter casts... The GL3 on the other hand will still load, and *I* don't have to provide all the acceleration of the line to get a cast out. I do tend to prefer faster action rods, but there is a certain point where it is too much unless you are *friggin* monster of casting.

    Finally there may be a slight disconnect on nomienclature. I'm not suggesting that he goes out and purchases a super slow fiberglass stick. What I think in general is that if he were to get any of the following *kinds* of rods (Loomis GL3, Sage VT2, Winston Vapor), that he'd be happy, and it would take a few years to outgrow (if ever).

    At any rate, this is good stuff bigtj!

    -- Cheers
    -- James