Lines and Reels

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Luv2flyfish, May 11, 2002.

  1. Luv2flyfish Another Flyfisherman

    Posts: 753
    Western WA, US.
    Ratings: +0 / 0

    What are some lines out there that will best accomodate the salmon and steelhead fishing year round?? Do I need to invest in the Multi-Tip systems or what?? I have never fished for salmon and steelhead before - but I will be doing a great deal. I am having a hard time figuring out what is going to be the best all around line system for the larger fish and changing conditions.

    As well, will a Ross Gunnison reel (9 weight capacity) perform considering the demand that these fish place on a reel??

    Let me know what you think! Thanks! Jay
  2. Rob Blomquist Formerly Tight Loops

    Posts: 1,343
    Mountlake Terrace, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    For salmon and steelhead you really need only 2 or 3 lines: a floating, a type 4 sink tip, and a type 4 sink head. The sink head is optional, but useful. All the major manufacturers make lines that will work. Shooting head systems are also useful, but not necessary. I use an AirFlo MultiTip line and a 7 weight rod, but that is on the light side for winter steelhead. An 8 or 9 is a better winter choice, but you will want a 6 or 7 for summer use.

    I use Okuma Sierra reels with 100 yards of Micron 20 pound. There are alot of people who have said that's not enough, but in 1975 I used a Martin reel with only a click drag to land steelhead, and the average size of fish has gone down from those days. Your Ross is likely to be just fine. I would just avoid the reels in Fred Meyer.

    Steelhead are a bigger, more powerful fish than trout, but they are not bluewater marlin or tuna. The odds that a drag is burned out or that you run out of 100 yards of backing is slight. You will be fishing for fish that are typically 4 to 15 pounds and you will be doing it with 2/0x to 3x tippets, 6 to 15 pound test in the limited area of medium to larger rivers 800 to 2500 cfs in size.

    You owe it to yourself to get the set of Lani Waller videos on fly fishing for steelhead at your fly shop, and to read Trey Combs "Steelhead Fly Fishing" and many of your questions will be answered.

  3. Randy Knapp Active Member

    Posts: 1,132
    Warm Springs, Virginia, USA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    You should do fine with what you have. I have caught steelhead to 15lbs on my trout gear: usually 5 or 6 wt rods , older Pflueger Medalists, Maxima 8lb to 10lb test, 100yds 20lb backing, and size 2 to 10 flies.

    It really depends more on the size and weight of the flies and the speed and depth of the current. I fish the slower water seams or pools and get behind the fish I hook if possible. If you are casting 2/0 weighted flies than you need a heavier line to turn it over and thus a heavier rod. Likewise, if you are using Teeny 300 or greater style sink tips or shooting heads then you will need a heavy rod to handle them. I tried that but tired of it quickly.

    I like using shorter rods in the lighter line weights with smaller flies and my 5, 6, or 7 wt does fine. I have landed 5 or 6lb summer runs on a 6 1/2' 4wt before I broke it in a fall. I'm not a big steelheader (too much work to target them fulltime) but I do catch them every year while fishing for dollies, salmon, trout, and whitefish (yes, I actually target these guys to have the pleasure of landing something when fishing for other species is slow).

  4. Luv2flyfish Another Flyfisherman

    Posts: 753
    Western WA, US.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Thanks Guys! I have an old 7wt set up on a Pflueger Medalist reel. I am sure that setup will still be in use. I am going to take your advice and order some videos and books. That should clear up some of the mystery for me. Thanks again for the Input!! Jay
  5. Philster New Member

    Posts: 2,479
    Ratings: +3 / 0
    Check you library before you buy

    Depending on where you live you may not have to buy anything. Last time I checked, King County, where I live, had all the steelhead books you would want (Combs, Meyer, etc.) and lots of the fish porn (videos)by Waller, teeny, etc and they ship from other libraries in the county to yours for free. Other counties will have less, but I bet the basics will be covered! As to your gear, there's an old saying. "Match your gear to the water, or match your water to the gear".