set me up for summer runs

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by bankwalker, Apr 14, 2014.

  1. bankwalker

    bankwalker Member

    I'm looking to get back into fly fishing for steelhead. I tried for a few winter seasons quite a few years ago and couldn't hook up so I gave up and sold all my gear.
    Now I'm in a position where I can fish summer runs every single day and have double digits days and other methods of fishing are just to easy and boring, float/jigs, spinners/spoons, and center pin fishing.
    I want to give myself the challenge of fly fishing again.

    So what I'm looking for is a cheap-ish setup. Let's say $400+/-
    10ft single hand rod or a switch rod. Probably in a 6wt
    I've been out of the loop for a while and don't know anything about the new rods or lines out now.

    I will be sight fishing quite often during the summer. And swinging flies in fall/winter mostly.
  2. Klickrolf

    Klickrolf Active Member

    Two cents you might not want to hear. Based on your username (bankwalker) I'll assume you'll be wading when you fish. I'd recommend a spey...if you enjoy steelheading you'll end up with one shortly so you might as well buy it now.

    There are a lot of reasonably priced speys that you can get into with your budget, check the classifieds here and on speypages, lot's of good rods reasonably priced, a new echo TR6126 is well within your budget. You might look for 12 to 13 ft. 6wt but I'd recommend going for a 7 or 8 because they generally cast further, cast heavier sink-tips (summer steelheading isn't all surface oriented, and winter...) and provide a little more backbone for dealing with heavier or stronger fish.

    Enjoy the journey, you'll likely get hooked.
  3. Pretty solid advice from Rolf. You'll likely be able to cover more water using less effort. Even if your spey casting never advances past shitty.

    If you want a switch rod, have at it...they're great tools, but don't approach it from the mindset that it will be an easier bridge to two handers since they are shorter.
  4. Danielocean

    Danielocean Steelhead Virgin

  5. bankwalker

    bankwalker Member

    I should specify I'll be fishing the upper water sheds of the rivers local to me. Most casts will be 30 to 60 feet.
    A spey rod, I feel would be to much rod in most cases. I could be completely wrong though as I have no experience.

    I do have a little experience with switch rods. I had a rainshadow built before anyone had any clue which lines and grain windows worked with them and I spent a butt load of money trying to figure out which line worked.
  6. David Dalan

    David Dalan 69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E

    I'd second Rolfs recommendation as well. I like Echo's stuff, and in the price range you are looking, they are a solid buy. Don't underestimate the Echo Ion reel either, its a good unit.

    And if you search hard for used gear, you can find some neat stuff.

    If you really are going to focus on summer fishing (and possibly smaller flies) I would use a Scandanavian line. Either get one of the multitip lines or a polyleader to match your need (10'-12' in length, clear intermediate to 7ips sink rate).

    If you might want to toss some bigger bugs, then a Skagit is the way IMO.

    If you have a shop nearby, head in and they may just make you a deal on a setup.
  7. David Dalan

    David Dalan 69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E

    I use a 10'6' Rainshadow 5wt (single hand rod rating) or 11' Orvis Access 5wt switch for most of my small water steelhead. Echo SR should work well in these roles. I have no problem casting the shorter rods using the same kind of casts I use with longer rods (skagit cast/single spey, snap-t/cirlce spey...or whatever they hell they are called) but I have read that starting out the short rods can be a bit more tricky.

    If you wanted to go with a single handed setup, I can not say enough good things about my Echo Ion 8wt (10'6' I think) single hander. I line it with either a 5wt scandanvian short line, or a 325 Skagit short and (most of the time) and Echo Ion 8/10 reel. I use a hollow mono shooting line, something like a "grip shooter" and I can cast using overhead or two-handed casts (I use the fighting butt as a lever for two handed a stubby two hander).

    I've used the 10' Poly leaders, Med MOW tips and even thrown a bobber rig with this setup.

    And it's durable. I am convinced I could whip a rented mule all day with my Ion and it would be just fine.

    Also fished a TFO single hander (8wt) with a similar system.

    I think i got the Ion on sale for $145, I've seen the reels for $60-$80, line is +/- $50, shooting like maybe another $30 and then baking, leaders, heads, etc.
  8. Chris Bellows

    Chris Bellows The Thought Train

    you might want two different rods. you can fish lighter lines in the summer since much of the fishing can be done with a floating line. my favorite small stream summer setup is a six weight with a floating DT line. i can fish almost everywhere i want with rod, reel, line, leader, spool of tippet, and one small box of flies and never feel like i need more. simple and effective.

    i'm not much of a spey fan for small waters in the summer.
  9. Provider

    Provider New Member

    I just bought a killer rod from Anil at Puget Sound Fly Shop. It's a Redington Dually 7/8 13' and it sells for $250. I'm new to spey casting but I met a guy that was experienced and he was tossing my line over 120 feet with a weighted hobo spey fly. I seem to cast 60- 70' on most casts.

    I don't know a lot about spey rods but I am happy with my purchase. The reviews I read on this rod are impressive as well.
    Javaid Spey and David Dalan like this.
  10. Bagman

    Bagman Active Member

    I'm with the guys on a switch rod. Keep an eye on the classified forum here. I have picked some great deals. Allen makes a good reel I picked up a used Allen reel 8-9-10 for $65, and a spool for it at $30. This is a great set up for a 6 to 8 wt. switch rod. You can pick up an anglers roost rod on eBay for about $145. Not the best but also not bad. As far as lines go your right about spending a lot of money on figuring out the right line. A good starting point it to just go up two line wt and buy a Rio Outbound short. ie: 6wt rod buy a Outbound 8wt. You can also find used lines on eBay. Good luck.
  11. Danielocean

    Danielocean Steelhead Virgin

    Great post. The Dually is the rod that I have chosen as my go to also. That 7130 does not let me have one bad cast. No Bullshit.
  12. Charles Sullivan

    Charles Sullivan dreaming through the come down

    Daniel is good at casting.

    Go Sox,
  13. bankwalker

    bankwalker Member

    So I did a lot of reviewing online and with the multi suggestions I've gotten both here and talking to many different people I know who fish switch rods and spey rods.
    I made a purchase. kinda spur of the moment. But I had a good idea of what I wanted...having some experience in the past.

    I picked up a redington dually 11ft 6wt. Paired with a echo ion reel size 8/10 (I may go one size down in the future but the reel was at a steal). I got it lined with a rio switch line (not switch chucker).

    In the back yard I can overhead cast this setup great. I'm extremely happy with that. But I did not want to ruin the line so I'm leaving the switch and spey casts until I get on water.

    I do however have a question on the line. How much line should I have out of the rod tip in order to perform casts.

    Also. Any suggestions on what tips I should buy. Sink tips vs floating tips.
  14. Bagman

    Bagman Active Member

    I think you got a good setup there that reel should fit that rod like a glove. You will find that with that much rod the larger reel will balance just about right. Now your question. If you are fishing Steelies in the river you will not strip in more then your running line, which is ideal. A fast pull lift and let it rip. How long is your shooting head? For that long of a rod you should not have any more then say 35 feet out side of your rod which is you shooting head + your tip. What line did you end up with? A WF8F?
  15. bankwalker

    bankwalker Member

    The line is a 6/7wt "switch" line. Running line and head are integrated.
    I think the head is 45ft. I'd have to wait for my dad to get home so I can look at the box.
  16. hydrological

    hydrological beads are NOT flies and snagging is just ghetto

    enjoy the journey, the destination is not as easy to reach. if your swinging and not boober fishing, your first double digit WEEK may be years away. i'm pretty sure i've never had a week like that, but i still have no desire to lob a bobber. the tug IS the drug ! also you might want to think about a scandi or skagit line if you want to spey cast, and swing, a switch line might be doable, but not at all ideal. they are really made for nymphyng and overhead casting. like a butter knife will work when you cant find a screwdrriver, but it aint pretty. for a winter steelhead on the swing, try quitting you job for all of march. hell, you might even get one the first week.
  17. bankwalker

    bankwalker Member

    Not fishing over spawning fish at all. That's a guarantee
  18. John Wallace

    John Wallace Active Member

    Depends on how you what to fish. If you casts are from 20 to 60ft you can use a single hand. If casting 40 to 80 then a spey or switch maybe better. But don't forget you can single or double spey with a single handed rod. There are a lot of rods for sale on this site and others that will work for you. Don't know if you want fiberglass, but there are a lot of Fenwick in the 6 thru 10 weight that come up for sale at a great price. There are used reels old and new that come up at a great price to. You can get a rod and reel for 150 to 250 no problem. Hope this helps.
  19. Nooksack Mac

    Nooksack Mac Active Member

    Does your switch line have a color change around where the back taper of the head transitions into running line? Many of them do. That's a visual indicator so that you can hold the line in or around the color change without thinking about it much. (As with single hander lines, you can cast with some of the belly inside the guides, but you can't cast with more than a foot or two of running line outside the guides. In the future, if you cast a separate head connected loop-to-loop with the running line, cast it the same, with a foot or two of running line outside the tiptop.)

    You'll probably go through some trial and error matching your rod to a proper line. That's just the nature of spey tackle. Borrow lines to try, buy them cheap from spey classifieds and eBay, and sell the wrong ones to recoup some of your money.