Stillwater trout rods

Discussion in 'Stillwater' started by thestallion, May 30, 2008.

  1. thestallion

    thestallion Member

    Interseting about the sinking line specs. Are they lighter to the point of actually needing to line up? I am going top be ordering SA Stillwater, Type II, and Type III lines. I am interested in the 6wt to round out the rest of my rod arsenal. I want it to perform well in the wind, with rather large and weighted buggers, and not break light tippet. The information that I am basing this on is from reading Denny Rickards books and watching his videos. I want to target big trout and don't want to skimp on any aspect. It seems that I could land any trout on the 5wts that I have, but the are mainly fast action rods without the tip action that I feel is necessary. Would a 9'6" 5wt with a strong backbone and a slower tip(because of the 9'6" length) suffice casting #6 weighted woolly buggers into the wind?
  2. Kent Lufkin

    Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

    The short answer is yes.

    But 'strong backbone'? For lake fish? Geez, there's guys here who use 6wt single handers for summer run steelhead. Why do you need one for lake fish a fraction of that size?

    I mainly fish lakes and unless I'm pitching big bugs all day long into a gale force wind in eastern Washington or Nevada, I find that for the most part a 6wt rod is overkill although a 5wt is a step in the right direction. Sure, it's great to have a big rod to handle the very rare 28" fish. But for typical stillwater fish in these parts (6-7" up to 15-16") a 6wt, even a medium action one, feels more like a broomstick.

    About 80% of the time I prefer using a medium-action 4wt. I go up a weight or two for larger fish or difficult conditions, and down to a 3wt for mountain streams or lakes. My 4wt setup handles lines from a DT floater to a type 4 full sinker. (Soon, it'll also be casting one of the new Rio Deep 6 lake lines Fred mentioned above.) I pitch everything from size 18 dries or dry-and-dropper setups to size 4 weighted streamers with a couple of split shot. In short, I've yet to encounter a line/fly combination it won't turn over or a fish it wouldn't turn.

    As for getting a longer rod, why? Longer rods are significantly heavier because the extra length is all in the butt section. And a heavier rod means harder casting, especially with big flies and wind for a full day. If you feel you need the length to cast further, why not just row or kick a little closer instead?

  3. troutpocket

    troutpocket Active Member

    Another Rickards fan here. A few comments on your post. I think the SA stillwater behaves about like a type II as far as sink rate and sinks fast enough that I use it instead of a type II or III. The sinking lines that I use are a slow intermediate (my favorite being a Cortland Classic 444 full intermediate, sky blue in color), a Rio Aqualux (very similar to the SA Stillwater in sink rate but less line memory, in my experience), and a Type VI full sink.

    As far as rods, I used my 6wt this spring in very windy (whitecapping) conditions but otherwise, I usually rig a 5wt with the sinking line I want first and a 4wt with a floater. The lakes I fish produce many fish in the 16-20" range but rarely much bigger. Unless you are planning to encounter 5+ lb fish on a regular basis, I think the 6wt will be overkill.
  4. thestallion

    thestallion Member

    Some very good information here. I am mainly going to be fishing Crane Prairie down here in Oregon and there are many fish over 20" and some 5-10lbs. I am going to be fishing out of a drift boat, not a float tube or a pontoon. I am not at all interested in catching 8-16" trout. I can do that on the rivers much closer to home. If I find that this is all I am catch after the first few trips I will focus more on steelhead again.
    I am going to use a Scott G2 8'8" medium action 4wt for dry flies and Scott S4 9' fast action 5wt. for either Chironomids or if there is no worry of breaking off big fish (other than operator error) while setting the hook, I will use it for stripping flies. If the S4 is a good rod for stripping buggers, I will get a longer 5wt. for chironomid/river indicator fishing. If it is not I would like to get a medium action 6wt.
  5. sportsman

    sportsman Active Member

    Fish over 20" and 5-10lbs?!..... and Crane Praire is how far from Seattle? FYI...30' grain weight on those lines I mentioned are only slightly less, no reason to go up a weight. Obviously you know your sticks, any truly 'fast action' rod doesn't come cheap. I love the threads about which rod/reel to page 3 you don't have a clue what the guy asked for to begin with!! Following is a link mostly about GLoomis, but click on #5: "Rod Terminology". Good stuff! Also good info on the evolution of graphite from IM6's[35-40 million modulas] on up to IM7&8, carbon scrim and progressive tapers. When you last mentioned a moderate action rod what I thought of was 2 rods I have used in the past: GL3's and older Legend Ultras: VERY underrated sticks and moderately priced. As far as lines go, I'll use one that will keep me in the "zone" the best, whether thats 2' or 20' or 40'. A Type 4 will catch fish at 10' but wont stay there for very long... I freely admit to being a line junky and believe that choosing the right one for the conditions is equal to choosing the right fly! BTW...most of what I have stated and learned comes from picking the brains of members on this site!! Tightlines, Fred.
  6. Chad Lewis

    Chad Lewis NEVER wonder what to do with your free time

    Might as well throw my two cents in. A lot of my fishing is stillwater, so I might have learned a thing or two, maybe.

    I bought a ten footer for lake fishing. I like the extra length for several reasons: If you can't stand in whatever you're fishing out of, casting is easier. If you're fishing chironomids and long leaders it makes landing the fish easier. Picking up sinking lines is easier. You can cast farther. I think the last is important because, well, lakes are big. You could row/paddle/kick over to that rising fish, but to me it's easier and WAY quicker to cast to it. Call me crazy, but I took up fly fishing 'cause I think casting is cool. I also like a ten footer because it makes a bitchin' beach rod too (I understand this doesn't factor into your decision). I just say that because it does.

    I've never owned a five weight, so it's hard for me to comment on that. I'd say that I've never caught a fish on my 6 that wasn't fun! And I'm glad to have it when a big one does eat my fly. That way I can net it and release fairly quickly if I'm not keeping it. Personally, I'd hate to think I killed a really nice fish 'cause my light rod meant a long fight.

    And now the serious heresy. I've cast a lot of low and mid-priced rods and there's lots that are really good, but I think top-of-the-line rods are better, period. If it's within your means, go big and enjoy.
  7. dryflylarry

    dryflylarry "Chasing Riseforms" won't be sorry.
  8. Steven Green

    Steven Green Hood Canal Pirate


    I used a 6 before, now I have a 4. I have no problem bringing in fish. Light tackle is great on lakes.
  9. That's the thing. I have a TFO 3WT right now and I'm going to add a 4WT and 6WT and call it good. 4WT to me, seems just perfect. Someone literally "gave" one away last week...
  10. Kent Lufkin

    Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

    To each his or her own. Casting is always easier when you're further above the water surface. Practice lawn casting from a chair to improve your casting ability from a float tube or pontoon. It's worth the effort.

  11. Les Johnson

    Les Johnson Les Johnson

    My first consideration for a fly rod is that it matches the conditions I'll be facing. For stillwater I use 4 and 5-weight rods, either TFO Finesse 4-weight (7'9") or TFO Professional Series 5-weight (8'6"). I don't find that I need a longer rod since I don't cast all that far when lake fishing. Also, a shorter rod makes dealing with a trout when I get it close to my Xstream pontoon boat which sits low in the water like a float tube. I use the 4-weight a lot but if the wind comes up a bit I switch to the 5-weight.
    Just my opinion.....
  12. Not having unlimited funds to have multiple rods/lines, etc., I use a 6 wt. 90% of the time (other outfits are a 7 & 9 wt.) Old Sage custom (DS2?) and now my favorite, a custom Scott G; 9'-6" 6 wt. I LOVE THIS ROD! I've used it on 10' creeks, Eastern CA reservoirs (with wind) and will be my No. 1 on the Trinity this fall. It is soft when you need it and will roll cast 60' with little effort. I'm not the world's best caster, but I've learned a bit since 1968. I've not thrown the new Sage' or Loomis, etc. but if you can afford it & like it, I think it won't let you down. Look on eBay for Leland outfitters or TCO Fly Shop; they move some quality used trade-ins. Mine is a 2-piece, so was not as desireable as the 4-pc. Lots of them out there, cheap if you can live with a 2-piece (remember when they were coveted?). Paid less than $200 and it's not a 2nd. Has factory looking finish/wraps and was likely never used. No warranty card-I've never broken a rod. I'm not saying it's the best, but I see why Scott has a loyal following after using this rod 6 months. Supposedly the G2 is improved, guess I'll have to try one.