Streamer Rod - Thoughts/Advice?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Brian White, Oct 5, 2009.

  1. Brian White Recovering Bugmeister/Troutlandish?

    I am looking at upgrading from my prehistoric 6wt for purpose of chucking big, weighted streamers at angry trout in ID/MT this winter and am hoping for some advice and feedback on good 6wt streamer rods. New member so appreciate any intel.

    I am an aspiring gear-ho but thus far my gluttony only extends up to 5 wts. I have a Helios and a Z Axis in 5wt and both function pretty well for streamers to a certain size/weight but at a certain point both protest when I try to chuck the bigger stuff. I like biix feel at 4 weight but never tried at the bigger line weights. Like the Scott S4 in 5 wt as well, though very different from the Winston in my brief experience casting the S4....

    Looking for a rod that could still throw dries on as needed basis, but is to be used 75% for streamer fishing on rivers. Having said that, I don't want a broomstick.

    I am looking at Biix, Scott S4, Helios. Open to other options. Feel is really important, accuracy is important, weight is important. Casting distance not as important - I am really focused on a rod that throws big streamers accurately, with some feel and without undue effort within 50 ft and in (windy or not). Guides that don't ice up too fast or can be cleared of ice would be a bonus....

    Should I be thinking 7 wt? Should I try to make it to the Big Hole this weekend for a few days?

    Again any thoughts appreciated.
  2. "Q" Member

    Posts: 29
    woodinville, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    My go-to streamer rod is a 10' 6 weight Sage XP. I've found the added length helpful for roll casting and fishing from a boat... the fly stays one more foot above everyone's head. I think the added length also makes for a softer feel than the shorter rods. For serious streamer fishing, I also use an overweighted line to turn over the heavily weighted flies and minimize the falsecasting for those shorter distances. I make my own, but many of the line mfgrs are making specialty streamer lines, which might be worth a look.
  3. Keaten LaBrel Formerly Tyinbugs

    Posts: 243
    Missoula, MT
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    6wts work fine...7wts work a little better for casting bigger junk

    lots of options in all price ranges for streamer sticks in 6 and 7wts. TFO TiCr and TiCrX are great streamers rods for $200-$250 price range...the TiCr is a little softer than the X so if you like loading the rod a little more it would be better for that...Echo ion rod is a solid new rod that has a lot of power in it and it costs $169.99...also the St. Croix avid is a good streamer stick for relatively cheap...as for the more expensive rods, i like Scott...the 6wt S4 is my favorite single hand rod that i own, but i think the 7wt X2S is one of the best streamer sticks out there (the rod i wish i owned)...both cost $650 (could get 2 TFOs and an echo for that)...so it basically comes down to what you're lookin to spend for the rod...also check out the new streamer lines from scientific anglers...k.g. has a new line out with them that is pretty awesome.

    the fishing on the big hole sucks right now NOT
  4. Itchy Dog Some call me Kirk Werner

    Posts: 3,762
    Doo-vall
    Ratings: +447 / 1
    Sage whore, here: For big uglies I like my 6 wt XP just a tad better than my 6 wt Z-Axis. My old FLi was also a great streamer rod when I had it. You might still be able to find them on closeout.
  5. Denny Active Member

    Posts: 4,048
    Seattle, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +45 / 0
    Looks like you prefer to get the best you can get, so . . .

    BIIx. Nice stick, but not a streamer rod.

    S4. Love Scott hate the warranty turnaround), very nice rod, and I like to root for the little fella, but at the price point, I think you can do better.

    Helios. Very good rod, but there are others out there you might want to consider first that cost a little less such as . . .

    Loomis GLX Streamdance, 6 weight. You won't feel overgunned fishing hoppers, but it will throw good-sized streamers well. Very light, great power, sensitive. GLX still sets the bar.

    Sage 690 or 696 Z-Axis. If you are already comfortable with this stick, get another.

    You may want to consider a 7 weight in either of these rods if it will truly be mostly a streamer rod, but the 6 weight would be a better choice for fishing big dries (hoppers, october caddis, etc.). The 6 weight might be too close to your 5 weights for you (but they are truly different; the 'power' in rods often starts changing about the 6 or 7 line weights). The 7 weight would double as a light bass stick, summer run steelhead stick, and a good all-around bonefish rod. Anil at Puget Sound Fly absolutely loves the GLX CC 7 weight; awesome call, 'cuz it's a great stick.

    There's a reason why these two rod models (GLX and Z-Axis) finish 1 and 2 in rod evaluations and reviews . . . :thumb:
  6. Brian White Recovering Bugmeister/Troutlandish?

    Appreciate the advice from all. I have never fished the Loomis GLX rods but have always heard good things. I have only fished the XP once and remembered it being a good distance rod, but I wasn't sure about feel. For different reasons, I am just not sure about Z Axis. At least for my 5 wt., I find myself loving it on some days (very light in hand, lots of power) and being bothered by it on others, but can't put my finger on what I don't like about it (other than fact that I don't like the ZA in close quarters very much). I find myself fishing the Helios on most days I am fishing a 5 wt.

    The only TFO I have fished was the Axiom and I found it to be very stable/accurate, but also pretty heavy. I actually liked the Albright A-5 a lot when I tried a 4 wt., but I am trying to stay domestic, and since I have squirreled away enough to look at the $550 + market for this rod, that is where I am looking at present.

    I think I will do quite a bit of overlining, and might go up to a 9'6". I might try a streamer line, but I want to stay with a floating line for river/stream work....
  7. jobyksu Long Drift Trouter

    Posts: 112
    Toronto, ON
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I'll second this - I'm not letting my FLi go without a fight. It's not Z-Axis light, but you won't be tired at the end of the day.

    Alternatively - I spent an afternoon fishing the Sage Xi2 saltwater rod (9' 7wt) last spring and was blown away. It felt stiff and ungainly at first, but quickly moved into a thing of beauty. It was loading well up close but had enough backbone to toss big pike flies as far as I wanted. With the Xi3 out now you can probably find some fantastic deals on these guys.
  8. Jason Decker Active Member

    Posts: 2,626
    Issaquah, WA
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    696-4 Sage XP
  9. Richard Olmstead BigDog

    Posts: 2,494
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +791 / 0
    I'll second Itchy about the Sage FLi. I found myself laboring on occasion when casting heavy streamers with my 6-wt and my 8-wt was overkill for most of my fishing needs, so I picked up a FLi 9-ft 7-wt on close out this last winter and I love it.
    Dick
  10. Calvin1 Member

    Posts: 612
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +9 / 0
    I got the 9'6" FLi 6weight just for throwing streamers and I love it.
  11. SHARP Member

    Posts: 131
    Washougal, Washington
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    I also looked at all options a few months back. I went with the TFO Pro 9' 8wt. I have a few Sage rods and I casted this a few times and fell in love.

    I have landed many big fish with this rod...

    Action is great and it is 169.99 ish and the warranty is lifetime and only 25 instead of the sage 50.

    Take a good look at TFO, all I have found with the big name rods is just that BIG names and over priced rods.
  12. Dylan D Member

    Posts: 323
    West Seattle
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    iagree

    Or more specific, a 697-4 (with the fighting butt). That's mine, and I think it's perfect for this purpose. Also an outstanding rod for summer runs and the beaches, IMO.
  13. Sean Beauchamp Hot and Heavy at yer 6

    Posts: 2,139
    Shoreline, WA, U.S.
    Ratings: +504 / 1
    define "streamer."
  14. Tool Fly Member

    Posts: 126
    seattle, wa
    Ratings: +22 / 0
    Also a Sage 'ho, but I prefer a slower action than the XPs and the like. My go-to streamer rod (and for lakes with any wind) is a Sage SLT 696-4. It was also the rod I did all of my pink fishing with this fall--good off the beach or tossing heavy flies from a raft. Love that rod's action and improved mending due to its added lenghth. I just googled a similar rod that had gone to some lucky buyer (used) on bid for $256.

    TF
  15. Islander Steve

    Posts: 2,178
    Langley, Wa..
    Ratings: +182 / 6
    My two favorite streamer rods (as Sean noted, depends on your definition of streamer) are my 6wt. Zero Gravity and an older custom build on a 6wt. Sage blank. It just has Graphite III written on it. I'm thinking it's around the XP era. The ZG in addition to large feather type streamers (2" to 4") will also lay out some dries nicely. The Sage gets the big bunny and sculpin stuff. Since the Helios came out there are some deals on ZG's. The older XP's are around and I think there was a posting on here a while back about Cabelas having a new run of them.
  16. Brian White Recovering Bugmeister/Troutlandish?

    Maybe a size 2 weighted zonker, a Big Hole Crawler with some split shot, or something with big lead eyes like a size 2 "sex dungeon" with some split shot....I guess I am talking about stuff big enough to look like a clog in Kenny G's shower drain, but maybe not big enough to be a clog in Sasquatch's....In the past I primarily just fished the traditional streamer/bugger patterns when I streamer fished for trout, but in the last few years I have been expanding my horizons. I would like to throw some even bigger articulated patterns if I can get away with it as I want to do some pike fishing if possible. I am new to pike fishing but am pretty jazzed about it. A big, aggressive, invasive species you can feel OK about catching and eating!?!
  17. Sean Beauchamp Hot and Heavy at yer 6

    Posts: 2,139
    Shoreline, WA, U.S.
    Ratings: +504 / 1
    for real man buy an 8wt. you will thank yourself later.
  18. Sean Beauchamp Hot and Heavy at yer 6

    Posts: 2,139
    Shoreline, WA, U.S.
    Ratings: +504 / 1
    for smaller stuff (4"'s and under) my rainshadow rx8xf 6wt bulit by tyler speir on the board is awesome. its a piece of art and with the simple switch of the line goes from delicately droppin dries in that deep pocket to bullying lead eyed bunny under the tree branches. i fall in love with it more and more everytime i use it.
  19. Luke Davis Member

    Posts: 181
    Snohomish, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I love my TiCrX 6wt. It works well for the bigger stuff
  20. Porter Active Member

    Posts: 6,465
    Kenmore, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +524 / 0