Weight for Steelhead?

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Sean Matthews, Aug 29, 2010.

  1. Sean Matthews Member

    Posts: 134
    Everett, WA
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    I am picking out an early Christmas Present for when I go home to hunt and fish in the Upper Pennisula of Michigan. It will be the opening run for steelhead in numerous rivers, and I want to pick up a new rod. I was thinking a 8wt 9'. Any suggestions?
  2. gt Active Member

    Posts: 2,616
    sequim, WA
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    can't go wrong with that choice.
  3. Porter Active Member

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

    Posts: 424
    Richland WA
    Ratings: +8 / 0
    I fish mostly the summer run so I feel like a 7 weight is PERFECT for steelhead but for summer and winter an 8 weight is probably the only way to go.
  5. Citori Piscatorial Engineer

    Posts: 1,204
    Federal Way, WA
    Ratings: +118 / 0
    I fish a 9' 8wt for steelhead.
  6. Alex MacDonald Dr. of Doomology

    Posts: 3,336
    Haus Alpenrosa, Lederhosenland
    Ratings: +895 / 0
    Sean, what about an 8-wt switch rod? I'm thinking about the Sol Duc and other tight rivers where you may not have the room for any kind of back cast. The best of both worlds??
  7. Dave Evans Active Member

    Posts: 550
    E. WA / N ID
    Ratings: +105 / 0
    I use a 9' 8 wt Winston. Friend carries both 7 and 8 wt and looks at the water before deciding which one to use.
  8. Itchy Dog Some call me Kirk Werner

    Posts: 3,762
    Ratings: +447 / 1
    Purely my opinion, but I'd recommend a 9'6" 8 wt. The extra 6 inches can be nice for mending, whether you're swinging or nymphing (although nymphing for steelhead isn't something I admit to ever having done).
  9. Andrew Lawrence Active Member

    Posts: 733
    Renton, WA.
    Ratings: +100 / 0
    A 10 foot 8 Weight would be my recommendation as a decent rod that you could use for both summer and winter run steelhead. However, you might want to consider the types of flies and line systems that you will be casting. For example, if you plan on casting large intruders on heavy tips made of t-14 or some other t material, then you might want to think about purchasing a two hand rod instead of a single hand rod. Anyhow, that is my 2 cents.


  10. Nooksack Mac Active Member

    Posts: 1,956
    Bellingham, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +115 / 0
    Sean, I considered suggesting a spey rod or switch rod (a mini-spey rod between 10.5' and 12 feet), but I'm not sure it's appropriate for you at this time. The determinant is this: how big are most of the Michigan steelhead rivers that you fish? If they're smaller streams that you can cover with 50-foot or shorter casts, then one-hand fly rods remain the most practical. But if some of the streams are larger, you may want to consider getting into the wonderful, confusing, usually expensive mode of spey casting. You'll probably see some spey rods in use when you get back to Michigan. At the least, watch them, and ask a few questions.
  11. attack Member

    Posts: 152
    Forks, WA
    Ratings: +18 / 0
    most of the UP streams are smaller and so are the fish averaging only 4-5 lbs... a 6 or 7 wt is more than adequate. If i were to have one rod for up there for steelhead it would be a 10' 7 wt or a switch if you want to swing flies
  12. Chris Johnson Member: Native Fish Society

    Posts: 1,792
    Bellingham Wa.
    Ratings: +316 / 1
    I use to use 7 wts and found at times to be a little light,( hooked a big ass chum, steelhead in the teens). I lost my rod last winter(DOUH!), so I bought an inexpensive reddington,9' 8wt. I had an old line 9wff on it spey casting, landed a 13# steelhead on sunday, worked great!!
  13. Blake Harmon Active Member

    Posts: 1,037
    Spokane, Washington
    Ratings: +147 / 0
    9'6 8# here.
  14. Gary Thompson dirty dog

    Posts: 3,891
    East Wenatchee, WA
    Ratings: +131 / 0
    I use a 10' 7wt
    I've never caught a steel head on it, so what do I know.
    The rod have treated me well on heavy trout out of Rufus Woods.
  15. Old Man Just an Old Man

    Posts: 21,757
    Dillon, Mt
    Ratings: +1,709 / 0
    I got tired of waiting for steelhead, so I upped and mover to Montana. Now I don't fish for them anymore.
  16. Sean Matthews Member

    Posts: 134
    Everett, WA
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    I prefer trout fishing as well, but when in the UP in November I have to hit the river for Steelies.