What constitutes saltwater rod?

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by David Loy, Apr 7, 2005.

  1. David Loy Senior Moment

    Posts: 2,435
    Wolf Bay
    Ratings: +331 / 2
    Hello all, new to forum (great site) but not to flyfishing. Would appreciate your advice and input. Am currently looking for 6wt rod mostly for general trout fishing (have 4, 5, 8 & assorted speys, Sage & Winston mostly) for use on larger waters (& fish). But I also want to include some beach fishing for SRCs.

    I do know some of the characteristics of a "SW" rod (ie. fighting butt, anodized seat) but not sure how important they are. Do I need a fighting butt on a 6 wt? Not going for tarpon here. Butt may be handy for barnacles I suppose. What is wrong with a wooden reel seat? I've been around salt water all my life and can't imagine they would swell anymore. Perhaps the salt dries wood out and cracking occurs? Are the guides larger or of special material? I understand enough to put a SW friendly reel on but am tapping the collective mind as to the rod.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. D3Smartie Active Member

    Posts: 1,987
    WA
    Ratings: +4 / 0
    here is what constitutes a salt rod to me... an older rod that you do not have much invested in. A "beater". that being said i have gone through a few rods on the beaches and my favorite rod for the beach is the sage XP.
    If you take care of your equipment fishing the salt is no different than any other body of water.
  3. ibn Moderator

    Posts: 1,885
    Federal Way
    Ratings: +10 / 0
    I don't think your rod has to be old or a beater to use it in the salt. I use pretty high end gear for beach/ocean fishing, and I fish more salt then I do fresh water, just make sure you rinse it after. It's not like your gear is going to fall appart in your hands as soon as it gets salty. Take care of it properly and you wont be able to tell it's been fished in the ocean.

    -I
  4. TomB Active Member

    Posts: 1,620
    seattle,wa
    Ratings: +58 / 0
    another thing to consider is that puget sound really doesnt take the toll on gear that the true ocean does. I thought PS was salty until I fished in Maine, and boy, there is no comparison. PS just requires a small rinsing. Real ocean, you better soak it.
    -Tom
  5. Preston Active Member

    Posts: 2,475
    .
    Ratings: +460 / 0
    Any rod will work fine for a saltwater rod. A fighting butt isn't necessary, certainly not for sea-run cutts or resident coho. As for larger fish look at it this way; do you NEED a fighting butt for steelhead or salmon in fresh water? Some of my rods that see use in salt water have anodized reel seats and some have wooden inserts, it's never been any kind of a problem. The only difference is in the small amount of additional care required, my rods (and waders) get a good rinse with the garden hose when I get home and my reels get soaked in a bucket of fresh water for half-an-hour or so then have the spools removed and are allowed to dry. Over many years, the problem of corrosion has NEVER reared its ugly head.
  6. barbless Member

    Posts: 313
    Seattle, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    iagree
    Although any rod that is used (or mis-used) a lot becomes either an old friend or a beater depending on your point of view. If you are careful to thoroughly rinse your equipment soon after a saltwater trip, you should be able to use just about any 6wt in the salt for years. I don't think many manufacturers make 6wt rods with fighting butts and anodized reel seats - those seem to start with the 7 or 8wts. More important than the butt and seat construction would be the action of the rod for making long casts with heavy flies in the howling wind, etc. Depending on your casting preferences, the type of water you fish, and budget, you might want a different rod action for fresh and salt water...

    barbless
  7. Stonefish Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater

    Posts: 3,861
    Pipers Creek
    Ratings: +1,263 / 1
    Ben,
    There was a decent article in the Feb/ March issue of Saltwater Fly Fishing magazine titled "The Salty Six". The article discussed how 6 wt's are being utilized more today then in the past for different saltwater applications. It also had a list of rods they considered to we "true" saltwater 6 wts. "True" being fighting butts, large stripping guides, fast action etc.
    Brian
  8. Bob Triggs Your Preferred Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide

    Posts: 4,020
    Olympic Peninsula
    Ratings: +682 / 0
    The better rods for saltwater do have higher quality components that are said to be more corrosion resistant. That could play a major factor on long range ocean trips where one might be on the water many days with rods rigged and ready to go.

    But here on the beaches I use whatever I want to use, even my little trout rods, and everything gets a good flushing out with fresh water.

    You can ruin even the best saltwater resistant metals by repeatedly wetting and drying them in saltwater. If you leave a reel attatched to the reel seat of any rod, and use it in saltwater, you must remove the reel from the seat and rinse it all thoroughly. Dissimilar metals exposed to saltwater, allowed to dry, especially repeatedly, will actually be "eaten" away; like the foot of the reel in the seating- with corrosion.
  9. kodiaksalmon Jeff B.

    Posts: 946
    Muskie country!
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Like has been said above, pretty much any rod you use is a saltwater rod once you use it in saltwater. That said, to me a true saltwater rod will have a faster action for pushing larger flies into the wind, larger guides which allow you to shoot line easier, anodized components, and yes, a fighting but. I started off a trout guy, but now I consider myself as a saltwater guy who trout fishes occasionally. Therefore, when I build a rod, it almost always gets a fighting but-all the way down to 5 wts. You get used to them, and I love them. I put saltwater safe components on all of my rods, because like Bob said, there's times when you won't always be able to rinse your rods the same day or whatever, and standard gear will litterally corrode over night if not cleaned as soon as you get home. I use Sage XP and RPLXi for saltwater use, but nothing says you can't us their SPL line in the salt.

    Jeff
  10. David Loy Senior Moment

    Posts: 2,435
    Wolf Bay
    Ratings: +331 / 2
    Gentlemen, thanks for your tender nuggets.
    Brian - I'll look for that magazine.
    Bob - Maybe we should add tiny zincs inside the reel case. The next great thing!
    Barbless - Heavy flies are ok (on 8 or above) however my MO calls for couch and remote when the wind is "Howlin".

    Will watch classifides & ebay for XP, RPLXi, & BL-5 (where did BL-5s go anyway? Darlings 2 years ago and now extinct.). Also want to throw TFO & St.Croix & gauge their poop. Would be a bonus to get away with rod & reel for reasonable $. Side bar is that I remember when cheap graphite was worthless. Now however there are some sweet casting inexpensive sticks out there (medium or med./fast action usually).

    Thanks again,
    rgds, David
  11. Bob Triggs Your Preferred Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide

    Posts: 4,020
    Olympic Peninsula
    Ratings: +682 / 0
    I tried the zinc anode trick, it didnt work. Also, wood reel seats will swell from the exposure, including salt water. Very bad. Let the rel seat dry completely prior to storage. Keep a good finish on the wood. Dont store a wet wooden reel seat in a rod bag.
  12. o mykiss Active Member

    Posts: 1,305
    .
    Ratings: +180 / 0
    You definitely need a fighting butt on a six weight beach rod so that when you lean it against a rock to take a leak you don't get sand in the reel. Plus it looks cool. ;)
  13. wet line New Member

    Posts: 2,313
    Burien, WA, King.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    A day or so ago I was at Puget Sound Fly Co., a sponsor of this sight and this exact question came up by another customer. Anil took the time to basically explain the differences required of a salt water rod. I only retained part of the conversation but I did figure out there is a diffence. I would suggest either stopping in and talking with either he or Clark. These guys know and have never oversold me nor anyone I have seen walk in the door. Both have guided and fished heavy duty salt and fresh water. Explain your objectives and what you think you need and they will get you pointed in the right direction!

    Dave
  14. kodiaksalmon Jeff B.

    Posts: 946
    Muskie country!
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Good post! :rofl: And the thing about keeping it out of the sand, that's true, and it's worth the consideration.

    And yes, they do look cool. :cool:

    Jeff
  15. kodiaksalmon Jeff B.

    Posts: 946
    Muskie country!
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    You know, those Puget Sound guys must truely be top notch. I have yet to hear anything other thant the best of reports on them. I've only been in there once, and talked with Anil. I was impressed. There was none of the "Well, I own this shop, you're an idiot, and you should respect the hell out of me because I think I know what I'm talking about, and by the way, you're an outsider, so what do you want?"

    Rather, he was open, polite and actually listened when I talked, which is getting rarer and rarer. Plus, the shop itself is well stocked, comfortable, and has enough saltwater stuff to keep me happy! Too bad I live all the way up here, or I'd be in there every day. I will make it a point to drive down and see them when I'm over on that side of the Sound next.

    Keep it up Puget Sound! :thumb:

    Jeff
  16. David Loy Senior Moment

    Posts: 2,435
    Wolf Bay
    Ratings: +331 / 2
    Thanks guys.
    Bob - 1st thing I do after every safarii is strip my line and leave ALL gear out for a day or two in the "fly tying theater".
    O mykiss - great point on the sand issue!
    Wetline - will check out PSFC. Likely the only shop in town I haven't visited.

    Appreciate the "tips from the top".
  17. Flyn'dutchman Member

    Posts: 459
    Wenatchee, WA
    Ratings: +3 / 0
    Check out the StCroix Legend Ultra. They made a salt water version in 6wt. Oversize stripper guides, anodized reel seat, and fighting butt. I think the action is a little stiffer in the butt section also.
  18. Jerry Daschofsky Moderator

    Posts: 7,757
    Graham, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +680 / 5
    Trust me Kodiak, not all Puget Sound shops are that way. LOL. Why I never went to them growing up. Did mail order from Cabelas even back then.

    I think about anything will work. I've never used special "saltwater rods" for my beach fishing. Even used my spey rod a few times. Like mentioned, key is a GOOD cleaning. I always clean everything, including reel being taken apart and scrubbed thoroughly. Not as bad salt abuse as the big blue. But it can take a toll fast if you're not up on it. Especially if it's a rod rarely used. Short term isn't bad, but the long term corrosion in the spots you CAN'T see is where they do the most damage. Especially if you plan to take the reel apart down the road. You may find the screws fused into the frame. Growing up, everyone would bring me their baitcasters and flyreels for maintenance. Saltwater gear was always the worst. Especially the ones that weren't flushed.
  19. Anil Active Member

    Posts: 1,061
    Tacoma, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +210 / 6
    I think that a lot of you have touched on these points already but…
    A ‘Saltwater’ rod usually begins with the rod’s action. Almost all manufacturers build a blank that is both fast and stiff. They often take into consideration durability (sometimes at the cost of increased weight) when building the blank. I think that it is the blank that actually is the foundation of the ‘saltwater’ title. A rod that is extremely fast and stiff will not roll-cast, mend line, or roll-cast well. What it will do is throw a lot of line with a heavy fly, sometimes in a stiff breeze. The finishing touches are the guides and hardware that are corrosion resistant.
    As several people have pointed out, rods designed for the freshwater, work perfectly fine in the salt. Some people prefer a slower or less stiff rod, even for saltwater work. Wooden components will hold up just fine, with a little T.L.C.
    Who should buy a ‘Saltwater’ rod? Anyone who can utilize (and most importantly) enjoys casting and fishing these rods. This is particularly true if you plan on using them in the saltwater extensively.
    Thanks for the kind words,
    Anil
    www.pugetsoundflyco.com
  20. Mingo the Menehune stole my beer

    Posts: 2,629
    Happy Hour, WA
    Ratings: +377 / 1
    you guys bring up a good point............I think fighting butts on 6s, 7s, 8s etc help take pressure off the wrists and just look plain cool. They do protect the butt when you lean it against something. I noticed TFO has a TICRx 6 wt with a fighting butt. For me that would be important as I like to use 6 wts for humpies and summer runs. Haven't tried TFO rods but I hear good things and they're not too pricey. the TICRx is about $250 I think...........Anil, what would your personal preference be in a 6 wt that would be used for salt AND freshwater (summer runs, humpies, throwing streamers etc) use?? Maker and length?

    I enjoyed your shop and the searun flies you recommended worked!!!