What is a good PNW winter steelhead rod??

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by sandspanker, May 29, 2011.


what is your PNW winter rod of choice?

  1. 7wt

    25 vote(s)
  2. 8wt

    36 vote(s)
  3. 9wt

    3 vote(s)
  4. other

    1 vote(s)
  1. The reason for this poll was to think if I was thinking that a wt would be strong enough for winter steelheading. I think for perfect condictions it will be. Not high fast water, mid sized rivers, I was thinking of selling my echo 8wt but I think I may keep it for those other times. fishing a really deep pool, a larger river, Large chicken for a fly. etc... But thanks for everones imput on this subject.
  2. I think if the person is smart about fighting the fish you can use lighter rods. I know that Gary Loomis caught a summer steelhead on the EF lewis many years ago with a 4wt single handed rod. He went swimming two times before he landed it but he did land it.
  3. I don't like skagit heads that much. I fished a 15' 10wt all winter, with a windcutter 10/11. I like being able to get the fish in when they're still relativley green. The 10wt allows me to put as much pressure as I want on them. I broke off a number of fish running 17 lb floro while putting some serious wood to them.
  4. Didn't Loomis make a two handed GLX?........
  5. I don't think the question can be answered by line weight. Some rods are built to throw Skagits and heavy junk, others are not as well suited. A better question IMHO is which makes/models of rods make the best winter rods. Personally, I like my Meiser MKS 13'6" 7/8 rod. Throws big stuff and can handle large fish.
  6. Some fish are just more stubborn. Have caught plenty of mid to upper teens fish that a 2wt trout rod would have been overkill. Most solid 7/8 wt two handers in the 12'-13' class are more than enough for all but the few exceptional fish.

    Have also caught more than a few on 4 and 5 wt single handers. Not sure why anybody would have to swim the EFL to chase a fish, outside of a good story. It wasn't the rod it was the fish that went crazy. Steelhead roped up with normal leader are no different to land on a trout rod. Some come in like on a leash. Others require some playing. Most burn themselves out and the game is over quite fast, reguardless of the rod. Same applies to two handers as well.

    As for 'big guns' 'not needed' that is a typical load of bull. 7wt two handers certainly aren't needed either. It is personal choice of how you want/like to fish and not much else. If you want to be Lee Wulff you don't even have to have a fly rod to catch big fish. Just learn to cast with your arm and play them off a hand held reel. That is all that is 'needed'. The rest are wants or likes.

    If you don't want to use an 8wt two hander then don't. If you think an 8 wt two hander is right, it is. Landing a big fish on a 7wt doesn't mean crap in proving a point. For the next one may be a handful on an 11wt, but probably not.


    I fish 15' 9-11's for the majority of my angling, on bigger water. I agree that once you use such rods you learn how little pressure you really can apply with a 13' 7wt. The pressure needed to move that oddball, sulking stubborn fish. Otherwise the vast majority of steelhead aren't being brought in any faster, or slower as they give up. I prefer the fishing and casting qualities of the bigger rods and spey lines to match. But that is my damage and I fully understand why they don't have much appeal on a broader steelhead spectrum. Choices are good and glad to hear you are enjoying the long rod!

  7. William,
    One of the things that I appreciate about your posts is that you cut to the chase.

  8. Your right William, The 7wts are not needed, but your whale sized 15' 11 wts are. :) It's all personal preference. If there were 20' 15wts, we could use them as well. What ever trips your trigger.
  9. William has a two handed whale spey rod? That's rediculous!!
  11. Justin,

    Yeah that is exactly what I said. Ring Bruce and Walker up for that 20'r. Although it is 'only' an 11wt, sorry.
  12. Wow must be something wrong with me as my all around rod is a 17ft 11wght Carron and I do not own a double hander shorter than 15ft!
  13. In my small span of experience here in the PNW (what he was inquring about) I have never seen rods over 14 ft in the winter. I would love to see you guys during winter with your 15'+ rods and carron lines. I think it would be quite educational and entertaining for the locals.
  14. Just ask our mutual friend Marty what I can do with it ;-D
  15. Justin,

    Exactly right- in your small scope.

    Go back and find where I was advocating such 'oversized' tackle over what you use for winter fish?

    Do you even have a lick of experience casting and fishing these bigger rods? Or do those pesky locals make all your decisions for you?

  16. Will, you didn't come out and say... "Thou shalt go and use 15' rods...", but you said you liked them in open waters, and then why. No big deal.

    No experience at all. Never saw a need or felt a desire to fish those old outdated telephone poles :thumb:. Damn locals!

  17. actually I take that back.... I had a sage 8150 for a bit... Nice rod, but didn't need the length/weight.. so I Sold it. But nothing bigger as far as rated rod weight.
  18. Justin,

    It comes down to where we fish, how we fish and what we find enjoyable when doing so. The guy around the corner sits there scratching his head wondering why anybody needs a two hander as his trusty 9' 7 wt is all the rod he needs. Some use switches. Some use really big rods. I don't really care for the BIG sticks, but the couple of friends that do fish them really enjoy themselves. Why judge or ridicule their choices?

    The 15' rod is neither old or a telephone pole. It may not have a place in your angling. Or may not be a logical choice where you angle either. But those situations can change when one fishes the Thompson, Tay or Yokanga. And there are several winter fisheries where the big sticks are not out of place. Not required, but not out of place for those that enjoy using them.
  19. All right kids...are we ready to play nice? William nice comment to bring us back into focus. I for myself prefer a longer rod in the winter...okay longer is very subjective, 13'6 and a 12'6 are what I'm currently using, but I'm looking to be fishing a 13'7 and the 14'8 Guideline, by next winter both in the 8/9 ...perhaps...maybe a 9/10 in the long rod. Is it over kill? I don't think so. I like the way they mend and at 5'8, with my boots on, I need every inch to get a good mend and line control at 80+ feet...I guess that's also why I hate to wade any deeper than knee deep.
  20. The problem is that Justin probably hasn't fished anything but locally.

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