What's the Best Trout Streamer Rod?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by JesseC, Nov 26, 2010.

  1. JesseC Active Member

    Posts: 1,914
    seattle, wa
    Ratings: +680 / 0
    Heeeeeey, a meeeeellion dollar rod question! I know you all love these!

    I've been really getting into slinging streamers...for trout. So far, I've been abusing my 5wt Z-axis to get the job done. I have an 9'6 8wt Z, but it's just overkill for fishing rivers like the Yakima.

    I've been thinking about getting a 6wt Z switch for predominantly streamers and nymphing. I figure the extra length would really help out in terms of managing my drift for summer steel, but also launching streamers on the yak. Since i'm mostly trout fishing, I'm hesitant to go up in rod size. I like to feel those guppies ;)

    What are your experiences in terms of effective tools for streamers? Am I going overkill with the 6wt switch?
  2. Alex MacDonald Dr. of Doomology

    Posts: 3,123
    Haus Alpenrosa, Lederhosenland
    Ratings: +770 / 0
    I don't think so, Jesse; I have a TFO 6-wt switch, and love it. I believe Derek's got one too. The switch allows me to cover more water, but still lets me change to a single hand approach if I feel the need. I also have a 10-foot TFO pro series 5-wt single hander, and both work very well for wet fly fishing. I also don't cast Spey technique very well, so I usually wind up with the mother of all wind knots, especially with a thingamabobber on the leader!!
  3. rick matney Active Member

    Posts: 1,302
    Bozeman, Montana
    Ratings: +3 / 0
    A nymphing rod and streamer rod share very little of the same charateristics so I woud get two rods, one for streamers and one for nyphing. They really aren't interchangable. A 9' 7 wt fast action rod would be great for most streamers (BIIx, Z-axis, Echo 2....where as I prefer a slower longer rod for nymphing. 10' 6wt echo Ion is my go to rod. It helps with mending and line control. Just a thought. Don't even think about a switch for single hand casting unless you could kick bigfoots ass.
  4. Alexander Fishon

    Posts: 715
    WA
    Ratings: +169 / 0
    I think you'd do well with either a 5 or 6 wt rod. That being said, not all 5 wts cast alike so some 5 wts will throw streamers effortlessly and others won't. In my Trout fly fishing 'career' which I spent fishing in CO and MT most of the time the rod I used most for nearly every method of fishing was my Orvis TLS 5wt 9.5 TipFlex power matrix. I dry fly fished with this rod, I nymphed with this rod and I threw streamers with this rod, even cone heads! This was the heaviest rod I've ever owned before moving to WA and fishing here. Besides that I had a dry fly specific rod Sage TXL 3wt and a 4wt this rod did not get much use.

    So I guess if you want an all around rod the 5 wt is great and the TLS has plenty of backbone to chuck a streamer and plenty length to nymph/mend and enough sensitivity to cast a dry fly. I say get a 5 wt that isn't too stiff and isn't too much of a noodle.

    Get a reel with two spools, one spool for streamers and another spool with floating line.
  5. Alexander Fishon

    Posts: 715
    WA
    Ratings: +169 / 0
    Oi in short, I'd stick with your 5wt z-axis and experiment with different lines. IMHO
  6. Jim Ficklin Genuine Montana Fossil

    Posts: 2,043
    Columbia Basin
    Ratings: +483 / 0
    I use a 10' ECHO Ion 6-wt & like it. Haven't attempted the 2-handed game yet, tho I use a used Beulah 7/8 switch once in a while with a very limited repertoire of 2-handed casting techniques.
  7. Chris Scoones Administrator

    Posts: 3,572
    North Bend
    Ratings: +283 / 0
    Jesse, stop by and pickup the TFO 6wt Clouser. It's in the gear program. Was a bit surprised at how well it throws a streamer.
  8. Jake H Banned or Parked

    Posts: 141
    Spokane Valley,Wa.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I'd second this suggestion, or you could try the 7 in the same model. If you have the budget the 1086-4 GLX HLS Streamdance has worked fantastic for me.
  9. Porter Active Member

    Posts: 6,245
    Kenmore, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +436 / 0
    697 or 6100 XP for 40-60% less than a Z-Axis. IMHO I think the XP is better suited than a Z-Axis for flinging streamers, but it is only my opinion. In Seattle, right? Make sure to try the echo ion 6 in the 10' as rick suggested, a very nice rod. You should be able to get your hands on one. The Winston BIIx's, which in heavier lines reminded me of the Z-Axis's action are on closeout, they have the 7 in an 10'0 and 11'0, plus 6's in 9'6" and I believe 10'0. And TFO has come out with the new BVK rods which have incredible light weights, are more attractive than the usual tfo product.....maybe they got their hands on that nano resin bonding material the other rod mfg'ers are using. Worth checking out at least. http://www.templeforkflyrods.com/products/rods/bvk-series.html The bank robber made by St. Croix in 6 and 7 weights was made exclusively for streamer fishing http://www.stcroixrods.com/product/bank-robber And last that I can think of off the top of my head is the 2 piece G. Loomis 9"9 GL3. One helluva rod and would have more attention, as would the GLX classic, if offered in 4 piece. 7 weight can still be found new.
  10. FLGator Member

    Posts: 646
    PNW
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    I've been fishing a Winston XTR 9' 6wt and have really liked it. That said, if I had to do it over I'd go with a 7wt. Casting some of the larger streamers, especially dressed with rabbit, would be better achieved with a little more grain weight in my opinion.
  11. JS Active Member

    Posts: 850
    Ratings: +40 / 0
    Ditto on the Ion, throw a 40+ floater or an ambush (I have both and prefer the ambush) floater on it and you can bomb a mile of line with some heavy flies.
  12. PT Physhicist

    Posts: 3,496
    Edmonds, WA
    Ratings: +652 / 1
    There you have it..... 11 different suggestions in 11 responses.

    +1 for the 697 or 6101 XP. I use mine for both nymphs and streamers, summer steelhead, bones, pinks, etc. Only thing you have to do is open your loop if lobbing nymphicators. If you need a specific rod that helps you open your loop then revert back to your first attempts at fly casting and you should be golden;)
  13. triploidjunkie Active Member

    Posts: 2,098
    Grand Coulee, WA
    Ratings: +1,000 / 0
    Porter mentioned the Bank Robber by St. Croix. It was designed to sling Kelly Galloups' flies by Kelly Galloup. Nuf said.
  14. scottflycst Active Member

    Posts: 1,711
    Ozark Mtn springwater
    Ratings: +24 / 0
    Well, to throw another one into the mix, for tossing baitfish and the like I use a Sage SP 6wt 9', 3pc. That puppy will launch the largeness with appropriate line(s) and double as a lightweight summer steelie stick.
  15. Lugan Joe Streamer

    Posts: 2,333
    Beautiful View, WA
    Ratings: +677 / 2
    In my experience, look for a stronger/stiffer tip in a streamer rod. That helps both control the cast with extra weight at the end of your fly line and helps make mending and ripping line off the water to start a new cast much easier than with a "tippy" rod taper. I definitely don't like rods that are super stiff overall because you feel a hard thwack at the end of each forward and back cast, and IMO they are harder to control direction changes. They do rip line off the water better than a medium of medium-fast rod though.

    Having said that, here are my streamer rods: Scott S4 906FB (full wells grip), Scott G2 845 (shorter 5wt for midsize rivers and also great with hoppers and nymphs), Steffen 7'9" 6wt and 7'0" 5wt (strong and crisp glass streamer rods for small water).

    Next on my list is exactly what you are asking about: A trout-weight switch. I'm eyeing the new Beulah Platinum Switch 6wt: http://www.bearsden.com/page459.html
  16. Kyle Smith Active Member

    Posts: 1,813
    Bozeman, MT
    Ratings: +166 / 0
    I feel like a fast 9' 6wt will have you covered for streamers everywhere but scary rivers like the Yellowstone or upper Columbia. I use my fast 5wt for streamers up to 3" long on the Delaware (wider than the Yakima and windy) with no issues, and the same setup throws indicator rigs really well with a more open loop. So if you're into massive streamers a 6 or 7 might be better but your Sage should get it done. Blah.
  17. Keith Hixson Active Member

    Posts: 1,468
    College Place, Washington
    Ratings: +42 / 0
    4 wt. for small streams, 5 wt. for larger streams, 6 wt. for big streams and long casts.
    There are dozens of truly fine rods, find one to fit you.
  18. Rick Todd Active Member

    Posts: 1,790
    Ferndale/Winthrop
    Ratings: +206 / 0
    I have the old classic Loomis GLX 790. It is a great streamer rod and you might pick one up cheap on E-bay. I have a Z-Axis 690 and an XP 590 that also sometimes are used for streamers, but the GLX is so light and fast-it makes a day of chucking streamers a pleasure! Rick
  19. Porter Active Member

    Posts: 6,245
    Kenmore, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +436 / 0
    I'm beating a dead horse and have said this many times....if the GLX (Classic) was sold new in a 4-piece, it might be one of the top three selling fly rods. The damn GL3 (Classic) would be a top selling mid price rod....why they continue to manufacture in two piece only is beyond me [IMG]
  20. colton rogers wishin' i was fishin'

    Posts: 874
    gig harbor, washington
    Ratings: +10 / 0
    depends what you want to spend! winston BIIMX 9' 6" 5wt would be my choice, but a scott s4 the 9'6" 6wt is a badass rod, the 9' 5wt would be a good choice too but you can fish summer run steel with the 9'6" 6wt