When a 6wt Just Ain't Enough

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Simplebugger, May 11, 2014.

  1. Simplebugger

    Simplebugger Member

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    Before I ask my question, let me remind those who haven't to call their mothers!
    Now down to business. What are the biggest fish you all are comfortable targeting and catching with a 6wt rod? I caught a couple pinks this last fall on it but that was feeling like I was maxing it out. I have caught larger bull trout on it as well with the same feeling. Just curious where you all would draw the line. Thanks for your input.
     
  2. shotgunner

    shotgunner Anywhere ~ Anytime

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    6wts have the widest spectrum of any line class. From noodly vintage rods to the hottest salt water stuff available today. No way you can toss the proverbial blanket over any line class. Just to much variation of blanks and environment they're utilized in. Small stream, big stream, spring run off river, still water. Place the same fish in any of those and he's no longer the same fish when it comes to what he can show you.
     
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  3. CLO

    CLO Bonk Hatcheries

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    Trout under 24 inches, I wouldn't use a 6 wt targeting salmon unless it's a pink in non moving water.
     
  4. Chris Bellows

    Chris Bellows Your Preferred WFF Poster

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    offshore coho up to 16lbs no problem on a 6 wt with heavy tippet.
     
  5. Stonefish

    Stonefish Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater

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    What 6 wt brand and model where you using that felt maxed out on pinks?
     
  6. cuponoodle breakfast

    cuponoodle breakfast Active Member

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    Depends on location. Do the fish have a lot of room to run? Do I have room to chase them? Is the current fast or slow? Also, am I targeting fish I will keep or release?
     
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  7. Jeremy Floyd

    Jeremy Floyd fly fishing my way through life

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    I have caught all species in the puget sound rivers on a 6 wt up to 35-40 lbs. If you know your stuff you can handle anything on it because it becomes more reel and style than rod limitations.

    It's not recommended when specifically targetting the bigger runs, but I was/am-not going to snap off a king that takes a small purple/black streamer when I was/am SRC fishing..

    It is more about matching the line weight to what you are casting vs matching the fish.
     
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  8. Jamie Wilson

    Jamie Wilson Active Member

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    excellent points
    these factors are important in the discussion
     
  9. golfman44

    golfman44 Active Member

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    I've seen 20lb kings landed on a 6wt in moving water and there was never a doubt. If you can throw the fly you need in a fishable manner, the rod is fine if you know what you're doing. Just realize this only applies if you aren't some asshole playing out wild steelhead with a light rod and click pawl reel. Put the rod and reel to work and I can't imagine a puget sound / s river species that can't be handled with a strong 6wt
     
  10. JesseC

    JesseC Active Member

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    You must have soft hands.
     
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  11. Randall Clark

    Randall Clark Active Member

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    depends on the "6wt"...when it takes an 8wt line to get your "6wt" to load, that isn't a 6wt (regardless of what that label says). It also depends on the angler. Many anglers I see aren't willing to "put the wood" to large fish they catch. a 6wt can handle plenty of larger species provided you're willing to stick it to 'em and not be afraid to break it off if things aren't going well....reel doesn't have anything do do with it unless you're targeting saltwater fish. Those same anglers who are afraid to really 'put the wood' to fish are the same ones who think they need a disc drag that'll stop a train for these freshwater fish (based on my observations).
     
  12. golfman44

    golfman44 Active Member

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    Hence why I said seen
     
  13. bennysbuddy

    bennysbuddy the sultan of swing

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    As with most anything the skill of the operator will in most cases determine the outcome. aSix wt. will do in the hands of the experienced , but an 8wt. Is a better choice for salmon and steelhead until you gain some experience.
     
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  14. your effin tripping bringin a 6wt to the op during winter thats all i gotta say
     
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  15. golfman44

    golfman44 Active Member

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    Sounds like you need to hit the gym and take some muscle milk #nowhipe
     
  16. jake-e-boy

    jake-e-boy No mas

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    15#maximaconquersallregardlessofrodwt
     
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  17. I already go no whipe maybe no wader will help
     
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  18. Simplebugger

    Simplebugger Member

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    Thanks for the responses guys! One more follow up question. Would chasing summer runs in the rivers be Ill advised?
     
  19. golfman44

    golfman44 Active Member

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    People land winter steelhead in rivers with $15 fred meyer barbie poles that are less than 3 ft long. Some of the yuppiest spey pages elitist dudes use 2/3 wt switch rods on steelhead. You'll be fine. If the fish hits a strong rapid or something just break it off.

    As long as your rod gets the fly there its more about the angler and reel than what number is plastered on the rod blank.
     
  20. Cruik

    Cruik Active Member

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    I use a 10' 6 wt. to fish westside rivers for trout when I know there's a significant possibility to hook a steelhead. I've comfortably landed hot summer runs with it. As long as you realize that if you do hook a steelhead, you've gotta put a good bend in the rod and pull them out of heavy water. You definitely can't expect to land the fish in the spot where you hooked it.

    That being said, I have another 6 wt. at 9' that I wouldn't feel comfortable fishing for wild summer runs with. I think it's just the idea of knowing that the fish is going to be in the river for another 8 months with no food before spawning. Fat reserves are a limiting factor for summer runs' survival and if I'm going to reduce those reserves, I feel like I should do it as little as possible. That extra foot, for whatever reason, gives me a lot more control and leverage over fish.
     
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