What constitutes saltwater rod?

David Loy

Senior Moment
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".
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.

Jerry Daschofsky

Staff member
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.


Active Member
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,


the Menehune stole my beer
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!!!


Active Member
I was out of town this weekend, so sorry for the slow response.
If I had to choose a six weight to do a variety of tasks including the salt it would probably be a 9’ or 9’6” rod with a fast taper and moderately stiff action.
Price being no object, I would choose either the 9’ 6 weight Streamdance GLX from Loomis or the 9’ 6” 6 weight XP from Sage. Both of these have fighting butts and are fast, yet only moderately stiff. ($600’s)
At a lower price, the 9’ 6 weight metolius is a great performing rod, at a much lower price. ($380)
Another rod to consider, one that is fitted with trout components yet has a great saltwater action is the Redington C.P.S. ($249)
There are other rods that would certainly be good choices, but these are some of my favorites.