I have a couple rods I fish regularly on the sound, but I'd say my go-to rod is my 5wt. Here's the lineup:
10' 4wt Sage XP with a clear intermediate - for cutthroat and rezzies on the nice glassy days from the boat
9.5' 5wt TFO Pro with outbound floater - all around kickass rod
10' 6wt Rainshadow with outbound floater - for silvers off the beach
9'0 Sage Launch 8 wt. This is also my Steelhead rod. It has served me very well thus far though is a tad overkill sometimes. I think a 6wt would be perfect, but I figured I would rather have too much than too little rod.
Great input on my questions. I broke down and decided. I opted for a Redington RS4 10' 7wt. I got what I think is a good deal with a Redington CD 7/8 spooled with backing and an intermediate sink clear line. Reelflyrod.com great service. Now USPS must deliver and fast.
My favorite rod is an old Garcia 8' IM6 2pc 5/6wt. I use a 4wt line on calm days and a 5wt on the rest. Moderate action to medium action and even slow action if I actually toss a 6wt with it. Next would be my Lami 1298 5wt 2 pc 9'er. with either an Airflo Ridgeline or SA Sharkskin it'll bomb out a cast into the wind. For the Silver and Blackmouth runs, it's my 10' 6wt 2pc Rainshadow I built on a RX7 blank. Lately I've been tossing a 7wt Airflo Accelerator floater with it. It'll definitely reach out and touch someone. For Chums off the beach i go for the Sage 8113 with a cut back 500 Skagit with an intermediate or floater 10' polyleader. And no, I don't have just one "go to" rod.
I presume you're talking about general fishing for the Puget Sound area, for searun cutts and resident coho . . .
Loomis GLX 6 wt. 9' (what Loomis now calls "Classic"). That rod rules. Weighs less than 3 ounces, has a medium stiff progressive action and generates terrific line speed. I can't say enough good things about that rod (I also have it in an 8 weight, 4 piece; the perfect all-around bonefish rod). I use this rod from the beach and the boat. Definitely the go-to rod.
My second rod is a Sage 691-4 TCR, which I line up when fishing from the boat with an SA Streamer Express 250 gr. I can't believe how incredibly stout this rod is with it's small rod profile. I have an Airflo WF6F 40+, but it doesn't load this rod as well as it should. My next line will be a Streamer Express clear tip. I use this rod in the boat.
My third rod which I take as an extra in the boat is a Sage 690-5SP. This is a very nice rod, and if it weren't for the GLX, this would be my go-to rod. A beach and boat rod.
Finally, when fish are small (early season) and the weather conditions allow it and/or its euphausid time, I've started using a 5 weight Orvis Helios. A great rod; its super light, so far has been very durable, and will fire a line. In these same fishing conditions I occasionally use my old Sage 590SP+. It's a veteran and has some use (at least the reel seat shows it) and is really more of a 6 weight. Both a boat and beach rod, mostly beach.
That Loomis GLX rocks! Oh, I already said that. That's OK, it's such a good rod, it deserves another mention.
For chums, I use my GLX 8 weight and a TFO TiCr-X 8 wt. These sticks are those that I also use at Sekiu and Neah Bay (along with my Redington RS3 and RS4 nine weights . . . )
I have Porter, but not on a river. Only overhead casting on some grass.
I probably wont shell out the bucks for another TCR any time soon. I love the rod, but in all honesty it is spendy. There are cheaper rods that perform for much less, and it is faster than my current taste for the majority of my fishing.
When I was only overhead casting I really liked the faster rods. Now that I mostly spey cast with single hand rods I much prefer slow full action rods. I will take a slow rod and no false casts for the most part, over a fast rod that I have to work a lot harder to get to load and is less forgiving to timing. Locally, I rarely make an overhead cast unless I need to get out past 60 feet which really only happens on a handful of the tailouts on the Skagit and Sky.
The reason it is my go to rod for salt is that when I do need to overhead cast into the wind, or have to power to get out as far as I can, it is more forgiving because the tip doesn't collapse for those 80 to 100 foot overhead casts.
Thanks for response...just curious regarding opinions of casters. I have the 691-4 TCR and it is a rocket...probably more than I like at times....and was thinking the extra length might soften the rod ...thus a TCR in a 10' build would behave like a 9' XP. I don't know but to me that would be a nice casting/fishing rod
Great comments here.
I go with a Sage 696RPL, great back bone, sensetive tip and super when the wind picks up. I use a 7Wt. line as it seems to load much better. Silvers no problem and SRC's are still fun. I do think the key to that rod is using a 7 wt. line though.
9 ft Griggs, 5/6 wt, $60 odd bucks and with a crystal river 6wt fwd ($15) great for cutts and pinks/silvers, flounders and sculpin too if that's your thing. Cheap as chips but more than good enough, I can throw 80+ ft even into light winds, especially early morning when I get to do most of my fishing. With more 'distance' designed rods (I also have a 10' 6 wt Echo) I found them so poker stiff that giving a fish <15" any serious pressure more often than not led to an LDR or a small fish is simply dragged to hand. Any wind that's big, or with big flies go with an 7/8 wt to have a more trouble free day, just don't fish for cutts, it's more than a wee bit over gunned, personally all the pinks and silvers that I've ever caught fall into this category too. Kings and chums need a bit more but had a blast last yr in the hood canal with a TFO 6wt spey on chums, probably more like a single 8wt tho'. For one rod in the sound, it's my Griggs 5/6 wt, $ for $ better than most other rods.
I'm new to salt fishing but I use two Eagle Claw Granger XG rods, a 9ft 5wt and a 9ft 7/8wt....not the best but more than adequate to get the job done. Caught a couple SRC's this Summer so far and hope to get a silver or two and perhaps a king before too long.