5wt or 6wt???

I have been tossing the idea around of getting a 5wt or 6wt rod...no pun intended. I currently have a 4wt and 8wt and was thinking I should stay in the even field. Throwing a size 8 bugger on my 4wt can be more of a chore than fun sometimes. I'll be honest most of the fish I catch are of the average trout size with the occasional hawg. My backyard during the summer is the Snoqualmie so I was thinking the 6wt would be a perfect rod for Steelies and SRC's. How much of a difference is there between the 2? Any advice will be much appreciated.




Be the guide...
If it were me, I'd go for the 6wt. Would be a good rod for summer\fall SRCs and yet handle summer steelies just fine. Also, i've hooked several silvers and other salomon on the Snoqualmie while fishing for SRCs and Steelhead, so the 6wt will give you a little more confidence.

I took the small (4-5lb) silver in my avator with my 4wt on the Snoqualmie this last summer. The rod handled it fine, but I'm considering getting a 6wt this summer\fall so I can target more species with confidence.


The dumb kid
i use a 6 wt for my basic trouting/salmon/steelheading. yeah, im a crazy sumbitch too. with my 6 wt i have gotten kings to 35 lbs, chums to 20, silvers to 20-ish, and sockeye. trout rod? sure.. a steelhead is a trout. if your looking to catch salmon, a 6 is better, but if the primary target is summer steelhead/trout/src, a 5 is great.

on another note, if you are having probs with a #8 bugger on a 4 wt, i would reccomend going to a faster rod. when targeting browns, i can confortably cast a 7" marabou leadeye leech on a fast rod, but when i go to a medium rod, i cant cast it at all. just a thought

how bout a 5/6wt? thats what i got and it is a great all around rod. then you can have a spool of 5wt and a spool of 6wt if you like. i can even toss #2 conehead leadbody leeches pretty well with 5Wt WF when i have to. i use 5wt line on mine because i primarily go after trout with it and the occasional steelhead outing. but now i have a 7/8wt for that purpose. with that 5/6 i feel that i could probably tackle some substantial fish with it but still dont feel like an ass tossing dries to bluegills either. -ryan

Old Man

Just an Old Man
Decisions,decisions,decisions.(I probably don't have these spelled right but what the hell,you all know what I mean). Well I use a fast 5wt in the summer time and don't have any trouble throwing just about anything that I want out there. I also have a 6wt but all I use it for is pulling around my sinking line. No I pretty much just use a 5wt as I feel it is an all around rod for the summer. No matter what you seem to hook up with be a 4" trout in the mountains or a 25 lb Chum in the fall. They are both fun to catch.

I think that what you are going to target is what you are going to have to base your decision on. But if you can't make up your mind just get them both.

Thanks for the advice, I'm leaning toward the 6wt I figure I will be able to target more species of fish. Last year I tied into a steelie on my 4wt skating dries and it broke my 5x tippet. All I could do is stand there and watch him shoot down the river. Talk about deer in the headlights...
I have an XP so plenty of speed for tossing buggers I think once I tie in a beadehead and wrap it with weight it gets a little hefty.


Banned or Parked
Most rods rated as a 5/6 are really just 5 weights. You can throw a 6 weight line with just about any moderate to fast action 5wt on the market.
It somewhat depends on the rods your looking at. I have two fast action 5wts and a 10ft 6wt. The 6 is much stiffer than either 5. I like it for lakes and the Yakima. I like the 5s for everything else. Overall, I think a 5wt is a better all around trout rod. The 6 is a better fence sitter between trout, bass, and SH.
I agree with the sixers. I've spent a lot of time fishing for summeruns and SRCs with my 5-wt and maybe it's my rod (8.5' Sage RPL) but I'm always wishing I could cast/mend a bit farther on the rivers and handle more wind on the beach. A 9.5' 6 Wt XP is on my Christmas list.

Richard E

Active Member
Depends on your 4. What brands and models are your 4 weight and your 8 weight

If you have a short 4 weight, or if it is a moderate action rod, then I would probably go with the 5 weight. If you have a faster action 4 weight that can cast a 5 weight line well, then I would probably opt for a fast 6 weight.

My first premium rod was a Loomis IMX 6 weight, and like you, I started to build my rod inventory on the even number weights. My rationale was just like yours; use it for trout, and for summer steelies. I now own 3 weight to 12 weight rods, two or more deep at each line weight, with 11 the only weight I don't have.

If I had to do it all over again, I would probably start with a fast 5 weight and build around that. There's a reason why 5 weights and 8 weights are often the most popular line weights in new rod model lines. You can use a fast 5 for SRC fishing, and in a pinch for small summer steelies.

And, how often would you really, in all honesty, fish for SRC's or summer steelhead? Twice a year? Twenty times per year? If you plan to use the rod more often for trout, I would definitely go for the 5 weight. My poor GLX and SP 6 weights rarely get used anymore for trout fishing, and have been supplanted with a Sage 590-4XP and Scott S3 905-4. I use the 6's only in the salt any more.

What rods are you considering adding to your quiver? That information would also help with recommendations . . .

Happy to help!

I have a 6wt which was my first rod, but haven't used it since. My opinion is that this rod is too heavy for trout and too light for Steelhead. I stayed with my 5wt for trout and IMO the GLX 7wt 10' rods are the BEST Summerrun Steelhead rods in existance. As light as an 6wt and the backbone of an 8wt for roll casting 50+ feet if need be.

Peter ><>

Mark 12:30-31
i have a 3,4,5,6,7,8,9 wt. and should have a 2,4,6,8.,10. i usually take 4 or 5 rods on an outing and fish one. go with a good 6 wt. i just bought a 10 ft. 6 wt. but have not made time to throw it yet. a friend gave me some custom sod in rolls and have been busy, ouch, sore muscles. will post when i throw it. let us know what you decide.
Get a 6wt. I have two 5's and an 8. I use one of the 5's sometimes for summer steelhead but feel I would be better off with a 6. The 5's are a little heavy for trout sometimes so I think a 4,6,8 combo would be ideal.