7wt's & summer runs


Active Member
I think a while ago there was a post about people using 7wt's for summer steel is it really a good idea I would like to get into steelhead is a 7wt good or should I bump up to an 8wt I already have a 7wt rod


Active Member
If you already have a 7 weight, there is no real reason to get an 8 weight unless you like buying gear and/or plan on fishing really big water with a good chance of catching very large fish (e.g., Thompson). Otherwise, a 7 weight is fine in all but the most extreme conditions.

Fly size is another consideration. Unless you plan fishing flies the size and weight of something you'd chase taimen with (large rodents come to mind) again, you are fine with a 7 weight.

I just bought a new 10' 7 weight Scott rod with summer steelhead in mind. But again, I'm a bit of a gear junkie.


Active Member
I didn't buy the the rod it was a gift a long time ago before I went and just bought an 8wt I wanted to get some ones opinion thanks


Well-Known Member
When I fished single hand rods for steelhead, I liked my 9' 7 wt with a floating line or 10' sink tip, but for serious sink tip fishing, 15' super fast sinking, I prefer my 8 wt. If you already have a 7 wt, by all means fish it. If you get hooked on summer steelheading, then think about adding an 8 wt.

I,m with Salmo.
A 7wt will do great, but may want to bump up to a 8wt for heavier water flows.

I use all 7wt for nymphing, but use an 8wt Spey Rod. I also don't have the problem of heavy run off, causing faster water flows where I would be using an 8 wt.

Jim Darden

Active Member
You can probably use an 8 wt line on your 7 wt rod, if you are really hung up on line weight. I think you will have to move up to a 9 wt to see any significant difference over the rod you have now....
I fished a 7wt for steelhead exclusively for years and never felt out matched, though as Sg said, higher line weights will handle heavier sinking tips. Then I got bit by the two hand bug, and do that for my limited winter fishing these days. I love 7wts and think they are a great choice for summer fishing. Besides, you can always buy a used 8wt.
Before I started fishing spey rods, I fished my 10' 7 wt Scott almost exclusively during the summer; I'd change to an 8 or 9 wt when weather and high flows started. Now I fish a 7-8 spey in the summer and a heaver spey in the winter; still use the Scott on the Deschutes. Well, rereading this I discover that I probably am a gear junkie -- is there a 10 step program, I'm too impatient for a 12 step.

Jim Wallace

Smells like low tide.
Here's what happened to me yesterday on the lower Bogey with my 9'9" 6 wt, a floating line, and a 10' leader with only 6# fluorocarbon and a #6 Sculpzilla, attached with a "non-slip mono loop" knot.

I didn't have much confidence in finding a summer run steelhead, so I had rigged for searun cutthroat with the above. There were lots of those pesky hatchery steelhead smolts in the runs, but we were finding a few cutthroat in the deeper softer water near structure and overhanging Alders. Nothing big, though. Biggest was maybe a 10" in-river fish, and not a searun.
We'd heard of 3 summer runs being taken at the confluence of the Calawah, but hadn't seen any fish ourselves. Not even when looking into the water with polarized lenses from a driftboat.

Suddenly, while fishing from the anchored boat, I hooked up into a decent sized fish. It wasn't very big, maybe only 3 or 4 lbs and 19" or 20" max, but it put up a great fight. Almost had it tired out when my leader parted, right in the middle of the loop of my loop knot. My knots didn't fail, Its just that 6# fluorocarbon isn't really strong enough for summer run steelhead. I was aware that I had only 6# test, and was trying to baby it, but I think that the leader just frayed and broke where it went thru the eye of the hook.
My 6 wt rod was more than enough to handle this sized fish, especially if I had been fishing while wading. I might have had better luck getting it in if I had been able to slide it over into the softer water of the shallows, instead of having Befishin' trying to net it from the boat in the faster flowing water.

I know that if I have strong enough leader and good knots, the 6 wt is fine for fish up to around 8# or so. I've landed 10# trout in lakes on lighter gear and 4X tippet.

I retied with 10# fluoro. Didn't have any 8# along, but even with a bulky loop knot, the 10# didn't seem to draw fewer strikes from the cutthroat or smolts.

I tried fishing my 8 wt single hander with a heavy sink-tip through some of the deeper runs, and hated using it. I just don't enjoy casting heavy sink tips.


All depends on the river and fish..there are rivers in b.c. famous for it's huge summer runs and they are insanely strong fish...I fish a 7wt spey on those rivers but keep an 8wt as back up in case of super strong winds...still I find the 7wt enough..

Rivers down lower mainland and wa. a 6wt spey is more then enough IMHO...christ I used my 7wt this weekend just because I wanted to try out my new reel...hooked a hot fish and it sang nicely but it was still way overkill for those fish in that river...

For the most part when fishing summer runs if I use a tip it's a type 3..most of the time I'm using floating tips or polyleaders...these fish are aggressive and will come to the fly so you don't need huge shit or you'll just scare them....think that's why you've hooked up as have others fishing for SRC...my flies are small trouty flies that are easy to cast and fun to fish and work great on a lighter set up...

Now salmo is heading for the dean and ralf is there now...I would be comfortable using my 7wt there but would have the 8wt just because you could hook a king...my rivers I don't have to worry though..


Richard E

Active Member
I think a while ago there was a post about people using 7wt's for summer steel is it really a good idea I would like to get into steelhead is a 7wt good or should I bump up to an 8wt I already have a 7wt rod
The 7 weight is a quintessential summer steelhead rod. No need to bump up to 8 weight for summer steelies.