9 weight for steelhead

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Meanpressure, Jan 16, 2007.

  1. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    Meanpressure,

    It isn't the difference in rod weight that will affect your comfort or ability to cast it all day long. It's the small but significant difference in line weight, coupled with line speed while casting (F=MA) that requires more force to be exerted on every cast, for as many casts as you make in a full day's fishing. That is what you will notice, and specifically, your casting arm's elbow and or shoulder will notice, depending on how good your casting technique is. I see in another thread that you are favoring a tip flex, or stiff, fast action fly rod. As a novice, if your casting skills are imprecise, a fast action 9 weight is an excellent set up for tendenitis or shoulder pain unless you are quite athletic and have no family history of joint pain issues.

    The point made about going with either odd or even line weights for rod sizes is a good one, except that most avid fly fishers end up with such a large quiver. We end up with one or more rods in both odd and even sizes anyway. I wouldn't worry too much about that in the long run.

    One thing you got right: there sure is a lot to learn about fly fishing.

    Sincerely,

    Salmo g.
     
  2. James Mello

    James Mello Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"

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    What Salmo said. If you don't have a good stroke, invest in the money for casting lessons and practice your butt off. I'd also consider *not* getting a fast/tippy rod as the timing required to get a nice cast is quite a bit harder to learn. There are significantly better casters on the board here, so hopefully they can chime in. But in general I don't think anyone would disagree with casting lessons and practice being more important than whether you have an 8 or 9 wt rod....
     
  3. JS

    JS Active Member

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    Right on the money, for winter small streams I use a 9' 7wt and everything ronde sized and bigger gets a 9'6'' 8wt. And then summers get the old trusty 6wt
    cheers
    skeels
     
  4. bigtj

    bigtj Member

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    Guys,

    Respectfully, I think that perhaps the whole tendinitis deal and Newton's second law of motion is not germane to meanpressure's decision. I think this situation is a whole lot simpler. My guess is this guy is going to pick things up quick. And if you saw his other post he's going to use the rod in the salt on the gulf coast (he is from Florida). I bet in 2 or 3 weeks this guy will be casting lazer loops and fighting 10-lb snook with that rod in windy conditions in the salt. If he ends up with a mid-flex noodle in the salt he's going to regret it. Not all novice casters stay novices for very long. And I don't buy the idea that a beginning caster needs to learn on a mid-flex rod, I think that's hype from the rod manufacturers used as a marketing strategy. I've seen beginners learn equally well on RPLXi's and 20-year old generation 1 graphite winstons. Why tell him to get a rod he's gonna outgrow in a hurry? He needs a fast-action rod that can fight steelhead, salmon, and a mixed bag of gulf-coast saltwater fish such as reds, snook, and baby tarpon. To me a 9-wt tip flex rod, a few casting lessons, and 2 or 3 weeks on the water is just what the doctor ordered.

    Another thing....any rod cast improperly, from a 2-wt to a 14 wt, is recipe from shoulder problems. I fished in AK with a 12-wt RPLX, a heavy Pate reel, and a QD 525 on a regular basis during King season and my shoulder never gave me problems because I let the rod do the work. You can still screw up your arm with an orvis superfine 2-wt if you are flogging the water to a froth. That's where casting lessons come in. www.sexyloops.com has some great advice on not overpowering the cast in this thread: http://www.sexyloops.com/beginners/lesson1/castingloops.shtml . With some lessons and advice a 9-wt does not necessarily mean shoulder problems. In fact, trying to use a rod with not enough power for the situation - like a mid-flex rod with too light of line - can actually make things worse. If I were fishing for baby tarpon in a still breeze it would be a lot more work with a mid-flex 7 or 8 wt than a tip-flex 9 that can really shoot line. There is a lot to be said for using a powerful enough rig to match the situation.
     
  5. James Mello

    James Mello Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"

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    Well, it really depends on how much he gets out, and how much he practices. In general, people *can* learn quickly, but more often than not, they don't have the opportunity to put the time in to do so. This is why I stressed lessons and practice being more important than the rod choice.

    Personally I'm amazed at the hype that you *need* a fast action rod to cast far. For *maximum* distance, this is true. But for most distances, a slower action rod can still be used. While it is theoretically possible for me to always throw longer lines with a Sage TCR, in practice, I usually cast a slow action rod like a GL3 further. Why? Because while I'm a decent caster, I don't have the precise stroke to always track the rod *straight*. Because of this the TCR laughs at me, and I get shorter casts... The GL3 on the other hand will still load, and *I* don't have to provide all the acceleration of the line to get a cast out. I do tend to prefer faster action rods, but there is a certain point where it is too much unless you are *friggin* monster of casting.

    Finally there may be a slight disconnect on nomienclature. I'm not suggesting that he goes out and purchases a super slow fiberglass stick. What I think in general is that if he were to get any of the following *kinds* of rods (Loomis GL3, Sage VT2, Winston Vapor), that he'd be happy, and it would take a few years to outgrow (if ever).

    At any rate, this is good stuff bigtj!

    -- Cheers
    -- James
     
  6. bigtj

    bigtj Member

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    James,

    Agreed, casting practice/experience trumps rod choice. I just think it's easier to cast a fast-actioned rod in the wind, and they are a superior fish-fighting tool esp. in the salt. There aren't too many moderate-action saltwater-specific rods out there. I agree the distance/fast action thing, it's totally over-hyped as well most fishing w/ a single hander, even in salt, is at 70 feet or less. A. The rods you suggested are all good ones as well.

    Best,

    -John
     
  7. Meanpressure

    Meanpressure New Member

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    Thanks to all that replied.