rod selection

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Steelieblue, Jan 30, 2001.

  1. Steelieblue

    Steelieblue New Member

    Feb 25, 2003
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    Issaquah, WA.
    Hey Everyone and Chris

    To remind you I will be moving to the wonderful area of WA in May. What wt rod will I need to fish the Yakima? I am planning on about a 6 wt for the yakima and then about a 8 or 9 wt to fish steelies and salmon in the rivers. How I am doing so far? Thanks for the help pros.

  2. Chris Scoones

    Chris Scoones Administrator Staff Member

    Jan 1, 2000
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    North Bend, WA
    Personally I use a GLoomis GLX 5wt but many days on the Yak I'd prefer a 6wt when it's windy. The idea at the time was a go between for W. side rivers and the Yak but I'll probably end up buying a 6wt anyway since I'm hitting the Yak and Bitteroot in MT (can also be windy) more and more.

    Would probably start off with an 8 weight for steelies but I'll hold up there as I'm not proficient enough in this area to provide excellent input. Hopefully someone else can assist here.

    If you haven't read Dennis Dickson's article on [|Fly Lines] I would refer you to it before making your rod selection. Should be self explanitory why.
  3. Greg

    Greg Member

    Dec 31, 1969
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    Gig Harbor, WA, U.S.A.
    Here's my input on the gear I use and that works best for me. But first, some words of advice. Regardless of who uses what or what brands may be recommended by anyone, don't buy ANYTHING until you go into your local flyshop, cast a variety of rods appropriate to the fishing you intend, discuss the pro's and con's of everything with the folks there and then go home and sleep on it for a day or two. Try to take the emotion out of your purchase and go for the practicality of the equipment. Granted, there may be some retailers out for the buck ready to sell you desert waterfront property, but I'm sure many here can recommend trustworthy individuals working at all the local fly shops in whatever area of WA you'll be in.

    Okay, now on to what works for me.

    Some say the 9 foot 9-wt is the "all purpose" Steelhead rod. It may very well be, but I just can't cast one all day without wearing myself out. I use a 9-foot 8-wt Diamondback Backwater loaded with a Rio Versitip line system on a Lamson 3.5 reel. This is a fast action rod with a strong backbone. Some steelheaders prefer a more moderate action. The Versitip system gives me the flexibility to skate the surface with drys or scrape the bottom with weighted nymphs regardless of river stage or flow and very quickly be able to make that change. For the rivers I fish this outfit has served me very well having landed a number of Steelhead in the 12-15 pound range as well as some quite sizeable Chum Salmon. I know, its blasphemy for a Washington flyfisher not to use a Sage or Loomis for steelheading. As a side note regarding Steelhead gear, there is a rapidly growing trend towards using Spey Rods on the major Steelhead rivers up here. It seems most folks are using a 13 or 14 foot 9-wt loaded with a Rio Windcutter type of line system.

    Most of my fishing is done from the beaches around my particular area of Puget Sound for both resident and returning Silvers (Coho Salmon) and Searun Cutthroat Trout. The outfit I use is a 9-foot 6-wt Orvis Trident TL (saltwater version, Tipflex 9.5) with a Penn International 1.5G reel. The line I use on this system is a 30-foot 8-wt intermediate (i.e. sinks at a rate of 1-1/2" - 2" per second) shooting head attached to Scientific Anglers .031" diameter Mastery Shooting Line. Fishing for Silvers from the beach frequently requires long casts and, with this outfit, I can consistently launch that rocket to over 100 feet. That didn't happen over night and it took some dedicated practice to get the timing down. Searun Cutts, on the other hand, are often found kicked back and sunning themselves at the water's edge :) so a 30 to 40 foot cast will be all you need. The 6-wt is probably a slight overkill on the Cutts that usually run about 12" to 17", but in the Sound, one never knows what will strike. Hmmmm, now that I think about it, I wonder if I can convince my wife I need another salt water outfit? :)

    For Trout fishing in lakes, rivers and streams, my rod is a Thomas & Thomas Horizon 8-1/2 foot 5-wt loaded with a 5/6 Wulff Triangle Taper line on an Orvis Battenkill Disc 5/6 reel. This is one sweet casting outfit that is totally in synch with my personal casting style. I probably will never need the disc drag, but I liked the feel of the reel and for the price, why not?

    As I said above, this is the gear that works for me. Others may disagree on the make or model, but I don't think there will be too much controversy over the line weights.

    Welcome to the the most beautiful region on God's green earth. And don't forget to shut the door and put up the Do Not Enter sign when you cross over the border. :)
  4. DanielOcean

    DanielOcean Active Member

    Apr 27, 2009
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    Buy any rod and just fish.
  5. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

    Jan 1, 2002
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    Butte, Mt
    What are you smoking or drinking Daniel. This thread is over 15 years old.
    Tugs likes this.
  6. Swimmy

    Swimmy Riffle > Run > Pool

    Jan 15, 2015
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    I have an amazing collection of fishing shirts
    Daniel bumped another thread in the steelhead forum from '01. LOL

    I'm hoping the OP will come in and give us an update on his rod selection. Maybe even a review of the purchase.

    Matter of fact, I have a rule that I abide by...if I ask the board for a recommendation, I always follow up with what I decided/purchased and thank members for their help. Too often, as in this thread, someone asks for advice and then leaves you hangin' with no closure.
    neilbeaver and Old Man like this.
  7. Kyle Smith

    Kyle Smith DBA BozoKlown406

    Aug 7, 2005
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    Bozeman, MT
    I would go with the all new Sage XP or maybe a Scott STS, which also just came out. I can't wait to graduate from high school this June!
    Jase likes this.
  8. Rob Allen

    Rob Allen Active Member

    Aug 28, 2007
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    Wishram WA
    Yakima 4 or 5 wt ( but I don't nymph fish)

    smallish salmon/ steelhead 8 wt

    also use the 8 for throwing streamers on the yak