Steelhead rod length question

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Jim Fitz, Sep 4, 2005.

  1. Jim Fitz

    Jim Fitz Member

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    I am going to build a SH rod and am trying to decide between a 9' and 10'. What are the pros and cons? Will the 10' increase my casting distance without sacraficing strength? Is the added weight not worth any casting benefit? Is there not much difference between the two? I am new to SH fishing for the most part.

    Don't tell me to just get spey rod because I am going to do that too.

    I am going to build this on a Dan Craft FT 8 weight blank (3 or 4 piece?). I posted the same question on rodbuilding.org but started thinking as I typed that it is more of a fishing question as opposed to a rod building question.

    All opinions brief or otherwise welcome.

    Thanks,

    Jim
     
  2. rainbow

    rainbow My name is Mark Oberg

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    I like a 9" 8 weight for salmon and steelies. Is is the action I like the best. The bigger rods are to cumbersom and are not werth the length. I'll never use a spey poll. I love the action to much to change. (Sorry I ment 9'6". I call it 9')
     
  3. Flyfishsteel

    Flyfishsteel New Member

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    9'6" or 10' in my opinion. Extra length means better line control and giant-mending which are critical factors when Steelheading.
    Distance is not all that important, 90% of all fly caught Steelhead is within 50'.

    My primary rig is a 10' 8wt 4pc GLX. Good luck!
     
  4. Jason Baker

    Jason Baker Member

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    I agree with Steel. 10' rods are a great tool for rivers. If you nymph at all, they are great for roll casting, mending, lob casting, and the extra length also plays a fish well.
     
  5. OPfisher

    OPfisher I

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    Go with the 10" for the same reasons steel said. I got a 7w 10" avid I fish and I love it for salmon and steelhead!
     
  6. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

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    I don't think that I have ever seen 9" fly rod. But the action on it has got to suck.

    But I use a 9'6" 8wt which on it I use the Rio versitip line. I kind of like the extra 6" on the rod.

    Jim
     
  7. Nooksack Mac

    Nooksack Mac Active Member

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    Since you're selecting a rod for yourself, consider your size and age - in short, your strength. I'm a bit under 6' and 225 pounds, a certain amount of which is a candidate for liposuction. I find 9 1/2' rods to be ideal as single-hand steelhead and salmon rods. Light enough for all-day use, and I can mend all of a 70- or 80-foot cast (although for those longish distances, I prefer spey rods).
     
  8. Panhandle

    Panhandle Active Member

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    It all depends on the size of river, but on larger rivers targeting steelhead and salmon... I recommend a 9.6 8 wt. for a single hander. As mentioned before, the extra 6 inches is crucial for mending and redirections especially when using tips. If you need anything longer, you should probably be looking at a mini or 14 ft spey. I saw it mentioned above that a longer rod compromises action...hmmm?
     
  9. VancouverFisher

    VancouverFisher Lucky if I get out anymore!

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    I wrapped a Dan Craft 10' 8wt FT (the FT series are a 4 piece blank) a few months ago and have been fishing with it on the Rogue the past few days - double & triple roll casts with mending, mending, mending. I debated whether to get a 9' or 10' rod and now I'm glad I went with the 10' - less work for me to get the line where I wanted it.

    Anyway, the fast taper series are very, very light. IMHO, I don't think the extra foot of rod will make much of a weight difference (except for the extra line your carrying above the water when you're fishing). For that reason I went with ceramic guides all the way up from the strippers.

    As far as the power, I have been fishing it with a 15 foot nymphing head, an indicator, a weighted fly and a size 10 trailer. It takes a little longer to load but still shoots like a cannon and does great in the wind.

    Be sure to call Dan himself. He knows the Five Rivers blanks better than anyone and can give you his own honest opinion about which would work for you.
     
  10. Jim Fitz

    Jim Fitz Member

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    All,

    Thanks for the advice. I am going with the 10' unless Dan talks me out of it for some reason. Good advice on asking him. I did already ask him some questions and he e-mailed me right back but I forgot the length question and the weekend hit.

    I agree on the ceramics - I am going with Titan Titanium ceramics - $$ but will keep this rod light. This is starting to sound like chatter that belongs in the rod building forum.

    Jim
     
  11. Anyfish

    Anyfish Fishing with the kids

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    I have a 9'6" and it works for me. Just my thoughts
     
  12. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    Jim,

    It's really a matter of personal preference, and in this case, your preference. But since you're asking for suggestions . . .
    Since your going to use a 4 piece blank for this rod, I'd suggest a 9 1/2 or 10' blank in 8 wt. I've used 9' 8 wt graphite rods in 2 piece blanks, and while they're fine, I found that I'm partial to a little more length in in that line weight.

    The extra length may facilitate longer casts, but that depends on both the rod and you. The extra length is not crucial to casting, mending, or playing steelhead. The length is about what you find most comfortable to cast and fish with. I caught more steelhead on an old 8 1/2' fibreglass rod than probably all the graphite rods combined that I've had since I quit using it.

    I've had a 9 1/2' 8 wt for the past 12 years that I really enjoy casting and fishing, yet I seldom use it due to a fling with Spey rods. Since you mentioned you're going to get one of those also, I thought I'd warn you.

    Sincerely,

    Salmo g.
     
  13. Jason Baker

    Jason Baker Member

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  14. wet line

    wet line New Member

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    Jason, rod length does not determine distance of a cast. It is the ability of the person using the rod. For example both Clark and Anil tossed all of a 90' line with my little custom 7' fiberglass rod and they did it with ease.

    Dave
     
  15. salt dog

    salt dog card shark

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    I recall seeing in print the story of Lefty K, at a fly club presentation on casting, demonstrate that rod length wasn't everything and proceeding to remove the top 1/2 from the rod and cast 90 feet with that. Form and timing, form and timing. That would have been a good show, eh?

    Regardless, I find myself being drawn to longer rods after using a 9.5' 6wt for a few years on salt water beaches and summer run. My next rod will be longer. Definitely gives an edge when fishing a sloping beach, and I can mend sink tips better fishing rivers. But, as stated, its a personal preference thing, what feels right in your hand.