The Great 8wt Steelhead Rod Debate

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Jason Decker, Oct 6, 2005.

  1. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

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    I was gonna not open my mouth and not say anything on this subject. But reading this all got my mind thinking again.

    I have a St.Croix Avid series. 9'6" 8wt on which I use a Rio Versitip with one of those Redington reels that they closed out about three years ago. I have no problem casting this and I believe that it is a med-fast rod. I got it all for under $$$$$$. I don't remember. Getting old does that to you:rofl:

    But I always look at it this way. You get what you can afford and to hell with all of the suggestions for the higher priced rods. I'm happy with what I have even if it is not the top of the line.

    Jim
     
  2. Willie Bodger

    Willie Bodger Still, nothing clever to say...

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    As long as you can cast it and the fish will still bite on the flies it presents...

    Hey, Jim, is that the Redington AL 7/8? I have that reel and I think I'm going to have to go witha versi-tip since I can't find spare spools anywhere...

    Willie
     
  3. ak_powder_monkey

    ak_powder_monkey Proud to Be Alaskan

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    Guiding this summer I saw more sages break (on fish) then I've ever thought possible I'd recomend not going with sage for that reason I kinda think they are a bit slow also.
     
  4. ak_powder_monkey

    ak_powder_monkey Proud to Be Alaskan

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    Guiding this summer I saw more sages break (on fish) then I've ever thought possible I'd recomend not going with sage for that reason I kinda think they are a bit slow also.
     
  5. troutman101

    troutman101 Member

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    On what kind of fish AK? Kings making a last run from the boat?

    These guys have really good advice but also think about a good drag system for slowing them down and working them to shore. Trout rods do not have as much reliance on the reel as steelhead and slamon rods. Make sure the reel is equally as valuable as the rod. The rod is useful for getting your fly to the fish and the reel is equally as useful for getting the fish to the fisherman.
     
  6. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

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    I believe it is the RS. I haven't looked at it since Feburary. Gonna have to get it out and ready for the winter season. Time to stretch out the line and oil up the reel.

    Jim
     
  7. Porter

    Porter Active Member

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    As compared to.....? Does that mean no Scott's, Loomis's, TFO's etc ...broke under the same conditions? or would break under same conditions?

    A very general statement with little support. Which Sage rods do you think are a little bit slow ? Slow compared to what?
     
  8. Jason Decker

    Jason Decker Active Member

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    Well, I spent the entire AM on the Snoqualmie trying for Steelhead but all I caught was a big fat SKUNK. I should be as smart as OLD MAN but I was happy about the weather and not so picky about the water volume.... so that was the fatal flaw in my plan to land a fish.........

    I am 90% sure I am going for the TFO TiCR <<BUT>> I have only one question remaining....... TFO apparently does NOT make 9-6 and ONLY a 9 ft in the TiCR 8wt. ........... the only 8wt rod they make in 9-6 is the PRO, which I find a bit slower, still very nice but not as much back bone for the longer cast with the bulky weighted flies. the TiCR is sweet but only 9ft ................. SO WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT LENGTH ????? What do you think about the extra Six Inches?

    I am looking to order me one up, just after I try the SAGE FLi out........... but it has to be a "no-brainer" before I will spend the extra 90 bucks.... That kind of clarity has only happend to me once before......when I bought my Winston Biix (5wt) over a Scott....... I was all set to get the Scott , then I casted the Winston, it was so obvious I didnt' blink, I would have paid even more $$ just to have that rod........

    so anyways, I am not gonna spend too much $$ as I am hoping to get a clackacraft by spring.......


    Jason
     
  9. Flyn'dutchman

    Flyn'dutchman Member

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    I have the TFO Pro in 9'6". Good backbone in the butt section but a little weak in the tip. Find it doesn't throw sink tips as good as my old Loomis 9'6" Adventure series rod which is slower. Other complaint is the diameter of the guides on the TFO's. Loop to loop conections on versa-tips don't go through as easily as the large diameter guides on the Loomis. Talked to my dealer about this. He was going to mention it to the TFO rep. Can't beat TFO's warranty though.
     
  10. Porter

    Porter Active Member

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    I believe that TFO is going to increase their Ticr line to include some different lengths...I know I read it somewhere....you might want to call or email and ask them about it and if true when they expect to have them out on the market. I know Sage received a lot of request for different TCR lines....now they have 9'6" 6 weights...10' 7 weight and a slueth of Spey Rods.
     
  11. FT

    FT Active Member

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    Jay,

    I use the new RIO GrandSpey on all my rods over 13', and I never use weighted flies for steelhead because I hate the way they cast on a 2-hander. However, I do carry a 14.5' section of 550 gr Deep Water Express and an 11'5' section of 700 gr Deep Water Express in my 11 wt tips line wallet that are easily cast with my 16' 11 wt or my 18' 12 wt. My 9 wt won't cast either of these tips on a long-belly line.

    I use dee flies tied on AJ 1.5 blind eye hooks, G.P.'s tied on AJ Heavy Spey #1.5 & #3 hooks, and Ally's Shrimp tied on #1/0 and #2/0 heavy salmon irons, as well a speys and even the occasional classic full-dressed atlantic salmon fly tied on large irons in winter. My big 11 and 12 wt "thunder sticks" let me fish these tips and flies out to 130' with the 10/11 GrandSpey line if I desire. My 9 wt will not cast them that far because it lacks the oomph to do so, and might even break from the rather large casting loads imposed by a long belly GrandSpey, large flies, and fast sinking sink tips. And my 7 wt would most likely break under the load and strain of casting Deep Water Express and large flies 90' on the long-belly GrandSpey.

    I still am of the opinion (which seems to have gone out of fashion of late for some reason unbeknowst to me) that you should match the line wt to the size flies you are using and then get a rod to cast that line wt. It seems far too often these days, folks decide on a rod for a particular line wt first, then adapt their stroke, fishing distances, etc. to the rod and line.

    Let me illustrate, when I lived in Montana, I had a very good friend who decided it was time for him to get a high end rod since he exceeded the cabilities of the cheaper ones he had. Since he fished the Missouri and Upper Clark's Fork a lot, he decided that a 9' 5 wt was his best choice. Not because he thought a 5 wt was best for the maximum size flies he was going to use; but because he though since a 5 wt was between the 6wt he used most of the time and the 4 wt he used for Tricos and Little BWO's, the 5 wt would be the ideal compromise. What he didn't take into consideration was that he used his 6 wt for everything from weighted #6 sculpins to weighted #4 stonefly nymphs to #16 caddis flies. And he only used the 4 wt for #18 - #24 BWO or #22-24 Tricos. The first day he took his new Loomis IMX 9' 5 wt out, we went to the Big Hole River and he broke the rod while trying to cast a #6 weighted sculpin 60', something he did all the time with his cheaper 6 wt. After he got the rod repaired by Loomis, he broke it again when casting #6 weighted stonefly nymphs on the Clark's Fork during Salmon Fly time. When he got the rod back from Loomis after having the broken section replaced again (each time it cost him about $35.00 to have the broken section replaced), he went Trico fishing with it on the Missouri and found the rod was very nice for the small flies. The next spring, Lowell got himself a 7 wt Sage RPL for the larger flies and quit asking the 5 wt Loomis to do what it was not designed to do.

    Another example: I regularly hook and land chum of over 20#'s in the middle Skagit during November. I use my 16' 11 wt when fishing for them because they are such strong fish I need to use large hooks to avoid having them straighten out and the big thunder stick also greatly helps to bring a 20# chum to hand after it ran to the other side of the Skagit. I've hooked and landed some of these large chum on my single hand 8 wt, but it was not fun since the rod lacked the backbone to pump the fish back upriver or across river after they took out 100+ yds of backing multiple times.

    Yes, I've hooked and landed kings to 25#'s on a 6 wt when fishing for silvers and searuns; but it took a very long time to get them to hand. And the only time I hooked a mid-teens chum on my 6 wt when fishing for summer runs, I broke it off on the first run because it was just too much fish for the rod.

    These are the reasons I think folks ought to match the line to the fly size and fish size expected, and then get a rod rated for that line size in an action they prefer. And the less experience a person has with hooking fish over 8#'s, the more important it is to have a rod with sufficience backbone to bring it to hand quickly.
     
  12. Porter

    Porter Active Member

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    Why is it...and especially regarding to Steelhead fishing...that if someone asks about what single handed rod to use we get a bunch of spey roders with their input. Spey rods are not the issue or answer to some of these questions ...yet they always pop up. The initial thread was about what single hand rod to use.....not a spey rod. I just have a hard time thinking that spey people are going to get converts by answering some of these questions with the you need to get a spey rod set-up. No.. No..
     
  13. FT

    FT Active Member

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    Porter,

    If you read my initial response and the others I've posted in this thread, you will very clearly see that I never said someone needs a 2-hand rod to fish for steelhead. I simply said that in my opinion one should pick a rod on the basis of what line wt is best for the job you intend to use it for, whether one is looking for a single-hand or 2-hand rod. In the cast of winter steelhead, I gave very specific reasons why an 8 wt or even 9 wt single-hand rod was a better choice than a 7 wt.
     
  14. troutman101

    troutman101 Member

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    I think there are two kinds of flyfishermen here; those who don't mind having a rod for every occasion and those who do and would rather keep it stupid simple.

    My five weight is my trout rod, plain and simple.

    My eight weight is my steelhead and salmon rod, slightly more complex but not by much.

    Spey fishing was fun for a while when I spent time on the Skagit but these days I stick to a single hand rod. So much stuff to buy. Forget it and just go fishing.
     
  15. Porter

    Porter Active Member

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    troutman101 ...you are right...forgotten and I'm heading out.