Weight for Steelhead?

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Sean Matthews, Aug 29, 2010.

  1. Sean Matthews

    Sean Matthews Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2008
    Messages:
    141
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Everett, WA
    I am picking out an early Christmas Present for when I go home to hunt and fish in the Upper Pennisula of Michigan. It will be the opening run for steelhead in numerous rivers, and I want to pick up a new rod. I was thinking a 8wt 9'. Any suggestions?
     
  2. gt

    gt Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2005
    Messages:
    2,618
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    sequim, WA
    can't go wrong with that choice.
     
  3. Porter

    Porter Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2003
    Messages:
    7,968
    Likes Received:
    1,618
    Location:
    Kenmore, WA, USA.
    iagree
     
  4. robl

    robl Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2005
    Messages:
    432
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    Richland WA
    I fish mostly the summer run so I feel like a 7 weight is PERFECT for steelhead but for summer and winter an 8 weight is probably the only way to go.
     
  5. Citori

    Citori Piscatorial Engineer

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2006
    Messages:
    1,230
    Likes Received:
    165
    Location:
    Auburn, WA
    I fish a 9' 8wt for steelhead.
     
  6. Alex MacDonald

    Alex MacDonald that's His Lordship, to you.....

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    Messages:
    5,081
    Likes Received:
    2,439
    Location:
    Haus Alpenrosa, Lederhosenland
    Sean, what about an 8-wt switch rod? I'm thinking about the Sol Duc and other tight rivers where you may not have the room for any kind of back cast. The best of both worlds??
     
  7. dogsnfish

    dogsnfish Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2010
    Messages:
    702
    Likes Received:
    210
    Location:
    Snake and tribs
    I use a 9' 8 wt Winston. Friend carries both 7 and 8 wt and looks at the water before deciding which one to use.
     
  8. Itchy Dog

    Itchy Dog Some call me Kirk Werner

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2005
    Messages:
    3,961
    Likes Received:
    637
    Location:
    Doo-vall
    Home Page:
    Purely my opinion, but I'd recommend a 9'6" 8 wt. The extra 6 inches can be nice for mending, whether you're swinging or nymphing (although nymphing for steelhead isn't something I admit to ever having done).
     
  9. Andrew Lawrence

    Andrew Lawrence Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Messages:
    736
    Likes Received:
    103
    Location:
    Bellingham, WA
    A 10 foot 8 Weight would be my recommendation as a decent rod that you could use for both summer and winter run steelhead. However, you might want to consider the types of flies and line systems that you will be casting. For example, if you plan on casting large intruders on heavy tips made of t-14 or some other t material, then you might want to think about purchasing a two hand rod instead of a single hand rod. Anyhow, that is my 2 cents.

    Regards,

    Andrew
     
  10. Nooksack Mac

    Nooksack Mac Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Messages:
    2,262
    Likes Received:
    309
    Location:
    Bellingham, WA, USA.
    Sean, I considered suggesting a spey rod or switch rod (a mini-spey rod between 10.5' and 12 feet), but I'm not sure it's appropriate for you at this time. The determinant is this: how big are most of the Michigan steelhead rivers that you fish? If they're smaller streams that you can cover with 50-foot or shorter casts, then one-hand fly rods remain the most practical. But if some of the streams are larger, you may want to consider getting into the wonderful, confusing, usually expensive mode of spey casting. You'll probably see some spey rods in use when you get back to Michigan. At the least, watch them, and ask a few questions.
     
  11. attack

    attack Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2009
    Messages:
    164
    Likes Received:
    25
    Location:
    Forks, WA
    most of the UP streams are smaller and so are the fish averaging only 4-5 lbs... a 6 or 7 wt is more than adequate. If i were to have one rod for up there for steelhead it would be a 10' 7 wt or a switch if you want to swing flies
     
  12. Chris Johnson

    Chris Johnson Member: Native Fish Society

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    Messages:
    3,085
    Likes Received:
    1,193
    Location:
    Bellingham Wa.
    I use to use 7 wts and found at times to be a little light,( hooked a big ass chum, steelhead in the teens). I lost my rod last winter(DOUH!), so I bought an inexpensive reddington,9' 8wt. I had an old line 9wff on it spey casting, landed a 13# steelhead on sunday, worked great!!
     
  13. Blake Harmon

    Blake Harmon Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    Messages:
    1,113
    Likes Received:
    277
    Location:
    Spokane, Washington
    9'6 8# here.
     
  14. Gary Thompson

    Gary Thompson dirty dog

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2007
    Messages:
    4,112
    Likes Received:
    333
    Location:
    East Wenatchee, WA
    I use a 10' 7wt
    I've never caught a steel head on it, so what do I know.
    The rod have treated me well on heavy trout out of Rufus Woods.
     
  15. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2002
    Messages:
    26,961
    Likes Received:
    5,525
    Location:
    Dillon, Mt
    I got tired of waiting for steelhead, so I upped and mover to Montana. Now I don't fish for them anymore.