What wt is too light...

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by mwdehaan, Sep 4, 2012.

  1. Derek Day

    Derek Day Rockyday

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    This is exactly what can happen if you aren't used to landing big fish on light rods. I would be surprised if the aforementioned steelhead survived the this encounter. I decided to chime in because I found a gorgeous (likley) played to death wild summer-run this last weekend. Very unfortunate and very avoidable.

    Don't fish the light rod. Do yourself and the fish a favor and get a heavier rod. I too have an eight weight I'd lend out.
     
  2. Puget Sound Pimp

    Puget Sound Pimp Banned or Parked

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    For your information Derek Day, the Steelhead was a examination fish from a restoration program in hood canal that wants to increase the steelhead count on that river. My fish had a pair of tags on his dorsal fin with his number. A couple weeks after catching that fish I called Fish and Wildlife, they gave me the groups number that is working on the project and they told me a biologist recorded my fish in a trap they set further up the river to see how many of their fish returned to their spawning ground. My steelhead was released above the trap to spawn. The fish you probably saw was one of the steelhead with a virus that has killed off many steelhead over the years around Washington.

    So instead of being an ahole about my story and acting like you know everything about fishing, you could spend less time on this website and more time actually fishing.
     
  3. Freestone

    Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

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    golfman, you are correct but the OP is a brand new fly angler, hence my urging him to use an 8wt. And, in my observation, many of those who think that they have the skills to safely land big fish on light rods, don't. Now sure, I've done it on a 5wt and I've seen it done by others including the legendary video of Lee Wulff fishing a 6' Midge rod for Atlantics but like Sean and Evan, I prefer a more appropriate rod for the task especially on the UC.
     
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  4. Freestone

    Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

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    No, it is not always possible to know if the fish will make it when it is released. Fish are pretty hardy but no matter how careful we are, there is still mortality from catch and release. But, I figure why increase the odds any more than we have to, especially with regard to wild fish.

    As for borrowing an 8wt, no worries - whether we can hhok up to fish or not first, you are welcome to borrow it. PM me when/if the season opens this year.
     
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  5. Derek Day

    Derek Day Rockyday

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    PSP,
    Glad to hear you didn't kill the fish. And I fish a lot.
     
  6. Charles Sullivan

    Charles Sullivan dreaming through the come down

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    Every steelhead is worth breaking your rod over. That's what I say. If you play them that aggressively, they will live.

    Go Sox,
    cds
     
  7. mwdehaan

    mwdehaan Member

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    How hard is it to break a rod when fighting a fish? What I mean by that is... if you're using a proper angle, drag, and common sense, shouldn't you be able to avoid breaking a rod even when fighting a fish that's weighted much heavier then your rod? It seems a lot of comments are saying more to avoid using a 5wt because it would break.

    I honestly don't know because I've never had a fish on that's too big, yet. So I'm trying to ask these questions in order to save a rod in the future. I've seen a few youtube videos of people having their rods pulled nearly over their shoulders when trying to bring a fish upstream and having their rod snap, but it looked like they were just asking for it.

    I'm wondering if a rod snap is more of a sudden caught off guard sort of situation where say, you have the rod tip up and you're reaching your net out, the fish spooks and bolts, somehow your drag or line or something gets pinched then snap. Seems to me whenever a strong fish pulls, my arm or wrist sort of angles automatically to that 45 degree angle where "supposedly" the rod is best suited for a large load.

    I don't know, just all thoughts. Like I said, tips/advice is greatly appreciated as I am truly ignorant and lack experience on this one.
     
  8. zen leecher aka bill w

    zen leecher aka bill w born to work, forced to fish

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    My experience with broken rods says most are broken because of hook hits, car doors, trunk lids, trees, stepped on and other non fish related accidents. If a rod breaks on a fish it already had a defect/crack and would have broken later. My last two broke because of repeated hook hits. One broke while stringing up the rod and the other broke when sitting in the boat.
     
  9. mwdehaan

    mwdehaan Member

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    Ouch. As for hook hits, is that just when you're casting and you hear the THUMP of a bead head or in this case a hook on your rod? Had that happen once and checked the rod for damage, sounded harsh but apparently it was fine.
     
  10. zen leecher aka bill w

    zen leecher aka bill w born to work, forced to fish

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    The hits are cumulative and after a number of them (in the same area) it doesn't take much to crack the rod.
     
  11. golfman65

    golfman65 Guest


    I'll try that line out sean...I was impressed as well..had a lot of offers on that rod but held onto it..

    Evan, I didn't know you caught any wild fish?
    Maybe a bigger rod is better when throwing bobbers?

    I get what your saying freestone, I know you talk it but also walk it... but i gotta wonder what the hell some of these guys are talking about...I've had 10lb steelhead take me into the backing a little...I've had 18lb big wild ones take me deep in the backing on big rivers...stand your ground and get the damn thing in is the difference between landing it and not...not the rod weight..go look at the old echo rod ads and tell me what that says? Either they don't know how to palm their pretty perfects or they don't understand how to use the backbone of the rod...

    freaking reading on here I gotta wonder how many actually have hooked a really hot fish before? If you haven't busted off a fish that's kicked your ass then you haven't caught many..Talking about being respectful of the fish and actually acting on it must be two different things?
     
  12. Randall Clark

    Randall Clark Active Member

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    I think that's probably the most likely.


    If you're constantly breaking rods on these fish, stop high-sticking them! When using the full power of a rod, it's going to be extremely difficult to break your rod unless you're fighting the fish with the tip, then you'll break your 5wt, your 6wt or even your 9wt.

    I don't have nearly as many steelhead under my belt (less than 100) than many on here, but it really didn't take me that long to figure out that you have to fight large fish with the lower half of the rod, that's what it's there for...use it.

    All that said, the couple of rods that I have broken in my past have all been user error, and had nothing to do with the size of the fish.
     
  13. Evan Burck

    Evan Burck Fudge Dragon

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    Wah?
     
  14. golfman65

    golfman65 Guest

    LOL...sorry but I couldn't resist..

    I got to thinking about this and back to before I ever used a spey rod..my rod of choice for big fish,before I got a spey rod was the 8wt xp...used that rod for chum and winter steelhead...

    The discussion back then on the boards was..."are 8wts enough for chum salmon" The answer was...If you know what your doing they are fine...if you snag one and hold the rod straight up and down it will probably snap...
    We used to fish a river up north where the chum were a mile or two from the salt and just used to ripppppppp your line out on their runs..Kind of sad now..actually really sad now as salmon was a big part of my single hand career..

    If you were talking to someone about fishing in the summer on any trout river, the 5wt used to be the shitizle for rods when it was windy or had big fish...used to be you learned on a six weight so you could "feel" the cast better ..guys with skill were fishing everything from 000 to 5wts.....I mostly fished a 3 or 4wt for wild trout on rivers where the average fish was 2-4lbs and 8 plus pound trout were out there...

    While I have only lost fish that size back then...mainly due to my being a tool in the wind and not having the line control...4 and maybe the odd 5lb trout were hooked and if you can tell me the difference in fight between those and a wild steelhead I sure like to know it ?

    I also got into the ultra light fishing back then as I knew guys who had gone from the earliest spey rods to everything in between and found that the ulta light rods gave them the most challenge...
    I on one afternoon hooked and landed 13 pink salmon on my 2wt rod, I switched between it and the 000 and have landed a 5-6lb wild steelhead on the 000 with a size 14 caddis while fishing for trouties on a warm afternoon....
    While not my intent...that fish was landed as quick as a trout that size and didn't take all that long..

    With spey rods we've come down this road of going from our single handers which have hooked and landed more damn fish on a helluva lot smaller rods to rods that were originally designed for 20-50lb atlantic salmon...We have of course over time come way down from those 15' broomsticks...but the mentality still seems to be around that because we are using two hands everything has to be so much bigger...
    The interesting thing now not so much around here but in other places where there are still enough fish around to actually build a data base off is the acceptance of smaller and lighter rods again and the pleasure you can have fishing them...It's amazing to me to hear guys who used to say the same thing that is being said here, now have realized that they can enjoy fishing a rod all day, everyday and not hurt the fish in anyway doing it..

    maybe it would be better to stop highjacking this thread and open one on the methods of landing a fish properly?

    a little summer run on a 000 and a 14 caddis dry..

    IMG_2886 (Large).JPG
     
  15. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    G-man65's photo pretty much says it. While a 5 wt isn't the perfect choice for the OP to fish the Okanogan for steelhead, there's no reason that doing so should hurt the fish. I was thinking the major downsides would be dealing with wind on the big open river and ease of casting the desired distance. Or the extra work of casting a skater with such a light line. If I had only a 5 wt, I'd use it. But a 7 would be far more comfortable for that fishing.

    Sg
     
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