Why would I buy an 8 weight for steelhead?

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by sickclown, Mar 30, 2008.

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  1. Richard E

    Richard E Active Member

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    iagreeiagreeiagreeiagree

    Amen; Citori speaks gospel. Does that mean a person should use a 12 weight for trout fishing. No, it's about balance. Size your outfit according to the task and conditions, and with consideration for the fish's health so you catch 'em another day.
     
  2. HauntedByWaters

    HauntedByWaters Active Member

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    We have to stop arguing about exceptions on this site. Nobody can say that a 5wt has more power than an 8wt. You can mention some weird exceptions or different manufacturers but that is about the only explanation.

    WORD to the olde tymer.

    If you find yourself hunting an elephant with a 22, you probably misread something or took some poor information to heart.

    I land big and feisty chum on an 8wt all the time but the thought of landing a big and feisty chum on a 5wt is damn near a laugh.
     
  3. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    I may be using my 6 wt for lake fishing this year at a certain lake with some large stocked triploids. Last year, i had to bust off the biggest trout I ever hooked on my 4 wt because I couldn't bring it to hand. It was 8 or 10 lbs. I could get it near the boat, but then it would turn away and nose down into the weeds, overpowering my gear, even though it was getting tired. After several failed attempts to bring the fish alongside, I became worried about the fish's survival and had to bust it off. I was using 4X tippet.
    It seems to be tougher to bring a fish alongside a canoe than to the bank. Last Spring, I found out the hard way that there is danger to the rod in "high sticking" a strong fish to the net.
     
  4. Jon Borcherding

    Jon Borcherding New Member

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    Why I feel inexorably drawn to the role of devil's advocate in regards to this threads is beyond me but, here goes:
    The "weight" of a rod and the "power" of a rod are not necessarily the same thing.
    The weight rating of a rod is directly related to the weight of the line it is meant to cast. More precisely the weight, in grains, of the first 30 ft of the fly line. So it follows that a five weight rod is built to load with head weight (first 30 ft of line) of 134 to 146 grains.
    The is the meaning of the "weight" rating of a rod. Nothing more and nothing less. The weight rating does not say anything about the "power" of a rod or its ability to wear out a fish quickly.
    That being said, the kinds of leaders and tippets that are commonly used on a five weight rod would require the angler to use techniques that could prolong a fight to the point of exhausting a fish.
    So..... rather than debate the proper weight rating of a rod suitable for steelhead or any other fish, perhaps it would be more relevant to discuss the optimum leader strength or at least take leader strength into account in a discussion about the ability of a rod to bring a fish quickly to hand. I would also point out that fishing rods do not exhaust fish, anglers exhaust fish. In other words, technique is a far more relevant factor in bringing fish quickly to hand than choice of weight rating. For those of you who think I am suggesting the use of a 2 wt for tuna fishing, let me say that this is NOT what I am suggesting.
    Consider this, what would be more effective in bringing a fish quickly to hand, a moderate action 6wt that flexes all the way into the grip with a 20 lb leader or a fast action 8 wt with a 10 lb leader and an angler who is trying not to lose the fish?
    Flame On!

    JonB
     
  5. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

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    I caught a Chum on a 5wt. Was fishing the Skagit one time a few years ago for sea runs and or Dollies behind the Chums. I was using heavier than usual leader so I couldn't break it off. My 5wt was doing the double bend for a while until I got the fish close enough to unhook.

    Those fish are hardy as it swam off after the hook dropped out of it's mouth. If I had know it wasn't hooked hard I would of given it some slack so I would of over stressed my rod. But one never knows does one?????

    Jim
     
  6. PT

    PT Physhicist

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    It'd be a pretty boring site if we all just sat here and agreed on everything. I'll agree with others who say YOU ALL should use an 8 wt for all reasons already expressed.

    I'll go ahead and continue fishing my 5 and 6 wt during the summer because that's what I like to do. Just like Jeremy, I can't remember that last time I fought a summer fish for more than 4 or 5 minutes on my 5 wt IMX. I'll vouch for Abel1 also, having seen him land quite a few summer fish on his 5 wt.

    8 wt is probably a good all around rod for most situations. Big water, big lines, big flies, big fish, wind, etc. A point I've tried to make here before is that it's more about the angler than it is the gear. Just because you have one in your hand doesn't mean you're using it to it's capabilities.
     
  7. HauntedByWaters

    HauntedByWaters Active Member

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    I get your point but I don't think anyone is arguing with you either. Anyone who is an experienced angler knows that there is a lot of skill in fighting and controlling fish on your line.

    Furthermore, a huge fish on a strong tippet on a dinky rod will break the rod not prove that you can land a huge fish on a small rod because you have to consider the fishes health and try and release it as quick as possible (at least with wild steelhead). If you land a chum on a 5wt in a reasonable amount of time it probably was spawning and weak.

    No matter what, a 5wt doesn't have the power like an 8wt to horse a fish NO MATTER WHAT.

    If I were to tie a weight to a line and lift it with a 5wt and than lift the weight with an 8wt, the 5wt would surely bend more and break first.
     
  8. HauntedByWaters

    HauntedByWaters Active Member

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    I just meant arguing with EXCEPTIONS. Using exceptional situations to prove irrational points is just dumb. Kind of like trying to argue a 5wt is stronger than an 8wt.

    I don't think anyone in this thread tried to argue that fishing a 5wt for steelhead is wrong. If they are smaller steelhead it is all good.

    I am just trying to say that 5wt are not as strong as 8wt so some schumuck doesn't break his new trout rod on a salmon this Fall or kill a salmon or steelhead while carefully working it in over a 45 minute fight.

    Trying to avoid some serious misinformation from being spread.

    I fish a 5wt for summer runs myself just like you and Jeremy. I just don't consider my 5wt to be stronger than my 8wt because it isn't even close.
     
  9. Panhandle

    Panhandle Active Member

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    Jason, can you please just let some things roll off your back? Thank you.:)
     
  10. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    Sickclown,

    When I first read your question I was going to answer that to steal the 8 weight would just be wrong. Now I see you're asking something else, but the something else isn't entirely clear.

    ". . . his 5 weight does better in his pulling force tests then the 8 weight that he was using." I haven't read the book, so I have to ask, what does the author mean? I haven't heard of "pulling force tests" as applied to fly rods. Fly rods used for saltwater fishing are measured by their "lifting power." That is the amount of dead weight a given rod can lift off the ground with the rod grip held level. In that test, I think few, if any, 5 wts can dead lift more weight than 8 wt rods.

    Like most anglers, I don't lift steelhead vertically with my rod. I pull sideways toward the beach. Still, any of my 8 wt rods will pull more weight with the rod bowed than will any of my 5 wts without breaking.

    Without more information about Mr. Scheck's pulling force test, the reported results simply don't make sense.

    The lightest line wt rod I've ever caught steelhead with was an old Scientific Anglers 6 wt fiberglass rod. I was under-gunned in that instance, not that the rod couldn't do the job, just that it couldn't do so comfortably nor quickly. The lightest graphite single hand rod I use for steelhead is a 7 wt. However, it's a medium action rod, and I've handled 5 and 6 wt graphites from manufacturers who build rods stiff as fireplace pokers. Those rods likely have the same lifting power as my medium action 7 wt (and many of those stiff rods comfortable cast lines one or two sizes heavier than their ratings). Somewhere in that range appears to be the lower end of rod wts that steelheaders generally find comfortable for steelhead fishing.

    If you prefer fishing your 5 wt over your 8 wt, give it a try and see if it's the best adapted solution for the lines, flies, water, and steelhead you fish for.

    If it weren't for two handed rods, I'd stick with my 8 wt for winter fishing and 7 wt for floating line summer fishing.

    Sincerely,

    Salmo g.
     
  11. Fishful Thinking

    Fishful Thinking Member

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    If you don't put too much bend in your rod, wouldn't the deciding factor be more relative to your knot/tippet strength than anything else?
     
  12. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    Fishful Thinking,

    If rods are being rated on "pulling strength" instead of tippet (i.e., use 30# tippet to take it out of the equation), then a dead lift comparision will show which rod has the greater lifting power.

    Sg
     
  13. sickclown

    sickclown Banned or Parked

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    The tests he uses are to have somebody hold a digital fish scale on one end. On the other end he has 25 feet of fly line and his rods. He pulls on the rod and the scale gives him a number. When he pulls in the normal position with the rod pointing upward he gets hardly any pull. When he uses the butt of the rod and keeps the rod low and pulls to the left or right he gets more force. He is using the rod and not the tip. In his pull tests, and he even says it in the book, the 8 weight doesn't match the force he can pull with. It has something to do with leverage or something. He calls it shortening the lever. I can't believe nobody has read this book.
     
  14. Jeremy Floyd

    Jeremy Floyd fly fishing my way through life

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    If he is "short pumping" then you can get an incredible amout of power out of a lighter weight rod without hardly stressing the rod. I think this is what he could be talking about. If it is then that is exactly what I do with big fish on a light rod. A really good tool I learned blue water gear fishing.

    If he is short pumping the 5wt and not short pumping the 8 wt then the test isnt really fair.
     
  15. sickclown

    sickclown Banned or Parked

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    He does the same test for the 2 rods. With the 5 weight pointing upward he gets 11 ounces. With it low and at the side he gets 2 pounds 12 ounces. With the 8 weight pointing up he gets 1 pound 3 ounces. With the 8 weight low and to the side he gets 2 pounds 10 ounces of pull. He says he could get 3 with both hands probably. He says the bent rod is a shorter lever or something. But in his tests he is saying he can pull harder with the 5 weight. So if he's pulling harder he can get the fish there faster. So it's not hurting the fish. Sorry but I think I believe the guy. I've been doing his knot tests and the bimmini tippets with the ligature knot leaders are way stronger then what I was using before.
     
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