How many rods in the boat, again?


Well-Known Member
WFF Supporter
We had this conversation a couple years ago, where, as part of the SIP (Salmo Improvement Project) I renewed my efforts to become a more complete angler as regards trout fishing. Seems like the common denominator was either 3 or 4 rods in the boat. Two with floating lines, with one for dry fly fishing and one for chironomid fishing with Iracators. And one or two rods with sinking lines, like an intermediate and really fast sinker, or some different combination. This subject is pertinent. As I was wandering around the Fly Fishing Show in Lynwood in February, I perused the book shop. In there I found two lake fishing books by forum member Tim Lockhart. He appears to be experienced, well reasoned, successful, and even respected in this here forum, so imagine my surprise to read the first of the two books with 7 lessons on Stillwater Strategies and finding that Tim carries only two rods. One with a floating line that he says is used no more than 5% of the time for dry fly fishing, and the other rigged with a very fast sinking line for use 95% if the time, from the shoreline shallows down to about 20' deep in open water. Outfitted with a leech pattern most of the time, which makes pretty good sense.

The book basically ignores chironomid fishing, which is consistent with my casual trout fishing approach when I had and used only one trout rod and changed back and forth from floating to sinking line and seldom fished chironomids. But now that I understand - a little bit - about fishing chironomids under Iracators, I have one whole fly box dedicated to chironomids.

So let's review again, for the students among us, like me. How many rods in the pram and set up with which lines for what applications, please?


Big Time Hater
I take 3....


My skills are so highly advanced that any more would just be a waste.
After all, playing fish on 3 rods at once is challenging enough, too much for the average lake angler.
I usually get 20 -30 fish per trip, while only making 7-10 casts all day.
A lot of people are amazed, I really get this, people are surprised how much I get this.


Active Member
I bought both Tim's books. He does not fish from a pram but rather an old-school donut style float tube. Tim also, as I understand, does not do a lot of anchor up and bobber fishing, rather he keeps casting and moving all the time, looking for actively feeding and aggressive fish. With this type of approach, it does not make a lot of sense to have more than a couple rods because 1) that is not his style and 2) he does not have a lot of room for extra rods anyway.

When fishing out of my 10 foot pram (which I really like for lake fishing, to the point that I often don't fish lakes I otherwise would like because I can't fish out of my pram) I usually take 3 rods; a bobber rod for midge/balance leech fishing, a full sinking line like a type 3 or 6, often one of each. If I suspect there might be some dry fly action, I'll usually replace one of my sinking lines with a full floater, or just take a fourth rod. A lot depends on the time of year and what might be hatching. Even in a 10 foot pram, I don't like taking more than 3 rods as things just get too cluttered so I like to guess what rod I'll use more during the day; a full floater for dry fly fishing or a second sinking line.


Active Member
Back in the dark ages (more than 40 years ago) typically fished with two rods in the boat- a floater and sinker. Once I got back in the game a couple years the two rod permits and the ability to fish with two rods was a game changer. Depending on the season and expected hatches I now find myself typically taking 4 rods; two with floating lines, an intermediate sinker and a fast sinker. .

In addition I have a couple extra spools/reels in the tackle bag to adapt to unexpected situation/hatch. Before the closure I found I was had only 3 rods all rigged with floating lines - 2 with chironomids leaders with indicators and a third rigged to fish my "mids" naked.

Having multiple rods rigged and ready to go always the angler to adapt or alter their presentations with minimal fuss.

Other changes I now find in my pram from those good old days include user friendly anchoring systems, fish finders, rod holders and even comfortable seats!



Active Member
Two in the float tube. Floater with indicator and a Tim Lockhart approved 9’ 5wt with Type 5 full sink. I believe Tim only brings out one rod and will switch spools to fish a floater.

In the boat, at least 4. The possible choices are
Three indicator rods set up for 10’ and under, up to 20, and up to 30’
Midge tip for casting to fish eating in the top 2-3’
Aqualux full intermediate
Type 5 full sink
Type 7 full sink

I pick among the options or just bring ‘em all depending on what I think I know about the conditions.


Chucking a dead parrot on a piece of string!
Two things determine this for me.
1. How many rods I have
2. How many rods I can fit in the boat!

Actually, I think I catch 95% of the fish I catch on either a floater with a dry fly, indicator rig or clear intermediate with a leech. 4th rig would be a fast sink, but I hate using those, so it gets used last. 5th would be a second floating line with a nymph.



Active Member
Close to BDD & Troutpocket. Aqualux (really is close to a type 2 and a type 4.....covers most lakes. I have a double rod/ reel tube...even tie my go to flies on the night before. 3rd rod in the pram as needed. All my lake reels/spools are Ross 1.5, so switching up is easy. Evening fishing, which is hard for me to get away, changes it more towards topwater.


3 in the drift boat:
- 1 switch rod for bobber fishing chironomids
- 1 dry fly rod
- 1 intermediate sink for trolling

I often pack an assortment of trout spey MOW sink tips to turn the first two rods into trollers.
And a spool of type 3 or 6. I start higher and, depending on weeds, go deeper as needed.

Shawn Seeger

(aka. wabowhunter)
WFF Supporter
3 in the boat

All float lines,
1 rigged Dry fly with a dropper
1 rigged indicator for less than 10 feet
1 rigged indicator for deep water depending on the lakes deepest point.

Always have reels/spools with sink tip, full sink, and intermediate with me


Huge Erect Member
WFF Supporter
Nowadays three. One floater, one intermediate, one fast sinker. Only actually fishing one rod at a time. Rig those three because changing lines on a kayak is a PIA. Intermediate tends to work best for me, mainly because my indicator fishing skills are weak, and I prefer to cast a lot in the delusion that my marginal presentation skills outweigh my general flyfishing ineptitude.

Give me a PBR, a moderately comfortable day on the water, and it's all good.


Indi "Ira" Jones
WFF Supporter
In all honesty, I tend to have several rods in the boat, but I also tend to break more rods than the average person.

I tend to have at least 3 floaters rigged for indicators. One shallow for 0-9 feet, one for mid depths 9-18 feet, and one for deep 18-30 feet. Most of the time the rod rigged for mid range will end up playing dual rolls for the two rod endorsement and the shallow will be converted for dries, the 0.01% of the time that happens on a lake for me.

I will also have a type 5 and 7 rigged as well as an intermediate.

Lastly, I’ll end up with some ransoms depending on the trip, meaning I’ll have an extra floater or type 5/7 or a hover. Just depends on where I’m fishing.

In a day, my record is catching fish on 8 different rods. Give me time, I know I can beat that! :)

Support WFF | Remove the Ads

Support WFF by upgrading your account. Site supporters benefits include no ads and access to some additional features, few now, more in the works. Info

Latest posts