Euro nymphing rod size/wt

sbonvallet

New Member
Thinking about getting a euro nymphing rig for steams predominantly in western/central Washington. Would like advice on rod size and weight.
SB
 

Steve Saville

WFF Supporter
My take is that you can use the technique with any rod but most of the Euro rods are between 10' and 11' because of the reach they allow. They also give a bit more leverage when casting just a short amount of line. My Euro line is more like a running line so in reality, you a slinging the line as opposed to casting because the casts are short. The rods are also very light and flexible and the reels are small and balanced to avoid the fatigue of holding the rod up and following the line.
 

PV_Premier

Active Member
best all around rod is a 3wt, many like a 2wt.

I personally fish a 4wt here in CA as it’s a very effective method for large fish in high flows.

don’t spend money on a specialty line, any old line will work.
 

tkww

Member
The longest 3 wt you can find, or at least nothing short of 10.5'. The whole point is reach, so a 10' makes little sense IMO. You can technically do this with any rod, but the euro-specific rods give you reach, and have a specific action that helps with the hooksets and flicking flies w/o a line.

Personally my 3 wt has plenty of backbone (the rods stiffen up considerably has they progress towards the butt). I can see a 2 wt as working just fine, especially if the average fish was on the smaller side. (And let's face it, this being WA, that's kind of the case.) I went with a three because I got a good deal on a complete package.

Since you're not really using the fly line, any line will work. If you really needed to extend a few feet of it out beyond the guides, the level, light euro-lines are nice. But entirely not necessary, as you don't do that very often, particularly if there's any breeze.

The key to happiness is getting a reel that is heavy enough to balance the rod. That goes pretty counter to most modern machined reels. (Or you can use one that's a couple sizes up from what a normal "3 wt" reel would be.) But you've got to hold that rod up at an angle for long periods of time. A propensity to tip-dive is very unhelpful. Speaking of which, if you can get a euro-rod that has a down-locking reel seat, all the better; you can balance the rod with a lighter reel than an uplocking seat.

Get a longer-handled net, and if the fish got on the reel at some point, get used to stripping those last few feet of line so that you can let go and feed in slack once netted. Otherwise you end up with a fish in the net and the rod tip still heavily flexed. That tension will make the fish continue to thrash and make unhooking really hard, force you to over-grip the fish, etc.
 

Old Man

A very Old Man
WFF Supporter
Before I left Washington for greener pastures I had a 10' 6" noodle rod. It's a casting rod that you use light line with. I used 3 lb test line on it with a small spinning reel. It was about as limp as a noodle. But 3 lb pound test, you can sling it a country mile.

That made me thing of Euro nymphing.
 

Tom Palmer

Active Member
The standard is definitely 3wt. That being said, I like my 2wt Echo Shadow II X for fishing in WA. Let's face it, the local streams are fun but the average sized fish is not going to be large.

I find myself preferring the 2wt rod due to the increased sensitivity and lighter weight.

If you haven't already, check out the videos Reds Fly shop has on their youtube channel. Lots of reviews and discussion on rod recommendations for local waters.
 

MGTom

Living at the place of many waters
WFF Supporter
I've been shopping also. I've also been rereading Dave Hughes wet flies, ch. 2 pg. 21-22. Modern euro-nymphing it seems was described as early as 1624 by Bergara in Spain, long rods 15-18', long leaders 15-18', slender flies run in the current. I was thinking 10', then 10.5' then 11' in a 4wt would do. If I only did this type of fishing during an outing a longer rod would be worth it. But in reality I don't fish this way for more than 40% of the day. I usually fish like Cotton described in 1676 in the addition to the complete angler, 15'-18' leader dapping downstream, running the point sunk in the current and dancing the other flies on top. I've read this paragraph a dozen times, yet it really just struck me how often I fish this way. If I'm not doing that I'm doing what Ronald's described in 1836 in fly fishers entomology, casting down and across, swimming the flies and letting the current act on them. Both of these are done better with a shorter rod or the tip would be in the trees or brush too often. I put a fly reel on my 12' match rod and gave it a whirl and it's just too damn long.
I've really decided for my small stream fishing and the way I fish a 8.5'-9' is versatile and does everything well. For euro-nymphing I just add a prebuilt sighter down to point to the end of my tapered leader. Unless I somehow come up with a bunch of cash and was going to do it most of the day, I can't see the euro rod.
But I'm just thinking here, we don't have a fly store and I don't know anybody with a rod to actually try. If I did play with one a few outings I may change my mind, again. I like 4wt for all around versatility and backbone to get fish out. I think this is about equal to 3wt in a true euro-rod but not sure.
 

PV_Premier

Active Member
I've been shopping also. I've also been rereading Dave Hughes wet flies, ch. 2 pg. 21-22. Modern euro-nymphing it seems was described as early as 1624 by Bergara in Spain, long rods 15-18', long leaders 15-18', slender flies run in the current. I was thinking 10', then 10.5' then 11' in a 4wt would do. If I only did this type of fishing during an outing a longer rod would be worth it. But in reality I don't fish this way for more than 40% of the day. I usually fish like Cotton described in 1676 in the addition to the complete angler, 15'-18' leader dapping downstream, running the point sunk in the current and dancing the other flies on top. I've read this paragraph a dozen times, yet it really just struck me how often I fish this way. If I'm not doing that I'm doing what Ronald's described in 1836 in fly fishers entomology, casting down and across, swimming the flies and letting the current act on them. Both of these are done better with a shorter rod or the tip would be in the trees or brush too often. I put a fly reel on my 12' match rod and gave it a whirl and it's just too damn long.
I've really decided for my small stream fishing and the way I fish a 8.5'-9' is versatile and does everything well. For euro-nymphing I just add a prebuilt sighter down to point to the end of my tapered leader. Unless I somehow come up with a bunch of cash and was going to do it most of the day, I can't see the euro rod.
But I'm just thinking here, we don't have a fly store and I don't know anybody with a rod to actually try. If I did play with one a few outings I may change my mind, again. I like 4wt for all around versatility and backbone to get fish out. I think this is about equal to 3wt in a true euro-rod but not sure.

Looking at this the opposite way when it comes to versatility, I can tell you that my Echo Shadow II 10.5' 4wt is a mean bobber rod, I tend to use it more than any other rod for trout indicator fishing. It's serviceable with a dry fly, not great, but very manageable. I also have the competition kit that allows me to extend the rod to 12' which is very nice for bigger water euro nymphing.

I use it on larger rivers only. For small streams, I have an array of options from a 6'9" 1wt to a 9'0" 3wt. Anything longer than 9' I find to be a liability on streams that are less than 30' wide regardless of the method I am trying to use to fish them (when it comes to trout...I use 11' switch rods for brushy coastal steelhead streams).
 

MGTom

Living at the place of many waters
WFF Supporter
Looking at this the opposite way when it comes to versatility, I can tell you that my Echo Shadow II 10.5' 4wt is a mean bobber rod, I tend to use it more than any other rod for trout indicator fishing. It's serviceable with a dry fly, not great, but very manageable. I also have the competition kit that allows me to extend the rod to 12' which is very nice for bigger water euro nymphing.

I use it on larger rivers only. For small streams, I have an array of options from a 6'9" 1wt to a 9'0" 3wt. Anything longer than 9' I find to be a liability on streams that are less than 30' wide regardless of the method I am trying to use to fish them (when it comes to trout...I use 11' switch rods for brushy coastal steelhead streams).
That setup with the kit is what I thought looked closest to what I would like. Thx for the recommendation. I was also looking cortland comp nymph.
Our rivers here are not big, 20'-40', 50-200 cfs usually, mix of brush, overhanging trees and a few little open bar areas.
I have a 7' 4wt rod too, but I find it too short to be practical.
 

PV_Premier

Active Member
That setup with the kit is what I thought looked closest to what I would like. Thx for the recommendation. I was also looking cortland comp nymph.
Our rivers here are not big, 20'-40', 50-200 cfs usually, mix of brush, overhanging trees and a few little open bar areas.
I have a 7' 4wt rod too, but I find it too short to be practical.

A 10' 3-4 wt might be a nice rod for your situation. Long enough to give good reach, but not so long to be overbearing in tighter spots.

I really like a fast action 9' 3wt on medium sized freestone streams where I primarily (80%) fish dry dropper but may want to dredge a deep hole with a streamer or euro rig here and there. That said, there is one local stream here where it's only about 30-40' wide in most places but I use the echo shadow II exclusively, because the fish are big, the water is deep, flows are pushy, and they don't really eat dry flies at all.

The cortland rod is also a good option. My backup ESN rod is a 10' 4wt Fenwick Aetos which certainly does the trick but not as nice as the echo.

I have even seen some folks use the 11' #2 redington hydrogen switch rod as an ESN rod, in this way they have a stick that double-duties as an ESN rod and a soft hackle swing rod.
 

MGTom

Living at the place of many waters
WFF Supporter
A 10' 3-4 wt might be a nice rod for your situation. Long enough to give good reach, but not so long to be overbearing in tighter spots.

I really like a fast action 9' 3wt on medium sized freestone streams where I primarily (80%) fish dry dropper but may want to dredge a deep hole with a streamer or euro rig here and there. That said, there is one local stream here where it's only about 30-40' wide in most places but I use the echo shadow II exclusively, because the fish are big, the water is deep, flows are pushy, and they don't really eat dry flies at all.

The cortland rod is also a good option. My backup ESN rod is a 10' 4wt Fenwick Aetos which certainly does the trick but not as nice as the echo.

I have even seen some folks use the 11' #2 redington hydrogen switch rod as an ESN rod, in this way they have a stick that double-duties as an ESN rod and a soft hackle swing rod.
Thx for the comparison and adding the Aetos comments, you see the price range I was looking as I don't see it as a primary piece of equipment (yet?). Adding a renegade to the top dropper is as good as fishing a dry by itself over here too. While it works, subsurface pulls more fish. Except for those few days.
 

Steve Saville

WFF Supporter
I've been shopping also. I've also been rereading Dave Hughes wet flies, ch. 2 pg. 21-22. Modern euro-nymphing it seems was described as early as 1624 by Bergara in Spain, long rods 15-18', long leaders 15-18', slender flies run in the current. I was thinking 10', then 10.5' then 11' in a 4wt would do. If I only did this type of fishing during an outing a longer rod would be worth it. But in reality I don't fish this way for more than 40% of the day. I usually fish like Cotton described in 1676 in the addition to the complete angler, 15'-18' leader dapping downstream, running the point sunk in the current and dancing the other flies on top. I've read this paragraph a dozen times, yet it really just struck me how often I fish this way. If I'm not doing that I'm doing what Ronald's described in 1836 in fly fishers entomology, casting down and across, swimming the flies and letting the current act on them. Both of these are done better with a shorter rod or the tip would be in the trees or brush too often. I put a fly reel on my 12' match rod and gave it a whirl and it's just too damn long.
I've really decided for my small stream fishing and the way I fish a 8.5'-9' is versatile and does everything well. For euro-nymphing I just add a prebuilt sighter down to point to the end of my tapered leader. Unless I somehow come up with a bunch of cash and was going to do it most of the day, I can't see the euro rod.
But I'm just thinking here, we don't have a fly store and I don't know anybody with a rod to actually try. If I did play with one a few outings I may change my mind, again. I like 4wt for all around versatility and backbone to get fish out. I think this is about equal to 3wt in a true euro-rod but not sure.
You're dating yourself. :cool: I have a Winston, Super Ten. That's a 10', 4 wt. Very versatile.
 

Poff

WFF Supporter
I'd agree that a 3wt, 10-11' is a pretty standard euro nymph setup.

While trying to educate myself on the fine art of euro nymphing (still trying) I learned something from Devin Olsen and Lance Egan's video (see first video listed below) about fly lines. There is an actual advantage to using a euro nymphing line instead of a regular line. The advantage has to do with eliminating line sag. A heavier, non-euro line, will have more of a tendency to sag (between the guides and outside of the rod tip. This increases the amount of slack between your rod and the flies. This, of course, is what tightline techniques are trying to reduce/eliminate.

Good luck.

These two videos are packed with solid instruction -


 

MGTom

Living at the place of many waters
WFF Supporter
You're dating yourself. :cool:
That's why the forum has been so great this spring and summer. I've really been modernizing my game. Everyone's been really helpful. Sliding release indicators for stillwater and euro-nymphing. Filled the two biggest holes in my technique (that I'm aware of now!). Great additions to the traditional techniques that have worked for me many places, but these are seriously good problem solvers.
 
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