Euro-nerds: difference between 3wt vs 4wt?

DerekWhipple

Active Member
Has anyone fished enough euro-specific rods to tell the difference between the 3 and 4 weight? Shopping for a dedicated rod, and only a few makers have 4 weight rods. 4's don't seem as popular, but I'm wondering if they might be useful on lower and middle Deschutes, and heavy water sections of the Metolius. I am generally a "use the heaviest gear your can get away with" type of angler.

If anyone spent one of their stimulus checks on the 4wt T&T Contact II, I'd love to hear about your experience with it. I've called a couple shops and they can't keep the 3wt in stock, but don't have a lot of experience with the 4wt.
 

Dustin Bise

reformed hot-spotter
i cant see how "estimated line weight" would have much effect on a rod designed to not cast fly line. I cant speak to your specific question with authority, but I would assume the 4wt fishes pretty much the same as the 3wt, perhaps with more fish fighting power.
 

girlfisher

Active Member
I have a 11 ft/3 wt and wish I had something stouter when battling larger fish. There is a trade-off here when you need lighter tippets and smaller bugs. Big fish encounters are few and retirement budget dictates present rod will do.
 

BC33

Active Member
I use my 11ft 4wt to throw meat........ and bobber fish at Crane Prairie.....and it does a fine job of high stickin
 

jaredoconnor

Premium
I've only used 3wt euro rods, but the general consensus is that you lose sensitivity and gain power. You probably figured that out already.

I was curious about 4wt rods and did some research, before I bought my first 3wt. I found a lot of people advising against 4wt rods, for trout. However, I did find some folks recommending them for Great Lakes steelhead or New Zealand.

Personally, I don't think I'll ever go up to a 4wt. I'm more likely to go down to a 2wt. Weight and sensitivity are really important, for this style of fishing. I have also found that my 3wt rods are a lot more versatile than I expected. I don't use my other rods anymore.

You are probably best off emailing Fly Fish Food or Tactical Fly Fisher and hoping your get a response from Lance Egan or Devin Olsen. I don't think many folks will have enough experience to give you a solid answer on this one.
 
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DerekWhipple

Active Member
I'm wondering how much sensitivity I need when I don't really throw small nymphs, and often throw small streamers or big stoneflies or crayfish imitations and I'm rarely going below 4x.

If I was still living out east and throwing single or tandem 2.5/3mm sz 16 nymphs in lower gradient streams, I'd definitely get the 3wt, or possibly even a 2wt.
 

jreising326

Active Member
I started Euronymphing last year and tried an 11ft ARE 3/4wt Rod with Mono Rig. It might be similar to what Girlfisher uses?

I used it for most of my Euro Nymphing while learning the technique. It didn't have the sensitivity I was wanting. I also couldn't get it to balance well with a mono rig on a cheap cabela's reel with a Mono Rig. I think I paid $40 for the rod, so upgrading was the long term plan if I liked Euronymphing, which I did. Like anything it has it's advantages and disadvantages.

There's a guy from PA with some good info on his site called Troutbitten and worth a visit. You can start with any rod, but you really want a sensitive tip. Also 2 thumbs up on the Lance Egan and Devin Olsen recommendations. They have some really good videos too and are really pioneers in Euronymphing.

I later invested in an Echo Shadow II and their competition kit in a 3 wt. I chose 3 wt because I'd rather be under gunned that over gunned and the places I'll use it won't have huge lunkers. I have caught a 20+" Wild Rainbow on it and did fine. The extra length his helpful, I'm not sure I'd have landed that fish on a 7' 3# rod as it wouldn't have the backbone.

Now if your on a budget, you could consider a 3 wt 10' Fenwick AETOS or Fenlite. Those were selling really cheap over the winter, around $120 to $150. I'd just be a little worried the tip isn't as sensitive as a "true" Eurorod, even though I've read somewhere the Grey's and Aetos rods in that length and weight are decent for Euronymphing. For budget rods, I think they are great.

Unfortunately I didn't fish my Echo Rod that much as I got it late last season and moved to Steelheading instead. I might have 3 or 4 outings on it.

It balances perfectly (you'd be surprised how tired your arm get's without a good balance), and the tip is super sensitive. Only downside is that tip is also extremely thin and fragile, so I'm always mindful on trails to protect the tip. I suspect it would not take much to break it at all. I think I paid $240 or $250 for it and had been "lurking" for a deal on one for a while and another reason I didn't get it until October.

Finally if you want to spend money on a high end rod, I'm not sure I'd recommend doing that for Euronymphing, your "casting" Maxima Chameleon, so your rod "action" isn't as important as the tip and balance.

I hope that helps and good luck!
 

jreising326

Active Member
I just re-read your initial post, and I understand your thinking about typically going with a little more rod than you think you need. I think Euronymphing is the only thing I can think of where it makes more sense to go the other way. So much of the fishing has to do with your ability to feel every little thing. I'd rather break off too big a fish than give up that sensitivity because that's the single most important attribute in a Euronymph rod, and second would be balance IMHO. Otherwise just use any trout rod and Monorig and you should be OK.
 

jaredoconnor

Premium
I'm wondering how much sensitivity I need when I don't really throw small nymphs, and often throw small streamers or big stoneflies or crayfish imitations and I'm rarely going below 4x.

If I was still living out east and throwing single or tandem 2.5/3mm sz 16 nymphs in lower gradient streams, I'd definitely get the 3wt, or possibly even a 2wt.

Sounds to me like you should experiment with a cheap rod, before pulling the trigger on a $1,000 rod. Echo Carbon XL euro rods are only $170 and that's much less than you would lose if you bought and sold a T&T. It is a very different way of fishing and there is a non-trivial risk that you won't like it at all. There is also an argument to be made that cheaper euro rods are more versatile than expensive ones that are designed to do one thing as best as possible.
 

DerekWhipple

Active Member
Sounds to me like you should experiment with a cheap rod, before pulling the trigger on a $1,000 rod. Echo Carbon XL euro rods are only $170 and that's much less than you would lose if you bought and sold a T&T. It is a very different way of fishing and there is a non-trivial risk that you won't like it at all. There is also an argument to be made that cheaper euro rods are more versatile than expensive ones that are designed to do one thing as best as possible.
That is a good idea, I may go with a 3wt and if I feel like it's not enough rod, I can go heavier, and still have the 3wt for lighter purposes.
 

Clarkman

Huge Fly Guy
Premium
Lance is a great resource....he's actually really humble too considering how proficient he is at it.
 

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