Deciding to go with a 9’ or 8’-6” in a 4 weight

9’ or 8’-6”


  • Total voters
    27

brkncly

New Member
In the market for a 4 weight rod, trying to decide to either go 9’ or 8’-6”. My fishing is 75% rivers and 25% lakes. I nymph 60% and dry 40% of the time. What would you suggest and why. Thanks for helping me decide.
 

MGTom

Living at the place of many waters
WFF Supporter
9'. Line control for nymphing and to keep the backcast higher on stillwater. Also usefull for hooksets with an indicator.
 

Rob Allen

Active Member
I suggest 3 rods for general trout fishing.
6 wt for streamers and big nymphs 9 foot
5wt for nymphing and big dries 9 ft
4wt dedicated dry flies up to size 10. 8'6"

I don't think a 4wt is a great choice to be used for nymphing 60% of the time. Just my opinion.
 

jaredoconnor

WFF Supporter
If you mostly nymph I would go 10' 4wt. The 10' will cover a lot more river water than an 8'6''. I have 10's in 3, 4 and 5 wt and seldom use the shorter rods any more.

I agree with this guy. I think the versatility of 10ft 3wt and 4wt rods is unmatched; they are great for drifting dry flies, suspension nymphing, contact nymphing, swinging wet flies, throwing medium size streamers, single hand Spey, etc. 8-9ft rods can't do all of that anywhere near as well.

If I could only have one rod, for trout fishing on rivers, it would be a 10ft 3wt. That is ideal for 90% of the fishing I'll ever do. For places like NZ or Alaska, I would add a 10ft 4wt or 5wt. For tiny creeks, I would add an 8ft or 9ft 2wt.
 
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Driftless Dan

Driftless Dan
WFF Supporter
Where I live, a 10' rod would be a formula for frustration; the streams are very overgrown this time of year, with trees often encroaching to the point that you wouldn't have an easy time casting a 10' rod. I primarily use an older Sage LL 7'10" 4 weight for those places, and because it's a pretty good rod, it ends up being one of two primary rods I use for all local conditions.
 

PV_Premier

Active Member
Per the above, need more information. You also need to think about the action of the rod, not just the length.

How big are the rivers you fish? Are they pretty open tailwaters with lots of room for casting, or brushy freestone creeks?

How big are the trout you catch?

How big are the flies you typically fish? Do you bobber fish with a lot of weight, or when you fish nymphs is it with much lighter rigs? Euro style?

If you are fishing open rivers with heavier rigs and larger fish, you will want a fast action 9-10' #4. But if you are fishing tighter creeks with modest sized fish and primarily dry-dropper, a 8-9' medium action rod might suit you better.
 

Dillon

Active Member
I use a 486 on small streams and small Stillwater’s and a 9 ft 4 wt. for mid sized to large rivers when there is no wind. I started with the 486 and added the 9 footer later. Both are used for small dry fly presentation. On a recent two week trip to a large trout stream I used a 690, 590, and 490 interchangeably depending on weather conditions, where on the river I planned to fish and what I felt like fishing with on any given day. I only used the 486 on a little spring creek I fished one morning on the way home. I love both those 4wts. Get both!
 

jaredoconnor

WFF Supporter
Where I live, a 10' rod would be a formula for frustration; the streams are very overgrown this time of year, with trees often encroaching to the point that you wouldn't have an easy time casting a 10' rod.

A lot of people say this, but have you actually tried it?

When rivers get tight, I find that longer rods are generally better than shorter rods. The ability to perform long bow and arrow casts and keep more line off the water is a huge benefit. The only exception is when you have a very low canopy and don't have enough room to actually land a fish, with a long rod.
 

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