Steelhead Nymphing Rod??

#1
I have been doing more nymphing for steelhead this year. I've been using a 9' 6 weight or a 9'6" 7 weight. I have been using the 6 most often because it cast better for me. However, with that length rod and my mediocre line handling skills, I'm struggling with mending when casts are longer than 20-25'. I'm interested in buying a 10' or longer 7 weight that won't break the bank. What makes the best nymphing rod, a moderately fast rod or a fast rod? Who makes a good 10' 7 weight rod that would be good for nymphing? Thanks.
 
#2
I've got a St. Croix Legend Ultra 10' 7 weight that I like for nymphing. One thing that might help is a long-belly or steelhead taper line, if you're not already using one.

Believe it or not, spey rods are actually pretty good for high sticking as long as there's room --you have 2-5 more feet of reach with them. That's how I caught my first two (and only) fish on the Hoh last year.
 
#5
Medium action rods are great for nymphing, especially from the boat. I like the TFO rods, but I prefer a little less action when trying to get the fly into small seems and currents. Faster action rods are great for swinging though. TFO's spey rods are not so bad either. Redington Wayfairs are not a bad option for a nymphing noodle, however if you can get your hands on an old Sage DS 8wt I would go for that.
 

Porter

Active Member
#6
An old Sage DS 8 wt? That might take some time to find.

Occasionally you can still find the old 9'9" GL3 Rods (Loomis) ....it appears that this was a very underated line of rods...but has a nice size following, I believe Swan (Old Man), Mingo, Kent have one or more.....I recently obtained a 9'0 4 piece 8 weight and it is considered moderate-fast......a very smooth and light casting rod....not a noodle but not stiff fast.

You can still find a lot of DSII's but I think they top out at 9'6....and that is what you have. What kind of Action is your 7 weight Big Tuna?

I have no knowledge of them but somebody on this board has talked about Cabela's 11'0 8 weight (they had another weight to ..it might have been 7 or 6 ...I think they are three piece (might be four piece) and they are $$$$ comparable to TFO's Pro (under 150.00) (I have the catalog upstairs but am to lazy to go get it) I believe they may have called them float tube rods? or something like that.
Good luck in your quest.
 
#7
The 7 weight is a rod I built on what was supposedly a Loomis blank from D&R rods. There was no name on the blank, just a rating. This rod was supposed to be medium fast, but it doesn't load easily at all. It throws tips pretty well, but feels like a board w/ an indicator set-up.
 

ssickle1

Slow and Low
#8
I have always used a scott sas 9'6" 8 weight. Switched last winter to a sage fli 10' 8 weight. Super rod for the money, tons of backbone. You can also spey cast it...sort of.
 

Panhandle

Active Member
#9
Sounds like a GL2 blank Tuna. The GL3 is a good rod as mentioned and affordable. In the same range- the St. Croix Avid and Sage FLI are a good medium/fast rod with a nice backbone for tips and throwing weight. Look for a WF line with a nice long belly/body- steelhead taper.
 

Zen Piscator

Supporting wild steelhead, gravel to gravel.
#10
I have been tossing a slower scott svs cheapie. It is gonna break soon because of furrel cracks, but its caught a bunch of fish and served me well for over 3 years.

Peace,
Andy
 

Jim Kerr

Active Member
#11
As many have said, slightly slower rods may do you more justice nymphing. Also a longer belly line will help a ton. As far as the tfo goes, although I do like many of there rods, I felt the 10 7 was, well useless. I believe I sold it at a yardsale for 20 bucks. If not its still around here and you are welcome to it. Whatever you end up with here is one thing to consider. The key to sucsesful nymphing is control, and especially if your wading deep you arn't going to get much control outside 35 feet or so. So don't worry too much about distance.
Theres getting to be less and less to choose from when it comes to 10 footers, but there are still plenty of 9.5's that do a great job. Check the boron 2 or the slt. Those are two that I use and feel they work great.
Jim
 

Porter

Active Member
#12
Uncle Jimmy, Winston Boron II and Sage SLT would break the bank for many....Big Tuna asked for "one that won't break the bank"....so I guess that is why some of the higher end rods were not mentioned, but those are sweet rods you did mention.
 

Willie Bodger

Still, nothing clever to say...
#13
Orvis makes nice 10' 7wt in their pro guide series that seems to run in the middle around $300, I think. Maybe still a little high, but I really like the way it casts...

WB
 

James Mello

Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"
#14
Big Tuna said:
The 7 weight is a rod I built on what was supposedly a Loomis blank from D&R rods. There was no name on the blank, just a rating. This rod was supposed to be medium fast, but it doesn't load easily at all. It throws tips pretty well, but feels like a board w/ an indicator set-up.
I'd change lines either to a DT 7, or perhaps move up to a 8 weight line. The additional mass will help load the rod up and carry the heavier/fluffier indicator. Since you won't be yarding line, it should cast for your fishing situation just fine. BTW, what line are you currently using?

-- Cheers
-- James
 
#15
These rods don't fit the category of not breaking the bank, but excel at nymphing and other steelheading techniques. Look at Meiser switch rods, which are 10'6". They can be cast single handed, double over hand, and spey casted. They are not discount rods, but you get what you pay for in this case I believe.