5 wt for pinks?

I really will be happy when I know all the answers and not just the questions. I do appreciate the help and advice I have gotten from this site though....

Next question. Would my Sage 5 wt handle pinks, or should I try to find a second 7+ rod so my wife can fish with me? ( I would really rather break the 5 then tell her she can't go fishing)... :eek:


You can do it with a 5wt, but you will be under gunned. I broke 2 6wt's in 1 day on pinks 2 years ago. I fished the last hour of the day with 3/4 of a GLX.

For me, I like a 7wt, I think the fun part about catching pinks is the hookup. I would rather get the fish landed quicker and released so I can cast to another. When I broke those rods I was trying to horse fish in too fast to get to the next one. On a hot day of pink fishing you can catch _a lot_ of fish.
A 5 will work if you show a lot of patience fighting the fish. Patience may be a virtue but if you're fishing in a crowd and and a fish is running all over the place, you'll soon find out how little patience that other fishermen will have with you. Also prolonged battles are not good for the fish's health. Better to use heavier tackle so you can get the fish in and either bonked or quickly released.
I agree with Ibn—

In 05 I fished a 5wt for pinks and I thought it was fun having long, drawn out battles. Not so much anymore. In 07 I fished 7 and 8’s for them and the experience was every bit as sporty, albeit shorter battles. They don’t run and jump like coho, but they are still worthy and stubborn adversaries. In fact, I’d argue that they will battle you every bit as long as similar size coho—even if they are right at your feet the whole time!
Certainly you can do it with a five, but you will wish you had something a little stronger if the fish runs parallel on a crowded beach. If your on a boat not so much a problem just bring a little more patience.


I live with wind knots
Your arms will be tired as hell after two fish. You won't want to catch another one really if you use a 5. Just too damn tiring. For you AND the fish
Thanks all. Good points I hadn't thought about. Guess that means I get to shop for a new rod..:D, or mama does...:eek: Looking forward to my first salt battles, hopefully not with mama;) appreciate the time you've taken to help a newbie....
Taking into account all of the factors for fishing pinks on the beach such as; weighted flies, the possibility of wind, strong, bright salmon and almost certainly crowded conditions you will be better served with a properly lined 7-weight than your 5-weight. I've used a 5-weight in the Stilliguamish River (when it was open for pinks) and found them to be less spirited than when they in the salt. The 5-weight got me by but was definately lacking in power when I hooked an exceptional pink.
The writer Robert Ruark once wrote a piece called, "Use Enuogh Gun", regarding hunting big game. The same rationale applies to tangling with tough fish.
I'm with Les on this one, a 7 wt is ideal. I do use a 6 wt, but it's an Xi2, and Leo Creek put that in proper perspective.

All in all, an 8 wt is easier on everyone, especially if you were born before or during the Eisenhower administration.

Kyle Smith

DBA BozoKlown406
A 7-weight will cast stuff like clousers and conehead streamers a lot more efficiently and safely than a 5-weight and cuts through the breeze better.


Active Member
While the 7 weight would be the safer bet pinks are doable on 5 weights depending on a couple of factors. If you are fishing weighted flies or not very experienced handling larger fish (5 pounds and up) on lighter fly rods using your 5 wieght as alluded to by the others is asking for trouble.

Also not all rods are created equally. A 5 weight Sage that is a RPL+ is a real cannon and will handle fish such as pinks much more easily than say a SP or similar rod.

Tight lines

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