Streamer Rod - Thoughts/Advice?

For streamers I bought the Cross Current, and it doubles as a light Bonefish, Surf Perch and SRC rod. The bigger guides were an unexpected bonus.

Length: 9'
Line: 6
Pieces: 4

A delightful light-duty saltwater rod for calm days when the fish are spooky and you need to make a softer presentation. A nice alternative for small bonefish and redfish. A great smallmouth rod.

Brian White

Recovering Bugmeister
Are you fishing from a drift boat or wading? If from a drift boat a 9' to a 10' single handed rod in 7 or 8 would work fine. If wading, consider a switch rod.
Don't look at the B2X for throwing big stuff like that, go on up to a B2MX. Those rods own.
The S4 is a fracking cannon, but like Denny said, Scott's repair shop has had its problems with repair turn-around.
The Helios is a nice rod, but not $795 nice. I wouldn't drop the cash on it, but the Orvis reputation for fixing their rods & reels cannot be ignored if you tend to break shit.
Z-Axis series has a lot of lengths to offer, and its an awesome rod. They make switch and spey, and regular single handed rods of almost any length and weight you could think of.
If it were me and I were fishing from a boat, I'd get a B2MX 9'6" 7 weight. If I were fishing from the bank, I'd be waving around a Meiser switch rod.
Hope this helps.
Mostly wading,but I do have a Scadden pontoon boat I get out once in a while and I spend some time on drift boats as well. I think I am going to try the B2MX - I like the b2x a lot in 4 and 5 wts though i struggle to get them to throw heavy stuff the way I want to...Do you fish the B2MX in 6 wt and if so do you find it can throw dries in a pinch, or is it a lighter tippet abuser?

By the way thank you to all the comments I have gotten on the board. It has me even more fired up to spend as much time as possible on the water in the next 4 months. Also helping me get fired up - a friend of friend just caught and released a 7+ lb 25" brown on Clark Fork the other day....

Chad Lewis

NEVER wonder what to do with your free time
Just a word of advice here. The criteria you've set for your rod might need a little more lookin' at. Here's what I understand you want:

1. Cast big, heavy streamers. I mean the big ones.
2. Be able to fish with dry flies effectively.
3. Be able to fish "in close", 50 feet or less according to your first post.
4. Have a rod that is lightweight and has good "feel".

IMO, this is what I see. Some of your criteria are very much at odds with each other. If you want a rod powerful/big enough (big, as in 6/7/8 weight) to cast those flies, it's gonna suffer with the dry flies. And a 6 wt powerful enough to cast those flies is going to have to be heavily overlined to cast the close distances you want, which will compromise its action and dry fly "fishability". A medium action 8 weight is probably the best you can get away with and still be realistic about tying on a dry fly and the big streamers.

I think your best solution is to use you 5 weights for the dries and get another rod for streamers. To do all you want in one rod is asking a lot, and you might not be happy with the compromises you get. You've obviously got the scratch to buy the rod you want, so buyng for a fairly specific purpose shouldn't be hard.

As for a streamer rod, I'd still suggest the Sage Bluegill. It hits three of your criteria squarely on the head. It might even be okay for big dry flies, but that's hard to say since I haven't cast that particular rod. I don't have any particular affinity for these rods either; I just have the Bluegill's big brother and can tell you that it does exactly what you're looking for, except with even bigger flies (2/0 deer hair bugs and stuff like that). The right 8 weight rod will proably get the job done too, but it'll be hard to beat the Bluegill's physical weight (it's only 7' 11") against a "full-sized" 8 weight. If you buy an ultra-lightweight 8 weight, like an Helios or something, it's gonna be a very fast action rod, which won't wanna cast up close.

And of course, all this is my opinion which, to you, is worth the time it took me to type this.:thumb: Everybody's happy fishing their own way with whatever rod they like, and this obviously can't take that into account. If nothing else, it's a great way for me to spend your money.


Active Member
I'll throw in my two cents about streamer fishing in general which may influence your decision. For starters, you may want to rethink your flies. Big uglies do not have to be that heavy. Employ a sinking line, short leader and unweighted or lightly weighted flies and a 6 wt will cast them easily all day (check out Kelly Galloup's book).

As Galloup's flies have evolved, I have noticed the conehead and barbell eye patterns gaining popularity compared to his initial emphasis of unweighted streamers. I think much of this has to do with the proven success of the articulated Circus Peanut. Talking with Kelly about this, the added weight is more about generating a jigging motion for the head of an articulated fly than getting the entire fly down. Half the fun of streamer fishing is still seeing the strike just a few feet beneath the water.

I do most of my freshwater streamer fishing with a Scott S3 6wt, converted to a full wells grip and larger stripping guide. On a recent MT trip, that rod was out of commission and I ended up fishing streamers with my 5 wt Winston. It threw all my articulated streamers just fine.
The B2MX rods I've fished are the 9' 8 weight, 9'6" 6 weight, the 11'6" 6 weight switch, and the 9' 4 weight.
The B2MX rods are not for light tippet, MX and 6X don't mix. Just hauling out half a rabbit and a chicken thats been waterlogged requires a lot of backbone in a trout rod. So like seanbeauchamp said, go big.
Were it me I'd be looking at these two rods,
9'6" B2MX 7 weight
9'9" Meiser 6/7 switch.
Helios 11' 6 is a cannon but so is the 10' 5 and the 9' 6 saltwater. Get the switch fighting butt put on the 10' 5 if you choose that one. It can throw a 250 grain plus 2 tungsten conehead streamers with no problem. the 11' 6 is silly.
My go to is a 10' 7wt Sage TCX with a Versi-Tip line. Be careful with line and fly selection. If you already have a fast action floating line then add a sink tip, then add a big weighted fly, you easily overload your rod and turn your fast action rod into a bulky limp dick and your arm will kill you at the end of the day. An 8wt is sometimes a better call to cover all situations.
I read that Orvis is coming out with a new series of rods, same as the Helios, only less expensive hardware, (same blank) to be sold around 500 dollars. That would be worth checking out if is true. Helios is a killer rod.
I agree with Riseform on fishing unweighted streamers with a sinking streamer line rather than using split shot or heavily weighted streamers. The unweighted streamers are much easier and enjoyable to cast and they provide more action in the water.

I've used the 9' six weight BIIx for streamer fishing and it can be done, but Winston sells other rods that are better for that task.

The 10' seven weight BIIx that I bought for nymph fishing turned out to be a pretty good streamer rod. I didn't use it for streamers this year since I had a 9' seven weight BIIMx and a 9'6" six weight BIIMx. The seven weight BIIx was a good streamer rod, but the two BIIMx rods were better. When I fish flowing waters I often fish streamers with a sinking streamer line going upstream and then switch to a nymph line or other floating line and fish nymphs going back downstream. The BIIMx rods work pretty good for the nymph fishing too, although the BIIx is better.

Of the Winston rods I think the six weight BIIMx is the best rod for fishing streamers.

However, I fished streamers with old Winston six and seven weight IM6 rods quite a bit this summer and they worked pretty well too. Here is a coho I caught on a small stream using a two piece 9' six weight Winston IM6 with a sinking Kelly Galloup streamer line made by Teeny and a big articulated chartreuse bunnyfly with dumbbell eyes:

Everyone has their own preference in fly rods for different applications. There are many fly rods that will make good streamer rods. You just need to find the rod that feels the best to you. The best way to do that is by fishing different rods if you have that opportunity. The next best way to choose a streamer rod would be to at least cast different rods. Usually streamer experts will recommend a streamer rod that is a 9' six or seven weight rod with a medium-fast action and preferably a two piece configuration. But for me it's a 9'6" six weight four piece fast action rod.

Leroy Laviolet

Aint no nookie like chinookie
Ive thrown alot of streamers over the last few years with Scott, winston, and sage rods=
I settled on one rod-
The scott s3s (saltwater model) 6 wt is a canon that is still light in the hand. I up line it to a seven in the wind or for throwing critters, but stay with a 6wt line most of the time. This is a truely amazing rod that flies under the radar for most- Cheap if ya grab one on the bay too...
It's a great long range carp weapon too:thumb:
You may be able to pick up a Sage RPLXi in 6wt or 7wt for a good price, and they make dandy streamer rods. I have not fished the 7wt, but the 6wt is a great rod. It will handle streamers and dries and dead drift nymphing.

I really like the 6wt RPLXi and only feel limited by the size of streamers and bugs one can reasonably toss with a 6wt line. It has good flex for a "saltwater" rod, and can be overlined with a 7wt line for in-closer fishing, but I haven't felt the need so far.

Yeah, it's a 3pc, but truly an excellent workhorse rod. Just my 2 cents.

Another thought: if you can find a Scott ARC 957/4 or 1007/4 (9'6" or 10' 7wt 4pc), these rods are streamer machines with really nice feel to them. Also great mid-sized steelhead and salmon rods.
Originally you were asking about a streamer rod for Montana and Idaho Rivers, something that could throw large weighted flies, and occasionally dries.

For the past 25 years I fished and for a few years guided on the Madison and Yellowstone. I have rods from 4 to 12 weight for different applications. But my go to rod most of the time for big weighted (4s) streamers, buggers and nymphs, plus dry salmon flies and big hoppers is a fairly fast action 9' 7weight.

Fishing here you need to consider the wind as well as flies. A fast action rod helps with the wind and a 9 footer helps keep the the big jobbers a little further from your ears. As Charlie Brooks wrote long ago "We pick our rod weights here by the size of the wind, not the size of the fly." My sweet casting Sage 6 wt. doesn't cut it with the big stuff in the wind.

I've overline the rod up to a 9 weight line for close in nymph fishing with #4 weighted Bitch Creeks.

Also use it for spooky cuda.

Use your 5 weight for smaller dries. The fast 7 will break fine tippets.