3wt question.

#1
ok so i am looking to get a 3wt rod and was wondering what is a typical trout size that most people would be willing to put on a 3wt? am curious if a 20" brown fighting with the river current would be to big for a 3wt.
 

Kyle Smith

DBA BozoKlown406
#3
For medium-sized, faster rivers with large trout, I wouldn't recommend anything less than a 4wt for dries, and a 5 for nymphing. On small streams, a 3 can bring in the big ones but you might not be able to stop them from heading for cover.
 

Lugan

Joe Streamer
#4
20" fish on a 3wt is going to stress that fish because you'll need to fight it longer and likely to exhaustion. Fish that stressed tend to have lower chance of survival. Then again, you'd probably fail to land such a fish in a real river on a 3wt.

Why not use a 5wt? You'll still "feel the fight" and be able to cast small flies as delicately as you'd possibly need.
 
#5
i typically fish a 4wt rod for the rivers here and am able to get a fish in within 2 or 3 minutes tops most rivers i fish dont have much room for running and is pretty scarce when it comes to sub surface cover. the fish are typically 15-18 inches but i have snagged a few 20" + fish. I really wouldent want to fight them for to long if i was able to snag one of them. i do have a few high elivation lakes and streems that hold 12-14" bows and brooks so mostly plan on using a 3wt for them but was wondering what i was limited by as far as fish size with a 3wt. thanks for all the help so far guys
 
#6
The 3 wt in lakes is a blast, I have been using my 2wt as a chronnie rod for years, Also for small drys and have gotten quite a few hogs with it. Main thing is to get them in quickly so have a good reel also.
 

Rick Todd

Active Member
#7
I think on a lake or a small river like the upper Skagit in BC a 3 wt is a lot of fun, and my Sage Light Line 389 is my favorite rod. Bringing large fish in is as much a matter or tippet strength as rod weight. On fast rivers like the Yakima a 4 wt is as small as I usually go. REmember you typically have wind to contend with and need a little more backbone for casting in the "W"! Rick
 

Plecoptera

Active Member
#9
If your planning on mainly catching larger trout (15"+) I would step up to a bigger rod. If your only catching larger fish occasionally a 3wt will work fine. I've caught rainbows to 22" and a 25" bull on my 3wt. While I felt a little under-gunned, it got the job done. Not all 3wts are created equal however. Some have a surprising amount of backbone.
 
#10
From my experience, I would say a 3wt is comfortable for up to a 13-14 inch trout, if not in too fast of water of course. But you're right that if you're on a small creek where the fish has no room to run unless it sprouts legs, you can often get away with a lighter weight rod that might not work on a larger piece of moving water.
 

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
#12
If your planning on mainly catching larger trout (15"+) I would step up to a bigger rod. If your only catching larger fish occasionally a 3wt will work fine. Not all 3wts are created equal however. Some have a surprising amount of backbone.
Plecoptera is $$$ right here! I favor a 4wt and have too many of them. Some excel with delicate presentation (if I ever learn how to do that) and others are very fast and have plenty of punch for streamers in the wind. Just for dries I have a 3wt that can handle the slightly bigger fish I might catch. Now I just have to catch them.
 
#14
I think that will work out for you Ab Fisher. I use my 3wt mostly on the small forks and rivers around the area and occasionally on the Yak. I save my 5 wts for the larger rivers and waters.

Stew
 
#15
I use a 9' 3 weight for high lakes with fish up to 20". I always feel way undergunned on the big fish though. 16" is more do-able. Rivers is a different story. Small river, dry flies. and 10-15" fish 3wt ought to do. I nymph quite a bit with a 4 wt but like the 5 wt a lot better. I pretty much just fish 9' rods and look forward to buying a switch for the extra length. I have a shorty 7' 3 wt that is a killer creek rod for x-caddis and hungry natives.