3 Weight Advice

#1
Three weight fly masters! I've been searching for 3 wt rods. I want to get a bonfide 3 wt (as opposed to the 3/4), so looking to get the lightest medium to fast action rod possible. The intended use is small fresh water creeks, like the raging river, upper snoqualmie, denny creek, etc. Ideally I'm targeting an 8 foot rod, thinking the shorter weight would be a big benefit to the smaller areas. But I see many/most of the rods are still 9' or 8'6". I'm wondering whether the guys that have 3wt 8' rods wish you had another foot. Or if those that have 9' 3wt rods wish they were shorter. BTW, models that seem to be in the right price/value seem to be Redington CPX and Sage Flight. If you have any model recommendations (e.g. St. Croix?) that I could find on discount sites for $150-$200 let me know.

Thanks, ybs
 

wichaka

Active Member
#3
I have a Redington CT (Classic Trout) in a 3wt that's 7'6", along with a Sage 7'9" LL, and don't miss the longer length.
 
#4
I'd look at these if I wanted a medium to fast action, very well reviewed elsewhere and these guys are good to deal with:
http://www.fishwest.net/flyfishing/product/WI21PSPR.html?gclid=CKPZnN6fp7UCFeZ_QgodxQEAUQ

The Redington CT can no way be described as moderate to fast, more like moderate to moderately slow; I have it in 8' for 4 wt.

Another small rod that I've heard good things about if you want fast is the Loomis Whispercreek GLS/HLS. Pricey, but seen them used for $300 or less.
 
#9
Sorry I missed the previous conversation on this! So how about the part about lengths for 3 weights? I know it all comes down to personal preference, but curious if you already had a 9' 5 wt, would you bother with a 9' 3wt? I guess I'm asking this question because some of the deals and auctions I'm seeing out there have several 9 footers.
 
#10
I have a fast 9 ft 3 wt for fishing dry flies on large open bodies of water, where the extra length is helpful for distance and there is no problem with casting room. I use a 7'6" of 8" rod for small streams.

D
 

Kyle Smith

DBA BozoKlown406
#11
I fish 8 and 9 foot 3-weights. They are entirely different. The 9-footer (Loop Evotec) does throw dries beautifully but is the best light-nymphing rod I can possibly imagine. I've owned a few 8' 3-weights and they were all a blast to fish. I prefer one with enough balls to throw a 4 line for bigger flies. Also a 903/390 would compliment a 905/590 very well.
 
#12
I have a Sage VT2 7'6" #3 and love it for the Snoqualmie forks, Cedar, etc. It's really nice to have the shorter length when hiking in to tighter spots on small water. The #3 also makes it more fun to catch the 6" fish :) I paired mine with a Sage Click reel and love the super lightweight setup.
 

David Loy

Senior Moment
#13
Sorry I missed the previous conversation on this! So how about the part about lengths for 3 weights? I know it all comes down to personal preference, but curious if you already had a 9' 5 wt, would you bother with a 9' 3wt? I guess I'm asking this question because some of the deals and auctions I'm seeing out there have several 9 footers.
I've only recently researched this topic myself (probably for the 6th time really). If you canvas the internet and read books on small stream tactics, most folks advocate medium length (lets say 7'6", a standard) to longer lengths. Their logic goes that in many tight situations you won't be casting anyway so with a longer rod you can reach through brush and dap the fly. Certainly enough people are using that technique (including Tenkara) that it is a valid approach. I shouldn't say this probably but my opinion is that many of these pundits are simply regurgitating what they heard/read somewhere else, without actually trying both sides. Or, maybe they don't cast very well. (That'll bring on the flames.) I should say that until now I've used an 8'3" Winston LT 4wt but wanted something lighter, with more feel.

I chose the other path (naturally) partly because I enjoy the cast. I haven't proven this on the water yet as it's a little cold out, but I've been throwing a 6' 3wt (glass) around my yard and local parks and it is simply delightful. Has enough poop that I can cast into a moderate wind. Casting in tight situations, under swing sets, tree cover, around hedges, through narrow slots, in the house down hallways, you name it, not a problem. Very fun and I rarely snag branches. Tight little sidearm roll casts on my stream/pond (to goldfish) and curve casts, slack line casts, target shooting the bird bath, bow and arrows, etc. are all very doable. You can't short cast like that with a long rod IMO. Time will tell surely but it is a barrel of fun so far.

Probably you should ask yourself: "self, will you be casting in the 10' to 35' range most of the time (?) or is it important to cast over 40' some of the time?" A great answer may be to get a glass 7'6" rod and do it all pretty well. I don't have one of those,,, yet.
 
#14
Sorry I missed the previous conversation on this! So how about the part about lengths for 3 weights? I know it all comes down to personal preference, but curious if you already had a 9' 5 wt, would you bother with a 9' 3wt? I guess I'm asking this question because some of the deals and auctions I'm seeing out there have several 9 footers.
Most of the times that I want a 3wt (streams), an 8' is perfect.
I did have a 9' 3wt RPL that I loved using on lakes.
So I agree with David, what you want it for will help you decide on length.
 

wichaka

Active Member
#15
I fished my 8'6" 5wt Sage RPL on small streams for a awhile, and started reading about small stream rods...in the 2, 3 & 4wt classes. Most of what I read did talk about 7'6" - 8' rods. So I went to many a fly shop and test cast rods from 6'9" to 9', and found the 7'6" - 8' is the best for what I do. And I heavily emphasize the "I" part. You may fish differently or fish different sized streams than me. But for me, a cast of 40 feet is a long cast. I can still get 50+ feet of line out on the softer rods, but that's not their intended use, but that's my opinion.

My casting style works good for softer rods, those in the med range...like the Sage LL, Scott G (Not G2), or the Winston TMF. I can pin point my flies with a foot or so out to 30-40 feet with the above rods, so have gone with that length.

I have been in both types of instances where I was glad I had the shorter rod, and other times wished I had a longer one. But in more times than not, the shorter rod was the better rod to have for me for about everything I fish. The small streams I fish have both open and closed in areas, so the shorter rods work better for the majority of the type of fishing I do.