Rod Length for float tubing?

Mark- you guys fish in a different league, for sure. My standard rods in the Columbia Basin lakes are a 9' 4wt for my indicator setup and 9' 5wts for my intermediate and fast sink lines. The typical fish is 16-17". A real big one is 22". I don't fish my 6's unless I'm traveling to ID/MT. Most of the places I fish out there the trout average 19-21" and go way up from there.

I'd sure like to explore some OR waters.
What I noticed right away was where the poster was from - southern Oregon. so my first thought was Klamath lake rainbows along with agency lake and sprague. the number of fish from 4 to 12 pounds in klamath lake and also the other two is staggering. maybe why it didn't shock me that he posted using a 9' 6 WT. Z Axis.

I never really see reports from Washington of truly trophy trout fishing except maybe upper Columbia rainbows. there are so many lakes in Oregon that have rainbows over ten pounds along with browns to 20 pounds and bull's to well over 10 and so many fisheries where the normal trout start at 2 to 4 pounds and running into schools of nothing but 5 and 6 pounders is common and landing 8 to 10 pounders is just plain normal that I can see trout fishing meaning a whole different thing to other states trout fly fisherman! Here is a site from a stillwater guide in central Oregon and the fish he catches at a normal rate out of the res. and lakes he guides on. many times throwing 4 to 8 inch streamers from sleds and indicator fishing. lakes in the area with trout over ten pounds are so numerous that targeting smaller fish is just plain ??????
Lake Billy chinook

All these lakes within one hour of each other have either rainbows - browns or bulls going over 10 pounds and some going to 20!

The Williamson river Fly fishing has rainbows from Klamath lake from 4 to 12 pounds which is in the posters area. the lake I am going to over east in two weeks has native bows from 6 to 8 pounds and the hatchery bows go to 6 pounds and the bulls will go to ten pounds. I guess here in Oregon fly fisherman have a whole different view of trout fishing lakes, where a 6 wt. is a must. A long 6 is even better. A disc drag is better than a click and pawl. if you have ever hooked a 10 pound Cranebow you would wish you had a disc drag.

If you pull up the photo gallery he names the lakes and has photo's of the fish he catches around Bend Oregon. the same trophy fishing is had in southern Oregon. Eastern Oregon doesn't have as many truly trophy trout as both southern and central Oregon but I am on a two year journey to find just how big they get. I wont even take my 5 wts with me on this trip - way under gunned.

Central Oregon Fly Fishing Sunriver trophy trout bass reports
Mark, question for you about private land and waterfront in Oregon as I'm not familiar. I know that the high water mark on rivers is where the public stops and private begins, but is that really how it's enforced? The reason I'm asking is because I saw that there are many people that own huge chunks of riverfront down there. One place on the Williamson is saying they own 8 miles, calling it "private water" for their b&b/trophy fishing business. Based on my limited knowledge of the law, anybody can wade or drift the water so long as they don't pass the high water mark, right? Utah (where I currently live) is having a nasty fight on the same issue. Anglers marched on the capitol last month in protest to a bill that would give property owners full rights to the water, thereby keeping public from being able to use it at all. Pretty bogus if you ask me.


Active Member
A few years ago or 10 they went over the same thing in Oregon and kinda revamped the land usage for public from the high water mark down. Now weather land owners will respect that law in remote areas is - well - a question. Owners have still been know to come down to the river and threaten people fishing, even with guns and it's advised to report them to authority's and not create a bad situation for both you and the owner. in the last 10 to 20 years so much good hunting and fishing lands are getting snatched up by out of state money and closed it's pathetic! bird hunting now in Oregon is a "RICH MANS SPORT" Whole valley's and river basins be purchased and closed for the elite. river frontage by the mile being sold like it was nothing to the citizens of the state. let alone some of the best big game areas in the state being sold and made private.

I just learned that the lake I'm going to next week that is 15 miles of gravel in and in the middle of nowhere, the river that dumps into it is all private except about 3/4 of a mile. bows to 8 pounds migrate up the river with specials regs but what the hell good does it do if there is no access. I have ran drift boats for almost 40 years for a reason!!!

I feel the worse for the young people of today - can't really blame them for sitting on the couch playing VIDEO games! I call it the California
I realize this thread has taken another direction a bit, but I thought I would offer a couple thoughts.
First, it is still preference regardless of the performance benefits. By that I mean I have tried 10' rods in 3wt, 4wt, and 5wt, and hated them all. Anything over 9' begins to feel tip heavy to me and I just never enjoyed casting them, even with different actions. So while a 10' rod might offer a performance or function benefit, I don't enjoy them, so I don't fish them.
Second, if you have a bad shoulder (not sure of the issue) while some say a longer rod may make it easier for you to cast, the longer lever will also place more strain on your shoulder, even if you are false casting less frequently. I think giving someone with a bad shoulder a longer rod is just begging for trouble. This may not be the case for everyone, but in a generic case I would not think it wise to move in this direction.
Just a couple random thoughts....


Active Member
Well put Mike. I like the 10' (and Longer) for rivers with changing currents, but like you mentioned, they can feel tip heavy unless you go high end, or Tenkara;)
Well I wouldn't have a problem with someone pulling a gun on me on the river as I pack too (there's some big hungry critters where I fish) and if some good ol boy outshoots this paratrooper I deserve to die! :D It really is too bad so much public land is getting bought up and privatizing what should be everyone's to enjoy.

Sorry for thread jacking guys!