Best weight rod for South Fork of the Snoqualmie?

fly-by

Active Member
#16
The SF is consistently windier than most places as it is the path to a low elevation pass. 1-2 wt rods are fun, but they are really niche rods. Build your quiver from the middle out. I enjoy a slow 2wt on the SF most days, but if I had to get one rod it would be a 7.5ft medium action 3wt such as the LL or Superfines suggested already. At the risk of a "get the rod that I bought" response... Winston GVX 8.5ft 3wt with 3 weight (really 3.5) Mastery GPX has a lot of touch in close and can punch out bigger flies in windy conditions.
 

steelydan

Newb seeking wisdom
#17
I am similar to the OP, learning flyfishing and trying to be prudent with equipment purchases.
I started with a fast-action 9' 4wt.
Not the most fun for 20' casts to 10 inch fish.
I bought a used 8' 3wt setup from a forum member last year.
More moderate action makes for a more relaxing day....It quickly became my favorite rod.
 

Kent Lufkin

Remember when you could remember everything?
#18
I just bought a used Sage 3-wt and really like it. I've decided to stick with used equipment until I know what I really want and need. Used stuff is much cheaper (and more easily justified).
I am similar to the OP, learning flyfishing and trying to be prudent with equipment purchases. I started with a fast-action 9' 4wt. Not the most fun for 20' casts to 10 inch fish. I bought a used 8' 3wt setup from a forum member last year. More moderate action makes for a more relaxing day....It quickly became my favorite rod.
This is quickly turning into one of my favorite threads ever. Thanks to both dfg and steelydan for mentioning that buying used gear is a great strategy, especially for newcomers to our sport.

You'll typically pay 25¢ to 50¢ on the dollar when you purchase a pre-owned setup, so you can afford to buy a much higher quality rod and reel than what the same money will get you in a brand-new setup.

Also, older rods typically have a bit more relaxed action, especially in the lighter line weights, making them a better choice for smaller fish on smaller water.

As a final thought, while 9' has become the de facto length for graphite rods these days, don't overlook shorter rods for streams like any of the Snoqualmie forks. I regularly fish rods in the 7' to 8' range. Here's a pic of a nice 14" WSCT from a small Idaho creek a couple of years ago I took using a 1980s-vintage 6' Pezon et Michel bamboo rod I bought from its third owner. Despite its short length, it would let me easily reach out to probe wherever I though fish might be holding.

K

 
#20
I'd like to echo the comments about used gear. As Kent mentions, it allows you to get higher end gear for a more affordable sticker price.

Of the 7 rods in my quiver, only one was bought brand new and it is probably the least liked, and used, of them all.

Check out the classifieds on the site here and either wait for a rod weight you want to show up, or post a WTB (want to buy) post.

Stew
 
#21
This is quickly turning into one of my favorite threads ever. Thanks to both dfg and steelydan for mentioning that buying used gear is a great strategy, especially for newcomers to our sport.

You'll typically pay 25¢ to 50¢ on the dollar when you purchase a pre-owned setup, so you can afford to buy a much higher quality rod and reel than what the same money will get you in a brand-new setup.

Also, older rods typically have a bit more relaxed action, especially in the lighter line weights, making them a better choice for smaller fish on smaller water.

As a final thought, while 9' has become the de facto length for a graphite rods these days, don't overlook shorter rods for streams like any of the Snoqualmie forks. I regularly fish rods in the 7' to 8' range. Here's a pic of a nice 14" WSCT from a small Idaho creek a couple of years ago I took using a 1980s-vintage 6' Pezon et Michel bamboo rod I bought from its third owner. Despite its short length, it would let me easily reach out to probe wherever I though fish might be holding.

K
Like Kent, I use shorter rods (6.5ft-7ft) on the SF most of the time and often when I'm on the MF too. If I come across a trib, I usually wonder up them to see what they might or might not have and having a shorter rod in hand is often advantageous. I may not be the total gear whore that Kent is but I have way more rods than I need and 90% were bought used, all vintage glass rods. You find all kinds of great deals in the used market, glass or graphite, if you're a little patient and resist jumping on the first thing that comes by.
 

rainbow

My name is Mark Oberg
#22
I agree with all the above, The only rod's I like or use were second hand. The only rod's I have ever broken or dislike are the new's one's. I don't even bother to send them in. I have a group in the corner for them. Buy a used setup, there are a lot of them and much better on the pocket book. This is how gear whores can afford to be gear whores, like me and the like.
 
#24
Honestly, I'd give a glass rod a try. Mega fun on small trout. You can get a Cabelas Glass Rod for like $150 and there sweet. I have two and have no complaints. The 5' 9" 3 weight is a sweet rod for small streams, although it casts 40' or so max.
I can't believe I'm plugging a Cabelas rod but the Glass rod is really nice. I'm not sure if anything has changed but I've got the first set they release (it was also cheaper) and I use it whenever the conditions allow. it's a bit harder to cast in wind but for the distance in the south fork, it should be fine. 6'6" 4wt. I actually use it lake fishing now, when i'm dragging around leaches. loads of fun!
 
#27
I have been using a 4wt 9ft rod on the MF for 5 years, it is a little overkill when you hook into a small cutt but overall is the most effective for all fishing situations, Dry, small Streamers, Nymphing.... But I just bought a new Orvis 3wt 7'6 that I cant wait to use on the upper reaches of the river when dry flying. I totally agree about the used stuff as well, you can very high quality stuff for cheap on this forum if you take the time to troll the threads.
 
#28
One thing to keep in mind on used rods is that you may not be covered by the manufacturer's warranty. That being said, I have a Scott G-series 3 wt, purchased used, that's the bomb.

I agree that a 3 wt would be a versatile next addition to the quiver. Specifically, for the forks of the Snoqualmie, a 2 wt would be a good, fun choice as well.
 
#29
I have never used warranty service on fly gear, but is it really no questions asked, my fault or theirs? That seems highly unusual in this day and age....
 
#30
If you read the fine print on many fly gear warranties, it is first owner only. I've found most manufacturers repair/replace with minimal fees regardless.

I did have a client dinged for $250-300, as a second owner, for a replacement rod section. Absolutely ridiculous. I recommended the rod. I've bitched every chance I've gotten about the manufacturer, their repair policy and this particular situation. They are reviewing; and, it appears, changing their policies. The thing is...it happens.
 

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