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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Long story short, my father has dementia and it has accelerated recently, which is giving me a lot to think about. Result of that is that I’m headed to Alaska next summer to check off a bucket list item.

I won’t say I’m the best fisherman but I’ve been doing it since 1989 off and on and know what equipment fits which situation and my likes and dislikes, etc, when it comes to lines 6 and under. I like moderate action rods and have a handful of LL’s, SP’s, and TM Rodsmiths in 3-6. But I do not know much about lines 7 and above and I don’t own any. I will obviously cast the ones I am considering, but I want some unbiased opinions and help thinking about the right combination line weights. I also want to know about fighting and landing fish in certain line weights and I can’t learn that from casting in a parking lot.

I put a deposit down on a TMR and can choose weight and details later. I’m thinking I also should have a faster rod as well bc we will be hitting salmon and trout in Alaska weather. And it seems 7 and 8 weights are the right sizes. I’ve had discussions with a few friends, TMR, and a local fly shop but curious to get the thoughts of you peoples…I’m not trying to spend a ton of money but I also don’t want to get to there and not have the equipment I should bc i wanted to save a few hundred $. At a certain point money comes into play and I’m not rich, but I can justify two rods and two reels and have that budgeted into the trip cost.

So, the questions, in no particular order.
- Seems like I could get by with a 6 (which I have) and a new 8 if I wanted to only buy one rod. Better but more expensive approach is to buy two rods and have a 7 and an 8. Thoughts?
- I am getting a TMR and also may want a faster action rod. I do love moderate actions but they do have some limitations. I need to decide if i want to have something I can go to for crappy conditions. I’ve never fought or caught fish that big on a fly rod to know if a faster rod will help during the fight….I.e. is it purely personal preference for casting or does it come into play during the fight? I’d also like to be able to use the rods in the salt as well if that changes things,
- If i did do a fast and moderate, would you do the TMR in 7 or 8? Faster action would be whichever weight the TMR isn’t.
- Which reels and sizes would you recommend? Should I get one reel and an extra spool for each weight? Or do you think having two rods rigged up will be helpful? And would I want a floating 7 and a sinking 7, and/or the same with an 8?

Thanks..can’t wait for the trip.
 

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Take a six and an eight. Don't blow your wad on the rod of you're dreams especially with airline travel involved. There are plenty of modestly priced (modern modest) that allow you to take two for the price of one. I'm partial to echo as a good price point quality stick made in Korea. Don't overthink the rod. Don't focus on the rods. Focus on having a couple appropriate sticks and concentrate on fishing with your dad and cool destinations and experiences. You only need to get up there and have some decent fishing with your father and the choice in sticks and any regrets surrounding destination choice or equipment will fade into uimportant. They will be replaced by the core and real reasons most of us fish for and may have forgotten.
 

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For the Bristol Bay area fishing, I took a 5, 6, and 7 wt. I caught trout up to 28" on my 8' 5 wt bamboo rod, so wouldn't hesitate to use one of my graphite 5 wts in that application. Rod action should be selected according to your personal preference. All mine are moderate action, and that was just fine. I don't think action affects playing the fish.

I used a 9' 7 wt graphite for coho, but next time I'll take an 8 wt, both because a heavier line weight makes casting air-resistant Wogs easier (you'll want pink Wogs if you're coho fishing) and because of the larger average size of the coho, the 8 wt is a tad easier on my arm and wrist.

I'm not familiar with TMR so have no opinion on those rods. Like a poster above, I don't think you could go wrong with an Echo 8 wt to supplement the 5 and 6 wts you already have. Reels are easy, whatever you like. I have 7 wt lines on a Hardy Princess and 8 wt lines on a Hardy St George. I would have two reel spools, one with a floating line and one with a extra-fast sinking 15' sink tip, like a type V or VI sink tip. The floating line for Wogs and sink tip for Wooly Buggers and bright maribou streamers. Hmmm, all this talk makes me want to book another AK trip.
 

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1. buy a top end 8wt, take that and your 6wt, 2. fast action, 3. 4 inch large arbor reel spooled with integrated type 3, 15' or less, sink tip line for the 8wt, and a floater for the 6wt. No long sink tips, no extra heavy sink tips, forget wogging (kinda rare conditions for that. If you really can't resist overplanning, buy 2 pink pollywogs, build a 7' stiff Maxima leader, and chuck them with your 6wt in case the opportunity arises.
 

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I guide Bristol rivers - the advice to buy an Echo 8 wt is sound. I usually have a 4, 5, and 8. Get some mice and practice casting - more fun than most of us deserve if you can place them next to wood piles. Have a great trip! And yes, you will throw a lot of beads and do not need anything more than a normal fly line. Snarlac has it exactly right.
 

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"forget wogging??" I disagree. I dunno if the Nush gets coho that early, but if they do, coho on a wog is super fun. And dollies attack them too, if I'm not mistaken? Anyway, a mouse fly is just a brown wog. I usually take a 5w for trout and a 6w 2-hander for coho, which is equivalent to an 8w in a one hander. Floating lines to match your rods. Everything else said above is spot on... Echo rods are a great value, and use the reels that you like. If you're after bigger salmon like chums and kings, make sure you've got plenty of backing on your reel. you're gonna have tons of fun.
 
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