: steelhead tackle for an 11 yr old
04-08-2003, 07:27 PM
I took my son Marco (11) to the Salmon river last week, and he's addicted to steelheading. We're going back for another week at the end of this month.
I'd like to get him a steelhead setup but am not sure what to get: a ~10' 6 wt one hander, or get hm started on a two-hand rod. he was using an Orvis T3 10' 6wt last week and it worked well for him. (His goto rod at home is a 9' 7 wt, and he can cast it quite well.)
I'd appreciate any advice on appropriate steelhead tackle for kids. I notice Cabelas has an 11' 6 wt 'one-handed spey rod'. Anybody have a comment on it?
I'd like to get him started with tackle he will enjoy and would appreciate any help y'all may have. It's OK if he 'grows out of it' in a year or two.
Hi Josko -
I will defer to the Great Lakes guys for a more focused reply, but I would be curious whether you and fish-magnet Marco ;) were roll casting a lot or did you have ample back-casting room?
04-09-2003, 08:04 AM
Well, we were fishing little creeks, so distance wasn't much of an issue. It's short range casting to sighted fish in lies. The times we were on larger creeks, we'd usually manage to find a backcast hole in the bushes behind.
Marco's got lessons with George Roberts coming up, and we expect his rollcast to get a lot better.
04-09-2003, 08:33 AM
I have never fished your arae, but if ou are talking about small 30' to 45' wide streams then a Spey may not be the best option. It will work for you; just it may be cumbersom at times.
If he did good with the 10' rod that may be the answer to your question. There are many inexpensive 10'ers out there even by top manufacturers. You got him on the right path, I guess the key would be to eliminate the frustration to him.
04-09-2003, 09:00 AM
Sounds like you've got a great fishing buddy there.
If you are fishing the creeks around pulaski and rochester you won't NEED to do any true spey casting. I do like a long rod on those rivers though for tippet protection and laying out big mends.
That said If you're buying a rod specifically to target chrome I would go with more than a 6wt. I had a steelhead snap my sage 6wt there last year like a twig and I think a 10 or 11 foot 7weight would be ideal. If you go with a stout 8wt you have something that can be used for Salmon in the fall as well.
04-09-2003, 09:44 AM
Dave, I hear you, but I need to balance that with marco's ability to cast and handle the outfit. Our guide had a 6 wt and 7 wt T3 10', and he had a much harder time with the 7 wt. I got a fine balancing act here, with different problems if I go too light or too heavy. My guess is a 10' 7wt to him is like a 10' 12 wt to us big guys. I'd even been wondering about a 5 wt.
Certainly the T3 10' 6wt is a candidate for him - it's just very expensive.
Here are some rods I have bene looking at:
Temple fork 10' 5 wt
Cabelas 'float tuber' 11' 6 wt
Cabelas 'one handed spey rod' 11'3" 6 wt
Orvis TLS 10' 6 wt
If anybody knows of a worthwhile mid-priced rod similar to above, please let us know. Thanks in advance.
04-09-2003, 10:13 AM
Gotcha. I think I may have missed the point on this one:rolleyes:
Try doing a FFF search on Temple Fork rods. I know there has been quite a bit of discussion about them here and people seem to be quite pleased. I have not tested one for myself but understand that they have a good guarantee - might be important considering how incredibly easy it is to slip and fall on the salmon river's slick riverbed.
See you on the Deerfield sometime soon,
04-09-2003, 11:29 AM
Have the Redington 11'3" 'redfly' 6wt rod. A lovely bit of equipment and, one hander or no, you can spey cast a double taper line very easily. Use this rod for 'close in' summer run fishing.
Rod (got it through Mark Backmann shop) was $159, no tax in Oregon and he pays the shipping. All good things.
There are a lot of questions... Which Salmon R. - NY? How big is the 11 year old (height, weight)? I don't know how long he handled the rods, but a full day's fishing may tire him out, and you don't want to do that, or he will lose interest.
In addition, if it's the Salmon in NY, in the fall, a 6-wt would definitely be too light - too many Chinooks present!
I think I'd be a little conservative here - maybe get him a 9' - 8 or 9 wt., in case of salmon, and BIG steelies, and a good reel to balance it with. Besides, it could always be his "backup" rod when he gets bigger, stronger, more stamina and gets a longer "lifetime" rod.
04-09-2003, 12:55 PM
I have the TLS 10' #7 and it is ok. a little underlined maybe but it will throw a 200gr tip a mile! I sent back the TLS 10' #6. It is one of the worst rods I have ever cast. Amazingly bad. I get physically ill just remembering it.
Just like with his shoes, your son is growing fast, and will pick up casting quickly. His ability will be quantum leaps further by fall. I would stick with his 9' #7 if he is comfortable with it. In the fall, reasses his needs.
04-09-2003, 09:01 PM
I missed it. Are you looking for an excuse to get a new rod? If so ;) ;) (personally, I think a guy aught to have one of every configuration imaginable, but my billfold doesn't agree)
If you are serious, what do you possibly think will be better than the 9' 7wt? (longer isn't necessarily better, it's different) I broke 2x (8lb) the other day trying to stop a big steelie from going in a logjam. I was using a Temple Fork 4pc 4wt. A 9ft 7wt really aught to be pretty darned good for a smaller person. When I was his age all we had were 8'6" fiberglass which were a bit heavier, but the slitely shorter length made it more manageable.
Now that I have thoroughly muddied the water...:hehe:
04-12-2003, 08:39 AM
I'm surprised how hard it is to find these rods in stock. Called around trying to find some we could go and cast, and we pretty much struck out. it seems to me people are stocking far fewer high-end ords than even three years ago. Is anyone else noticing this?
BTW, yes we ar elooking for a new rod so we can fish together. On top of it, picking out tackle for your sonis a whole lot of fun.
yes, we did go to the Salmon river in Pulaski.
04-12-2003, 10:18 AM
Josko, I think the change is wide spread. As one shop owner told me " Not many people come in anymore ready to drop $1000 on an outfit, after getting there 50K bonus from a dot com". And yes shopping for a childs tackle is fun, fishing with them is even more fun.
04-22-2003, 01:21 PM
Well, we bought a Cabela's 'float tuber'. Told them on the phone we'd like to try both that and the 'one handed Spey rod'. They were nice enough to send us both with a postage-paid return box so we could return one or both rods we didn't like for the cost of one-way shipping.
So the rod may not stack up to an XP or Horizon, but we like it, know that Marco can handle it, and plain old got tired of tracking down an XP or Horizon (10' 5 - 6 wt) that we could cast.
If I were a high-end rod manufacturer, I'd be worried stiff about the lack of rods in dealers' stock. I know they lost this sale because of it, and I'm sure I'm not the onoy one out there.
I guess we basically have to go to a show, to a factory, or find a friend to test-cast a high-end rod these days. Sure doesn't seem like a good business model to me.
04-22-2003, 06:22 PM
That's great that you got what you were looking for. I am surprised that your local friendly Sage dealer didn't get a Demo from his Sage rep for you to try out. The fact that they didn't try to make that sale should be discouraging.
As for stocking every rod...no one, not even Bob Marriot's stocks every rod. Sage makes alot of rods, stocking every one would mean that they couldn't carry any other brands. Sage would love that, but the consumer would shop else where.
04-23-2003, 06:23 AM
Well, my friendly Sage dealer (Scott at Bear's Den) told me Sage would charge him a restocking fee if he tried to return a rod he got for me to cast. Two other dealers since confirmed that's standard sage policy, in fact pretty much the standard policy for the industry. So it would cost me two-way shipping plus a restocking fee to try a sage rod.
I understand it's unreasonable to expect each and every dealer to stock each and every rod; however, there did use to be a much wider selection atr New England dealers just two or three years ago.
I guess something just snapped, and I said dahellwidit. Besides, I think mass-market rods are approaching designer rods in casting quality, andf their customer policies more than make up for the difference, in my mind.
I really wonder if we're witnessing the demise of the high-end rod market. Does anybody know how these folks are doing financially?
04-23-2003, 07:45 AM
That's why they should have gotten a demo from the rep.
As for the health of the industry...rapid growth followed by a recession can't be good.
Anyway, sounds like things worked out well in the end.
Yeah, the rod and gun companies are not having the best time of it. I read the economy as "stable and with limited growth" at present.
In addition, in today's world, we are fighting a quiet battle to remain a viable sport.
We now have PETA, Friends of Animals, more posted land, limited funds for Fish and Game Depts., etc. to contend with.
In addition, too many extra-curriculum sports for the kids, all "organized" and supervised by adults. (Something about "sand-lot" ball - no adults involved - taught us a lot about how to resolve problems among ourselves - and was a good lesson for us.) Lots of us got into fishing and other outdoor sports due to family members taking us.
Today, the kids in school have their choice of softball, baseball, basketball, football, hockey, swimming, skiing, tennis, golf, field hockey, La Crosse, etc. How many schools even encourage fishing???
Now many consider us to be into "blood sports". And check out the number of golf courses vs. trout streams in your area.
There are only a few coming into the fold. Look around on the rivers - how many young folks do you see? Mostly, it's only us "old farts" out there.
So the "name" brands of rods are not having the best time of it.
I have, and use, rods from Cabella's, and they are nice rods. Their replacement policy is exceptional. Caught lots of steelies on 'em, too. Yeah, I have a couple of premier rods, too, and they also get used.
I really think that the "custom" rod will be more and more common as the old "premier" brands start to fold. That way, a guy can get EXACTLY what he wants, if he is willing to pay for it. And, the custom rod is generally less expensive than the top brands, even when they use the same blank.
At least, that's the way I see it. :(
04-26-2003, 01:02 AM
I would have him cast it 2-handed for this year until he starts his growth spurt and gets some more wrist strength. I taught my kids (2 boys and a girl) to fly cast when they were 5 years old by having them use both hands on the rod and spey casting with an 8 ft 5 wt. When they were 9, I got them casting a 9 ft. 7 weight by spey casting with both hands on the rod because this prevented wrist fatique.
My now 11 year old (his birthday is in August) stated to cast his big brother's (age 16) St. Croix 13 ft 7/8 weight for short periods of time last summer and fall. I am going to get one these for him late next month; however, he has started a pre-pubescent growth spurt and has much more strength than a year ago.
Wrist strength is the biggest consideration for 11 year old and younger kids. That is why I taught my kids to use 2-hands and how to spey cast the single hander with both hands on the rod. They all had no trouble quickly learning how to overhand cast when the were age 8 with the 8 ft 5 weight.