Why do we use the size of rod we use? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Why do we use the size of rod we use?

Leo M
06-02-2003, 07:50 PM
I grew up an atlantic salmon fisherman and now I am getting into trout fisfing. Where I live we allwayes used a 9 foot for a 9 weight line. I bought a 6 weight outfit for trout and I love the way it cast, much less effort. If I had enough backing could I use this for salmon if there was not too much wind and the fly was not too large? Does the larger outfit give me more distance? What determines the size of our gear, I have never realy understood this. Thanks for any help.:confused:

06-02-2003, 10:30 PM
Heavier weight rods (of the same length) with the same fisherman casting don't cast appreciably more line than the lesser weights....BUT if you are casting into the wind, or using a big, bulky high air-resistance fly (i.e. a bass bug), they make the job less work. More weight to the line = easier casting for these conditions. In normal conditions, however, the lighter rod is less tiring to use, and better suited to smaller fish.

But for playing a big fish, yes, while you can land a large fish on a lighter rod, you take so long to tire them and land them that it stresses them unnecessarily. If you practice C&R, the fish has less of a chance of surviving, even if you help the fish "recover".
I often use a 6-weight of mine (an old war-horse rod) that has good backbone, and I can really "put the wood" to steelies up to about 10 lbs., and can land them in "1 minute per lb." (But my new 6 wt. doesn't have the backbone - I only use it for stream trout.)

But when larger fish are in the streams, sorry, I move up to either an 8 or 9 wt. for the fish's sake.

So, I guess rods really are designed for the job at hand.


Nooksack Mac
06-03-2003, 02:17 AM
There are a lot of reasons for rod/line size selection, but for me it starts with the size of flies I'll be casting. I don't like to feel the fly's mass in motion. After that come all the caveats: Does the rod tire me before the day ends? Is the wind mugging my line on every cast? Am I flogging the water and putting down rises even when I try to be delicate?
For me, casting with fly tackle that fits harmoniously with its situation of the moment is one of the pleasures of fly-fishing. Using fly tackle that doesn't match its environment feels like walking in ill-fitting shoes.