02-21-2004, 10:51 PM
Hey guys, I'm getting ready to build a new fly rod for northern pike as I plan on traveling by canoe in the boundry waters this summer. Do you think I can get by with a 7 weight if I limit the size of the streamers I use or do I have to move up to an 8wt if I don't want to wear myself out. Mind you we have to travel light up there and there won't be a second rod. The reason I lean toward the 7 wt is it will get a lot more use around home than the 8 wt. Thanks for your input
02-22-2004, 11:32 AM
It's not really a case of tiring yourself out by tossing streamers with a 7-weight, it's more a case of using a rod with enough backbone to subdue the fish prior to over-tiring it. When I was younger we used to trek up to Muskegon (Michigan) every couple of years to fish, and most of the pike that came out of those waters were far too large for a 7-weight to handle in any respectable amount of time. For those waters, an 8-weight would seem to be a much better rod for pike, as there's enough of a difference between the two sizes to enable faster landing and release. Additionally, the 8-weight will allow you to toss heavier lines and flies, and pike family members are always ready to nail something that looks massive. So the questions becomes, "How large are the average pike you expect to hook in to?".
02-22-2004, 11:36 AM
If you're worried about tiring yourself out, go to an 8'6" 8wt. or 9wt. The shorter rod does make a big difference over the course of a day. They're hard to find. T&T had a Vector saltwater series in 8'6" but they've been discontinued.
The shorter rod is also better to use out of a boat and has more leverage on big fish.
02-22-2004, 12:28 PM
My pike fishing is done with 8, 9, or 10 weight rods, depending on the size of the flies being used, the amount of cover, and the size of the fish that I can expect to encounter.
FWIW, most of it is done with the 9 weight.
02-22-2004, 12:40 PM
I agree with FlyFishA. That's why I use a 9 Wt. I can enjoy the fight and still release the fish without exausting them. Pike may be big and look fearsome but they will exaust themselves as fast as any other fish.
02-22-2004, 12:44 PM
I was actually going to remark similarly to Mark and French Creek: 9-weight is really about the best rod weight to go with when chasing pike. You just never know when you're going to drift into the territory of some monster, and when he breaks you off or you can't effectively release him because you were using a rod without enough strength it will be quite upsetting.
02-22-2004, 01:27 PM
I've been doing all of my pike fishing with 9s and 10s as well. As pike fly lines tend to have very short heads, you can often go up a line size without overloading the rod. Though I'm mostly using a 9 wt. rod, I'm nearly always throwing a 10 wt. line, in the process, getting the best of both worlds.
There are a number of relatively cheap, 9 wt. pack rods on the market (I have the six piece Cortland CL 8/9) that will do a decent job as a pike rod and store well in the canoe. On my first trip with the Cortland, I tossed a 10 wt. pike line exclusively for over two days and I found it stood up well, even when a big bruiser took a sudden dive by the boat and bent it deeply. Should've broke but it didn't.