Matching Weight of Rod and Reel Important?? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Matching Weight of Rod and Reel Important??

06-10-2006, 10:54 PM
I am back visiting family in Oregon and brought my relatively new 5 wt. St. Croix setup and noticed that sometime between fishing the Hams Fork (on the drive over) and fishing the Grand Ronde that my reel broke.

My father in law, being an awesome guy, gave me an old Scientific Anglers System 8 (made in England by Hardy Bros Ltd.). Its a really well cared for reel and is nicer than the one that came with my Premier setup, but it's an 8 wt. I put the St. Croix's 5 wt. line on the reel but I want to know if the differences in the weights of the rod(5 wt.)/reel (8 wt.)/line(5 wt.) will hamper my fishing?? I am pretty new to fly fishing and don't want to make life harder on myself than the typical loss of flies, snagging line, breaking line, hooking myself, slipping and falling in rivers and missing bites.

Thanks you very much,


06-11-2006, 07:53 AM
the eight wt reel may be a bit heavy for the 5 wt rod.if the rod and reel are out of balance it will affect affect your casting stroke and could lead to a bit of fatigue. perhaps one of the premier casters on the forum could chime in.

06-11-2006, 01:03 PM
The setup will more than likely be fairly awkward and will lack the proper balance. In my opinion it would be far better if you learned to cast the right way with a balanced setup.

Other disadvantages could be the excess backing capacity,because any more than 100 yards is more than overkill for whatever you'd expect to hook on a five weight. I have never used that model and I'm not to certain about the drag system which might not be light enough for the more delicate application that a five weight would typically be used for.

The bottom line is that you could use if you want to, but it could be hazardous to your ability to adapt to using other rods or even learning to cast proficiently.

06-11-2006, 10:53 PM
Another aspect of rod/reel balance often overlooked is balance for fishing.

When a reel is heavy it forces the tip upward. When rod tip is held high there is potential for a lot of slack and poor hook setting. If you are fishing a strip retrieve (e.g. stripers) you will want to keep the rod tip close to the water. Thus your muscles will have to hold that rod tip down to the water against it's will over a day, weekend or vacation.

The nuisance factor is even more emphasized with two-handed rods because of the extra leverage required to hold the tip down. Since the swing is the majority of the action required to fish, this can be a real pain in the butt and quite tiring too.

Back to casting for a minute -

Ideally I will feel the load in the rod as it increases and releases and not much else. When the reel is heavy it tends to deaden that sensation to the wrist - perhaps because the wrist and arm are having to use muscles to maintain the casting path vertically against gravity as well as front-back.

Proper rod/reel balance just feels good all-around. I wouldn't say it's critical, but once you got it you'll never go back that's for sure!

06-12-2006, 12:05 PM
Wow! A Valid Reason to Buy A New Reel!

Don't pass this up.

Reels are, to me, the most wonderful of all fly-fishing gear. A good rod is a bit like a favorite dog, you love them to death, but they don't live very long. Sooner or later rods wear out, get superceded by better graphite formulations, or snap off in some misadventure.

Reels, on the other hand, are forever. They become heirlooms; rarely can you wear out a quality reel to the point where it cannot be repaired. Any chance or excuse to purchase a new reel, whether to balance a light outfit, to fish saltwater, to have that back-up spare, to collect a treasure, or whatever, should be acted on if at all possible.

Quality reels, and you should buy quality whenever you can, only appreciate. Reel design should factor into your choice. There are many styles to choose from -- from space age, gadgety things to the classic form of the Perfects and the Bogdans. Chosing a style is a matter of aethestics; find something that pleases your eye in the weight range you need for that five weight.

Buy that reel, when and if you can. You won't be sorry and you'll have a life-time pleasure from using it.


-- Eric

06-12-2006, 02:38 PM
If I recall correctly, the old SA System 8 reel is the same as the Hardy Marquis 8/9 which is a 3-5/8" inch reel -not all that big really as far as an 8 weight reel goes.

The Hardy Marquis (and lightweights) are my favorite reels. I use perfects and others, but there's something about these reels that just makes them feel right in my hands -more so than any other reel.

You can certainly use it on your #5 rod and I bet it wont feel too awkward since they're a light reel. I'd probably pass though if you don't intend to get a larger rod.

I imagine this reel would match well with a #7 rod which would probably be nice for fishing streamers in WY as well as for any trips you make in the NW for summer-run steelhead.

If you're not looking to get a larger rod, than I'd probably pass and look to find a reel that's better suited to your rod. My favorite reel for a #5 rod would be the Hardy LRH.

06-12-2006, 08:55 PM
There's enough opinions already, but it won't keep me from commenting too! :)

The reel is too heavy for that rod. It's very important to balance the rod and reel for optimum casting.

06-13-2006, 08:46 AM
I want to know if the differences in the weights of the rod(5 wt.)/reel (8 wt.)/line(5 wt.) will hamper my fishing??

No, it will not hamper your fishing, That is not a heavy 8 wt reel.

06-14-2006, 11:23 AM
No, it will not hamper your fishing, That is not a heavy 8 wt reel.

I've fished twice (four hours each day) with this setup and I have found no problems with it. Actually, the precision of my casting has improved dramatically (which might be a case of an extra eight hours of practice). I casted further, my arm never fatigued, I never broke off a fly; however, I didn't catch a fish. I blame the latter on the streams heavy flow/milky color more than anything.

I did however learn more about aquatic insects from my father in law (he's a biologist), saw a fawn nursing on its mother and harvested some boletus mushrooms. Both days were perfect.

I would love to upgrade my reel to something new and beautiful, but after this experience I can't justify the expense. I really love gear (my bikes and snowboards can prove that) but I entered fly fishing from a different perspective: I want to hunt my own food. I want to be meditative on water. I want simple, elegant experiences that contrast with the complexity of American culture. (but I bet one day my love of gear will win out and I'll be back on the forum asking advice of expensive reels :chuckle: )

Thank you all for your advice.