Opinions on Bass Rods Needed [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Opinions on Bass Rods Needed

12-19-2006, 08:40 AM
I need help picking out a new fly rod for bass. It will mainly be for smallmouth in the river(Shenandoah). I like the Orvis Zero Gravity rods, but not sure on what weight to purchase. I can't decide between 6,7, or 8 wt. I dont want to over or under do it. Please give some input on the Zero Gravity in these weights and other similar rods.
Thanks for the help,
-Nick Good

12-19-2006, 10:26 AM
A 6 weight will suit you fine. Anything larger will overpower the fish IMHO. I don't have any input on the Zero Gravity, never cast one!

Dble Haul
12-19-2006, 12:36 PM
A seven weight rod is ideal for a river of that size, considering the fact that you will often be throwing weighted flies and sinking lines. Eight would be a bit much, and six wouldn't handle the casting of the flies and lines as well as the seven. Plus a seven still lets the decent smallies show their stuff off.

Have fun.

12-19-2006, 08:53 PM
I second the seven weight.....
The extra little bit of muscle in a seven weight only makes the experience more enjoyable, especially when throwing heavier crayfish or wind resistent poppers.
Have fun; theres nothing on earth like a smally in current...

12-19-2006, 10:30 PM
Thanks for the help. I think i will go with the 7 weight.
-Nick Good

12-22-2006, 07:05 AM
Just to be contrary I'd consider a 4 wt. You will have to slow things down if you are throwing big flies and you aren't going to be able to throw them as far. But bass on a 4 wt is a blast! And if the bass aren't biting you won't feel silly casting a 7 wt for panfish.

Dble Haul
12-22-2006, 09:34 AM
I don't doubt the utility of a lighter rod for small streams and rivers, but the poster is inquiring about the Shanendoah, which is wide and deep and will require scouring with sinking lines and weighted flies. Had the question not been about this particular river and just asking in general, I'd have recommended a lighter weight rod.

12-22-2006, 10:45 PM
I already have a 3 and 5 weight for trout. I was interested in a heavier weight for smallies. I live 5 minutes from the river, and go there so often i am looking at the higher end rods like the zero g's. I wanted to get an opinion on the weight since i wasnt quite sure.
-nick good

12-22-2006, 11:17 PM
I agree with the 7wt recommendation as well. I've explored warmwater bass on the fly years ago and found that for my preferences anything lighter would be a compromise.

Smallmouth on northern lakes like Winnepesaukee in NH frequently exceeded 3 lbs and occasionally pushed 5. A rare encounter with bass approaching double digits would surprise us. There was plenty of battle with a 7wt and the 5 pound fish could be fun even on a 9wt.

Largemouth would commonly exceed 18" even in the slower growing climates where I fished mostly for freshwater bass on the fly. Some lakes harbor larger numbers of smaller bass but the size and wind-resistance of flies, thick weed situations and the need to put the wood to a bass to keep it out of the stumps called for at least a 7wt in my experiences.

They used to make a "bass bug taper" that was great for throwing hair mouse patterns and poppers. Not sure if they still make it but a concentration of grains in a shorter head was my favorite line style for this type of fishing.

I've since become more focused on saltwater species and anadramous species (salmon, steelhead) but now that the topic has come up I really miss the spring smallmouth fishery and vow to get back up there soon.

Come to think of it, the best advice is to match your situation. If you are fishing Lake Okeechobee I'd go with an 8 or 9wt. If you are fishing Great Lakes smallmouth, a 7wt or 8wt.

Farm ponds and local watering holes, a 6wt or lighter would probably do the trick provided the fish rarely exceed 18"-20".

12-23-2006, 09:17 AM
Scientific Anglers still has a bass bug taper, at least in their Mastery series. It's the best I've used for that type of fishing. If I'm using clousers or something like that with a floating line I prefer the Rio Bass taper, which uses its clouser taper on its bass line. I think SA has messed up some of their lines the last few years (the new Bonefish and Tarpon taper lines are one example) but their Bass and Muskie/Pike are still top notch.

I choose which line weight I'm going to use more on the style and size of fly I'm going to throw than with the size of the fish I expect to catch. Years ago on FAOL, in a thread similar to this, I guy claimed he fished for largemouths that reached as high as 6-8 pounds, in the wood and thick weeds, using a 1/0 deerhair "bug, using a FOUR weight rod. Anyone ever try to cast a 1/0 anything with a 4 weight, let along a deerhair bug? If you're smallie fishing and using trout type nymphs there's no reason you can't use a 4, though I think a 5 makes more sense. But trying to cast big foam or deerhair bugs with a 4 or a 5 will make for a long day. I find it less tiring by a long shot to use a 7 for those types of flies.

12-23-2006, 04:15 PM
I spent an hour casting a zero gravity alongside a two-hundred dollar fly rod last winter, and honestly can't tell you that the zero gravity was any better, although it was five-hundred dollars more expensive.

I am thinking that the name, " Zero Gravity," is based on the weight of your wallet when you leave the Orvis store.

Jeff Sod
12-23-2006, 08:35 PM
This year I have used a 7wt for bass fishing quite a bit and think it's a good size but I guess it really depends on what you are throwing for flies too. A lot of guys go to 8wts for LMB because they are throwing big bass bugs etc. My preference for smallies was a 7wt but I will also qualify it as its a 7wt Fenwick Glass rod. The smallies always threw the hook on my graphite rod and this year I started using an old Fenwick glass rod and have not lost a fish due to a thrown hook. Plus it doesn't hurt that the rod cost me all of $60 bucks. The line I have been using is the Sci Angler Mastery Headstart. This line is geared to the newbie caster but it has a bass like WF taper and is only $40.00 as opposed to 60 for regular Mastery. Casts great! The only drawback is it is a little shorter but I have never even noticed. The bright green makes it easy to follow in the air too :)

Caught a lot of SMB on Dick Empie's Goldie fly this year too. I think there is a photo on the bill's bodi braid website. Easy tie and catches everything from trout to bass to bluegills.

12-24-2006, 07:14 AM
See this guy's website. He talks about catching 5 pound smallies on a 0 weight rod and fishing for bass wih rods down to 000 weight...


12-24-2006, 10:14 AM

I couldn't get that URL to work. And yes I know what to do with the (dot) Proofread what you typed for us to make sure there's no mistake. I'd love to see this one.

12-24-2006, 10:50 AM
:Eyecrazy: I hope the lakes he does this in are well-oxygenated for the fish's sake!

12-24-2006, 12:25 PM
JR Spey, I really like the Rio clouser lines as well, in fact Rio has an array of line designs I use regularly that are tops in their niche across the full spectrum of fishing from trout to saltwater to spey.

But your comment on SA bonefish lines has me curious. I really love the new S/A bonefish line and have fished it in both 7wt & 8wt. I throw them on the T&T H2 4pc and the RPLXi 8wt 5pc respectively. If I may venture a guess it's the extended rear taper and/or gentler front taper you don't care for which requires a longer aerialized line / stroke. I prefer that especially because I of my flats prowling and casting style but admit it sometimes the front taper labors more with weighted flies than some other designs out there. Just a guess of course.

Perhaps it's because I rarely fish from a boat when bonefishing so I carry a longer line when stalking and prefer to aerialize a little more line for a precise landing rather than shoot line to the spot. I am still shooting line but rather than accelerating the line in flight to reach the fish I am more often slowing it down as it lands from a longer tensioned loop.

I also use spey casts on the flats in fact have snake rolled from one refusal to hook a flanking cruiser 90 degrees and 60 feet from the first fish. A longer rear taper is more forgiving in that function as you must know.

I love the sky blue color as well. What didn't you care for about them, just out of curiosity.

12-26-2006, 10:31 AM

I couldn't get that URL to work. And yes I know what to do with the (dot) Proofread what you typed for us to make sure there's no mistake. I'd love to see this one.

I think my URL was edited without my knowing because the guy sells stuff on his site, (not the pages I point to), and he is not a sponsor. So...

Tack an http:/www in front and replace (dot) with . and it should work.

As a future refence guys, if you edit a URL to make it not point directly to another site can you add a note that you've done so. (I hate looking like a dope. :D )

12-26-2006, 06:19 PM
i use a 7 or 8wt for the smallies here in wny, the fish are big and strong in the Catt. i agree with juro on his line choice of the clouser line it will turn over big flies with ease and throw heavy tips.

12-26-2006, 08:33 PM

I don't like the turnover of the lines, especially in the wind, and I don't like the ultrathin running line as it tangles too easily.

A couple of additional notes. A customer of mine bought an 8 weight Bonefish taper, and a 10 weight and 12 weight Tarpon taper from me shortly after they came out. We went to Andros Island together and after two days of struggling with them in the boat he literally ripped them off his reels and through them in the garbage. I had not yet used these lines, but he had asked me to get them for him. I took them out of the garbage (almost $200.00 worth of lines that were only two days old) and tried the 8 weight. I decided I didn't like it either and when we compared notes as to why, our complaints were pretty much the same. I think the original Mastery Bonefish and Tarpon taper lines were far better.

When I brought this up to SA recently, I got the response that a lot of people agree with that assessment. It seems guys either really like them or really don't. He (my contact) suggested that those who don't like them would probably love the new Mastery Redfish line. I have recommended that line to several people but have gotten no response as yet as to how they like the line.

12-26-2006, 08:53 PM
I already have a 3 and 5 weight for trout. I was interested in a heavier weight for smallies. I live 5 minutes from the river, and go there so often i am looking at the higher end rods like the zero g's. I wanted to get an opinion on the weight since i wasnt quite sure.
-nick good
That would have been helpful info to have originally! Knowing you have a 5 wt already I would have said 7 wt too, but since you didn't say you had any rods, a 6 wt was my first choice.

01-04-2007, 05:27 PM
I'm glad I stumbled upon this post. I've been thinking about getting a bassin rod myself - so after reading everyone's posts I agree a 7 wt is the way for me to go - I have a 4,5, 9, and 10 wt. I figure this would be a pretty versatile rod that I will use from everything from FW bass to Bonefish etc.
Now WHICH ROD TO GET? I like mid-priced durable gear - so does my income level.
Does anyone have any experience with rods below:?

Pflueger Trion 6/7 wt. 9'.
PROs CHEEAPP!!, may be available in WalMart so this earns it extra "Bubba" points.
I like my Trion 10 wt.
2 PC, No fighting butt. Heaavy.

ECHO Classic 790-4x - 9' 7 wt.
PROS: I love my Echo2 990-4. cheap enough. Anyone have firsthand experience withthis particular rod?

TFO Professional 9' 7 wt.

Help a brutha out. Thanks!