Need some recommendations on Alaska rods... [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Need some recommendations on Alaska rods...

yukon delta
05-06-2002, 08:09 AM
looking for a heavier rod for Alaska...mainly for salmon, pike and sheefish but also appropriate for occasional salt trips. I've got the reel already (Bauer M4). What weight is the best compromise...8, 9 or 10 wt? What about getting a 9 wt and using lines 8-10 wt on it as needed? I hear about this technique but how many guys really do it? I'm not really looking for brand/model recommendations at this time. Thanks.

05-06-2002, 09:40 AM
Many moons ago I used a 7 wt. glass rod in Alaska, without changing lines up or down, and discovered it was a bit too light in some situations. If you used an 8 graphite, medium/fast action, seems to me it'd throw your line weights, either side; same thing with a 9. Remember you're casting what the line manufacturer designates the line rating to be in the first 30-40' +/- ... You want something strong and sturdy enough to control the possible larger fish without wearing it down and reducing it's chances for release. Answer whether you'll be into long, teen to early twenties### weight pike. What will be the size of your salmon, char or grayling, length or weight wise?

My opinion/vote is 8wt med/fast to fast action, minimum, subject to argument. My argument to that is what is your target in salt? - does it warrant a 9??? do you C&R regularly?, etc..., realizing this isn't helpful, just thought provoking.

yukon delta
05-06-2002, 10:32 AM
Good followup questions...I know I should have given more info so you guys could help me more accurately. There is always the potential to hang a large fish...pike hit 20 lbs frequently...sheefish hit 30 lbs...steelhead approach 20 lbs...rainbows up to 15 lbs...lake trout to 25 lbs...silvers to 20 lbs, etc. etc.

In the salt, I would like to try for 'cuda and bonefish....tarpon too. Maybe I should keep in mind the possibility of getting a medium weight outfit and later getting a heavier outfit...11 or 12 wt perhaps? This would also work for king salmon.

In your opinion, is there any way to compromise here and also get something that "might" work on a king? Keep in mind, I have no illusion of landing a 50 lb. king on a 9 wt...but there are a lot of kings in the 20 lb range. You can always hook up and break off if necessary.

Also keep in mind, that I will be getting a lighter outfit for smaller rainbows, grayling, etc. I would really like to have a 5 wt bamboo for that but that's a whole other subject! I guess I'm looking for a good med/heavy outfit for all around use in AK and some salt use.

What do you guys think about a 5 wt, 8 wt and 10-12 wt for covering most applications?

05-06-2002, 11:11 AM
IMHO you are looking at a 9wt for most species on the list and a 10wt for big kings. A lot of this has to do with the 'sweetness' of the rod - because you cast hundreds of times for each fish you battle, it's more meaningful to have castability than fish moving power, but both are criteria in this case.

That being said, the Sage RPLXi, VPS 10wt or DS2 10wt are such rods IMHO, with the VPS being the more authoritative of the last two. I'm sure there are many brands that will balance this for you - Thomas and Thomas for instance, or Scott Rods, etc. I am just very familiar with the Sage rods. Perhaps others will chime in...

05-06-2002, 03:00 PM
You've elevated your search to nine and above; your choice of manufacturers. Plenty of rod preference threads here and elsewhere.

Certainly a 5 for grayling. Now that you've defined the parameters for kings, et al, you should really think heavier than 8. If your salt targets raise the bar, so to speak, a ten is probably adequate for your suggested 25#+ range. With a little skill and a ton of luck it'll serve you if you get something larger, including smaller tarpon. 9 is a bit much for bones, IMO. Good Luck.

05-06-2002, 07:32 PM
Hi Yukon

I have fished on and off in the Yukon With 6wt rods and pursued most of the fish you mention in the lighter versions and have taken a 20lb Lake trout in Atlin with that rod . The last one that went north with me was a Sage graphite 111 GFL 690 4piece which still I fish to-day.

For the Salmon, Steelhead Pike etc I use a Sage Graphite111
990 RPLX 3 piece. Its a lot easier casting all day long than a 10 wt. The other choices are now slightly less expensive as to the line systems.

---------My .02 saltRon

05-07-2002, 07:48 AM
SaltRon, thank you for weighing in and helping to educate ME. Please comment on my ideas regarding this thread, positively or otherwise, so I might know if I was close. This is legit - nothing snotty about it. Thanks again.