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josko 04-08-2003 07:27 PM

steelhead tackle for an 11 yr old
I took my son Marco (11) to the Salmon river last week, and he's addicted to steelheading. We're going back for another week at the end of this month.
I'd like to get him a steelhead setup but am not sure what to get: a ~10' 6 wt one hander, or get hm started on a two-hand rod. he was using an Orvis T3 10' 6wt last week and it worked well for him. (His goto rod at home is a 9' 7 wt, and he can cast it quite well.)
I'd appreciate any advice on appropriate steelhead tackle for kids. I notice Cabelas has an 11' 6 wt 'one-handed spey rod'. Anybody have a comment on it?
I'd like to get him started with tackle he will enjoy and would appreciate any help y'all may have. It's OK if he 'grows out of it' in a year or two.

juro 04-08-2003 08:39 PM

Hi Josko -

I will defer to the Great Lakes guys for a more focused reply, but I would be curious whether you and fish-magnet Marco ;) were roll casting a lot or did you have ample back-casting room?


josko 04-09-2003 08:04 AM

Well, we were fishing little creeks, so distance wasn't much of an issue. It's short range casting to sighted fish in lies. The times we were on larger creeks, we'd usually manage to find a backcast hole in the bushes behind.
Marco's got lessons with George Roberts coming up, and we expect his rollcast to get a lot better.

removed_by_request 04-09-2003 08:33 AM

I have never fished your arae, but if ou are talking about small 30' to 45' wide streams then a Spey may not be the best option. It will work for you; just it may be cumbersom at times.

If he did good with the 10' rod that may be the answer to your question. There are many inexpensive 10'ers out there even by top manufacturers. You got him on the right path, I guess the key would be to eliminate the frustration to him.

BigDave 04-09-2003 09:00 AM

Hi Josko,

Sounds like you've got a great fishing buddy there.

If you are fishing the creeks around pulaski and rochester you won't NEED to do any true spey casting. I do like a long rod on those rivers though for tippet protection and laying out big mends.

That said If you're buying a rod specifically to target chrome I would go with more than a 6wt. I had a steelhead snap my sage 6wt there last year like a twig and I think a 10 or 11 foot 7weight would be ideal. If you go with a stout 8wt you have something that can be used for Salmon in the fall as well.

Good luck,


josko 04-09-2003 09:44 AM

Dave, I hear you, but I need to balance that with marco's ability to cast and handle the outfit. Our guide had a 6 wt and 7 wt T3 10', and he had a much harder time with the 7 wt. I got a fine balancing act here, with different problems if I go too light or too heavy. My guess is a 10' 7wt to him is like a 10' 12 wt to us big guys. I'd even been wondering about a 5 wt.
Certainly the T3 10' 6wt is a candidate for him - it's just very expensive.
Here are some rods I have bene looking at:
Temple fork 10' 5 wt
Cabelas 'float tuber' 11' 6 wt
Cabelas 'one handed spey rod' 11'3" 6 wt
Orvis TLS 10' 6 wt
If anybody knows of a worthwhile mid-priced rod similar to above, please let us know. Thanks in advance.

BigDave 04-09-2003 10:13 AM

Hi Josko,

Gotcha. I think I may have missed the point on this one:rolleyes:

Try doing a FFF search on Temple Fork rods. I know there has been quite a bit of discussion about them here and people seem to be quite pleased. I have not tested one for myself but understand that they have a good guarantee - might be important considering how incredibly easy it is to slip and fall on the salmon river's slick riverbed.

See you on the Deerfield sometime soon,


fredaevans 04-09-2003 11:29 AM

One more to toss into the mix for your considertion.
Have the Redington 11'3" 'redfly' 6wt rod. A lovely bit of equipment and, one hander or no, you can spey cast a double taper line very easily. Use this rod for 'close in' summer run fishing.

Rod (got it through Mark Backmann shop) was $159, no tax in Oregon and he pays the shipping. All good things.

BobK 04-09-2003 12:29 PM

There are a lot of questions... Which Salmon R. - NY? How big is the 11 year old (height, weight)? I don't know how long he handled the rods, but a full day's fishing may tire him out, and you don't want to do that, or he will lose interest.

In addition, if it's the Salmon in NY, in the fall, a 6-wt would definitely be too light - too many Chinooks present!

I think I'd be a little conservative here - maybe get him a 9' - 8 or 9 wt., in case of salmon, and BIG steelies, and a good reel to balance it with. Besides, it could always be his "backup" rod when he gets bigger, stronger, more stamina and gets a longer "lifetime" rod.


Eddie 04-09-2003 12:55 PM

I have the TLS 10' #7 and it is ok. a little underlined maybe but it will throw a 200gr tip a mile! I sent back the TLS 10' #6. It is one of the worst rods I have ever cast. Amazingly bad. I get physically ill just remembering it.
Just like with his shoes, your son is growing fast, and will pick up casting quickly. His ability will be quantum leaps further by fall. I would stick with his 9' #7 if he is comfortable with it. In the fall, reasses his needs.

Pat Bahan 04-09-2003 09:01 PM

I missed it. Are you looking for an excuse to get a new rod? If so ;) ;) (personally, I think a guy aught to have one of every configuration imaginable, but my billfold doesn't agree)
If you are serious, what do you possibly think will be better than the 9' 7wt? (longer isn't necessarily better, it's different) I broke 2x (8lb) the other day trying to stop a big steelie from going in a logjam. I was using a Temple Fork 4pc 4wt. A 9ft 7wt really aught to be pretty darned good for a smaller person. When I was his age all we had were 8'6" fiberglass which were a bit heavier, but the slitely shorter length made it more manageable.
Now that I have thoroughly muddied the water...:hehe:

josko 04-12-2003 08:39 AM

I'm surprised how hard it is to find these rods in stock. Called around trying to find some we could go and cast, and we pretty much struck out. it seems to me people are stocking far fewer high-end ords than even three years ago. Is anyone else noticing this?

BTW, yes we ar elooking for a new rod so we can fish together. On top of it, picking out tackle for your sonis a whole lot of fun.

yes, we did go to the Salmon river in Pulaski.

John Desjardins 04-12-2003 10:18 AM

Josko, I think the change is wide spread. As one shop owner told me " Not many people come in anymore ready to drop $1000 on an outfit, after getting there 50K bonus from a dot com". And yes shopping for a childs tackle is fun, fishing with them is even more fun.

josko 04-22-2003 01:21 PM

Well, we bought a Cabela's 'float tuber'. Told them on the phone we'd like to try both that and the 'one handed Spey rod'. They were nice enough to send us both with a postage-paid return box so we could return one or both rods we didn't like for the cost of one-way shipping.
So the rod may not stack up to an XP or Horizon, but we like it, know that Marco can handle it, and plain old got tired of tracking down an XP or Horizon (10' 5 - 6 wt) that we could cast.
If I were a high-end rod manufacturer, I'd be worried stiff about the lack of rods in dealers' stock. I know they lost this sale because of it, and I'm sure I'm not the onoy one out there.

I guess we basically have to go to a show, to a factory, or find a friend to test-cast a high-end rod these days. Sure doesn't seem like a good business model to me.

Eddie 04-22-2003 06:22 PM

That's great that you got what you were looking for. I am surprised that your local friendly Sage dealer didn't get a Demo from his Sage rep for you to try out. The fact that they didn't try to make that sale should be discouraging.
As for stocking every one, not even Bob Marriot's stocks every rod. Sage makes alot of rods, stocking every one would mean that they couldn't carry any other brands. Sage would love that, but the consumer would shop else where.

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