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Leo M 09-09-2008 09:25 AM

Salt Water Rod Question
What makes a salt water rod a salt water rod, as far as casting goes? Can they be used on fresh water species of the same size? Thanks for any replies.

juro 09-09-2008 10:14 AM

Yes for the most part.

SW - bones, small stripers
FW - big trout, bass, GL steelhead
SR - small steelhead, small salmon

SW - big bones, stripers, baby tarpon
FW - bass, pike, alaskan rainbow trout
SR - atlantic salmon, searun steelhead, coho/sockeye/pink salmon

SW - stripers, small tarpon
FW - pike, southern bass, smaller muskies
SR - king salmon, chum salmon

But things like fly size, wind conditions, salt-corrosion resistance, cork quality, reel seat quality, durability and power are equally if not more important than versatility in salt situations, IMHO.

nmbrowncom 09-09-2008 04:58 PM

while i'm no expert, i think you'll find that salt water rods are much stiffer and faster action-a big plus when casting in the wind or when fighting bigger fish. fresh water rods, especially for trout, steelhead or salmon are usually not as fast, and since you're usually drifting a wet fly, the cast and the type of line is quite different and mending must be considered, so a longer rod is in order. the presentation is usually much lighter than in salt water (bones and permit notwithstanding). dry fly presentation is softer yet.

by way of example, i purchased a 9wt 8' 3 piece crosscurrent for peacock bass fishing in the amazon. it's a salt water rod which gloomis recommends for peacocks. it is the best peacock bass rod i've come across: stiff as a broom handle, which is great for ferocious strikes and for holding the big mean brutes away from the mangroves. i now use it exclusively on my boat for stripers/bluefish. the shorter length is easier to control on a boat and it casts a mile and cuts through win with ease. that said, it would be terrible for steelhead or salmon. the stiffness would work against delicate presentations, and the short length would all but eliminate mending. it is probably so stiff that the light tippet would likely break if a good fish strikes hard-no give in the tip.

petevicar 09-10-2008 02:29 AM

Hi Leo
Of course you can use saltwater rods for freshwater fishing and vice versa but you may have problems.
The rods used in the salt are normally #7 and upwards.

This is because of the size of the fish and also the size of the flies used.
Saltwater rods normally have a fast action. The are stiff and have a tip action. The rings are usually a little bigger, to accommodate shooting line. Also the reel seat is made of metal and not wood.
Everything must be rust proof as saltwater corrodes badly.

Most of my fishing is in the salt but in summer I fish for atlantic salmon and on smaller rivers I use #8 or #9 Orvis T3 or Zerogravity rods which are my standard rods for bonefishing.

In general I would say that you can use saltwater rods in fresh water with no problem but the other way round is not good as the fittings will rust and a wooden reel seat exposed to saltwater swells up and makes the rod unusable.


Leo M 09-10-2008 09:44 AM

Thanks for the replies. Let me ask the question this way. If I have been using 9 foot 9 weight rods of various types for Atlantic salmon how would I do with the same length and weight in a salt water rod? From what your telling me I think OK, it would just be a little faster.

petevicar 09-10-2008 09:48 AM

Hi Leo
it should be fine. What makes do you have?

Leo M 09-11-2008 07:11 AM

Sage and St.Croix.

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