Warmwater Flyrod Arsenal
Quentin's question at the tail end of the carp thread got me thinking that this deserves a thread all to itself. Specifically, what rod weights are best under certain conditions and for certain species. I'll reuse my golf club analogy...just as you wouldn't putt with a driver, you wouldn't want to go after trophy pike with a 5 wt. However, just as there are some golfers who can get 150 yards with a pitching wedge (Tiger), there are some flyfishers who can fish very effectively for large fish with lighter gear. FWIW, these are the rods that I use for my warmwater fishing and the most common applications for each:
7' 3wt: strictly for panfish in waters where I know that I won't be tying into anything too big. It lets small fish show off a bit, and casting small flies is a breeze.
8.5' 6wt: I have a pair of these, one loaded with a floating line and the other with a sink tip. These are used for river smallmouth, bass and pickeral in ponds without thick cover, and any other system where panfish get big and cohabitate with other larger species that might grab a fly. I've thought about going after carp with these rods, but there's just to much cover where I fish and this weight rod doesn't have the turning power that I'd like.
8.5' 8wt: for bass in cover, small male pike, and carp. The tip is soft so that I can make delicate presentations, but not so soft that wind resistant hair bugs can't be thrown effectively. It has good turning power lower in the blank so hauling fish away from cover is doable.
9' 9wt: strictly for going after large pike in general and bass in heavy cover. This may sound excessive for largemouths, but being able to pull a 4 pound bass out of lily pads or away from stumps just isn't feasible for me with anything less. Also, large pike and bass flies cast very well on this rod. There may be some application in the future for the 12+ pound carp that I've seen this season, but I haven't crossed that bridge yet.
These rod weights are what works for me. You can take my opinion with an additional grain of salt....I prefer to get my fish to hand as soon as reasonably possible, so sometimes my gear appears to be on the heavier side. It's a tradeoff that I'm willing to bear because I know that the chances of the same fish being available for someone else to catch are much greater.
Will I get more rods? No.......well, yeah. :devil: But not anytime soon. I'm satisfied with what I have right now.
What weight rods do you use, and have they filled your needs?
Mines close to DblHauls arsenal:
6'6" - 3 wt sunfish & blue gills in weed free waters. Floating line
8'6" - 4 wt My all around favorite, almost anything as long as its not too weedy. I used to fish a floating line on this one until I lost the line and I now use a sinking line that has given better results than I expected.
9' - 6 wt Weedy or bigger bass and pickeral. Probably small carp if I can get them. Either a floating line or a sink tip.
9' - 8 wt very weedy waters, bigger fish. I have floating, intermediate & full sink lines for this one.
all rods are 9 ft., It's always breezy, if not downright windy out west.
3 Wt. fast action, used for waters where trout will not exceed 18 inches.
5 Wt. fast action, used one larger rivers where trout go to 30 inches.
5 wt. medium action, used for chironomid fishing and lakes mostly, I like the softer rod on lakes/still waters, seem to be more sensitive to the the take
6 wt. medium fast action, 5 pc. pack rod for travelling about and as a spare that fits neatly in my drift boat
7 wt. fast action, used when the winds are really gusting, which is just about every day out here, at least for a few hours and for winter fishing when I prefer a full sink line that goes down fast. Also favoured rod for SM bass & bass bugging
9 wt. fast action, one is a 9 footer that I use for pike mostly, the other is 10 footer that I use mostly for stripers and steelies & salmon
Lines: match the fly & fishing conditions/presentation desired. I use all types that I can get.
Prefered line for trout is a dry line for small dries, mini sink tip (Teeny line) for small streamers & nymphs, full sink (type 2 to 6) for deeper presentations and matching the river flow.
Preferrred for pike is a 10 & 15 foot sink tip, type 2 and a dry line for surface presentation
Preferred for bass is is a dry line, bass bugs etc. seldom use a sinker on bass
Steelies & salmon & stripers: whatever other "experts" tells me to use!
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