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Old 03-22-2006, 02:25 PM
GrantK GrantK is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: West Coast
Posts: 35
The advice you've been given with regard to one-handers in the 9' 10 wt. class is spot on. Given your location I assume your intent is to fish the coast, e.g., Elk, Sixes, Coquille, etc? To add to the line recommendations that have already been made, you'll see that a lot of guys are successful with clear intermediate lines in the smaller estuary situations. Out of a boat, casting distance is not generally going to be as much of an issue as you might imagine. As such, I would not recommend Rio Slick Shooter for runing line; instead, using a bulkier running line that is less prone to tangle--like the standard Rio shooting lines in .30" or even .035"--is a better way to go. You lose some casting distance, but the improved line handling characteristics are worth the trade. You're also going to find that most who are successful use small, sparse comet type flies in various colors rather than large baitfish patterns--water clarity and the nature of the spots most effectively fished with a fly being a large part of the reasoning there.

One point about two-handed rods to remember is that the longer the length the more ineffecient the tool for fighting fish, and longer rods can make catch-and-release an excercise in futility. A 14' rod can be a death sentence for salmon the size of the average fall chinook on many of the rivers of the South Coast. If you're thinking two-handers, give Bob Meiser a call for recommendations. He's going to recommend something shorter than 14' and heavier than 9/10, though, and he's right given the need to make the fight as quick as possible with these fish.

There's a huge difference between ocean bright chinook fresh in from the salt--or still in the brackish waters of a bay or estuary--than a lot of what you see being caught on fly fishing shows and the like that has already colored. The guys that tell you an 8 wt. is enough rod are experienced in terms of the latter. A bright fish, even without much current, will leave you with a handful of graphite splinters if you target them with something that small. No kidding. I've had big, bright fish in current wreak havoc on even quality tackle. And, when you get into fish in the 40-50 lb. range--which is not as rare as you might imagine--even the 12 wt. mentioned is not out of line.

My personal favorite rod for fishing fall chinook is a 1090 RPLXi, but just about any good quality 10 wt. will fit the bill. I have a 10100 RPL+ that is nice for fishing from the bank, but it's a little long to handle in the boat when it comes time to land a fish. I have fished with two-handers for salmon a little, maybe a dozen or more days in the last couple years, and have not found one yet that I really like for fall chinook specifically. Just as an example, my T&T 1409, which I like for larger water winter steelhead, chum, and coho and the like, is really not enough rod for fresh chinook, in my opinion. Shorter and heavier, like Meiser recommends, would be better.

Anyway, hope that helps some. The rewards can be pretty great with chinook. The projected runs don't look good this year, but then you never know. Good luck.


Last edited by GrantK; 03-22-2006 at 02:42 PM.
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