Bass fishing on 5 weight rod? - Fly Fishing Forum
Warmwater flyfishing Bass, pike and even muskies in your backyard

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Old 06-21-2005, 11:21 PM
billlambeer billlambeer is offline
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Bass fishing on 5 weight rod?

I am coming from Colorado and going to minnesota for fourth of july. I want to bass fish and wondering if i can do it with my 5 weight winston rod. I really dont feel like spending money on a new rod for a couple days of fishing, so will my rod break(which i will in that case buy a new rod for cheap), or will it just make casting harder and i will have to add weight to overcome the wind resistence. I really feel like it would be hard to break my rod since i have brought in 22 inch trout and have never felt like it would come close to breaking but would be very appreciative of you opinion. Thanks much!!
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Old 06-22-2005, 12:52 AM
ashbourn ashbourn is offline
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I have done bass fishing on my 5 wt rod and the biggest problem for me is how far I can cast with it. Since most bass flies weigh more then a trout fly that also makes it harder. Putting a heaver line will help but a 8 wt will cast much better and you will not have to worry about breaking your rod as much.

PS: if you are using a rod with a slower action it will be hard to cast then a stiff rod under bass fishing conditions.
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Old 06-22-2005, 06:47 AM
h2o h2o is offline
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You will be limeting yourself on your trip. Also you did not say rivers or lakes.

On rivers with a 5 wt. you can cast smaller hair bugs if your a good caster with a tight loop and some power on the forward stroke. You won't likely break your rod on a fish but, a 20" 5 lb river current Smallmouth as compared to that "22" " 5 # Trout is compareing a train to a car. The Smallie would take the Trout for a ride and your rod. The 5 # river Smallies I catch really fight like the 6 - 8 # fresh run fall Steelhead here. You won't be able to cast Clouser's well and they are a main stay. You can cast larger un-weighted flys(sz. 4) if you use a sink tip.

A light weight all around river Smallmouth rod would be a med. fast to fast 6 wt. with a half weight heavy line on it like a SA / GPX...........kind of a 6 1/2. In lakes with full sinking lines or shooting heads most use a med. fast 7 or 8wt. If you use your 5 wt. in lakes from a boat or yak,tube,etc. you may not have enough butt to land it well. It will likely wrap the rod down under the boat while trying to land it.

Also you will probably get into some Pike in that area. You may want to consider a smooth not stiff , med. fast 9' 7wt. If not you will surely need a sink tip on your 5 because you won't be able to cast weighted sz. 4 -2 flies well. For subsurface you will need to cast sz 4's and 2's. I use 2's the most.
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Old 06-22-2005, 07:56 AM
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baldmountain baldmountain is offline
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I've been doing most of my bass fishing with a 9' 4 wt Scott rod. Works good and is a lot more fun than the heavy gear. I don't thow big bass bugs. I do just as well or better on smaller flies. A size 8 wooly bugger or picket pin works good for me.

So I'd say go for it.
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Last edited by baldmountain; 06-22-2005 at 07:56 AM.
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Old 06-22-2005, 12:34 PM
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flyjkol flyjkol is offline
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what part of minnesota are you going to?

I know i was up in ottertail two weeks ago and they got ridicules amounts of rain, meaning bigger flies were needed so fish could find them. In that case a five weight would be pushing it on lakes. I was using my 5 weight st croix fishing for river smallmouths, alot of weight was needed to break into the current. Very hard to cast, but even with the current it handled some 19-20" fish very nicely.

It would probably work, but you'd tear a rotator cuff trying to cast high water flies in lakes.........
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Old 06-23-2005, 02:26 AM
teasels teasels is offline
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I have and use a 9' 5 weight only and have a 6,7 and 9 that are collecting dust. the larger flies don't fight wind well on a 5 but I use wind to further my cast and staighten it. I have landed a 39 inch Muskie on a 5 , Yea it was a BATTLE but I won in the end. your rod shouldn't break, it Should handle it well besides there arn't that many BIG fish.You should be fine remember "The tippit should break before the rod does "other wise use a smaller tippit.
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Old 06-23-2005, 08:47 AM
dewey dewey is offline
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I always fish a five weight for bass. It may not be ideal, but you make due with what you have. I cast clousers, sinktips, heavy wooly buggers, whatever, and never feel like I can't manage it. My rod is fast-action, which helps. You'll have little problem handling the fish, but if you get into some heavy weeds it could be tough.
I'd say definitely go with the five - an new rod for a few days worth of fishing is hard to justify.
bring some wire for pike.
good luck.
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Old 06-23-2005, 08:48 AM
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teflon_jones teflon_jones is offline
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I just got back from fishing Grand Lake Stream, which is a pretty swift river with some big fish in it. I used my 4 wt with a DT4F line on it, even for casting some big streamers (3") and bead head flies. The key to casting them was simply to slow down my casting stroke and load the rod well and I was able to toss them 50' on target consistently all day long. With a WF line I'm sure the rod would have been even better. I landed several 17" smallmouth in strong current, and the 4 wt did admirably. It was definitely maxed out though.

I'm not sure of your experience casting big flies on a light rod, but here are a few tips from a guy who does it all the time. First of all, it's much easier to cast if you don't retrieve your fly in close. Pick up the line while there's still a lot on the water and use weight of the line and the water resistance to immediately load the rod. This will give you a solid backcast immediately, and then you can literally shoot the cast right back out. In the river fishing I was doing, I would pick up the line as I described, false cast foreward 45 degrees upriver, back cast, then cast across the river another 45 degrees upriver with the next forward cast.

Sure, you can cast by stripping in the fly close and false casting a lot more. I've just found that when you're using a big fly, small mistakes in your casting stroke get greatly magnified and the fewer false casts the better. Plus, bass tend to hit the fly soon after it hits the water. I'd say 90% of my strikes come within 5 feet of where the fly landed. Lastly, it takes a lot more energy from your arm/shoulder to cast those big flies so the less false casting the better!
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Last edited by teflon_jones; 06-23-2005 at 08:49 AM.
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