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Old 03-27-2007, 09:50 PM
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Default One more quick question

what length rod and weight would you guys recomend for trout fishing???
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Old 03-27-2007, 10:45 PM
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Default Re: One more quick question

It kinda depends upon the main use of the rod. Overal, a 9ft rod is the best choice. Some folks prefer an 8'6" rod and thats fine too. if this is going to be a multi-purpose rod then go with an 8'6" or 9' rod.

Now small streams may require a different approach... maybe. Most folks like short rods (6 or 7 ft) on small creeks. In most cases, I do not.

My very first small stream fly rod was a 2/3 wt, 7ft rod. It was so cute. I once took a fishing trip to the Cimarron River where I booked Doc Thompson of High Country Anglers. We fished the Cita which is a private stretch of the Cimarron just bellow the Cimarron Canyon State Park entrance. This section is a classic small stream just loaded with hungry Browns. I met Doc at the trail and started to assemble my gear. He patiently watched as I assemble my 7ft rod. He then calmly said, “Why don’t you leave that rod here, we’ll take my 9ft 4wt instead”. I was bit confused and my feelings were a little hurt. I was taught that you need a short rod for small streams and this is definitely a small stream. However, I figured he was the expert on this river so I’ll take his word for it. We were soon on the bank and Doc pointed out a nice pool to cast to. After I made a few drifts, he said, “Here, let me see your rod for a minute”. He then taught me how to properly high stick. I then saw the advantages of a long rod on a small stream. Doc had me to cast out with only about 1 or 2 feet of fly line hanging out of the end my rod. He then had me lift the rod high while keeping it parallel to the ground. I was trying to keep all of the fly line and as much of the leader as I could off of the water. This was creating, of course, a perfectly drag free drift. Occasionally I was able to lift the entire leader from the water so that the only thing touching the water was my dry fly. This took a lot practice but I finally got the technique down pat and caught a lot of fish. I made very few overhead casts. I mostly flipped and rolled so the brush and trees were really not much of a problem. The extra reach that the 9ft rod gave me allowed me to get my fly into spots without spooking the fish in the process.

Rod length is a very important consideration and, in some situations, maybe even more important than rod weight. As you can see, there is more than one school of thought regarding the proper rod length for small streams. The short rod advocates are steadfast in their beliefs. The long rod proponents are equally convinced there technique is superior. I can see that both rods have their place. This is where the character of the stream itself will help you in determining the best length for you in a given situation.

Shorter rods, 5 to 7ft, may be ideal for the tightest and brushiest of creeks. Best of all, these short rods are so cute and so sweet. On the opposite side we may find the need for that long rod. An 8’6”, a 9ft, or perhaps even longer rod may be the best choice for the meadow stream that offers little casting impediments. Maybe you’ll be high sticking to finicky trout and you need that extra reach.

The above paragraphs are copied from my article "The Perfect Small Stream Rod"


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Old 03-28-2007, 09:05 AM
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Default Re: One more quick question

My answer will be similar to Steve's, an elaborated version of "it depends".

Lots of guys out there swear by long rods, others swear at them. The vice versa really is true for short rods also. I generally think short rods are better when super accurate shorter casts are needed, longer rods better for other situations, including longer casts, and most all situations where your fly is underwater. (In my thinking "short"= 6'6" to 8', "longer" = 8'6" and up)

If you expect most of your fishing to be on medium to small trout rivers, and done with a fairly even mix of dries and normal nymphing methods, I would say a 8'6" 4wt is your best bet. If you expect to fish larger rivers and want a bit more versatility with fly sizes and riggings, then a 9' 5wt would be a better bet.

IF it just occurred to you, "hmm, sounds like having a couple rods would be a better way to go", then i would get the 8'6" 4wt first, and then decide whether you wanna go with a 9' 5wt as well, or maybe a 6wt.
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Old 03-28-2007, 09:41 AM
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Default Re: One more quick question

Steve, Cliff; You guys laid that out very well. I perfer High sticking on small streams. It helps keep my flies on the water and out of the trees which keeps me happier and makes it more enjoyable. There seems to be more fish in the water then the trees.*L*
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Old 03-28-2007, 11:19 AM
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Default Re: One more quick question

More appropriately would be the flex of the rod. You cannot load a 9 ft 4 wt fast action rod with a couple of feet of line. If you are flippin the fly out there then the long rod would work but if you want to cast the line then you would go with a short slow rod. Casting to small native brook trout on a small stream is challenge and a joy. Many times the amount of brush will determine if you're flippin or casting. I like to cast. A 9 ft rod gets caught up in the brush quite often because it just takes up so much space.
So, take a look at the streams you're going to fish and if they are small and brushy, go with a short slow rod; small but open, go with a longer rod or a moderate action. If the streams are large and open then go with a long and fast action rod.
As to the weight of the rod, keep it as low as possible for your application. More than not with the short rods you will go with a light line and the long rods you'll go with the heavier lines. You'll should select in the 3-6 weight range.
Good Luck
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Old 04-05-2007, 01:37 PM
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Default Re: One more quick question

Living out west and fishing large rivers like we do, I recommend that the only rod you need is a six weight. The rod will handle streamers, nymphs and dries. I use it on all the rivers that I fish and it is the only freswater rod weight I own.

Matt Berry
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