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Coldwater Fly Fishing Trout, Salmon, Steelhead, etc...

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Old 04-27-2008, 09:35 AM
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Post steelhead rods?

I'm new to this forum, but it seems very informative. I am looking to buy a 7wt fly rod for steelhead.. I mostly fish the deschutes or the hood river where I live in Oregon. The deschutes can get very wide in areas.. the hood not so much.. I'm looking for a good rod between $400-600.. my question is? spey, switch, or a 9" and whats your opinion.. "on brand" thanks so much guys.. glad to be a new member here.. ~eddie
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Old 04-27-2008, 11:58 AM
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Default Re: steelhead rods?

I'd go with a 10' 7wt or maybe even a 10' 8wt. I'd look into the ECHO Classic series, to maybe save some nickels for reel, line, waders and boots.
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Old 04-27-2008, 02:42 PM
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Default Re: Steelhead rods?

Hi eddie,

You didn't tell us your experience level and what you are capable of casting.

So here is some general information. The Deschutes presents some special circumstances since you can't fish from a floating boat. A 9' to 10' single handed rod would be a good choice. I think a 8wt would be my choice for the big flies you will cast and the big Steelhead that are available on the Deschutes. If you decide on a 7wt then I would go for the 10'. If you get an 8wt I might not go more than 9'6". You just have to cast the rods and pick what best suites your requirements.

The Deschutes is big, heavy water that is well suited for Sprey rods. The problem is are you able to cast a Sprey rod or will you dedicate the effort to learn. The Sprey rod would not be the best choice for the Hood River, the Klickitat River or the many lakes around your area. If you are really seriously thinking about Sprey rods I would take one of the Kaufmann's Streamborn classes before you buy. After the classes you will know if you want a Sprey outfit. The Sprey Classes provide the rods so you don't have to buy until you know what you want. If you tell them you might be interested in a Switch rod they probably have one you can try. I have never cast a Switch rod but it seems it wouldn't be comfortable for single handed casting. The Switch rod is popular in your area.

Frank
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Old 04-27-2008, 04:08 PM
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Default Re: steelhead rods?

I might tend to agree with what Cliff recommended.

I have a Thomas & Thomas 10' 3 piece 7wt steelhead rod that
really works well for Michigan steelhead.

I'm also not shunning Frank's advice for a Spey rod, but cannot
give an accurate opinion since I do not own one, nor have I
ever used one.

I have read & heard that they are great for extremely large
rivers where casting a normal rod may not get you the distance
you need.

If you think a Spey maybe your choice try checking with your
local fly shop & see if they will help you picking out one suited
for you & give you help learning to use one.

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Old 04-28-2008, 10:49 PM
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Default Re: steelhead rods?

Thanks for the advice. I've been fly fishing for about 7-6yrs mostly for trout and bass on the lakes.. I have some simm waders covered in that area. fished the deschutes with my 5wt Z-axis for trout.. but am looking to go bigger with the steelies.. I've never used a spey rod, I think I might take Franks advice and take a class.. a single hand 8wt 9'6" or 10' sounds comfortable for casting.. rather then the heavier spey rod.. but again I've never cast one.. I can double haul the 8wt if need be.. I haven't cast a switch rod either.. looks like a smaller version of a spey? I'll also ask the guys at my local fly shop.. thanks for all the advice
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Old 06-25-2008, 04:14 PM
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Default Re: steelhead rods?

Quote:
Originally Posted by into the backing View Post
I'm new to this forum, but it seems very informative. I am looking to buy a 7wt fly rod for steelhead.. I mostly fish the deschutes or the hood river where I live in Oregon. The deschutes can get very wide in areas.. the hood not so much.. I'm looking for a good rod between $400-600.. my question is? spey, switch, or a 9" and whats your opinion.. "on brand" thanks so much guys.. glad to be a new member here.. ~eddie
I would go with a 10 foot 6 inch 7 weight switch rod, either Beulah or Great bay rods, both are right in your ball park. Great Bay is $435 and made in the USA, Beulah is made in korea and costs $394 for a 7/8. If you want to wait 4 or 5 months TFO will have a really sweet switch rod designed in conjunction with bob meiser in the under $400 range.
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Old 06-29-2008, 11:15 AM
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Default Re: steelhead rods?

I've got a echo classic 7 weight that I absolutely love, and they also have echo classic spey rods that run you about 300 bucks that I'm sure are just as good. You can use the money you save on a reel with a really nice drag to handle those silver bullets better.
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Old 06-29-2008, 01:07 PM
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Default Re: steelhead rods?

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Originally Posted by hauntedbywaters View Post
I've got a echo classic 7 weight that I absolutely love, and they also have echo classic spey rods that run you about 300 bucks that I'm sure are just as good. You can use the money you save on a reel with a really nice drag to handle those silver bullets better.
They arent. Sorry, They simply arent. The Decho probably is (dec hogan echo), but no, the classic is not as good the the mk deer creek tfo, or the beulah, or the great bay. Just like the classic tfo isnt as good as the mk deer creek tfo. No Worries, the classic is probably 5 years old and the dec hogan echo is a couple of months old, and the deer creek is like 6 months old and the great bay is just being released.

It is like comparing a 286 to a 3 gig pentium dual .

Another thing, in these times of economic crisis do you really want to save $50 and support rods made in China (Echo)or korea (Tfo)? With TFO not only is the blank made in korea but the rod is decorated in korea as well.
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Old 09-10-2008, 07:38 AM
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Default Re: steelhead rods?

i
Quote:
Originally Posted by into the backing View Post
I'm new to this forum, but it seems very informative. I am looking to buy a 7wt fly rod for steelhead.. I mostly fish the deschutes or the hood river where I live in Oregon. The deschutes can get very wide in areas.. the hood not so much.. I'm looking for a good rod between $400-600.. my question is? spey, switch, or a 9" and whats your opinion.. "on brand" thanks so much guys.. glad to be a new member here.. ~eddie
Eddie

If you live in Hood River go to The Gorge Fly Shop. They are very knowledgable and good guys.

One of my fishing partners uses a Sage 10" 4 wt for everything. I've watched him land 10-12 lbs steelies on the Deschutes, Hood River and Klickitat. Personally I'll use my RPL 9'6" 6 wt and if I go to the Klickitat its definetately my Discovery Series Sage 9'6" 8 wt. Spey rods are cool, but anything less than the Deschutes and it will be too long. Anything longer than 9' won't help with more distance casting, but will really help with line control. My favorite rods are Sage b/c of the warantee, quality and they are located up in the Seattle area so if you have to send the rod to them the turn around time is pretty quick.
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Old 09-10-2008, 09:17 PM
 
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Default Re: steelhead rods?

Eddie,

Let me try to be helpful, based on 46 years of fly fishing, owning 40-plus fly rods, including 13 or 14 spey rods during the last 13 years.

The particular make and model of rod you should own is well down the list of importance. Because of intense competition, there are no bad rods in the medium and higher price ranges, very few at any price. The performance difference between the very best and the tenth best rod for your purposes is too slight for anyone but a few experts to barely notice. OTOH, getting the wrong size rod, reel, and line would really handicap you.

If you have arms like the Manning brothers, a ten-foot, 7- or 8-weight outfit is a great fit for steelhead. I like a 10-weight for winter steel and chinook salmon. People of modest size will do better with 9-foot rods, and the 9 1/2-foot rods are great all-arounders for most of us.

Spey rods are wonderful fishing tools, practical anywhere average casts are >50 feet. But they're not essential. We caught steelhead everywhere, including from the Deschutes, before spey rods were rediscovered 15-20 years ago. Getting started with spey casting involves two hurdles: (1) fitting a spey rod with a proper, functioning line. Did you know that a 7/8 spey line is two, even three times the weight and bulk of a 7 or 8 line for a single-handed rod? It's true. Getting the right fit can be as daunting as getting a satisfactory mail-order Russian bride. (2) spey casting isn't rocket science, but it's about as difficult as learning to hit golf balls. You absolutely need competent instruction, or you're doomed to disappointment. There are a few specialty fly shops, like the Fly Shop in Welches, OR, that are happy to buy your business with generous advice and referral to good instructors. There are frequent gatherings of spey anglers where you can try different rods and get free instruction, often from some of the best spey casters around.

The most popular spey rods now are around 13 feet. With shorter-belly spey lines, fairly heavy sink tips and flies can be cast. But size matters, and rods of 14-16 feet, weilding longer-belly lines of 9, 10, or 11-weight, are easy-casting cannons on big rivers. Fishing with tackle that fits the water you're fishing now is one of the great pleasures of fly fishing.
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