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Old 10-22-2009, 01:14 AM
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Default Steelhead Set-Up Advice

I have an older Berkeley 8wt that was my wife's grandfather's rod and came equipped with a Pflueger Medalist reel. I realize this real is not ideal for steelhead/salmon due to its enclosed spool and lack of drag. I was recently given an Orvis Battenkill Mark IV (Made in England) reel that I would like to use. It has an open spool and pseudo-drag.

Will I be happy using this on Steelies and Salmon? Any pros/cons from the group? Thanks!
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Old 10-22-2009, 12:10 PM
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Default Re: Steelhead Set-Up Advice

Pro - It's light for a reel from its day.
Con - The reel lacks stopping power. You will need to palm the reel for extra resistance.

I used an older Battenkill on Salmon before. It was the later generation English made reel. I had to crank up the drag to about 3/4 to get adequate braking resistance. After a season of using that reel, I ended up giving it away.

I will admit. The reel did its job. It's still in service by one of my friends now as a light Spey reel.

MP
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Old 10-22-2009, 04:03 PM
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Default Re: Steelhead Set-Up Advice

Hi iturner8,

Sure you can use it but it wouldn't be my choice. I am not sure that the Berkley fly rod is a good choice either. I assume it is a fiberglass rod. The standard size spool and the old rod would be a good match if you want to be old school.

So it comes down to what you want to accomplish. If you want to fish it because it belonged to your Wife's Grandfather then go for it. If you are trying to get set up with a good Steelhead outfit I think you could do better.

What length is the rod and it is fiberglass, right?

Frank
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Old 10-22-2009, 06:08 PM
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Default Re: Steelhead Set-Up Advice

Oooops. I forgot to comment on the rod. There have been leaps and bounds with rod technology. Even today's price pointed rods will perform better than rods from many generations past. They will cast close and far well. They will track straighter. You can generate more line speed with less effort.

Since you didn't mention lines, I will. Fly line technology has improved, too. Today's lines will shoot further, float higher (for floating lines), and last longer than lines from years' past.

If you can get your hands on a recent rod, cast it side by side with what you have. I think that you will notice a difference.

MP
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Old 10-23-2009, 07:04 PM
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Default Re: Steelhead Set-Up Advice

We'll be heading up to NY State for some steelhead fishing over the weekend of Nov 7th/8th. Weapon of choice for me will be my 9'0" JLoomis GLX Max 6 wt., overlined with WF7F line. My wife, Marty, will be using her trusty 9'0" Sage Z-Axis 6 wt. lined out with WF6F. Fingers crossed. We've been getting reports of not many fish this year; hope it's just early in the season blues.
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Old 10-23-2009, 07:35 PM
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Default Re: Steelhead Set-Up Advice

Hi Pocono,

Good luck to both of you on your trip. I think you and the wife are well equipped. What flies are you going to be using? Don't forget the camera.

Frank
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Old 10-24-2009, 05:54 AM
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Default Re: Steelhead Set-Up Advice

Thanks Frank.

Mostly a lot egg patterns; mixed in with whatever the local fly shops recommend (assuming that someone is catching steelheads by the time that we get there).

I've been tying up some thread and yarn multi-egg patterns. Someone showed me one last weekend that changes color underwater (from a dry yellow color to a wet translucent green - remember Joni's "transformer" chironomids? Same idea). Looks to me like it could be an effective pattern (I may post a pic later this weekend). Whether it is or not, it will be the first fly out of my box to hit the water when we're up there.
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Old 11-06-2009, 08:32 PM
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Default Re: Steelhead Set-Up Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pocono View Post
We'll be heading up to NY State for some steelhead fishing over the weekend of Nov 7th/8th. Weapon of choice for me will be my 9'0" JLoomis GLX Max 6 wt., overlined with WF7F line. My wife, Marty, will be using her trusty 9'0" Sage Z-Axis 6 wt. lined out with WF6F. Fingers crossed. We've been getting reports of not many fish this year; hope it's just early in the season blues.
Where are you gonna fish?
I was in Pulaski, NY 2 weeks ago fishing steelies on the Salmon River and we had great fishing for 2 days. I'm heading back on Nov. 20th, if the fishing is 1/2 as good as the last trip it will be worth the 4 hour drive.
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Old 11-08-2009, 06:24 PM
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Default Re: Steelhead Set-Up Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by bpfohler View Post
Where are you gonna fish?
I was in Pulaski, NY 2 weeks ago fishing steelies on the Salmon River and we had great fishing for 2 days. I'm heading back on Nov. 20th, if the fishing is 1/2 as good as the last trip it will be worth the 4 hour drive.
We were in Pulaski, NY. Fished yesterday and today on the Salmon River; the Douglaston Salmon Run stretch. We fished with Gary Edwards. Gary's son Jason is the River Keeper and General Manger at Douglaston, so we got to the good spots early (which was fortunate, because there were a lot of people; particularly on Saturday; even though it was only 32 degrees and windy).

Unfortunately, not a lot of fish running up from the lake this weekend. In two days, I hooked 7, landed 2; in and around the high bank hole, which sounds awful, but these were big fish and we were fishing 5x tippet; feeling that stealth was better than strength when there aren't many fish in the water. And frankly, I flubbed a couple of nice ones; having my big hand on the reel winder when I should have been letting the drag do it's thing; left-over small trout habits that always come back to bite you.

I had a nice 10 lb Brown on for a good 5 minutes; almost netted him, when he suddenly made a run for a submerged log. I inverted my pole and played him as low as I could possibly get, but all I got out of it was that lousy "no fish" feel and a chance to tie on a new fly.

I'll post some pics on Tuesday or Wednesday, when I get back in town. It was lots of fun, though. Best patterns were pale orange sucker spawn and single glow bug eggs in either chartreuse or light orange.
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