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Old 07-07-2009, 07:19 AM
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Default What is best rod for small mouth bass

Hello to all.
I have just moved to Missouri from the mountains of New Mexico where trout was the main fly rod catch. Can someone give me recommendations as to what wt rod should be used for small mouth bass fishing and what rod blanks. I want to make my own rod so any recommendations would be appreciated.
Thanks, Dave
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Old 07-07-2009, 08:39 AM
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Default Re: What is best rod for small mouth bass

It all depends on the flies you intend on using but I have caught more smallies on a 6wt than any other rod.Most people equate a 7wt with smallmouth but I prefer a 6wt.It also depends on the size of the fish you have there.Most smallmouth I have run into are around a pound or less.This is on large rivers and small streams.I cant recommend any rods to you because thats a personal choice but my old Sage 690-4 RPL has seen as many smallies as any rod I own.So any rod thats 8' to 9' should be fine.
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Old 07-07-2009, 08:54 AM
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Default Re: What is best rod for small mouth bass

I would say both a 6wt and a 7wt have their merits for Smallmouth fishing. A 7wt will work better at throwing the larger flies that entice the bigger fish, and will do better at horsing them out of cover, but a 6wt will be easier to cast all day and make the average fish more fun.

I would look at rods that are medium fast and powerful, but not super fast because you'll often need to make a 20-30' cast. I would look at Legend Ultra's, GL3's, and similar blanks. A RPL 690 seems pretty perfect.

If you want a perfect light smallmouth rod, see if you can snag an old RPLXi 5wt in blank or rod form. They built those rods with a fighting butt. You could fish it with a 6wt or with a 5wt and add 3-6' of T-8 to it to make it a sink tip.

Another light rod with a fighting butt was some of Loomis' Streamdance Metolius rods. They made a 6wt with a short butt that had a rev half wells grip, and they might have done some 5wts that way as well.
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Old 07-07-2009, 06:48 PM
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Default Re: What is best rod for small mouth bass

Just got to cast Sage' new Smallmouth and Largemouth tournament legal rods. They would be a fine blank to get a hold of. Casts sweetly for a short stick.
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Old 07-07-2009, 07:20 PM
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Default Re: What is best rod for small mouth bass

I purchased one or Sage's 7'11" Smallmouth rods last summer, fished it a couple of times, but didn't really care that much for it (in general, I'm a Sage rod fan).

I traded it this Spring for a 9'0" TCX 7 wt., and I really like it. I kept the line that came with the Smallmouth rod and put it on a Bauer Rogue reel. It fishes very well for Smallmouths on one of our local lakes and on the Susquehanna River as well. No problems getting a lot of distance out of that rod; which I find to be a plus when you all of a sudden see a lot of Smallie action on the other side of the river. It also has plenty of backbone for throwing larger flies; something that BigCliff points out in his post.

I feel that the 9'0" 7 wt. gives me more flexibility than the Smallmouth rod gave me. On the other hand, if I was going to be entering any Smallie tournaments, then the Smallmouth rod would definitely be the way to go. It's a very nice rod; but I prefer the TCX for all around fishability.

I have a friend who owns one of the local fly shops and he uses a 9'0" Z-Axis 7 wt. for Smallies. That man can fish!
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Old 07-07-2009, 07:32 PM
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Default Re: What is best rod for small mouth bass

The best Smallmouth Bass rod for someone is going to depend on how it's fished.

For short, pick up, and shoot type casts, a modern "tournament" sized rod would be the way to go. The Sage Smallmouth was designed for this type of fishing. Make sure to use the OEM line, or the rod doesn't cast as well.

For fishing rivers with smaller non-wind resistant flies, I prefer a faster 9 foot 5 or 6 weight.

A 9 foot 7 weight would be ideal for casting larger wind resistant flies. It also has backbone if the smallie has to be dragged out of the vegetation.

MP
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Old 07-07-2009, 09:38 PM
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Default Re: What is best rod for small mouth bass

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pocono View Post
I purchased one or Sage's 7'11" Smallmouth rods last summer, fished it a couple of times, but didn't really care that much for it (in general, I'm a Sage rod fan).

I traded it this Spring for a 9'0" TCX 7 wt., and I really like it. I kept the line that came with the Smallmouth rod and put it on a Bauer Rogue reel. It fishes very well for Smallmouths on one of our local lakes and on the Susquehanna River as well. No problems getting a lot of distance out of that rod; which I find to be a plus when you all of a sudden see a lot of Smallie action on the other side of the river. It also has plenty of backbone for throwing larger flies; something that BigCliff points out in his post.

I feel that the 9'0" 7 wt. gives me more flexibility than the Smallmouth rod gave me. On the other hand, if I was going to be entering any Smallie tournaments, then the Smallmouth rod would definitely be the way to go. It's a very nice rod; but I prefer the TCX for all around fishability.

I have a friend who owns one of the local fly shops and he uses a 9'0" Z-Axis 7 wt. for Smallies. That man can fish!
I'm fairly sure that if you're using the Smallmouth line on that TCX, you're basically overlining it by two.
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Old 07-08-2009, 07:00 AM
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Default Re: What is best rod for small mouth bass

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Originally Posted by BigCliff View Post
I'm fairly sure that if you're using the Smallmouth line on that TCX, you're basically overlining it by two.
You're right, it is overlined with the line that comes with the Smallmouth rod.

When I first purchased the Smallmouth rod last year, I remarked on the weight of the line to the shop owner. We broke out one of the line measuring devices, coiled up 30' of it and put it on the scale. I'm not convinced of the accuracy of these scales, but it was all that we had at the time. The weight was just slightly north of an 8 wt. line.

So, it's overlined, by what I would call "1+" weight. But, if you've cast the 7 wt. TCX, then you know that it's a stiff rod that can handle overlining without any problem. For me it is a real improvement over the TCR, which I thought had little, if any, feel to it; just plain stiff, like a broomstick.

I also overline my GLoomis Max GLX 6 wt. with WF7F line (recommended to me by George Anderson at Yellowstone Anglers) and it really tames that rod for me when it comes to top water fishing. For a sink tip, I use a 200 grain line and it works very well on that rod.

As an experiment, I underlined that Max GLX a couple of weeks ago with WF5F line when I was throwing buggers into a shallow plunge pool on one of the small streams up here (Mud Run) and was surprised by how well it put the line out there. I was expecting alot of line collapses with the lighter line and the heavy fly, but I didn't get them. I did need to delay my casting tempo somewhat to get the right loading on the rod with the lighter line and I needed abrupt stops at the end of each casting stroke. But, I was surprised at how well that rod worked with the lighter line.
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Old 07-08-2009, 09:27 AM
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Default Re: What is best rod for small mouth bass

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pocono View Post
You're right, it is overlined with the line that comes with the Smallmouth rod.

When I first purchased the Smallmouth rod last year, I remarked on the weight of the line to the shop owner. We broke out one of the line measuring devices, coiled up 30' of it and put it on the scale. I'm not convinced of the accuracy of these scales, but it was all that we had at the time. The weight was just slightly north of an 8 wt. line.

So, it's overlined, by what I would call "1+" weight. But, if you've cast the 7 wt. TCX, then you know that it's a stiff rod that can handle overlining without any problem. For me it is a real improvement over the TCR, which I thought had little, if any, feel to it; just plain stiff, like a broomstick.

I also overline my GLoomis Max GLX 6 wt. with WF7F line (recommended to me by George Anderson at Yellowstone Anglers) and it really tames that rod for me when it comes to top water fishing. For a sink tip, I use a 200 grain line and it works very well on that rod.

As an experiment, I underlined that Max GLX a couple of weeks ago with WF5F line when I was throwing buggers into a shallow plunge pool on one of the small streams up here (Mud Run) and was surprised by how well it put the line out there. I was expecting alot of line collapses with the lighter line and the heavy fly, but I didn't get them. I did need to delay my casting tempo somewhat to get the right loading on the rod with the lighter line and I needed abrupt stops at the end of each casting stroke. But, I was surprised at how well that rod worked with the lighter line.
Sounds like buying the turbo Porsche SUV to haul a horse trailer to me.

(I'm admittedly an anti-overlining curmudgeon)
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Old 07-08-2009, 12:51 PM
 
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Default Re: What is best rod for small mouth bass

There are times when you need to go to an 8 wt. for smallmouths. On the Upper Mississippi, north of the Twin Cities, you are casting large flies toward the shore, often in the wind. Some guys even use a 9 wt. for bigger flies.
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