Lately I have been thinking about getting a new rod. I currently own a fast action 9' 5wt Colton (slipstream series). This particular rod has been absolutely great for me. Not to sound like an advertisement here but the rod is a fast action rod with great feel and control and can lay out lots of line if needed, I use a wulff TT (sorry that does sound like one). I am guessing here but since not everyone has tried one or has heard of Colton it may be hard for you to give judgment. However I am just checking to see if my thinking is correct for my next selection. The 5wt works well on the bigger rivers I fish as well as it controls the bigger brookies and rainbows really well, and due to the length has great mending capabilities. The problem is the length when it comes to fishing smaller streams where there is overhang or where the trees are right along the bank. I got thinking about this and the fact that there are a couple of brooks I fish where a 9' can't go (have to use the dreaded spin rod bah I don't like using those anymore). As well I fish for those always fun to catch brookies. So I am thinking about getting one of his slipstream series 6' 3wt. rods. I think this may be great for those tight spots and since it is shorter allow me to cast tighter loops under some cover, as well as be a blast for those brookies. Side note: I am not the type that uses a light rod to just make fishing more exciting at the expense of exhausting and potentially killing a fish, if I feel the rod is not capable and I am just wearing the fish out too much I will break the fish off. Just thought I would let you all know. Besides the better maneuverability in tight spots I am thinking that with a DT I could get a great presentation with small dries, although lacking the mending control of the 9'. The thing is I have never used or had access to a light weight short rod so I only know of what I have read and it seems to match what I am looking for. However I wanted to hear the opinions of others as far as what these rods are capable of and what the limitations are as far as fly size goes and weighted nymphs. By the way it is a med/fast action. If anyone is interested the website is Coltonfly.com you can find out a little more on it there. While there check out the mission statement it's basically what got me to check these rods out, oh and the reels are great and and have a smoooooooooth drag.
If you have any ideas on weight or on the length that would be greatly appreciated.
Like Cliff said The 6' 3wt is a rod that a pretty specalized tool, if however you buy it knowing that and know that your fly size and casting will be limited you will have a ball with it. The 4wt in a 7'6" rod would allow more choices on flies and allow longer cast, and still allow casting in tight places. I use light rods often and instead on breaking a big fish off on purpose I just fight then with gusto, you would be surprised how fast you can land a big trout on light gear, last Oct. I landed a 27" bow that was 19-20" in girth in just a few minutes useing a 4wt rod and 4lb tippet. I have lost a couple big fish doing that too though.
Anyway just know what your getting into and enjoy, you could end up like me and own more rods then my wife thinks any FIVE people oughht to own lol
That is the main thing I was thinking was that it would be limited in its use. I would prefer a rod in the 7' range as you have suggested. I think the limited casting of the 6' 3wt would be lets just say frustrating when I couldn't reach a fish. Unfortunately colton does not make a 7' rod. Not sure what I will do I love the 5wt I have so I really wanted to try one of his others. I guess I could get one and try it out. If it turns out it is not the rod I need then I can send it back. Good thing about his company is that since he is wholesale he lets you buy and try, since you can't test one at a store, if you don't like it for any reason send it back for a refund.
Oh and I would fight the fish hard as well not just break it off. Kinda didn't sound right when I reread it. When it comes down to it I will try to land any fish as long as I don't break my gear in the process. When I think about it the biggest limiting factor in the process is the tippet and how you play the fish, on lighter rods you use smaller flies therefore lighter tippets thus the tippet will break before anything else (I hope). I will just leave it at that I could probably end up analyzing that for a whole other page. There is nothing wrong with using light gear to catch big fish and it can be done, and is fun. My friend for example catches Atlantic salmon on a 5 wt. Most locals use an 8 or 9 and would think we are nuts for trying (I try but never have any luck), nonetheless he can catch them and bring them in without too much of a problem, using 4lb tippet sometimes with small flies.
Thanks for the help and if so could any of you suggest a rod in the 4wt 7 1/2 foot range around $200.
I don't think that a 3 weight is a bad choice if you know what size fish you plan on catching. A 12"-15" trout can be safely pulled in with a 3 weight. If you plan on targeting bigger fish, 4 weight would be a better stick.
With that said, Redington will be releasing a new pack rod this fall. It is an 8 foot 3 weight that packs into 6 pieces. It's called the CT (Classic Trout). It has a true moderate action. If that matches your stroke, you may want to look at it. I cast it yesterday when the Farbank (Sage, Redington, Rio) rep came by the shop yesterday. Best of all, it will cost you under $200.
Gives me something to think about. I actually own an avid 5wt as well but in a 2 piece, which I will never buy again after buying a 4 piece. It's a good rod but I don't like traveling around with a 2 piece, just too much to pack into a truck or car. I will have to do some looking into things but I know that I want one that is less then 8 feet. As I mentioned there are some places I go where a rod of that length just can't get into, that was kinda my thinking on getting a shorter one in the first place. However I like the idea about getting a 4wt instead as I won't be as limited in my fly selection and using small but weighted flies. If I was just fishing small streams for brookies I would be willing to buy the 6' 3wt without any hesitation.
St. Croix Avid....Made in the USA, and is a fine rod for $220. 7.5' 4wts are
as light/short as I go, even when fishing for bluegills.
St. Croix's new Imperials have been getting rave reviews and are even cheaper. Just checked and the 4pc 4wt's are $180, and you have your pick of 7.5', 8', and 8.5'. They're billed as fast action rods though, and I'm not real big on fast rods in short and light configurations.
If you are close to a Cabelas check out their TRaditional ll I just got their 7.6" 4wt the other day a 110.00 rod for 50.00 and its a sweet little rod, have caught 20-30 bows on it the last week up to 3lbs and handled them fine and cast very nice with a rio grande line. They may even have them on line in the bragan cave section.