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Old 11-18-2011, 06:14 PM
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Default Getting back at it... which rod?

So I haven't fished in 7-8 years. I used to live in rural Maine and fish mostly for Brookies in a little stream by my house (Birch Stream in Alton/Old Town) with a 4wt rig that I picked up at the L.L. Bean Outlet.

That rig got stolen out of my car and I never replaced it.

Now I live in Milwaukee and I'm thinking I want to pick it up again. I'm mostly interested in fishing trout in smallish streams/creeks... but there aren't really any trout streams particularly close (easy drive, but not super close). However I walk my dog by the Milwaukee River nearly every day, it's just a couple of blocks, and I'm less than 2 miles from Lake Michigan.

So I'd *like* to be fishing trout streams. But if I start getting out on a regular basis it'll more realistically be on the local walking or bike riding distance water, and probably driving out to smaller trout streams only once in a while.

Conventional wisdom seems to be that a 5wt is the way to go for an all-arounder. But I'm wondering if I should go higher to reflect the reality that I'd likely be on bigger water than what I'd rather be fishing, and then just suck it up when I hit smaller water; or if I should stay lighter and hope it's enough for whatever pops out of the Milwaukee River. I don't have the money to spend on two rigs right now.

I'd been thinking about picking up an Albright A-5 5wt, and some line from them, thus activating their current spend $200 and get a free Topwater Reel promotion (recognizing that that's not a great reel, but planning on upgrading before too long).

Any thoughts?
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Old 11-18-2011, 06:40 PM
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Default Re: Getting back at it... which rod?

Hello & welcome to the forum,

There are so many rod / reel systems to select from these days that I will not try to suggest an all round choice for you. If I were to do so the rods or reels I would point you to would not be those currently on the market and I'd be sending you after vintage gear. It is good to have you post with us here and if you don't get the replies you would like to see I'll look to see if you ever message to ask what 'old rods' I might have in mind. Are you in a hurry? I ask because if you're not I would advise saving up a tackle fund and widening your horizon of possibilities.

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Old 11-18-2011, 06:40 PM
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Default Re: Getting back at it... which rod?

I caught a 25" largemouth on a 5wt, and my wife caught two 22-24 inch channel cats on a 4wt this past July. I fish the Delaware River regularly with a 4 or 5wt rod, and haven't had any problems to speak of. The only problem I had with a large fish was the first week of September. I hooked into a smallmouth on the local stream that was minimum 20", and my 4wt rod couldn't turn him before he got into a strong current. It was fun while it lasted, but I took my 5wt back for every trip to that stream since.

As for reels, I own expensive and cheap models. The expensive models cause me to obsess over every little quirk, while the cheapies just get slapped on and fished. It's not uncommon for me to use a $35 reel on a $675 rod. I sold all of my previous expensive reels, but have been building up a new collection. They're alright, but not worth obsessing over. Saltwater reels are a different story....
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Old 11-18-2011, 06:44 PM
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Default Re: Getting back at it... which rod?

Personally, I'd go with the 5wt as you said; it covers most of your bases and you can grow your gear from there when you find your niche.
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Old 11-19-2011, 07:08 AM
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Default Re: Getting back at it... which rod?

Just my 2 cents, but based on what I know from the trout streams that aren't too far from you, a 9' 5wt is kinda over kill. If you just want to buy one, go with the 5wt. If you have been a good boy this past year and Santa permits, I would get one 8' 4wt and one 9' 6wt. I would suggest the Echo Carbon for an inexpensive setup that can be bought at Cabelas for around $199, which includes a reel and line and backing....
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Old 11-20-2011, 11:53 AM
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Default Re: Getting back at it... which rod?

After a few days of obsessively looking on the interweb I just bought a rod off of eBay, it wasn't exactly what i was looking for, and I might not have gotten quite as good of a deal as I originally thought, but I think I did okay.

I pulled the trigger on a supposedly new/unused G Loomis FR 904 7'6" 4wt GL2 for $110.

I had decided to go with a smaller rod to fish the streams that I actually want to be on, because that's what's going to keep me getting out, and if i don't get out fairly frequently then I'm just wasting my money. I would have preferred something in a 3-4 piece for portability, but this is a 2 pc.

When I searched for Loomis FR 904 I found the new version with an MSRP of $405 and I clicked the "buy it now" button without really thinking about it (just minutes after it was posted), turns out I bought the older model, but hopefully it'll work out.

Now for a reel and some line...
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Old 12-16-2011, 10:49 AM
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Default Re: Getting back at it... which rod?

If I was you...

I would stop into Pat Ehlers shop "The Fly Fishers"...

Talk to Pat, he will shoot you in the right direction...

LOT of GREAT fishing right there in Milwaukee, I always look forward to my ventures to Mil town every year to fish with my buddy Dave Pinczkowski...

Dave's a guide there in Milwaukee "and all of Eastern Wisco" if you are ever interested in learning a bit of local knowledge from one of the best fly anglers alive today, shoot me a PM and I will give you his contact info...
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Old 12-17-2011, 12:31 PM
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Default Re: Getting back at it... which rod?

Quote:
Originally Posted by caberguy View Post
Now I live in Milwaukee and I'm thinking I want to pick it up again. I'm mostly interested in fishing trout in smallish streams/creeks... but there aren't really any trout streams particularly close (easy drive, but not super close). However I walk my dog by the Milwaukee River nearly every day, it's just a couple of blocks, and I'm less than 2 miles from Lake Michigan.
If your going to be fishing the Milwaukee river often I would go straight to an 8wt. Monster lake run brown trout, plenty of steelhead, and a nice salmon run. Fall right on into early spring. Then for those small trout stream drives get yourself a nice little 4wt and your good to go. Some of the best small trout stream fishing in the country just a few hours from Milwakee.

50 places to fish near milwakee:

http://dnr.wi.gov/fish/lakemich/closetohome_letter.pdf
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Old 12-17-2011, 02:32 PM
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Default Re: Getting back at it... which rod?

Quote:
Originally Posted by famill00 View Post
Just my 2 cents, but based on what I know from the trout streams that aren't too far from you, a 9' 5wt is kinda over kill. If you just want to buy one, go with the 5wt. If you have been a good boy this past year and Santa permits, I would get one 8' 4wt and one 9' 6wt. I would suggest the Echo Carbon for an inexpensive setup that can be bought at Cabelas for around $199, which includes a reel and line and backing....
Quote:
Originally Posted by pegboy1 View Post
If your going to be fishing the Milwaukee river often I would go straight to an 8wt. Monster lake run brown trout, plenty of steelhead, and a nice salmon run. Fall right on into early spring. Then for those small trout stream drives get yourself a nice little 4wt and your good to go. Some of the best small trout stream fishing in the country just a few hours from Milwakee.

50 places to fish near milwakee:

http://dnr.wi.gov/fish/lakemich/closetohome_letter.pdf
As I have come to appreciate on this forum, great advice given. These two posts stick out because the type of fishing you're planning on doing is that diverse. One rod for such polarized streams/rivers/species in this case is tough. If you had only one rod, you'd really be taking advantages away from yourself and thus likely reducing your enjoyment of the experience. I'm sure it can be done though. Guys before us managed just fine with one rod and seemed to find a way to enjoy it.

You did just fine picking up the 4wt for the trout streams, that gets you back in the game and the season is longer. There are plenty of guys and gals who actively seek out older rods, used or unused. I've picked up 2nd hand gear and have been very pleased. You really don't need much of a reel for small trout as I'm sure you know. Trout fishing in WI is amazing and by being geared up right, you'll hopefully get hooked on it again. Trust me, the travel time is worth it! I have a solid day of travel to get there by plane and vehicle and now cannot imagine not hitting Wisconsin for trout, even though there is plenty of opportunity for trout here in PA.

Start putting a few bucks in a gear fund as Ard mentioned and save up for an 8wt rig to fish the Milwaukee. Also, be sure to look though the classifieds here. This is a great board and there is very frequently gear for sale of a varying degree of price. Have heard great things about Pat's shop, put that on your to do list this winter as well.

Good luck and welcome to the forum
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