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Old 11-25-2012, 12:55 PM
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Default what weight rod for salmon, trout in Alaska?

My son is going to Alaska. He wants to know what a good weight rod would be for salmon, and trout. I know Ard could give some thoughts. I am not sure if there are others who have been there. My son is in the Army. It will be too cold right now, but he will save up. I know he wouldn't want to spend a lot on the rod. He just wants to buy ONE rod. So would a 7 weight be heavy enough for overall fishing there? It would be a little heavy for trout. But it might not be heavy enough for salmon, especially in Alaska. Thoughts?
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Old 11-25-2012, 01:09 PM
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Default Re: what weight rod for salmon, trout in Alaska?

I can't speak for Alaska but when it comes to salmon especially big Kings I like a 9wt with some backbone and I've used an 8 and that was fine as well. For smaller cohos and trout I would think a 7 would be fine. It all depends on what you expect when your fishing. For me late season steelhead I may go down in wt but when the fall run is on I like having the 9 for those sudden runs of 30 lbers! Plus I feel the lighter you go in those situations you prolong the battle which is detrimental to the salmon that are already stressed from making their journey! If it means releasing a healthier fish Im all for the heavier rod!
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Old 11-25-2012, 01:17 PM
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Default Re: what weight rod for salmon, trout in Alaska?

kelkay...for salmon other than chinook a 7wt is kinda the minimum I'd fish. Silvers and chum will be a hoot for him on a 7, but it's doable. An 8wt is probably more appropriate, but not a big deal, especially if he's to be there for a while and gather experience landing lots of them.

If he's going after chinook (kings) he might want to be careful. I've seen guys trying for them while under gunned and it's not a pretty sight. Equipment destruction of some kind often happens.

Trout fishing in Ak can mean rainbows as big as a silver salmon, so a 7 or an 8wt can be a good fit there too...although if your boy will be catching smaller trout, char or dollies, then he'll be fishing a little heavy.

Who cares, though? If he is really going with one stick I'd think a 7 would make him happy. I bet he comes home with more than one fly rod.

I'd suggest a well made reel with reliable drag as a key component. This is one time when the reel isn't simply a place to store line. A WFF line and a line with multiple sink tips on a spare spool would be handy as well for fishing salmon at various depths and water velocity.

He'll be a committed fly guy when he comes home. :-) -Mike
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Old 11-25-2012, 01:46 PM
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Default Re: what weight rod for salmon, trout in Alaska?

trying to buy one rod to cover trout/salmon fishing in alaska could be done with a 7 wt. if the angler is not chasing kings.
a 20 lb.+ king salmon would put a serious amount of stress both on the rod and the fish itself.
that being said, a fast action 9' or 10' 7 weight rod would work for most other fishing applications.

casey
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Old 11-25-2012, 02:06 PM
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Default Re: what weight rod for salmon, trout in Alaska?

Thank you guys. I will relay the info. I figured a 7 wt for only one rod would be the lowest. I know an 8-9 would be better for the bigger fish, but it would be way overkill I think for a lot of trout. I bet if he fishes for salmon like that, he would get a bigger rod, after a little bit of successful fishing. I want him to be a committed fly fisher. Right now he really prefers conventional fishing though. This should make him change his mind!!!
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Old 11-25-2012, 05:26 PM
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Default Re: what weight rod for salmon, trout in Alaska?

Hi Kelly,

Your son can use a #7 rod for about whatever he may encounter. I've caught all species using a 7 and unless you get into a king over 25 pounds they can be handled with the same rod. Where he will be stationed there will not be a huge number of opportunities to fish salmon. It may be wise to let him get up there and to make some contacts with other service members who are fishing the area. They will be able to give him the real skinny on what they are using and why.
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Old 11-25-2012, 05:34 PM
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Default Re: what weight rod for salmon, trout in Alaska?

Thanks Ard. I just wanted an idea here. I told him last night I would ask on here. I also said he should question other guys there, and locals... I also mentioned try talking to a fly shop, if there was one around. I think on some days off, he would want to go further out, and salmon fish. I don't know what the fishing will be like near him. He leaves tomorrow to head that way. I will also tie him some flies, but I am not sure which patterns yet. I told him don't even ask what brands or what have you. I can help him with that. I certainly didn't want him asking a fly shop that, as I know it will be higher priced choices, than I know he'd pay. I bought him a fiberglass rod about 3 years ago. He didn't put it up right, and the tip broke. I don't even know where the piece went. He has several conventional rods, and reels. The best set up is the one his old mama gave him... I got him a super St. Croix rod, with a gorgeous Daiwa reel. Anyway, I am hoping Alaska can make him want to do more fly fishing.


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Originally Posted by caseywise View Post
trying to buy one rod to cover trout/salmon fishing in alaska could be done with a 7 wt. if the angler is not chasing kings.
a 20 lb.+ king salmon would put a serious amount of stress both on the rod and the fish itself.
that being said, a fast action 9' or 10' 7 weight rod would work for most other fishing applications.

casey
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Old 11-25-2012, 05:40 PM
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Default Re: what weight rod for salmon, trout in Alaska?

You need to encourage him to sing onto the forum once he gets here. If he gets in contact with me I will try to help him when possible. I do go up that way to fish and would be happy to meat him.
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Old 11-25-2012, 05:51 PM
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Default Re: what weight rod for salmon, trout in Alaska?

Great advice from all.
I fish trout and silver salmon in Ak every year. Exactly what folks said: 7 will work on the silvers, not on the kings, but it will be a bit of an overkill for the trout (people have worse problems, though, right?). And I second the advice on a reel with a good drag.
Of course you could always loan him your 5 or 6 wt for the trout???
Egg patterns, stiumlators, egg-sucking and other leeches for trout, popcycles and colorful articulated leeches for salmon. Of course there are plenty of other wonderful patterns, but those should get him started.
And a camera!
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Old 11-25-2012, 07:56 PM
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Default Re: what weight rod for salmon, trout in Alaska?

Thanks so much for the fly recommendations. I only have one graphite 4/5 rod, and one 6/7 rod. Those are my main two rods that I use. I also have a couple of fiberglass, a bamboo rod, and one 8wt. I rarely use that 8wt it hurts my back after casting a while. I could send him one of my fiberglass rods for the trout. But, I think he would be happier with a graphite to start out. No way will he get to use my bamboo rod...lol. It took me forever to refinish that rod.
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