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Old 07-17-2013, 11:44 PM
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Default Small stream/backpacking rod?

I have been looking around at lighter weight rods for about 2 years now. I added an 8'6" 4wt Orvis Access to my line up last year. The thought process on it was after casting everything down to a 2wt I felt that I could really use the 4wt more - I could cast it and work the line with more authority. My other main rod is a 6wt Orvis TLS 906-4. At the same time I got the 4wt I replaced the line on my 6wt with Scientific Anglers Titan Taper. That totally transformed the performance and I am real happy with the rig. The types of water I fish is mostly covered by the two rods, but where I struggle is smaller streams. The 4wt is my stream rod but at 8'6" I tangle it up in trees still on occasion.

When I was at the fly shop today I tried out some of the Orvis Superfine rods again. Some were the same that I cast when I was shopping the last time, but I went in with a totally different mindset regarding feel and performance. My thoughts are that any of the 2-3wt Superfine rods will work - I can cast them fine to the extent that I would need them.

What are your thoughts on a smaller stream rod? I can get anything between a 6' and 7' rod in the lineup/weights I am looking at. The smaller the rod the more possibilities in smaller streams, but I don't want to loose much ability. I need to find the perfect transition from the 8'6" 4wt that I have.

I've even looked at, but never handled/cast, the Helios 2 2wt/6' rod. It is spec'd as a mid flex rod, vs. the full flex Superfine's. That tells me it will be a little faster/stiffer so maybe that is another option.
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Old 07-18-2013, 05:48 AM
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Default Re: Small stream/backpacking rod?

If you're looking for a really small stream rod, then have a look at Scott's 6'0" Fiberglass 2 wt. I purchased one this Spring, paired it with a Hardy Flyweight reel, Rio DT2 line one of Joni's furled leaders. What a nice set up for smaller trout!

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Old 07-18-2013, 09:56 AM
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Default Re: Small stream/backpacking rod?

For a versatile backpacking rod I would pick a 7' 4-piece 4-weight. 7' is long enough to cover a wide variety of situations but short enough to work in close quarters. 4 pieces in 7' will break down into a reasonable compact package without impairing the rod action. A #4 outfit is light enough for delicate work close in but also heavy enough to be able to handle some wind and larger fish.

However, if breaking down into the smallest possible package for backpacking is an important concern, you might also look at the 6-piece Cabela's Stowaway 7'6" 4 weight (currently on sale for $99). It's longer on the stream but shorter in you pack than a 4-piece. Although I haven't tried it myself, I would guess that it wouldn't cast quite as well as a 4-piece because of the extra ferrules, but that may be less of a consideration for your purposes than the broken-down length.
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Old 07-18-2013, 10:51 AM
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Default Re: Small stream/backpacking rod?

I have the orvis frequent flyer 6 piece rods in 4 and 6 wt. Not a Scott G2, but packs small and fishes ok. Depends on your hiking effort versus fishing effort I guess. Personally, I am a Scott guy. Cabelas rods are lacking in my experience. Everything else kind of falls in the middle. Clear as mud? Ha ha. I like the Scott suggestion above for a small water rod. Lots of folks stalking tiny trout in Smoky Mtn streams here in NC employ such rods. Google SEFFF and post a question. You will get lots of good info to go with what you are getting here.



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Old 07-18-2013, 12:21 PM
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Default Re: Small stream/backpacking rod?

I have also found the shorter Cabelas rods to be WAY off in line weights as well. A buddy has a 5'6" "4"wt, it throws a 4 like garbage. Its a 6wt, 6wt line on it and you can hit 100' with it all day. its kinda silly ( and super stiff, no feeling in it at all )

I have a 7' 2 piece St Croix Avid and a 7' 4 piece Sage vantage, both in 3wt. They are equally super rods for small streams and packing. The Sage packs easier since its a 4 piece but they are so short and light it doesnt really bother me to bring either. I used a 6' 2 piece 2/3wt bamboo a friend built in the Smokies a couples falls ago and it was utterly stupendious.
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Old 07-18-2013, 03:29 PM
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Default Re: Small stream/backpacking rod?

There is certainly a time and place for short and light rods, and it sounds like you run into those more frequently then most. I think you are on the right track with the Orivis Superfine series. The 7'6" 3 wt would be ideal for what you are describing, but still long enough and stout enough as to not be a one trick pony.

If you feel the need to go shorter then 7'6" I would recommend fiberglass over graphite. The Scott F2 series that Pocono mentioned are fantastic rods, and the 7' 3wt is the standout in that line-up. If you have the cash a 7'9" 3wt Sage Circa would certainly put a smile on your face.If funds are tight, consider the discontinued Redington CT in the same size and weight as the Superfine.
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Old 07-18-2013, 06:19 PM
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Default Re: Small stream/backpacking rod?

Thanks for all the replies. That gives me some material to go off of.

I really like my 4wt Access. Before I got it I used my 6wt TLS for everything - with a WF trout line. When I got the 4wt Access I put WF trout line on it and the Titan Taper (SA) on the 6wt because I wanted to throw the bigger flies better. By doing that I split off the small nymphs and dries to the 4wt - and it works out very well. So, for a normal fishing rod the 4wt is where I'll go. Where it hits the "wall" is tight quarters, and my 6wt is worse off yet.

So I think where I am on bridging the "gap" is small dries and nymphs. I don't think the environments I will be in with the smaller rod would be lending themselves to fish more than 6", with most being 2-3".

The stream I crossed 3-4 times last weekend backpacking was about 30ft wide. That is a perfect example of environment - if I angle up stream and let the line/fly drift that may be a 40ft cast at most, with most casts being in the 20ft range. If I ever used the light weight/small rod on bigger water it would just be for the heck of it, because again - the 4wt I have takes the job. If I'm fishing for bigger bass, pike, catfish the 6wt is the tool for the job.

As to rod length broken down - doesn't matter to me, my 4 piece rods are plenty small enough. My 2 piece rods are too big, but I don't use them anymore anyway. What is a consideration there is the diameter of the rod case (what ever I get has to have a case - that's too big of a risk strapped to a backpack). If I could get something real thin that would be cool, but not a huge deal.

The Scott F2 series looks interesting. I see it is listed as a full-flex rod also. What is the difference between the fiberglass rods and graphite rods?
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Old 07-18-2013, 07:27 PM
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Default Re: Small stream/backpacking rod?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fireroad View Post
There is certainly a time and place for short and light rods, and it sounds like you run into those more frequently then most. I think you are on the right track with the Orivis Superfine series. The 7'6" 3 wt would be ideal for what you are describing, but still long enough and stout enough as to not be a one trick pony.
If you feel the need to go shorter then 7'6" I would recommend fiberglass over graphite. The Scott F2 series that Pocono mentioned are fantastic rods, and the 7' 3wt is the standout in that line-up. If you have the cash a 7'9" 3wt Sage Circa would certainly put a smile on your face.If funds are tight, consider the discontinued Redington CT in the same size and weight as the Superfine.
That was my first thought as well. Most of my backpacking is into high country lakes where my Scott G 9' 4wt, four piece excels. If I was thinking more about small streams I would take my 7'-6" 3 wt, Winston WT. I can't imagine it being too long for short work. If the stream is that small you can hide behind a rock or bush, reach over and just hang the fly off the end of the rod.

John
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Old 07-18-2013, 09:39 PM
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Default Re: Small stream/backpacking rod?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kc8qvo View Post
As to rod length broken down - doesn't matter to me, my 4 piece rods are plenty small enough. My 2 piece rods are too big, but I don't use them anymore anyway. What is a consideration there is the diameter of the rod case (what ever I get has to have a case - that's too big of a risk strapped to a backpack). If I could get something real thin that would be cool, but not a huge deal.
I wouldn't let the rod tube or case be too much of a deciding factor. A buddy of mine has built himself ultralight backpacking rod tubes out of thinwall pvc pipe you can get at Lowes or HD. You can do a google search for pvc rod tube designs and build one for a couple of bucks.
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