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Old 08-26-2013, 09:40 AM
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Default Re: Need a new rod

Yes, welcome to the forum! I would start off by telling you to go a little longer than 7-8 feet if your primary fishing techniques are dry-dropper and short-line/straight-line nymphing techniques. I would step it up to at least 8'6". Now you say spring creeks, are they very tight with shrubbery choking the banks? Would you say less than 30ft accross? The longer rod will give you better line control and mending capabilty which is paramount when using nymphing strategies. In a lot of cases an 8'6" can get into tight casting situations, that 6" reduction from a 9' rod really makes a difference. However, if your creeks are crazy tight than step it down to 8'. If it was me, I would'nt go below 8' no matter what, if the stream is too tight to backcast than I would use single hand spey or roll casting techniques instead of shortening the rod down to 7'-7'6", but thats just me.

The rods. Based on what you described, you will need some backbone in the rod to handle those heavier rigs, if you could step your price range up to $200, I can think of a few rods that may suit your needs. 1st I would recommend the Orvis Clearwater, maybe an 8'6" 4 weight, I will describe this rod in laymans terms; this rod is what we would call "medium-fast" it has enough backbone to handle those nymph rigs, yet is also delicate enough to present a dry fly nicely, very good "all-rounder" @ $198, hard rod to beat at this price point.
2nd I would suggest the TFO professional, this rod is in a similar price range, even a little less than the clearwater. Another decent "all-rounder" however, it doesn't have quite as much backbone as the clearwater, its a bit softer/slower action, so it won't cast those nymph rigs with as much authority, yet still a good choice.
3rd I would suggest the St. Croix imperial, This rod will be better suited for nymphing than the TFO, but wouldn't be as good an "all-rounder" as the clearwater, also the blank is not as smooth casting IMO. But this would make a good nympher at this low price point, in a 8'6" or 9' 4 weight.
Another thing I would like to mention to you is deciding line weight. Line weight is more synonomus with the size and weight of the flies you're throwing, instead of the size of the fish your catching. I say this because a 4 weight may be a bit light to handle those nymph rigs of yours, a 5 weight would handle them with more authority. I would'nt worry so much about being "over-gunned" with a 5 weight. Still, I don't know what rivers or what conditions your fishing so my suggestions are based on what I know about your requirements. Also, at the end of the day you should get various rods your intersted in, in your hands a fly shop and test cast them to find which feels best to you. Anyway, good luck on your purchase, and welcome to the forum!
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Old 09-19-2013, 07:51 AM
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Default Re: Need a new rod

The Echo Rods are unbelievable for the price point and there are a few discounted on ebay right now.
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Old 09-26-2013, 06:46 AM
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Default Re: Need a new rod

I agree with the folks suggesting an 8ft 4wt over a 7'6". The extra 6 in makes a big difference in line control and mending.

I'm a big fan of St. Croix, but the model you want is the Avid and not the Imperial. The Avid is a true moderate action like the Redington CT and a real pleasure to cast. Up until the last year or so it was available in an 8ft 4wt 4 pc, but for whatever reason they have changed to a 7'9" 4 pc 4wt. I suspect it is still a sweet rod and a good fit for you. You will have to find a used one to stay in your budget

The Redington CT is back this fall, and I don't' think you can go wrong with their 8ft 4wt. I have not cast one personally, but I suspect it would edge out the Avid it most peoples hands.

If you budget was a bit higher one of your best choices would be the Sage ZXL 8ft 4wt....but a used one would run you almost $350. IMO the discontinued Sage Vantage is roughly 85% of the ZXL (I own both). Where the Vantage falls short is reserve power to go the distance in windy conditions, something you aren't worried about. With a little searching you should be able to find one in your budget.
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