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Old 09-27-2013, 11:40 AM
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Default Re: 5wt vs 6wt for first rod...

Based on what you shared, I'm voting for the 6 wt., with a but. The but is don't get a fast action rod. Look for a used Scott G2 or Winston WT 9' 6 wt. The extra flex makes smaller fish more fun and they are easier to cast than the fast broom sticks that dominate the field today. If the action is more than Medium Fast, keep looking.
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Old 09-27-2013, 12:19 PM
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Default Re: 5wt vs 6wt for first rod...

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Originally Posted by tx_newb View Post
So I guess the end question is would I be better off getting a 5wt and making due with it for lake fishing until I can afford another heavier rig, or getting something like a 6wt that probably isn't perfect for either but might be functional for both? And...as a beginner am I even going to be able to tell much of a difference between the two?
For he most part, it is six of one and half a dozen of the other. What's more important then the weight of the rod is if you are comfortable casting it. If the action of the rod feels good with what is comfortable casting stoke for you - it works. Given what you have described, I'd go with a medium to medium fast #6 and figure out form there what the next rod will be if there is going to be a next rod.

A #5 vs a #6 is irrelevant until you can control loop in the line while casting. A #6 can do a good job at soft, delicate presentation of very small, if not tiny, flies with the correct leader and good casting. Where as a #5 will be more easily over powered by a big bass. So, the question really comes down to 'How big are +75% of the fish you are going to be catching?"

The other way to look at it is how many hours will you be trout fishing and catching less the 16"-18" trout vs many hours will you be landing +16" trout and larger bass?

I'm a #3, #5, #7 guy:
7'6" #3 for tight spaces, small fish and delicate work
9' #5 for general stuff and long fine leaders for delicate stuff
9" #7 for big stuff (Nocturnal browns, river run smallies and LMB's)

It's a combination which works very well for me. If I get another rod, it will be a #9, probably 9' or 10' saltwater rod.

Your faced with a hard choice now, but with a year of experience it would be a different, easier decision.

Big thing is go cast some rods and find out what feels good when you are casting it.
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Old 09-27-2013, 01:10 PM
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Default Re: 5wt vs 6wt for first rod...

For my $.02, I'll vote for the 5wt rod, a 9 footer. It is slightly less versatile than the 6wt.....and I do mean slightly. I think you'll be undergunned with either for large bass. The 5wt will be lighter in the hand, and if you find a nice mid flex rod, it will be a pleasure to cast for a newbie (of course so would the 6wt). I know the feeling of wanting one "do-it-all" rod, but quite honestly, its a pipe-dream.
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Old 09-27-2013, 01:10 PM
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Default Re: 5wt vs 6wt for first rod...

I have to agree with the last in regards to finding the right rod model. I didn't mention this in my last post but ultimately the best thing would be for you to get to a shop and get your hands on a number of rods with different flex profiles. A lot of posts mentioned you should get a medium/medium fast rod. I think you should try all categories if possible including fast. I say this for a few reasons, first, noone can tell you what rod action is right for you, only you can make that choice after trying some rods, even then your lack of experience may make it difficult to actually know what rod flex you like. The medium/medium fast type rod is good because typically that translates to more line feel, and delicacy.

However, on the other side of that coin I would argue that a faster rod with a soft tip, such as loop opti-stream, orvis access tip flex or g.loomis streamdance GLX is easier to learn on, has more backbone to play larger fish such as bass, can throw larger flies with ease, yet still provides the ability for delicate dry-fly presentations.
When we do casting clinics here at the shop, 90% of participants learn the concept of load much quicker on a faster action rod. Those using more medium action rods tend to struggle more with the timing on the casting stroke. Also, the slower rods don't do well in the hands of a beginner when casting streamers or nymph rigs. I personally learned on a medium rod, but was fishing for small trout. If I was a newby and knew what I know now, I would have rather learned on a faster rod with a soft tip, but thats just me.

Again, after observing beginners learning to cast and fish, they almost always do better with the faster action rods. I should say, I don't think a beginner would do well on a fast high performance rod such as a sage one, sage method, loomis nrx, echo 3, scott radian or any other rod that sports a fast action and somewhat stiff tip, these are rods that require a seasoned hand and good understanding of cast timing. Anyway, I hope this helps, I know people will disagree with me but thats my opinion on the matter. AND remember, the best thing you can do is get some rods in your hands and try them yourself, because you may agree with the previous poster that mentioned a slower medium or medium-fast rod is the best to learn on, everyone is different. Good Luck
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Old 09-27-2013, 01:11 PM
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Default Re: 5wt vs 6wt for first rod...

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Originally Posted by mrfzx View Post
For my $.02, I'll vote for the 5wt rod, a 9 footer. It is slightly less versatile than the 6wt.....and I do mean slightly. I think you'll be undergunned with either for large bass. The 5wt will be lighter in the hand, and if you find a nice mid flex rod, it will be a pleasure to cast for a newbie (of course so would the 6wt). I know the feeling of wanting one "do-it-all" rod, but quite honestly, its a pipe-dream.
That's what I was trying to say earlier!!!
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Old 09-27-2013, 02:33 PM
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Default Re: 5wt vs 6wt for first rod...

My own recommendation would be to get a fairly fast action 9' 5 wt rod to start. It will work well for trout and can handle light bass OK (a fast action rod can throw a 6 or 7 wt line OK if you're not trying to chuck it 80', so you can still fish decent size flies). Since the bass in Texas are pretty good size, I think you will want a 7-8 wt pretty soon for bass, a 6 wt won't really do it for you if you tie into bigger fish in heavy cover. So to buy a 6 wt that isn't ideal for either trout or bass doesn't make a lot of sense for me, I think you'll regret it in the long run. My two cents, good luck.

Tom
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Old 09-27-2013, 02:51 PM
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Default Re: 5wt vs 6wt for first rod...

You all make some good points. Thanks for the help.
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Old 09-27-2013, 03:12 PM
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Default Re: 5wt vs 6wt for first rod...

TX...I assume you are just as uncertain now as when you first asked. There is no correct answer because one rod can't do it all. Your first rod is your learning tool and, when you get into it, more and better informed new rods will follow. Either a #5 or 6 is fine to learn with, if anything, the greater mass of the 6 gives more feedback and is easier to feel. Either will work trout fishing and for Crappie and I hear you have some fine smallmouth bass fishing in creeks in the Hill Country. Have fun with this wonderful sport and get yourself a casting lesson.
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Old 09-27-2013, 06:14 PM
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Default Re: 5wt vs 6wt for first rod...

I agree with sweetandsalt. Get one or the other, which ever feels best, and start casting and fishing. Only then will you figure out what suits you. I'm a 2,4,6 (soon 8) guy, mostly because I was given a 6 to start. That being said, I have a garage sale 5 that I really like. I guess my point is, you have to start somewhere.
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Old 09-27-2013, 08:18 PM
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Default Re: 5wt vs 6wt for first rod...

My go-to rod is a 9ft 5wt. because I live in 9ft 5wt country. Match the rod to the fishing you do most, I say.

That said, I think a good quality 6wt rod could work well for trout. You can only pull as hard as your rig will let you. Knot strength and hook size become the weak link in the chain here. Check the knot strength on 6x tippet- I can bust that with my 3wt.

I agree with those who reccommend the good quality, med-med fast, soft tip rods. Most folks are suprised at how hard you can pull on a 5wt, or how delicate you can be with a 6wt. If you want versatility(and who doesn't), don't cheap out!

CAB
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