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Old 04-07-2014, 11:37 AM
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Default Question regarding oversize rod for smaller flies?

What are the drawbacks for utilizing an oversize rod for smaller flies? I was asked this question by a friend and I actually didn't have a good answer other than one would be utilizing a rod that would take some of the enjoyment out of reeling in smaller fish.

I understand matching line sizes with rod sizes, over-lining, under-lining, etc. I have fly rods in a variety of weights to be utilized based on the fish I am targeting and the water I am fishing; so, I'm not asking about that.

When people ask me, here in MT, for my recommendation for a one-size, all around rod I usually suggest a 5 weight. However, I know someone who uses a 7 weight for everything and I'll be darned if he can't case a size 20 fly better with that thing than I can with my 5 weight.

So, back to my original question, other than the answer I provided above, what are the drawbacks for using a 7 weight or 8 weight rod to case small flies? Heck, my friend says that it is easier for him to cast small flies with the 7 weight rod than it is when he uses a 4 or 5 weight.
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Old 04-07-2014, 12:06 PM
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Default Re: Question regarding oversize rod for smaller flies?

I've used my 6wt to cast pretty small stuff and it works just fine. I am sure to use an appropriate leader / tippet set up for the small flies. Need to taper it down well so the tippet / fly don't slap down on the water too hard. In some places small flies and yield large fish.
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Old 04-07-2014, 12:22 PM
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Default Re: Question regarding oversize rod for smaller flies?

Small flies--like how small? I fish #16 & #18's on occasion with a 7wt rod for GL Steelhead and don't find that too much rod for the flies at all. More important that rod provides a good balance of being able to feel the fish and giving me enough power to get it to hand without working over the fish too badly.

It sort of makes sense that a rod with a heavier line weight is easier to cast, there is more mass there so casting may be easier as he describes. Having said this, it could also have to do with what line he has paired with the rods. Sometimes a mismatch of line makes it harder to get line out there as you've alluded to in your comments regarding over/underlining. The rod's action & brand are a variable to consider that could be impacting the ability to cast with a 4 or 5. Then again, so is comfort level and skill.

I'm in agreement, that too much rod for smaller fish can lessen the enjoyment to some of us. Another thought is that a heavier line may create more drag or be more likely to spook fish on some waters, like spring creeks. On the other hand, a long leader can help to lessen the spook factor. It's not necessarily the tool, but the angler. If he's comfortable with a 7, go for it.

For years, anglers fished with one rod and that did the trick just fine. Marketing has got the best of us and suggests that we "need" rods for various scenarios. I own way more rods/reels than I'd need in a couple of lifetimes, I know I could easily pair down my lineup but collecting and fishing with variety is fun!
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Old 04-07-2014, 01:48 PM
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Default Re: Question regarding oversize rod for smaller flies?

Jay and Will both have good points that agree with. The main reason I like a larger rod is when it's windy I can still fish. Your in Montana I don't have to tell you that most days it's windy. With you and your friend side by side on a windy day he will have a lot less trouble with wind. I personally like a 6 weight rod/line and will carry an extra spool with a 7 weight line when fishing in Montana. Now in Cali I use a 4-5 rod most of the time the fish are smaller. In Montana you have alligator size browns and rainbows like submarines if you hook one a seven will be a better choice for fighting fish not needed but and advantage over a 5 weight rod. I think windy conditions are the main reason for a larger rod if your line and leader are correct any small fly can be fished with a 7 rod.
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Old 04-07-2014, 02:27 PM
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Default Re: Question regarding oversize rod for smaller flies?

I am interested in this thread. I have really struggled in the past if fishing just a size 20 dry using my Z-axis with WF4F GPX line. I tend to struggle with what I call rebound, almost to much line speed where as the leader turns over it "rebound" and I end up with a wad of leader stacked up on the water. Or I sissy cast it to much to compensate and then the leader doesn't turn over at all.

I will be trying my Zaxis with RIO Gold this year to see if that helps
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Old 04-07-2014, 02:33 PM
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Default Re: Question regarding oversize rod for smaller flies?

Heavy fly lines cast everything more easily and with less effort than light lines. I think that's just fact -- not really up for debate.

I enjoy light tackle, but always carry something heavier for just the reason you mentioned -- I can still fish if wind gets heavy.

Actually, I love my TFO finesse 389 for trout and bluegill, but I usually carry my 9' 8-weight in the truck with it....because in the event that I really need a heavier rod for strong wind...the 8-weight honestly isn't too much (even though about 99% of people will tell you that it is).

And yes, I've fished several times with just the 8-weight and with #14-18 flies. It works fine.....honestly, there's not much real disadvantage other than "less fun playing the fish" which is nonsense to me, and lack of "buffer" to protect light tippet like 6-7x.

I fish the finesse 389 because I enjoy light tackle, not so much because of the advantages of using it.
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Old 04-07-2014, 02:34 PM
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Default Re: Question regarding oversize rod for smaller flies?

The main thing is line slap. I can cast a size 20 fly a country mile with my 8-wt. That said the line is a lot heavier. When a size 8 line hits the water it hits with a lot more force than my size 3. The bass I fish for don't mind, but small stream trout might get spooked.
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Old 04-07-2014, 02:36 PM
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Default Re: Question regarding oversize rod for smaller flies?

Quote:
Originally Posted by comeonavs View Post
I am interested in this thread. I have really struggled in the past if fishing just a size 20 dry using my Z-axis with WF4F GPX line. I tend to struggle with what I call rebound, almost to much line speed where as the leader turns over it "rebound" and I end up with a wad of leader stacked up on the water. Or I sissy cast it to much to compensate and then the leader doesn't turn over at all.

I will be trying my Zaxis with RIO Gold this year to see if that helps
Both of the casts you describe would probably make a good dry fly presentation .
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Old 04-07-2014, 06:32 PM
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Default Re: Question regarding oversize rod for smaller flies?

We fish atlantic salmon with 8-9wt lines using size 16 and sometimes smaller flies. There is no lost feel for the fish and the flies land nice and gently.
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Old 04-08-2014, 12:28 AM
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Default Re: Question regarding oversize rod for smaller flies?

When I started fly fishing a seven weight double taper was the standard trout rod, an eight weight for heavy trout and Bass. For 25 years I had two rods, a lightweight six weight Silaflex and an eight weight Fenwick. I left the Silaflex with my Dad for 20 years, but kept the eight weight with me. I fished with that eight weight in Montana for many years until I finally got a five weight graphite rod in 91.

I caught lots of cutthroat and Bull Trout with that rod over the years and didn't feel like I was over-gunned or spooking fish, it's just the rod I had and it worked fine. Now I have rods from three weight to that old Fenwick eight wt. I think graphite changed the formula somewhat, but a six weight line is still a six and should turn over a long leader just fine.

John
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