The North American Fly Fishing Forum


Go Back   The North American Fly Fishing Forum > Tackle Talk > Fly Rods

Fly Rods Post any comments or questions regarding fly rods...

Like Tree2Likes

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 08-05-2014, 01:01 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Lansing, MI - Alaska again one day...
Posts: 20
kenaijoe is on a distinguished road
Default Two Rod Decision: Salmon/Steelies & SALT - 8wt?

Need:
  • a rod for Salmon/Steelhead in Michigan for this fall/winter
  • a rod for Salt water Ft. Laud/Keys/Miami area (never fished Salt)
  • a reel for each or both

Scenario:
I live in Michigan, lived in AK in past and "fly" fished for Salmon on the Kenai, Kasilof, etc..., but will be going for Salmon and Steelies for the first time this fall in Michigan. So, I am thinking I will probably get an 8wt, workhorse mid-priced rod, with a decent reel to match. (e.g. Allen Compass, TFO ???, Reddington ??? w/Allen Alpha or Sage Reel).

My in-laws also bought a place down in the Ft. Laud area and will be a 1/2hr from Miami, and around an hour to the Keys. Never fished Salt before, and really don't know what I will be getting into down there, but I am excited to try, explored and adventure. I want something versatile that wont limit me too much.

So the Question:

What would make the most sense? 2 rods, 2 reels? 1 rod 1 reel?
What would the ideal "package" be?

I know these questions always take more investigating, but I will need at least SOMETHING for each. I wouldn't want to spend over $400-$500 TOTAL. (Rods, Reels, Lines) I like to do things minimally, so less is more for me, but I also know that you often get what you pay for.

Point of Reference: When I was catching Salmon in AK with a fly rod, it was a cheap 7/8wt kit, that was probably $100/$150 max. (Dont even remember what it was, nothing name brand...)
Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 08-05-2014, 01:57 PM
dar dar is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Des Moines IA
Posts: 96
dar is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Two Rod Decision: Salmon/Steelies & SALT - 8wt?

I don't fish for salmon or steelhead, but I do fish for bass and occassionaly for northerns. I take the same 8wt that I use here in Central IA, when I go to the Florida Panhandle (Destin/Ft Walton Beach).

For the first couple of years I used the same reel and just spooled on a saltwater line. But then a couple of years ago I bought a reel just for saltwater. I wanted one with a sealed drag and large arbor. I chose the Orvis Access. But I am a big fan of Allen. I have one of their reels on my 5wt and believe that if I am ever in the market for another reel, they would be my first choice.

As far as rods go, you might want to check out Rise Fishing Co.risefishing.com/ I recently had the chance to cast both the Balance and Level series in an 8wt and was blown away with how they looked and cast. I wound up buying the Balance as a back up and because I wanted a med/fast action rod. But if I didn't already own a fast action 8wt I would have bought the Level. That thing will shoot some line!

Dave
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 08-06-2014, 11:47 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 34
tedwin183 is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Two Rod Decision: Salmon/Steelies & SALT - 8wt?

For salmon/steelhead, you'll want to put more money in the reel than the rod. Most of the Great Lakes runs don't require anything super specialized/expensive, so you're in luck!

This year, I am rolling into the king run in Wisconsin with a Sage Approach 9' 8wt, an Allen Kraken 3 (7-9wt) and an ordinary SA GPX taper (mainly because I'll be using this rod to throw to river pike and want to the ability to turn big flies over, but the GPX is certainly not necessary for the types of fishing you'll likely be doing). In your case, I'd take a look at the SA Steelhead line. Definitely looks promising.

Take a look at Allen's website right now. They are offering a 15% off coupon if you sign up for their email list. That 15% counts towards any online purchase. I ended up getting my Kraken for about $180 shipped. And it is NICE.
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 08-07-2014, 12:34 AM
Hardyreels's Avatar
Administrator
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
Posts: 11,440
Blog Entries: 69
Hardyreels has a reputation beyond reputeHardyreels has a reputation beyond reputeHardyreels has a reputation beyond reputeHardyreels has a reputation beyond reputeHardyreels has a reputation beyond reputeHardyreels has a reputation beyond reputeHardyreels has a reputation beyond reputeHardyreels has a reputation beyond reputeHardyreels has a reputation beyond reputeHardyreels has a reputation beyond reputeHardyreels has a reputation beyond repute
Send a message via Yahoo to Hardyreels Send a message via Skype™ to Hardyreels
Default Re: Two Rod Decision: Salmon/Steelies & SALT - 8wt?

Take a look at the Beulah Opal 2 hand Surf Rod: Beulah Fly Rods Opal Surf Fly Rods Beulah Fly Rods I had a talk with Steve Edie at Beulah and he assures me that this rod will preform overhead and Spey cast as well. His description lead me to believe the Opal line will be stronger than the Platinum series rods. I am going to pick up one of the Platinum rods but haven't zeroed in on the length yet. I'm thinking either an 11 foot Spey Switch or 13' 8" eight weight............ probably the long one
__________________
Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard

The Alaska Fishing & Outdoors Blog;
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 08-07-2014, 06:58 AM
sweetandsalt's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: -
Posts: 2,427
sweetandsalt has a brilliant futuresweetandsalt has a brilliant futuresweetandsalt has a brilliant futuresweetandsalt has a brilliant futuresweetandsalt has a brilliant futuresweetandsalt has a brilliant futuresweetandsalt has a brilliant futuresweetandsalt has a brilliant futuresweetandsalt has a brilliant futuresweetandsalt has a brilliant futuresweetandsalt has a brilliant future
Default Re: Two Rod Decision: Salmon/Steelies & SALT - 8wt?

In your learning curve situation you need not get too specialized. All the above product lines, Rise, Allan Beulah and I'll add Rajeff Sports, ECHO are good reasonably priced stuff. In S.E. Florida, besides Biscayne Bay and the Keys you also have the freshwater canal system teeming with all manor of fish including Peacock Bass (an Amazonian transplant) #8 or 9 weight is good all around in a 9' length. Though Great Lakes aficionados like 8-weights too, they tend to prefer longer rods, 9 1/2 to 10' single handers and longer, 11 1/2' switch rods. I would recommend erring on the short side, go with the 9'/#8 or 9 and using the same rod for both. If you become addicted, specialized gear will follow. Rise Level or ECHO3 with an Allen Kracken would be a cool outfit but you might want two separate fly lines.
ejsell and kenaijoe like this.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 08-07-2014, 07:32 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Boston, Mass.
Posts: 991
moucheur2003 is a jewel in the roughmoucheur2003 is a jewel in the roughmoucheur2003 is a jewel in the roughmoucheur2003 is a jewel in the rough
Default Re: Two Rod Decision: Salmon/Steelies & SALT - 8wt?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kenaijoe View Post
What would make the most sense? 2 rods, 2 reels? 1 rod 1 reel?
What would the ideal "package" be?

I know these questions always take more investigating, but I will need at least SOMETHING for each. I wouldn't want to spend over $400-$500 TOTAL. (Rods, Reels, Lines) I like to do things minimally, so less is more for me, but I also know that you often get what you pay for.

Point of Reference: When I was catching Salmon in AK with a fly rod, it was a cheap 7/8wt kit, that was probably $100/$150 max. (Dont even remember what it was, nothing name brand...)
If you want to spend no more than $500 on everything, one 9' 8 or 9 wt will cover both situations just fine. There are lots of mid-price options, but be sure the one you pick has some backbone for casting into the wind. At the low end you can get a 2-piece Redington Crosswater from Cabela's for $70. I have that one as a back-up and it's a perfectly nice rod, but you may like something else for a little more money.

Pair it with one reel and an extra spool. Load one spool with a long-belly WF line for salmon/steelies so you can mend well with a lot of line out (most of the brands offer a special "salmon/steelhead" or "distance" taper). Load the other with a tropical or all-purpose saltwater line. Ideally, both should also hold at least 150+ yd (200 is better, 100 might be too little) of 30 lb dacron backing. (I prefer 30 lb rather than 20 because there's less risk of losing a whole fly line along with a fish, but there's a trade-off between backing strength and reel capacity, so I've got 20 lb on some of my reels too. And remember, a long-belly line is going to take up more room on the spool than a standard line, so you will probably have less room for backing than the manufacturer's spec says.) As with rods, there are lots of mid-priced models that will do the job perfectly well. The better the reel you get, the less $ you will have left over for the rod, and vice versa. (Within your budget, if you're looking at the Allen reels I would suggest the excellent Alpha III rather than the even nicer Kraken to save a few bucks.)

Buying one rod rather than two, and an extra spool rather than a second reel, should help with your budget constraints and allow you to choose higher-quality gear. A tentative budget might be $150 for rod, plus $200 for reel and extra spool, plus $150 for 2 lines and backing, for a total of $500. If you're still having trouble staying within your budget, though, or if you find a higher-quality rod or reel that is worth the extra dough, you can save some $ by omitting the extra spool, and just switch lines on the reel when you switch between salt water and fresh.

Last edited by moucheur2003; 08-07-2014 at 08:05 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 08-07-2014, 09:21 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Lansing, MI - Alaska again one day...
Posts: 20
kenaijoe is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Two Rod Decision: Salmon/Steelies & SALT - 8wt?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tedwin183 View Post
For salmon/steelhead, you'll want to put more money in the reel than the rod. Most of the Great Lakes runs don't require anything super specialized/expensive, so you're in luck!

This year, I am rolling into the king run in Wisconsin with a Sage Approach 9' 8wt, an Allen Kraken 3 (7-9wt) and an ordinary SA GPX taper (mainly because I'll be using this rod to throw to river pike and want to the ability to turn big flies over, but the GPX is certainly not necessary for the types of fishing you'll likely be doing). In your case, I'd take a look at the SA Steelhead line. Definitely looks promising.

Take a look at Allen's website right now. They are offering a 15% off coupon if you sign up for their email list. That 15% counts towards any online purchase. I ended up getting my Kraken for about $180 shipped. And it is NICE.
The Allen Kraken is definitely #1 on my list right now. I just got a 5wt compass as a nice utility rod, and can't wait to fish it this weekend.

I figured the reel would be important, although, I learned to fly fish on a $20 reel in Alaska catching Reds and Silvers, so anything would be an upgrade. I was just wondering if I spent the money on the Kraken (already used the 15% discount on the compass) if I could then get 1 rod that could do both Salmon and whatever Salt stuff I did in the Keys/Florida... I just dont know what to expect down there. If you took that out of the equation, I wouldnt even hesitate to go get something for Michigan. It would be Kraken, and some $150-200 rod to compliment it.
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 08-07-2014, 09:48 AM
jaybo41's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: On a trout stream/Suburban Pittsburgh
Posts: 2,520
Blog Entries: 1
jaybo41 has a reputation beyond reputejaybo41 has a reputation beyond reputejaybo41 has a reputation beyond reputejaybo41 has a reputation beyond reputejaybo41 has a reputation beyond reputejaybo41 has a reputation beyond reputejaybo41 has a reputation beyond reputejaybo41 has a reputation beyond reputejaybo41 has a reputation beyond reputejaybo41 has a reputation beyond reputejaybo41 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Two Rod Decision: Salmon/Steelies & SALT - 8wt?

For whatever it's worth to you, I fished a Redington Predator, in I believe a 990 configuration, last fall for Kings in Michigan. The rod performed well and for the price point, it seemed like a nice rod to fish with. Some of those Kings last year were real bruisers so I appreciated having a 9wt to fish with. I've also heard this year's kings are on the large side too.
__________________
~*~Leave only your footprints~*~
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 08-07-2014, 09:52 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Lansing, MI - Alaska again one day...
Posts: 20
kenaijoe is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Two Rod Decision: Salmon/Steelies & SALT - 8wt?

Quote:
Originally Posted by moucheur2003 View Post

Buying one rod rather than two, and an extra spool rather than a second reel, should help with your budget constraints and allow you to choose higher-quality gear. A tentative budget might be $150 for rod, plus $200 for reel and extra spool, plus $150 for 2 lines and backing, for a total of $500. If you're still having trouble staying within your budget, though, or if you find a higher-quality rod or reel that is worth the extra dough, you can save some $ by omitting the extra spool, and just switch lines on the reel when you switch between salt water and fresh.
Thoughts on the rod being Salt specific?

Rise Level Salt/TFO Clouser/Cabela's etc...
vs.
BVK/Imperial type rod...?

I am thinking that if I spent
$200 Reel (Kraken)
$250 on Rod... (even if that puts me ULTIMATELY over, I could buy one line set up now, and the salt one later when it comes time to fish there...)

Or does it make more sense to do:

$150 reel (Alpha III, Lamson, Sage)
$270-300ish on Rod? (Sage Approach, Echo3, Scott A3)
Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old 08-07-2014, 03:50 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 34
tedwin183 is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Two Rod Decision: Salmon/Steelies & SALT - 8wt?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kenaijoe View Post
Thoughts on the rod being Salt specific?

Rise Level Salt/TFO Clouser/Cabela's etc...
vs.
BVK/Imperial type rod...?

I am thinking that if I spent
$200 Reel (Kraken)
$250 on Rod... (even if that puts me ULTIMATELY over, I could buy one line set up now, and the salt one later when it comes time to fish there...)

Or does it make more sense to do:

$150 reel (Alpha III, Lamson, Sage)
$270-300ish on Rod? (Sage Approach, Echo3, Scott A3)
I own a BVK in 7 wt that I might take out for steelhead once or twice, but is currently set up as my smallmouth rod. As far as pure casting performance, the BVK is very hard to beat at any price point. I know there are a lot of TFO-haters out there, but I honestly haven't heard too many complaints about the BVK from anyone, and many of the rod shootouts online have the 8 wt BVK in their top 2-3 overall performing rods, at any price point. And it's true; it flat out performs like a rod 2-3x as expensive. The main concern I'd have with one as a kings/steelhead rod is it has NO lifting power. The tip is very soft and provides very accurate short casts, but has the mid and butt section to rip out 100' casts too - perfect for the salt applications you're wanting to explore. It really is a special rod. If you have a suitable net, I'd definitely consider a BVK in an 8 wt. It would suck if it broke, but a $25 lifetime rod replacement warranty that usually gets settled in a week definitely eases that worry for me. For a rod that could handle both salmon and salt duties, I'd look no further than the BVK 8 wt.

A Kraken size 3/BVK 8 wt would be a Ferrari setup on a Chevy budget. For $35 more, you can get into a Sage Approach, which is a very respectable rod, and has much more lifting power than the BVK, but nowhere near the mid-to-long range performance. In fact, it's sometimes hard for me NOT to tuck cast my BVK. The power and line speed that rod gets is simply astonishing. I purchased the Approach 8 wt for my Great Lakes setup mainly because I got an incredible deal on it (i.e. cheaper than I could get the BVK for). Had I not gotten it for what I did, I'd have gone with the BVK, no question. The Imperial is also a good, durable rod, and is priced just under the BVK.

I'd say order the Kraken size 3 now (they do run out of stock fairly often) and work out the rod after. The Alpha III is a very solid alternative if you don't want to drop the coin on the Kraken. Replacement spools for the Alpha are cheaper too, incase you wanted a spool of Amnesia for chuck-n-duck.

The Lamson is also an exceptional performance reel, it's just ugly, IMHO. However, it's fish-stopping power is undeniable; great choice for Salmon/Steelhead. Also, they're on sale right now a lot of places (can find a 3.5 for about $125 online. Try Driftlessangler.com, Cabelas.com, etc.). The Konic II 3.5 is slightly lighter than the Kraken size 3, if that matters to you.

If it were me(it was a short time ago), I'd be doing some combination of the following:

Rod:

TFO BVK 8 wt
Sage Approach 8 wt
St. Croix Imperial 8 wt


Reel:

Allen Kraken size 3
Allen Alpha III size 3
Lamson Konic II size 3.5

Line:

SA GPX or SA Steelhead (I'd go with the GPX if you're trying to pull salt and salmon duty with the same line).

Cheapest setup (Imperial + sale Lamson + line) ~ $450
Costliest setup ( Sage Approach + Kraken + line) ~$570
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Look out steelies, here i come! bhflyfisher Coldwater Fly Fishing 2 12-19-2010 07:25 AM
Help with new rod decision evans1010 Fly Rods 5 06-14-2010 09:34 AM
Tax Day Steelies... HuronRiverDan Coldwater Fly Fishing 5 04-17-2010 11:18 AM
Steelies 4/9/10 GeorgeMcFly Coldwater Fly Fishing 9 04-12-2010 10:03 PM
3/20 more steelies! GeorgeMcFly Coldwater Fly Fishing 10 03-22-2009 06:12 PM













All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:17 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
2005-2014 The North American Fly Fishing Forum. All rights reserved.