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Old 05-11-2008, 03:56 PM
Join Date: May 2008
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Default Proverbial Newbie Rod Selection for Michigan

This is my first post here. However, this is no indication of my addiction to fishing and the general outdoors. I do lots of fishing and I would like to move into fly fishing. I expect to be fly fishing for the rest of my healthy life.

As I have already squandered a good deal of money on my other fishing ventures, I am hoping - with proper guidance - to increase my bang for buck. I realize that this is frowned upon for various reasons both real and imaginary. But, in the face of limited financing, hopeless addiction and an appreciation of quality, I would like to see what is possible.

Basically, I'm trying to figure out what will allow me to cover most of the gamut that I have available here in Michigan. I will say right off the bat that I already realize that I won't be banking 30 pound salmon with the same rod that I'll be using for panfish.

To the point:

Primary duty is going to be rainbow and brown trout in small/medium-size rivers (Rifle, Au Sable, Pere Marquette, etc). Secondary duty could possibly be land-locked Eagle Lake strain rainbows (3-5 pound lunkers) and land-locked atlantic salmon, which appear to be having success in limited areas.

I'm wondering if a 6 weight rod would cover this and also provide guarded duty as a Huron-tributary steelhead rod. Most of the Huron tributary steel are in the 5-8 pound range in recent years, with the biggest not much over 10.

Am I dreaming here? A friend of mine picked up one of these Eagle Lake strain trout that were stocked in what seemed like a very small lake (apparently, spring fed and quite deep) and it was 27 inches. After we went out one morning (with conventional spin gear) to fish the sunrise, we became quite frustrated with all the fish eating flies for breakfast - in the middle of the lake.

It would be nice if someone could confirm that I can put my hands on a 6wt that will also allow for some reasonably delicate presentation on a smaller river. Right now, I am thinking that I might be better off with a 4wt for the rivers and save up for a 7wt for steelehead/salmon and those Eagle Lake monsters.

But someone mentioned to me that rod technology has come a long way and a quality, modern 6wt will provide accuracy that is nearly on par with the lighter rods.

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Old 05-11-2008, 06:19 PM
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Location: Lorain, Ohio
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Default Re: Proverbial Newbie Rod Selection for Michigan


id be looking at 2 rods---the 4 or 5 for stream trout and maybe even bumping up to an 8 because of the salmon---most people fish steelhead with a 7wt in ohio and pa but we do get a stray salmon in the fall that really makes things interesting on a 7wt

i took a 6wt down the AuSable's "holy water" on a 8 hr fish for trout and regretted it---but throwing big streamers down below Mio a 6wt would be my first choice
"something is happening here but i dont know what it is"---dylan
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Old 05-11-2008, 07:24 PM
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Default Re: Proverbial Newbie Rod Selection for Michigan

If I was going to pick a dry fly rod for the Holy Water it would probably an 8' 4 weight. For throwing streamers on big water I would want something bigger then a size 6 (a SW 7?) especially if a 200 grain head or wind was involved (both common on Cummins to Mio). If I was looking for one rod for both, and a great all around MI trout rod, I would go with an 8 1/2 or 9' five weight. You could throw mid sized streamers and maybe a hex or mouse. With the right reel you probably would be OK with the Landlocks and Bigger Rainbows. I handled smaller stream Alaskan Rainbows with a 9' 5 weight just fine this summer. As far as brands, I would look at Cortlands new Big Sky and Brook ( I work for them), TFO, and St. Croix (I've heard good things about them too). All are under 230$, good news for a newbie. I regularly fish the Big Sky 9' 5 and it is a nice medium fast action, not so fast you can't feel it load, and soft enough to protect a 5 or 6X tippet, and put a fly down softly. The Brook is more of a small stream rod (made for the holy waters) and a real smooth casting rod.

Cortland - Fly Rods
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Old 05-11-2008, 10:02 PM
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Default Re: Proverbial Newbie Rod Selection for Michigan

I would say a good tough 5/6 wt will cover everything except Salmon, at least it has for me
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