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Old 05-20-2008, 02:28 PM
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Default Long Rods and Woody Overgrowth

This is pretty much my final question before I plunk down the bucks on my first fly outfit.

If I am fishing in a small river that runs through a Michigan jungle (quite literally - I don't know how to better describe a river that has been swallowed by trees and brush), am I going to regret going with the highly-recommended 9 foot rod? Mind you, I currently spin fish with a 10.5' noodle rod and, while it is a pain in the butt sometimes, it certainly gets the job done.

Since fly fishing is a different animal than spin fishing, I am hesitant here. Maybe my goal of covering my needs with 2 rigs will turn into three (maybe a buttery 7 foot 4wt for the jungle fishing)? I think that I've answered my own question but would like confirmation from the ever-so-helpful residents here (seriously - very helpful - thanks).

Is the length of the rod a huge concern even after one develops some precision into their casting skill?

Mind you, I certainly expect to leverage multiple rigs in the future, as needed - I'm just trying to work that dreaded bang-buck equation into my initial purchase so that I can get some broad exposure to the sport in order to better make my own decisions in the future.
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Old 05-20-2008, 02:41 PM
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Default Re: Long Rods and Woody Overgrowth

I also have short 7' 6" 3-4wt 4pc rod for the jungle area's here in N Ark.
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Old 05-20-2008, 06:20 PM
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Default Re: Long Rods and Woody Overgrowth

Because they roll cast so much better, a long rod is sometimes better in heavily wooded streams. It varies quite a bit from one stream to the next though. I would also say that the longer rods are more likely to be most effective if you are wading rather than fishing from the bank.
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Old 05-20-2008, 06:52 PM
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Default Re: Long Rods and Woody Overgrowth

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Originally Posted by BigCliff View Post
Because they roll cast so much better, a long rod is sometimes better in heavily wooded streams.
That was one comment that I heard during my practice casts at various shops so it is good to hear it reinforced. Maybe this is one of those times that I should NOT "dare to be different" and just go with the "most popular" rod size so that I can figure out where I need to go equipment-wise.

Again - appreciate the comments. If the gear wasn't so dag-blasted beautiful in-and-of itself, this would be easy. But some of this stuff is pretty enough to hang in a museum.

And that is a really seductive from a financial perspective.
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Old 05-20-2008, 08:52 PM
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Default Re: Long Rods and Woody Overgrowth

Well, in your shoes, a 8'6" rod might be more ideal. I was just getting at the idea that a 7' rod is not always the way to go.
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Old 05-20-2008, 10:36 PM
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Default Re: Long Rods and Woody Overgrowth

I'll agree with Bigcliff on this one as well. I do have a 7'10" rod I use on small streams, but also have another 3wt that's 8'9" that I use from time to time. Roll casting is so much easier with a longer rod. Last summer, our guide took my 8'6" 5 wt away from me and had me use Debbie's 7' 4wt so she would have an easier time. Made all the difference in the world for her! Besides, if you're like the rest of us, you'll soon have more than one of those "purty" rods. I haven't really seen a rod that I haven't liked. There's some real beauties out there!

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Old 05-21-2008, 12:32 AM
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Default Re: Long Rods and Woody Overgrowth

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Originally Posted by philthy View Post
Besides, if you're like the rest of us, you'll soon have more than one of those "purty" rods. I haven't really seen a rod that I haven't liked. There's some real beauties out there!
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Old 05-21-2008, 05:56 AM
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Default Re: Long Rods and Woody Overgrowth

Who, me?

Of course, there's meetings you can attend. Trout Unlimited, at your local fly shop, etc. Glad I could help!
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Old 05-21-2008, 06:47 AM
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Default Re: Long Rods and Woody Overgrowth

A lot of years ago I got on a short rod "kick" when fishing some of the tight overgrown freestoners in western Pa. I found myself casting with my arm straight up almost---making the rod 2 ft longer and my arm being the butt section of the rod. The shortest rod I own now is an orvis far and fine that is 7'9". That is the rod I would take on an overgrown stream.

I find it a pain to work a long rod in some of the overgrown streams.
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Old 05-21-2008, 09:54 AM
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Default Re: Long Rods and Woody Overgrowth

Many of the guides in the Smokies find an 8' 4 weight is about perfect for most inexperienced anglers on small streams. I use a 6'6" fiberglass a lot on smaller water like the N. Branch of the Ausable, but I've been doing it for a while. You'll definitely do more flipping, dabbing, and dropping then casting on most small steams. I wouldn't go larger then an 8'6" though, you have to carry it through the woods to get to your small stream too.
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