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Old 02-25-2009, 01:23 AM
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Default Help me decide.....not what you think.

So here is another help me decide thread. However here is the twist.....I already know what rod I am getting I just need your help deciding what rod WEIGHT to get.

Here are my thoughts.

I initially wanted to get a 5 wt. (the rod btw is the new Sage Flight....cast one, it feels just like the Z at half the price). I fish mostly for trout and like a 5 as my all-arounder.

Here is what I have now.

3 wt. Cabelas 3 forks
4 wt. St. Croix Avid (love this rod)
5 wt. Cortland beginner combo rod (don't use it)
5 wt. Albright A-5

I like my Albright, but it just doesn't have the fast action and premium feel that I get with the Flight. If I got the Flight in 5 I know it would be my go to rod and I would use it all the time, pulling out the Albright when I wanted to slow things down a little bit.

The guy at the shop thinks I should get a 7. I could use it on windy days and to chuck streamers, even do some bass fishing and light Steelheading with it. Which makes me think, if a 7, then why not an 8? Bass/Steelhead/Redfish (I have family I see every few years in N.O.)

Then I come back to maybe a 6wt. For some reason I like using lighter tackle, but if I got a 6 would I still use it as my everyday rod? Would I only pull it out when the wind was up?

Is 5 the best choice cause it is what I fish the most? I don't know. I know this is all personal preference, everyone is different, blah, blah, blah.....
I just wanted to hear some other opinions and see what you guys and gals had to say!
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Old 02-25-2009, 07:41 AM
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Default Re: Help me decide.....not what you think.

I was using all 5wts until a few years ago, and bought a 6 wt for smallmouth.
That became my main rod until I dropped it over the side of my canoe (20'
of lake water). I fished my 4 and 5 wts for a while, and then bought another
6wt. It once again became my main rod, but I sold it (?!?!?!?). Back to the
5wt's again, but they just never cut it on the windy lake I so often fish. I
bought a Sage ZXL in 6wt, and BAM!!! My wife loves the rod, and
I think it casts as gently as a 5wt; maybe more depending on the other rod.

I bought a 9' 5wt Sage Z-Axis a few weeks ago, and thought it didn't live up
to the hype. I returned it for a 6wt Z-Axis, took it out on the lake, and thought I had found THE PERFECT ROD: accuracy was incredible,
distance was incredible, close in casting was phenomenal, sensitivity was
great. I was grinning from ear to ear that afternoon. When I was wiping down
the rod that evening, I noticed that they had given me a 6wt tube, but the
rod was a 5wt Z-Axis! I was using a 6wt GPX line. That was a bummer, but
I had read that the Z-Axis doesn't like to be pushed to hard: casting off the
tip and all that. I went back out the next day with the Z-Axis and a 5wt line,
and adjusted my casting stroke. It was even better than the day before.
I might just keep this rod, since I have the ZXL as a 6wt.

I hope that makes the issue more confusing . Seriously, it's a tough
call with these rods. The 5wt Z-Axis was 100% capable of throwing a 6wt
line, and felt very much like the 6wt ZXL when up-lined. It was also a sports
car with a 5wt line. I think the problem I had originally was the "Fast" label.
I had always pushed fast rods, but the Z-Axis likes to do its own work.

Having said all that, I read an interview with Tom Morgan last week. He likes
4 and 6 wt rods, but acknowledges that 5 is the Eastern standard. Since you
mentioned 7wt, Tom says skip that and go to 8. I have a 7, but never use it.

P.S. Buy one of each from Cabelas, etc, and then fish them. When you find the weight you prefer,
return them both, and then support your local shop . Maybe your local shop will let you try the out
for a day.....
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Old 02-25-2009, 10:04 AM
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Default Re: Help me decide.....not what you think.

My feeling is to get the best rod, for what you'll fish the most. If a 5 or 6 wt will be that, don't get the 7 wt. Overall weight is another concern. I have a 4, 6 and 8 wt. The 8 wt rarely gets used because I don't like the extra weight. I've used my 6 wt more for steelhead than the 8. The reel is also much bigger (heavier). I use my 4 wt the most, fishing in Pa and Ohio. The only downside is the 4 wt struggles with bigger, heavier flies.
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Old 02-25-2009, 10:24 AM
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Default Re: Help me decide.....not what you think.

I would say if a 5wt. is your favorite rod to use then your favorite rod should be the best one you have, as you stated everyone will have a different opinion so it matters most what you like. Personally I myself really like using a 5 wt but I had the debate on whether to get a 6wt once, maybe help with wind and bigger flies, as I had a 5 wt already. I find the 5 wt. does everything I want except throw big streamers but since I don't use big streamers then its not a problem. In the end I got another 5 wt and have never touched my other 5wt since as the new one has better feel to it and since I like to use a 5wt then it makes sense for me to have one I really like to use. I will probably sell the other one and either get a 3 or 8 wt depending on what I will want to fish, small streams or salmon. So there is an option maybe, if your willing to, sell your Albright if you find yourself not using it and buy a 7 or 8 for other fishing situations this would give a good array of rods as you already have a 3 and a 4 and the one you use most will be your favorite. As well does your 5wt suit your current fishing situations and what species do you fish most that could have an affect on your choice as well especially if you are going to get into steelheading. Yeah and personally if you go 7 maybe go to an 8 instead but hey I am no expert. In the end maybe try out the other weights at the shop and see if you like using them.

I guess that is a lot of what I think. In the end though I hope this in some way helps you decide. Just think about it and look at what people have to say and then hopefully with the combined information you get you can make a decision that you will be happy with.

Jeff
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Old 02-25-2009, 01:37 PM
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Default Re: Help me decide.....not what you think.

I think a big question is how well you like your current 5wt. If you're happy with it as your primary rod, I wouldn't see any reason to go to something else. If you're not happy with it, or just think you could do better, that might change the thinking.

I'd tend to go broad. If I were to get something new, I'd go with something that would give me another option, even if I used it less than my primary rods.
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Old 02-25-2009, 05:13 PM
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Default Re: Help me decide.....not what you think.

Just wanted to tell people that I really appreciate these responses. It is exactly the type of info/opinions I am looking for. Keep em coming!
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Old 02-25-2009, 05:47 PM
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Default Re: Help me decide.....not what you think.

The newer rods are so much lighter than the "older models" that a 6 wt feels
like an old 4 wt, to me at least. Fished an 8 1/2' 2 piece 6 wt for years that weighs in at 3.2oz. Recently I decided to buy a 4pc for Airline travel & ended up with a 9 ft, 6 wt that weighs in at just 3 tenths of an oz
more than the 8.5' 2pc rod. Same manufacturer but newer technology. Small dries & nymphs to large streamers, the 6 handled them all with no problem. Because of the weight reduction the newer technology brings, IMHO the all around rod just might reverse the trend & become the 6 wt, depending upon what you are fishing for & the expected conditions.
Heartily agree with other posters, buy what YOU like & will enjoy using.
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Old 02-25-2009, 07:34 PM
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Default Re: Help me decide.....not what you think.

Gary Borger prefers 6wts for trout in this excellent video series: CLICK HERE I don't know when these videos were taken, but I'm guessing
20+ years ago. Pretty cool stuff.....

I had a chance to fish the 5wt Z-Axis again this afternoon, and I really like
it. I tied a #10 wooly bugger to a 9' 4X knotless leader (I strongly prefer my
own knotted leaders, but this was a test), and this rod just wants to shoot
line! The lake was mostly covered with the thinnest layer of ice, but there
were many large pools that were ice-free. Reaching these spots required
a long, but delicate cast. A gentle double haul sent line flying so hard, it
nearly pulled the rod out my hand! Short casts with 15 feet of fly line out
were precise and easy. Sooooo.....I like this rod with a 5wt line and a 6wt
line. I haven't had the chance to try a 6wt Z-Axis, but I might just keep this.
Actually, I have to drive it back, and get the right tube!
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Old 02-25-2009, 09:20 PM
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Default Re: Help me decide.....not what you think.

I have a 4, two 4/5s, two 5s, one 5/6, one 6, two 7s, and one 8. I recently narrowed down my "users" to the 8ft 4 wt (panfish and smaller-water trout), the 10 ft 5 wt (nymphing and wet flies for large water trout) the 8 ft 6 wt (smallmouth and streamers for trout) and the 8.5 ft 7 wt (larger streamers and bass poppers).

I haven't used the 8 wt in over 15 years.

Just two years ago my "favorite" rod was an 8.5 ft 5/6 weight; now it will be a backup trout rod or panfish on windy days.

The 8 ft 6 weight is probably the most versatile; it can through bass poppers on a WF-7-F line, yet it's light enough for good sport for panfish and small trout with nypmphs or small poppers.

So, buy whatever you want, and I'd love to take over your Albright A-5. I was seriously thinking of buying one, but since theyr enow direct only, I couldn't find a place to try before I buy.
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Old 02-25-2009, 09:30 PM
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Default Re: Help me decide.....not what you think.

Dorian, if someone told you to get the 7w you're not shopping at Jimmy's. Probably at SW right?
7w rods are the red headed step child of fly rod weights in graphite in my "humble" opinion. Glass is another story.
6w is all you need where you're fishing. Or even the 5w. Hell I've used 5w's for years at Henry's and Daniels and only this past year started to use a 6w. Cast the 5w and the 6 with the reel you'll probably use and get some good like. There might be a difference between the 5 & 6w after you cast them.
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