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Old 06-08-2013, 12:46 PM
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Question rod selection for first time salmon/steelhead fishing

Hey folks,
so i was recently invited to go salmon fishing for the next fall run on the Lower American River in Sacramento,Ca (sailor bar park specifically). now i've only been flyfishing for maybe a year, but i was wondering if i should stick to a single handed rod (considering the Redington Pursuit 9ft 9wt outfit) or will a switch or spey rod be in order. i am on a budget, being a student lol but if i must i can probably squeeze out $200-300.
also, for anyone thats fished the American, what do you think is an appropriate fly selection
-Thanks, Ryu
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Old 06-08-2013, 06:05 PM
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Default Re: rod selection for first time salmon/steelhead fishing

I use a full wells/mini fighting butt on my Orvis 8 & 9wt Helios rod. I fish them each season, up to 25lbs on the Lake Michigan rivers I fish.

Works good for me.

Orvis helios Link

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Old 06-08-2013, 09:06 PM
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Default Re: rod selection for first time salmon/steelhead fishing

If you want one rod to fish the American River for steelhead, salmon, and stripers (hint, hint), get an eight weight. I won't give you specifics on rod recommendations since there are three fly shops plus an Orvis that you can visit.

As for switch versus single, my choice on that would depend if I was looking to learn how to cast two handed. Personally if I wanted to learn two handed rod fishing, I would fish a full length model. Actually I do.

As for flies, a lot of people targeting salmon and steelhead use egg sucking leeches and glow bugs. For steelhead, drifting nymphs can be effective.

Again, you can get valuable information from the three fly shops and the Orvis on fly selection.

Dennis

PS: You can effectively fish California with two rods: a five and an eight. If you want to specialize in creeks, add a three weight.
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Old 06-08-2013, 09:07 PM
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Default Re: rod selection for first time salmon/steelhead fishing

Any good single handed 9' 8 or 9 weight should do the trick, and if it's your first one, it will be more useful in more situations than a switch or a spey. You should be able to get a very good but not top-of-the-line one for $200 or less, especially if you shop around for closeout and clearance sales. In fact, flyshopcloseouts.com is currently listing the discontinued 4 peice 9' 8 weight TFO Pro Series rod for $112. (TFO rods come in a sock but not a tube, so if you want a tube you'll have to buy one separately for $20-30. Still a terrific value.)
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Old 06-08-2013, 10:39 PM
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Default Re: rod selection for first time salmon/steelhead fishing

sweet thanks for the tips guys, i think ill be going for a single handed 8 wt. i suppose i should get better at singlehanded before i jump to a double handed rod
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Old 06-09-2013, 09:03 AM
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Default Re: rod selection for first time salmon/steelhead fishing

Just receive my rod for my NY trip, a Redington Voyant 10' 7 wt (maybe a 8or 9 wt is better for Sacramento)

Very good med/fast action, and lightweight
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Old 06-09-2013, 01:05 PM
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Default Re: rod selection for first time salmon/steelhead fishing

Lots of good info above so I'll just add a tid-bit. If you do go down the 2hander road 12.5 to 13.5 foot 8wt will handled 99% of the fish you're likely to hook.

That other 1% will be the fish you'll never land, and never forget.
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Old 06-09-2013, 01:16 PM
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Default Re: rod selection for first time salmon/steelhead fishing

I still use the first steelhead rod I ever purchased and it has proven itself more than capable, not to mention it was easy on the wallet. It's a 10'-0" 7wt TFO Lefty Kreh Professional Series, they only sell this model with a 10' length in a 5 & 7wt.
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Old 06-09-2013, 02:43 PM
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Default Re: rod selection for first time salmon/steelhead fishing

Quote:
Originally Posted by ryu1er View Post
Hey folks,
so i was recently invited to go salmon fishing for the next fall run on the Lower American River in Sacramento,Ca (sailor bar park specifically)...
Sorry. I made the assumption that you were in the Sacramento region. I just saw that you are from the Fresno area. That's why I referenced three fly shops and the Orvis. Sometimes it is just hard to beat the local info.

Dennis
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Old 06-09-2013, 07:09 PM
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Default Re: rod selection for first time salmon/steelhead fishing

I can only echo the other wise advice on this thread. A single handed 8-wt is a good choice for both salmon and steelhead. I use a 9'6'' 8-wt Sage VXP for both salmon and steelhead and it's a fine rod. I've never fished the Lower American River, but imagine that big streamer-type flies will work--wooly buggers, egg sucking leeches, etc. Egg patterns are also likely a good choice.

I gotta warn you though, if you keep going after salmon and steelhead you'll want to try a double-handed rod one day. As Fred says, an 8-wt in the 12'-13' range will work for most anything, especially salmon and steelhead. They're a lot of fun and a good choice when you don't have room for a back cast or need to cover bigger rivers. But watch out--once you start you'll be hooked, so to speak. Just ask Fred and Ard.

Scott
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