I love to flyfish and I hate to always "upgrade" all the time. So I checked out all the rod/reels that are available today.
I have access to world class smallmouth waters, the Susquehanna, and some great trout streams as well. Lots of rockbass and lots of channel cats!
The best for me would be a 9' 6wt.
The lightest is best for me!! I can cast a heavy rod, but I have much more fun with a light rod.
Rod: the lightest in the world, a Helios 9' 6wt only weighs 2.5oz..... even with a 4pc!!
Reel: the Lamson ULA Force is the world's lightest fly reel with a large arbor and a full drag reel! Only 3.25oz for a 6wt.
These are the best, but a little pricey.
The Helios is $755 and the Lamson is $409!! that's $1164 without line!
The high end lines are $69 or more and backing is old Power Pro.
Almost 13 beans, but IMHO this is the best way to have a wonderful experience on the water.
No more shortcuts for me!! I want a fly outfit that I can love and catch fish wih.
Scuze me while I tie a fly
Are you sure about that Helios? I've heard that they have a heavier swing weight than you'd expect for such a light rod. Then you have the issue of is the lighter rod always the better performer? I'm a big fan of Sage rods for this reason. Even though they tend to be a few fractions of an ounce heavier than the other high end competition, they have a ridiculously light swing weight and are incredible performers.
ou make a good point. And I must say that I could never afford the 1300 outfit I mentioned above.
I only Yhave 1 Orvis outfit. A 8wt 9' Clearwater II with a Battenkill Bar Stock reel and Clearwater WF floating line & backing for $295! I purchased it a couple months ago.
I simply love this rod...... and reel.
The 8wt rod is only 3.5oz. It is truly a light rod!! This woke me up with flyrods.
I also love Sage. I have a 9' 2pc Fli 5wt. This is a wonderful rod but it also weighs 3.5oz..... the same as the cheapo Orvis 8wt. My Sage was $255 while my Orvis was $159.
I never looked at Orvis before, I thought they were high price snobby rods for the super rich. But Orvis came out with a new technology with a better resin and better scrim on the graphite. It really makes a difference.
My big 8wt is 3.5oz and my BBS IV for a 8wt is only 4.5oz! I took off my super large arbor SLA reel, much heavier than the BBS and the BBS holds much more backing.
The smallmouth fishing is slow...... nobody knows what the problem is, but the channel cats and carp are "thick as thieves" in the river I fish.
But I have such a blast at night with the huge cats. They will hit a woolybugger better than liver!!
A friend has a TFO 6wt and another has a Gander Mountain 6wt. Both of these rods are so much heavier than my 8wt. I can turn a big carp with my rod bent all the way. A fish over 5lbs is really too much for a 6wt. My rod bends all the way and springs back way better than my Sage. Something is different with the Orvis stuff.
Rod weight makes a incredible difference to me!! After casting a 3.5oz, I could never go back to a 4oz!!
I've never held a 2.5oz Helios or that 3oz reel, but if I did I know I couldn't sleep until I got one!!
Technology marches on. If there are any fish left to catch in this overpopulated and polluted world, I'll bet that all the flyrods will be only 1oz in weight. And the reels, maybe 1.5oz.
I'm not sure what was meant by "swing weight," but I did notice a difference b/w the 5 & 8 wt Helios. I have the 5 wt and absolutely love it - it is my "go to" rod. It feels perfectly balanced and responds very well to both short and long distance casts. Given my experience with the 5 wt, I just assumed that when I purchased an 8 wt, I would also want a Helios. Fortunately, I tried a number of different rods instead of just making the purchase. Although the 8 wt Helios came out very high in my personal ranking, I found that it took a lot of effort to cast longer distances. I don't know anything about rod building, so am not sure if the weight had anything to do with this or the strength of the butt section of the rod, or what. Anyway, I ended up purchasing an 8 wt Sage Xi2.
Please forgive my inexperienced opinion on the subject. I thought that balance of the outfit more than weight itself was the important point to consider when buying. I tested a few 8wt rods recently (for stripers), and of course, they do not feel even close to to my TFO 5wt rod in terms of weight. Now, they do turnover much better than mine. I would imagine that fishing with one of these rods for an extended period of time would lead to fatigue. I do not know how much as I plug in saltwater using an 11' rod for hours. ;-)
One thing that I noticed with my 5wt, which is 3.8 oz (not sure this is light or heavy), is that because the reel was chosen to match the weight of the rod (Plueger 1556; really it was chosen to fit my very low budget ;-)), I am very comfortable fishing for hours at the time. Disclaimer: I am not claiming to be a great caster but I can catch fish. I think the point of fishing besides having a good time, should be catching fish; therefore, one should be only limited by imagination, and of course, budget. In terms of budget, I do not think that a $1300 outfit, as nice as it may be, would catch more fish than a $150 one (perhaps I am wrong). I do not argue that it may make people feel better knowing that their outfits cost so much but the fish, are not aware of these seemingly "unimportant" details. I agree that the cost of the outfit my enhance the overall fishing experience. So if it makes you happy to spend $1300 on a fly outfit, by all means.
I personally do not let not being able to afford a "dream outfit" get in my way of enjoying the exciting sport of fly fishing. I have seen a lot of people buy mountain bikes and any other items (e.g. fly rods) based on specs alone, when in reality, beyond certain obvious limit, pricier gear is not going to make their technique improve in a way that can be directly correlated with its price. In the case of mountain bikes weigh/price considerations only matter when you are a serious competitor. A good caster casts with any rod, not just with the most expensive one, or as a music teacher once told me (in reference of me blaming my poor playing on the instrument): "don't blame the arrow, blame the indian" (apologies for the PI word). I do not even think there is such a thing as "the perfect fly outfit", it would depend on the situation.
And BTW, I have caught 5 and 6 lb smallies with my 5wt rod (and 5x tippet). It is not only possible but a lot of fun; and yes, they can be released afterwards. The lighter the outfit, the more fun the fishing becomes, for me that is. I like be always in the least advantageous situation. I have to admit, it took me a few tries to be able to catch them like this; the first ones "ran" away with my fly... ;-)
You all make wonderful points.
Even though I simply love my Orvis 8wt Clearwater II, tomorrow I'll be using my 5wt Sage FLi. The water is hot and shallow and I'm also only after the fun of flyfishing.
I just compaired the two and the Sage does have a better cork handle. And the Sage is a "fast" rod. The Clearwater is a "med" action rod.
I downsized my buggers from a 2 to a 6.
Still quite a few rockbass and fallfish around so the 5wt will be a thrill for me. When a big cat hits my fly, it will be a better fight.
I only fish for the fun and thrill of it. Even if my rod weighs 10oz I would still have a great time.
I was just thinking outloud!! If I had $1300 to spend on a flyrod........ the one I mentioned would be the one for me!!