I've been using a 4wt almost exclusively for well over a year. I'll go to a fast 5wt for casting streamers in a breeze while fishing the Delaware River or big
lakes. I can still cast small Clousers and #10 Wooly Buggers with the 4wt, but it's not much fun when it's windy (breezy is fine, however). On our recent trip to the Little Lehigh Creek, we brought 4 and 5wt rods. The 5wt rod was just too much rod for that small stream, especially with its native trout. The second day was 4wt only: one rigged with a dry, and the other with a hopper dropper. No problems, and the hopper/dropper landed much more gently than it had with the 5wt.
What difference can it possibly make as to what someone else thinks about what you are using to fish? If you are enjoying it, fine! There are many generalities out there, but , really now ... who gives a flying fig?!? A heavy rod? A light rod? Short? Long? Fear of breaking it? For heavens sake! Life is just way too short to even go there! Fishing is fun. Enjoy it. With what ever you want to use.
Honestly, i find it a great all-arounder in Michigan as well. Of course for our Salmon and Steelhead we use 7 and 8 weight rods. Otherwise, the 4 is perfect for our trout and very fun on the bass. I think one could get by very nicely in my state with only two rods...but then of course we need backups...
My experience with Michigan streams is more similar to yours - and I was surprised to read that someone was using a 6 on a UP brookie stream. (To each his/her own! ) When I'm on brookie streams in northern MI, I use a 3 or 4 depending on the wind. If I am on a slightly larger stream targeting browns, rainbows, or smallies, I will use a 5 if I am going to cast large streamers with sink tip line. I have an 8 for salmon/steelhead. This has also been the selection range of my guide when I hire one in that region.
I find myself using a 4wt more and more. It suits the type of fishing I enjoy; wading smaller streams.
The only time I reach for my 5wt in when fishing out of a drift boat and where I might need to make that really long cast to a spot before we rush by it.
My Loomis IMX 9' 4wt is still my favorite rod for most of the dries I fish, but I find myself throwing "meat" most of the time nowadays so I'm using a 7 wt Scott G a little more. The IMX is usually no more than a few feet away if needed.
I'm in the same boat (so to speak) as Cliff, it's an older rod I built over 15 yrs ago and would hate to see anything happen to it, but I can't help but fish it. I probably shouldn't worry much, in speaking with the good folks @ Gary Loomis new company North Fork Composites, they say the 2 piece rods their making now are very comparable to the old IMX.
Yes, I still like the old 2 piece rods too!
From the post's above, don't sound like the 4wt is loosing any appeal. I love my Redington Rs2 in 8ft. On my last trip to New Mex's Valle Vidal, I used it almost exclusively on the Rio Costilla. A couple of days we had pretty good wind, so I put the 3wt up and got out the 4wt. It did everything I needed with the nymphs I was using. I can even switch to a 5wt line with no problems and use a dropper set-up. When fishing the Shuree ponds, those 18" rainbows will test a 4wt, but they are fun! I usually use my 9.5ft 8wt Powell from my float tube. When fishing the lower mountain fork in SE Okla, the 4wt is all I use. Good for anything from 6" to 16". Hope its a good winter! Glen
My new Winston b2x 4 wt 9 foot seems to be a perfect bass rod for me. I usually throw size 8 woolly buggers and catch tons of whatever in the pond.
And I love to have a 4 wt so that I can have 6 wt, which I use for something bigger. For me, having 5 wt and 6 wt did not make any sense. So I went to 4 and 6.
Next spring I am going to try to catch carps with 4 wt first and see what happens. The carps in north Texas are usually less than 10 lb and I believe 4 wt will do it. I used to catch them with 5 wt last year and I felt that I had tone of road.
My old 9' St Croix is my favorite rod and best suited to most of my waters and fishing. It's probably pretty "noodly" compared to the newer, higher end rods, but that makes it very forgiving of an occaisionally lazy stroke. That makes for a comfortable day of fishing. I've only felt undergunned once when I hooked a 17" brown on the Owyhee. In typical BT fashion, it went right to the bottom and it was kind of a standoff for a while 'cause I just couldn't move him with that rod.
My next hevier rod is a TFO 6 wt. Much stiffer faster action, requires a more studied stroke. Good for more range or fighting wind, but more rod than I usually need.
I absolutely love a 8'6"-9" 4wt. rod I feel like I can handle any trout I might catch in the streams I fish with one and the only time I'd switch up for trout is if it was windy or as MP put if I was fishing where Homie is the average trout. Even then ideally in mind I'd only move up to a 5wt. Currently though my next wt up is only a 6 wt., but soon that will change as I will build a 5 wt. when I get done with some other things I'm working on right now. In my mind a 6 wt. is rediculous for the average trout and there is no way I'd ever use one on brookies. Currently I only like using 6 wt's on Bass and small steelhead.
__________________ -Tom Wilson Attention New Fly Fishers and those just wanting to improve- Join a Fly Fishing Club. They have classes on every aspect of fly fishing for beginners to advanced for free or cheaper than offered elsewhere. Some offer mentor programs. You will make friends with other fly fishers. Clubs often have outings in which members pay special group rates for guides or to fish prime private access areas.
I love my 4 weights. I actually look forward to the times I get to use them and to the streams I get to use them in.
When I was a Michigander the 4 weight was the rod of choice for me for trout.
Even now being 'down south' and when I head out west I still use the heck out of my 4 weights. Luckily, I had a job for quite a while and was able to fill my rod arsenal with a good assortment but the 4's absolutely rock my world when used where they should belong.
My big problem with 4 weights is that I can only use one at a time.
I'm in the same boat as Cliff. The TMF was bought long before the generous warranties became available. Even if they could fix it, I'm not sure they even use IM-6 at Winston any more.
The other green stick is a true magic wand. An 8' 6" beauty of a BIIx.
Love 'em both and I'm of the mindset that there ain't nothing wrong with liking 4 weights... especially in many places in Michigan,
For years in Michigan the standard answer to which rod one should get was a 9', 5 weight, did that change?