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Old 01-01-2011, 09:41 AM
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Default Re: 3wts and big fish

I think most everything has been said, but I think you must also take into consideration the weather. Wind affects casting, and temp makes a difference on whether you can release a fish and have it survive. Exhausting a big fish fighting him on light weight gear can be bad in the summer for sure because oxygen content is low in the warmer water, but, in the winter, while there is more oxygen in the water, the fish generally have a lower metabolism (or so I am told), and I would worry they would also be a little under nourished due to the smaller amount of food in the water.

I fish the truckee, around 600 fps yesterday, hooked a nice bow, and landed him in less than a minute on my 5 weight. I was using 5x tippet, and had to muscle him to get him landed. If he hadn't landed, ok, that is the way it is, i grabbed a quick photo and sent him on his way. Pretty much no revival needed because as I lowered the net into the water and was easing him out of the net he jetted away. Not sure he would have had that much energy in 33 degree water if I had fought him with a 3 weight and 7x tippet.

If all I have is a 3 weight, or that is the rod I have with me, then great, I use it, put on a little stronger tippet, and if it looks like I am not going to get a bruiser landed, I break him off and target him again the next time when I am better armed.

I fish C&R, I was gonna let him go anyway, and I like knowing there is a big fish waiting to get caught (or caught again) at some of my favorite spots.

d
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Old 01-01-2011, 10:03 AM
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Default Re: 3wts and big fish

The lightest rod I've ever owned was a 4 wt x 7 foot for small brooks. I rarely fished it because I liked going after bigger fish in bigger water. And my tippets were always the biggest I could get away with for the flies and the quarry.

For me, it's all about finding the fish, the presentation, the bite and lastly the fight. The fight I like to make as short as possible, both for the fish and for me. Now that I'm back full time fishing the salt, when I get decended upon by friends during tarpon season, they use at least an 11 wt and very heavy tippets, or they fish spinning or conventional gear on my boat.

I learned my lesson on that score over 30 years ago when a buddy, whose biggest fish to date was a brown trout, insisted on using his 9 wt for spring tarpon. He hooked up early and we wasted 3 1/2 hours of prime time chasing a fish around until he broke his new Scott rod. I'm glad it was just the two of us because if there were someone else wanting to fish - he'd have been out of luck and bored to death at the very least.

For guys fishing well-oxygenated water alone, if light gear is what floats your boat, and you are able to land fish in good shape , have at it.

Cheers,
Jim
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Old 01-01-2011, 10:22 AM
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Default Re: 3wts and big fish

I fish for big fish with a lighter line rod frequently..Its not the fish imho as the rods can easily handle very large fish with no problem. Techniques of steering fish become very important and to just use the same old lift the tip and crank em in technique will only result in problems.

The number one reason I fish for big fish with a lighter LINE rod...not necessarily a lighter rod...(as there are heavy three weights). I like to use a IM6 9' 3wt...primarily to act as a shock absorber to the fishes violent thrusts.

Only in the case where I need to use LIGHT tippets do I do this unless I just want some good casting practice.

...now will I be in the Babine throwing my 3 wt? Not a chance, I will be loaded up with an 8 wt and a 30' shooter and looking to cast 70-120' per chuck...No chance with a light rod....so the situation always dictates that there has to be a balance for the system to work correctly...if you get out of one of the limits and still try to force it, it doesn't work so well nor does it feel right.

Am I fishing a small rod in the wild canyon with high flows where short casts and large tippets are not the problem...Probably not because fish seem to be less territorial and will gladly catch the big current and head out and its either time to horse or chase....I am getting old.

As with most things "fly fishing" there are rules of thumb and there then becomes the area for self fulfillment. If we are always thinking of the fish first and the angler second we shall not allow our fine finned friends to become exhausted to the point of danger...and at this time we hit the correlation of coefficient of 1...between the angle and the angling enjoyment.

Always exceptions to every rule...but that is my guide. I love fishing light line rods and own many all the way down to 0. I became enchanted with light line rods when I was being guru-ed by Lee Wolf. He and Joan are and were incredible people. Way ahead of their time.

As always I would be happy to explain any part of my post in detail. Tight Lines and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
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