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Old 01-12-2011, 05:50 PM
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Default Bass fishing- light rod?

The only rod I own is a 4 weight for trout and panfish. I want to start getting into bass fishing more and I was wondering could I use my 4 weight for fishing small bass? The bass arent very big, topping off at around 17 inches. What bass flys could I comfortably cast with a light rod? Any help is appreciated.


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Old 01-12-2011, 10:10 PM
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Default Re: Bass fishing- light rod?

Hey Jacko,
your 4 weight will be fine. The disadvantages to a 4wt is that it doesnt have the "backbone" to set the hook deep into the boney mouth of the bass. The other issue is the casting strength of the rod. Typically you are using bigger flies for bass which can be a little hard to handle with a 4wt. But as you said you are fishing smaller bass so I dont see that being a big deal. I once had a picture of an 8lb largemouth I caught on a 4wt Winston LT.

By the way my favorite bass fly is a size 12 copper john with rubber legs.
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Old 01-12-2011, 10:34 PM
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Default Re: Bass fishing- light rod?

Hi Jacko,

Firstly; Welcome!

You should be able to cast a number of flies that will get you into some Bass. As was mentioned, (believe it or not...) nymphs will pull Bass-- you just have to put it right on their nose.

Other options that will be cast-able are any of the smaller wooly buggers (size 6 or smaller.), any of the 'girdle bugs' (basically just chenille with lots of rubber legs, mickey finns (really any of the bucktail streamers within reason-- no #2 clousers with your 4 wt...).

For top water fun, look into some of the hopper patterns, gurgle pops, gurglers, chernobyl ants, (These are mainly foam patterns-- lighter than wood poppers and not as bulky/ wind resistant as deer hair bugs). Hope this helps.

Be sure to post your successes.
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Old 01-12-2011, 11:02 PM
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Default Re: Bass fishing- light rod?

You can catch bass with small flies, and I do it all the time. One of the best flies I use is a #10 Green Weenie, as it will catch almost any freshwater fish. When I leave the house to fish for bass, I usually bring a more substantial rod. My primary bass rod was a Cortland 9' 6wt GRX, but that now resides at the bottom of the local lake. I tend to use larger flies for smallmouth bass, usually Clouser Minnows. It's so much easier to cast the larger flies with a stiffer 6wt-7wt, and I don't believe that bass rods need to be as refined as a trout rod: bass aren't all that refined. I have a $50 Browning 9' 6/7wt rod that I use while fishing for bass in my canoe, and there are plenty of other bargain rods that would serve the purpose. There are also some real telephone poles in that price range, both in terms of weight and stiffness. The heavier rod will also make fishing on windy days more enjoyable.
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Old 01-13-2011, 10:32 AM
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Default Re: Bass fishing- light rod?

I fish a lot of small streams around our neighborhood both for bass and panfish. My first rod was a 7wt which I quickly decided was far too heavy to get a lot of fun out of this sort of fishing. I have since progressed to a 5wt and most recently a 3 and a 4. My favorite flies are #10 and #12 wooly buggars in almost any color depending on water color and light conditions. I do use #8 as well but they are getting kind of large for any but the larger and more aggressive fish. The 3wt outfit is almost perfect for about 90% of the fish I catch, but the other 10% can really give you a fight and break off a lot due both to not getting a solid enough hook set and breaking off the light tippet. Of course if I am going to fish waters where I expect to encounter 2-3lb and larger bass then the 7wt rod goes back into use!!
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Old 01-19-2011, 08:22 AM
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Default Re: Bass fishing- light rod?

i use a fairly gutless 5 weight glass rod...you should be fine. I was taught to match the rod to the fly AND the fish. Dont try to throw huge poppers and you will be ok
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Old 01-19-2011, 09:53 AM
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Default Re: Bass fishing- light rod?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dryfly87 View Post
The disadvantages to a 4wt is that it doesnt have the "backbone" to set the hook deep into the boney mouth of the bass.
NO fly rod has the power to really set a hook into a bass's mouth, until you get into 10wt's and up. (which I think are complete overkill for 98% of bass fishing situations) With a 4 wt, you would have a hard time even breaking 6x tippet, which means you're only applying about 1lb of pressure to get that hook point to penetrate.

For bass, you need to use the strip set/strike. As you're stripping your woolly bugger or whatever along, when you feel a fish, don't swing the rod up, just strip hard. This takes the cushioning effect of the rod out of the equation, and you're applying much more force to that hook point. Once you feel the weight of the fighting fish, then lift the rod and begin landing it.

The other major advantage of the strip set is that you're much more likely to have a second chance at a fish. With a swing set, when the fish misses, you've moved the fly 8-12 feet away. With a strip set, you've only moved it 1-2 feet, and the fish is much more likely to attack it again.
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Old 01-19-2011, 01:24 PM
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Default Re: Bass fishing- light rod?

Thanks for asking this question! I am look at a 4wt for warm water lake condition here in AZ. I hope Jacko finds these answers as helpful as I do.
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Old 01-19-2011, 08:26 PM
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Default Re: Bass fishing- light rod?

I would have no issues using a 4 weight. A 4 weight can cast quite large flies if you adjust your cast. That being said, I use a 7 weight most of the time.
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Old 01-19-2011, 08:41 PM
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Default Re: Bass fishing- light rod?

Another thing to consider is if you have a fluke and hook into a larger bass, you might have an extended fight to land it, which may result in the fish dying.

Not a big deal if it's headed toward the frying pan, but if you practice C&R, it's another thing to consider.
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