i need a bit of help. i am a rookie, and without doing enough research, i bought a 7wt. fast action for bass and smallmouth. (i know now that i should have bought a slower action). i was wondering if i put an 8wt line on this setup, if it would slow it down? i would at least be able to use it for steelhead once in awhile. i have tried to sell the rod, but evidently this is not one of the more desired rods. thanks for any help.
Overlining won't really slow down the rod you own but it will help to load the rod and give you more performance from the rod, especially in casting distance or into wind. What kind of rod did you purchase?
What line do you have on it now? And what kind of distances are you throwing with fly, leader and fly line?
I think overlining will probably help you if you're having some trouble casting with a fast action rod. It will slow the action of the rod down a bit for you and you'll be able to feel the rod load a bit better. And it makes it a bit easier to throw large wind resistant stuff like bass poppers a it easier.
But for the price of a decent new line, you might want to consider getting some help with your casting first. It would be a great investment if you're new to this. You might also look around for a free casting clinic, or if you have a local fly shop that you use, maybe they could take you out back for a freebie or two.
Local fly fishing groups and your state's Dept of Fish and Wildlife webpage would also be good to check out. Most groups have casting clinics, and there are also free intro to fly fishing events listed on F&W webpages that might be going on near you. And often there is an informal casting clinic on the lawn before meetings, where you might be able to try out a different weight/taper line on your rod.
You can do a search for local clubs affiliated with the Federation of Fly Fishers here (they also have a list of certified casting instructors you can search for by clicking the "Instructor Certification" tab in the menu bar):
A fast action rod may be a bit more difficult to learn on, but the advantage is that it will grow with you as your casting improves. As you're able to carry more line in the air, slower action "beginner" rods can begin to feel kind of wimpy. You have a nice rod, so if you can tough it out a bit and get a little hands on help with your mechanics and timing, you should be hitting fishing distances (40-60 feet) pretty quickly and have enough reserve power to stretch it out longer as your casting improves.
thanks for the help guys. right now i have a 7wt steelhead taper by rio. i plan to use it on the tribs of ne ohio and western pa, so i better learn how to roll cast with it. distance isn't critical at this juncture. i have a sage ds 5wt that i can cast with much more ease, but part of the addiction is learning, right?
I would have to echo Mark's comments about a casting lesson of some sort.
It doesn't even have to be a lesson. Go to a fly shop, and ask one of the
employees (or an experienced customer) to cast the rod for you. If they feel
that it would work better with another type or weight line, then try it out.
When I was looking for a nice upgrade about 10 years ago, I used a
customer to help me choose a rod. The shop owners weren't as keen on casting in the rain as the customer was . A heavier line might make matters worse, so you can also ask to borrow a demo reel with an 8wt line
on it. If you don't have a nearby shop, look for fly anglers on the streams
I think Mark has given you some very sound advice. Get some lessons. You will be surprised that even one lesson will make a big improvement in your ability to cast that rod.
Over lining the rod will help you in a couple of ways. Up-lining doesn't change the action of the rod. If you start with a tip action rod it will always be a tip action rod with lines within reason. A heavier line will load the rod with less line out the tip. So with 30 feet of 8wt line on your 7wt rod you will feel the rod loading easier. With your Steelhead line you might try using more line out of the tip. Most Steelhead fly lines have a long back taper. Getting another 5' or 10' of line will help you feel the rod load. The problem is you need a lesson to be able to carry the additional line.
So what it comes down to is yes, the 8wt line will cast better for you.
and roll casting a stiff, tip-taper rod like the red.fly can b a bit tricky. u don't have much margin for error bcuz u only have the rod tip working for u (to put it simply). u will find it easier to roll cast a mid or full flex rod, all other things being equal. generally, folks find slower action rods easier to roll cast as well. but...back to ur question...
the wt indicated on a fly rod is the mfg's suggestionfor a line weight n a general sense. it's a starting point, if u will. but each caster is different, and there r a myriad of different applications for each rod. so u should always imagine a "it depends" printed right there next to the line wt recommendation. there is no standarization of fly rod weights. line weights r standarized industry-wide, however. so a 6wt floating fly line is a 6wt floating fly line...period.
rods have gotten faster and faster over the past 15 yrs. what is labeled "medium" today used to b "fast." what is labeled "fast" today used to not be made bcuz nobody would buy it. and almost nobody markets a rod today as "slow" action for the same reason. slow-med-fast r used as an indication of the tempo of the casting stroke that should work best w/the taper of the rod (aka "action). as rods have gotten faster, the marketing has become more deceptive and casting instruction has gotten much poorer (for 2 reasons). faster rods allow for up to a 35-45' single-haul cast and a 25-30' roll cast with a very compact and quick casting stroke - a "snap." this can b taught n a matter of minutes n a parking lot and the purchaser is on their way. problems? physical trauma, excessive line wear and rod breakage, and u can't do anything other than what i just listed above w/what u know. the buyer has ZERO fundamental basis upon which to build a casting repetoire sufficient to fish all species n all waters, or even n a wide variety of conditions. they also haven't picked up any muscle memory or knowledge of the fundamentals. so many lose any ability they picked up n the parking lot between there and the river...or before that next fishing trip. then they become frustrated and the rod sits n the garage gathering dust.
now that i've got all of that out there for u to consider, u will find that putting a shorter headed line on that rod will improve the roll cast. u will find that over-lining will load the rod more easily. now, w/the red.fly over-lining by 1 wt. u won't actually feel it a whole lot, but a little improvement could go a long way. or u could start watching ur backcast (which u should b doing anyway). if u over-line it by 2 wts, u'll notice significant results. but if u go to a sinking line, u'll need to go back down to a 7 or 8...or appropriate grain weight for a 7 or 8. otherwise, it'll become way too sluggish. u won't have sufficient line control and it will wear u out trying to cast it.
but i agree w/the fellas above who told u to go get a real lesson from a truly qualified casting instructor (fff certified instructors r usually a good bet) before u change any gear. a good instructor will also b able to help u select the right gear for u better than we can here on the web.