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Warmwater Fly Fishing Bass, Bream, Perch, etc...

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Old 02-16-2012, 09:22 PM
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Default What weight?

OK, so I have been getting a bit bored with the old bait caster and spin casting reel and want to shift more into new waters (so-to-speak) with my fishing. In the past my Uncle and I have done a little fly rodding from our canoe for pan fish when things got slow or the conditions were perfect (i.e. no wind and with the panfish rising by the dozens). I think honestly the reason we have not really thought more about fly rodding seriously is because the canoe was a big limitation for us. So as step one we have decided to ditch the canoe. He got a pontoon kick boat for Christmas and I just bought a kayak to fish from. So now it is time to consider the other (and from a fly fishing point of view the more important) piece of gear, the rods. Specifically rod weights. Now, let us say a person (which is to say me ) already has a general purpose 5 weight, 9 foot rod. Let us also say that in general the bass we fish for do not get that big up here (largest bass I have ever caught on any kind of tackle was a 6 pounder on a bait caster with 20 pound test line......but a fish that big is a once every several years kind of rarity). Bass range from 1 to 4 pounds in general, but usually average a couple pounds. But let us also throw out there the complication that we tend to have bad luck with wind. We have to deal with at least some level of wind on 75% of our trips (from gentle,playful stirrings to full on "oh **** here come the whitecaps on the waves" hurricanes), so even though we may not be catching large bass and pushing huge flies we will have to kick through the wind a lot of the time.

Having said all that, what weight should I be considering for my bass rig? I was thinking 7 or 8 weight on a 9 foot rod. Is there an argument to push for the 8 over the 7 weight, or vise versa? Or still given all the above conditions would 6 weight still be acceptable?

Also, I plan on picking up a light rig too. It will pull double duty as a small stream trout rig (I forget to mention I plan on picking up some of that snooty falooty kind of fishing too? :icon_big ) and panfish rig. Since I would need it for tight stream fishing I am thinking of a 7'6" range length in a 3 or 4 weight. Figure this should also make panfishing feel more "sporty". So same question goes, which is better for panfish 3 over 4 weight, or 4 over 3 weight? (not worried about the trout because whatever I choose for the panfish criteria will be plenty fine for the trout around here also) Also, would the 7'6" length handicap me from the kayak?

With the already owned 5 weight 9 foot rod I am looking to make the best 3 rod/weight combo set up to cover everything from gillies and perch up to the average sized bass (and alas up here, while not something we intentionally go for, we do expect the odd pickerel too). So advice is much appreciated.

Brian
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Old 02-16-2012, 09:59 PM
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Default Re: What weight?

I went with the same theory, get the best three rod combo punch you can to cover just about everything. I have a 7' 4wt, 9' 5wt, and 9' 7wt. Could have gone with a 3wt instead of a 4, but I can't stand flimsiness of a 3 wt. I was unable to throw anything big when I needed, so I got traded the 7'3wt for a 7'4wt. I can fish just about anywhere for anything from brook trout in 6 foot wide overhung creeks to big western bows, bass, and steelhead (if I ever get around to it). I would not be to sure about using a 7'6" from a Kayak. Most people use 9' or some even longer when they are fishing from boats on open water. It give you alot more distance.

If you have 5 already, definitely skip the 6wt and go with the 7 or 8. Get a 7' 3 or 4 wt, but don't expect to cast it 80' from you kayak.
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Old 02-16-2012, 10:59 PM
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Default Re: What weight?

brian,
if your going for 6 lb. lmb, go 9' 8 weight, med fast/fast action.
it will help throw bigger wind resistant flies and also to pull those larger guys out of the thick cover they like so much

casey
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Old 02-17-2012, 02:46 AM
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Default Re: What weight?

I love an eight weight for Bass and a stiffer Three weight for Panfish or a softer four. Big flys, wind and pulling bass from weeds say bigger is better and in some areas I've used my ten weight and didn't feel overgunned.
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Old 02-17-2012, 06:46 AM
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Default Re: What weight?

I try to match the rod to the fly and fishing conditions (location & weather) more than the size/species of fish I'm after.
In other words if it's LM bass I'm targeting with a big wind resistant fly I'll pick my 8wt, but more for the reason it will get the fly where I want it than for the fact a bass is likely to take the fly.

If I'm using small (#12-14 flies) it's most likely going to be my 6'6" 3wt rod even if there's a possibility of a bass hitting.

If I'm using an assortment of fly sizes for a variety of fish I'll often take my 6wt outfit.

If the wind is up I'll pick a 5 or 6wt even if I'm targeting small fish with small flies.

As for the kayak, I haven't had it long, but I like a shorter rod because it's easier to keep it out of the way of obstructions (or even keep from whacking it with the paddle). I figure if the casting distance is shortened a bit it's no big deal. I'm on the water, the fish are in the water, all it takes is a stroke of the paddle to get closer to the target.
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Old 02-17-2012, 07:01 AM
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Default Re: What weight?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wabi View Post
I figure if the casting distance is shortened a bit it's no big deal. I'm on the water, the fish are in the water, all it takes is a stroke of the paddle to get closer to the target.
That was kind of what I was thinking. Wabi is right, I wouldn't expect to get long casts in from the kayak, but thankfully being more mobile and the fact panfish are not as spooky as trout I should be able to vercome the distance issue.

Thanks for the suggestions. So indeed I think I will go with an 8 weight to match with the 5 weight. Also looks like 3 or 4 weight for panfish is a toss up so far.

Brian
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Old 02-17-2012, 08:20 AM
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Default Re: What weight?

Brian,
I have lost a few big fish using the 3wt and light tippets, but it's a worthwhile tradeoff to me. Those little ones are just so more entertaining, and the occasional big one I do land is really memorable.
Other factors also enter into the formula. Such as in early spring in cooler water the fish will put up less of a fight. I've hauled a fairly nice bass out of brushy water in the spring. In warmer water it would have probably succeeded in hanging me up in the timber and breaking off.
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Old 02-17-2012, 10:46 AM
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Default Re: What weight?

I think the rod weight question is pretty well answered. On to the kayak, I fish a 12' kayak pretty often and rod length does come into question here not so much for casting or obstructions. the tip of my kayak is is a little over 6' away from me. I never use less than an 9' flyrod in case I have to swim the fish around the yak (or he decides to go that way). Don't forgot a 4lb bass will put a serious bend in a rod. A 7'11" bent rod is not longer 7'11" long...
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Old 02-17-2012, 01:54 PM
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Default Re: What weight?

I only use heavier than a 5wt when I absolutely have too. I have not used my 7 or 8wt in fresh water for a long time. So I lose a few fish. I do not keep them anyway. 80% of my fishing is with a 6' 2wt and I seldom lose a fish in the small warm water streams I fish. I use a 6# tippet always. Mostly sunfish and some SMB. 3 lber is the biggest small mouth in these creeks but they don't give me any trouble usually. Big hairbug, streamers, and poppers are out though. So are big lead dumbells but beadchain will usually get me to the bottom anyway. I don't fish out of a yak yet but I intend to shortly but not in the stream. This is wade fishing only. Since you already have a 5wt, a 4wt is a waste of money imo. I have overlined my 2wt to slow it down a little. To each his own. If I had the money I would buy a 0 outfit. I think I would really like it too.

Last edited by ditz; 02-17-2012 at 01:58 PM. Reason: added info
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Old 02-17-2012, 11:07 PM
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Default Re: What weight?

I currently use a 8' 4wt for my trout fishing. I have a 5wt overlined with 6wt line that I use for my bass chasing. I've never had a problem with that set up. I really don't think an 8 wt is necessary unless you are going to do serious largemouth fishing. The highest I've ever felt the need to go is a 6 wt.

If you're doing small stream trout and pan fishing the 3wt would be a lot of fun.

And as someone who has tried from the kayak, a shorter rod is easier to handle. I've found my 9' unwieldy, and after borrowing a friends 7' 6", I found that much easier.
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