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

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Old 11-20-2012, 09:43 PM
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Default Looking for a new fly rod...

Hey guys so I am looking for a new fly rod. I want something that is around 8ft long. I really like the Redington Pursuit outfit. However their 8ft rod is a 4wt. I will use this rod for mainly trout and panfish, but sometimes I will also fish for bass with it. I think the main thing I was worried about is if a 4wt rod will be ok to fish for bass with as well? I know that I will be unable to throw the larger flies of course, but other than that would I have any problems? thanks!
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Old 11-21-2012, 12:06 AM
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Default Re: Looking for a new fly rod...

Hey there,

Sorry for seeing this go so long without a reply. I'm not familiar with the rod of which you speak but that seldom stops me when a post has no replies Unless you are going to be fishing some very fussy fish with tiny flies I would lean toward a 5 or 6 weight rod. Either one will make a good all round fishing rod for multiple species. I fished an Orvis 7'9" 5 weight Far & Fine from 1979 - 1995 before I started using another rod much at all. I did have a 9' 7 weight Lamiglass for Pike but I fished trout, bass, and salmon with the #5 rod. I still have the rod and use it more than any other single hand rod I own. Below is a fish that was brought to shore with a #5 and it happens every year while trout fishing.

Click the image to open in full size.

The rational behind posting the photo is not to impress with a fish caught but rather what you can do on a #5 rod and line. With either a 5 or 6 weight you can learn to cast about anything you'll ever want to tie to the leader. It just takes some thought combined with practice. I use the rod pictured with a 28" lead head spliced into the middle of my leader and tie size 4 - 6 salmon flies to a 10 - 12 pound tippet and cast using what are commonly known as 'single hand Spey' casts. I do own a couple six rated rods made of cane and glass but in graphite sticks I like the 'tweener' I've got a #5 in an old PM-10 Orvis 9 footer also and have dragged in some big fellas with that one as well. They cover the 4-5-6 range real well.

Don't be fooled into thinking you have to have a super light line weight to throw tiny flies either, you can fish all day easier using a size 20 on a 5 or 6 than you can using a size 4 on a #4 weight rod. So there's a reply, I hope it helps you with the decision.

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Old 11-21-2012, 12:22 AM
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Default Re: Looking for a new fly rod...

Thanks for the reply that really helps a lot! The main reason I liked the 4wt was for its length. Some of the places that I have fished lately my 9ft rod just seemed to long for. The pursuit also has a 5wt that is 81/2ft, I wonder if that would be enough of a difference to help
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:13 AM
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Default Re: Looking for a new fly rod...

My smallest rod is a 9' 5 wt. I can't imagine wanting a smaller rod. However, I may not be the best choice for asking about small.
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:30 AM
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Default Re: Looking for a new fly rod...

If you are worried split the difference and get the 8.5' rod. 6" isn't that much either way. Alternatively (now the little devil appears on your shoulder) start your rod collection right away and buy a 8' 4 wt and a 9' 6 or 7 weight and ignore everything Are said. Really though a 9' 5 wt is a great place to start and could be a rod you use for a long time.
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Old 11-21-2012, 07:54 AM
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Default Re: Looking for a new fly rod...

Have you considered one of the older fiberglass rods like Fenwick? They are a slow action compared to today's high-tech stuff, but they are tough as nails.

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Old 11-21-2012, 10:18 AM
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Default Re: Looking for a new fly rod...

For me when I think of bass fishing it is either with a 6 or 8wt. Not so much for the size of fish you intend to catch, but the size of flys. It is tough to throw a Clouser minnow or deer hair popper on a 4wt.

That being said, I think a 6 wt is still a good all around fly rod for both warm water and trout fishing. For trout I tend to use a 4wt but still use my 6 when throwing bigger streamers or heavy nymphs or anytime the wind is blowing that makes casting a 4wt impracticle.

As been already mentioned, you can still cast small flys on a 6wt. You may have to lengthen your leader in order to step down to smaller tippet, but it still can be done. In the winter I will often take the 6 for reasons I just mentioned and if a midge hatch comes off do not feel that I can't present those tiny flys with the delicacy required.

The only thing that may be a challenge is finding an 8' 6wt. At least in a more modern rod. An alternative would be to look at a 8' 5wt. You can still use it for bass but again will be limited to how big a fly you can throw.

Dave
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Old 11-21-2012, 12:25 PM
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Default Re: Looking for a new fly rod...

I've caught plenty of bass on my old 2wt... They're usually out there with the pannies... 2wt handled any fish it hooked into fine.. the fight just looked more dramatic the bigger they got.... My St Croix Imperial is a 4wt and I can toss buggers up to about #6 which is plenty big to catch a bass or two or twenty
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:06 PM
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Default Re: Looking for a new fly rod...

While everyone makes good points I have to give the nod to Joe's comment (lowtech joe) that is.

If you would be interested in a Fenwick (I used these for years before I got that Orvis) they sell on the auction site regularly. Prices run from $50 on the low end to $100 for some. They are a bit heavier in the hand than a modern graphite rod but not by much and they are a pretty bomb proof rod. Heck you can pair one up with an old Pflueger 1495 and kill 2 birds with one stone, (can't believe I said that ) because the outfit will work very well and when you run into someone out fishing they may actually ask about your gear. Vintage stuff is cool because although people may ask about your rod & reel if they are Sage & Lamson, they too may be holding very similar gear. If you are holding a 1977 Fenwick with an Akron built Pflueger on it the other guy may not have one of them.

All that is just a personal slant on this topic. I understand the excitement involved in buying the cutting edge rods of the day. They are the ones found in the ads in the magazines, and they line the racks at the fly shops too. However, a fella can build a good solid outfit using used or 'new old stock' buys from the auctions at a very reasonable cost. Just say'en,

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Old 11-21-2012, 02:31 PM
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Default Re: Looking for a new fly rod...

Since the other guys brought it up....
It just so happens that a very large percentage of vintage fiberglass rod are 8' 6wts. and there's many perfectly usable rods that sell in the $35-$65 range (and often less)
Shakespeare, Berkley, Heddon, Wright&McGill, Silaflex, Garcia all made some decent ones. You can look around for one like that and still get that 4wt too.
Unfortunately not all glass rods were created equal and it can be hard to tell if your getting a gem or a dog. Look for quality construction.
The Phillipson rods are about as good as you can get and many of those were rebranded as Orvis, LLBean, and many other smaller retailers. They usually go for $125-$175, but I recently picked one up for $40. Ya never know
Some people are partial to the Fenwicks, but there's many other decent rods out there that you can pick up for a song.
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