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Old 01-16-2013, 09:20 AM
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Default Is an 8 wt too much rod for smallmouth?

Do you guys think an 8 wt is too much rod for smallmouth? On the other hand, do you think any smallmouth flies are too big for a 6 wt? I know you can't play golf with one club, but if you had to choose one...
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:28 AM
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Default Re: Is an 8 wt too much rod for smallmouth?

An 8 wt would certainly work, but when I fish for smallmouth I use either a 5 or 6, but then again like I said in the other thread I don't fish for smallmouth that much. My fishing is limited to a private pond in CO that my son knows the owner and has permission to fish on, so that is where we take the grandson fishing. The pond is loaded with smallmouth and crappie which always makes for a fun afternoon of fishing. The biggest fish is probably 16" so a 5 or 6 wt works perfect, the streamers or poppers we throw aren't the really large sizes.
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:30 AM
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Default Re: Is an 8 wt too much rod for smallmouth?

It may depend on the size of the fish smallies you're going after. I've only been fly fishing for 3 years so someone else might say other wise. I know that yes a heavier wt rod can properly cast bigger bass flies.

Around here (VA) I've been told that a 7wt is the bass rod to use, and a 6wt is the least they'd use. Given that logic you can use the 8wt and use it for larger stuff like carp.
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:32 AM
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Default Re: Is an 8 wt too much rod for smallmouth?

I am not an expert in the matter but here is my 2 cents. I fish for smallmouth quite a bit. I use a tfo 9' 8wt rod and the smallies here have no problem bending it over and running out some line. That's not saying if you catch a smaller fish it will be more rod than you need. I only have an 8wt currently and have caught carp, smallies, largies, and all the panfish available. I usually don't have problem casting larger flies unless you put on a heavy clouser but form my understanding the heavier rod will make it harder to cast smaller flies. I hope someone else jumps on this to be a little more specific but wanted to share my experience with my 8wt.
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:52 AM
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Default Re: Is an 8 wt too much rod for smallmouth?

I never have used more then a 5 wt for bass fishing. I have always used an 8 for salmon and steelhead so my opinion is 8 is a tad on the heavy side but I think a lot has to do with how big of a fly your throwing and size of the water.

I'm sure people fish them on 3 weights and on 10's. I guess its all about what rods you own and how comfortable they make you feel.
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:02 AM
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Default Re: Is an 8 wt too much rod for smallmouth?

This would depend on the water...I chase smallies with a 7wt normally. In bigger water, there may be things in there that would demand more than a 5wt (although hooking a pike/muskie/carp on a 5wt would be a hoot), but I have thought of fishing with a 5wt for smallies.

An 8 is a pretty good all around rod for most larger freshwater fishing.

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Old 01-16-2013, 10:28 AM
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Default Re: Is an 8 wt too much rod for smallmouth?

it all depends on how big the bugs are you will throw...my bass setup is an 8wt. and some of my streamers are still too heavy for it. i have caught smallies and lm on my 4wt. but i was fishing for panfish and the bass just happen to take it.

so for me it goes...

4wt....#10 poppers, #6-10 crawfish, #8-10 wool buggers

8wt....#2-6 poppers and #4-2/0 streamers( weighted and unweighted)
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:37 AM
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Default Re: Is an 8 wt too much rod for smallmouth?

I imagine you have some really good smallie water down there and an 8wt will serve you well for large poppers heavy clousers and so on, then if you make it north to the tribs you'll have a good steelhead rod and when they move out the big lake run bass move in. I've caught lake run bass that fought harder than the steelhead so you're in good standing.
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:45 AM
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Default Re: Is an 8 wt too much rod for smallmouth?

I agree with what the others have said, no one rod weight is necessarily best, because of the variables. Smallmouths are my favorite freshwater fish, and I've used from a 3 wt to an 8 wt to chase them. The larger the waters, the heavier I'll go, and of course on smaller streams, I'll go light. The rod sizing will limit fly sizes, however most waters will also, and the same for rod sizing will hold true for flies. The bigger the waters, the bigger the flies can be. That does not mean small flies won't work on big waters, or that you always need small flies on small waters. That's where a good selection of flies that cover the range of sizes, that can be cast with any weight rod you use comes in handy. (I've got about a bazillion flies! )

For most of the SM fishing I do, I'll use a 6 wt. I started fly fishing many years ago with a fiberglass 8 wt, which I used for several years & that's what I caught my first SM on. Depending on conditions, which is primarily wind & current, I would still use an 8 wt on larger waters such as the Susquehanna or the lower sections of the Potomac that hold SM's. Those are relatively wide open rivers, and hold enough fish of a size that an 8 wt & larger flies can be very productive, and as has been said, an 8 wt may be a bit over matched for smaller fish, but that will be true for most any species. I also would not hesitate to use my 6 wt on those same waters, but I know that would limit my fly selection somewhat. There is also the possibility of other species that would be over matched for a 6 wt. I have at times used my 6 wt with much larger flies than I would normally, such as a 4" streamers tied on 2/0 hooks. It can be done with a very short, stout leader/tippet, but does very much limit casting distance. I once encountered a school of large Striped bass while fishing for other species, and all I had was a 6 wt. The Stripers were in close to me, so distance in that situation was not a big issue, but fly size was. Compromise & adaptation is a part of fishing.

Not part of your question but fits with what I just said about the Potomac. I use from a 6 to a 10 wt regularly for LM bass. I'm most often fishing for them in tidal rivers & creeks, where an average fish may be 2 lbs, and large fish are 5 lbs and over. The heavy weight rods are not needed for the size of the fish, but, there are also other species that I might encounter, such as Striped Bass, or possibly Carp, that can be large enough to warrant the heavier tackle. Plus, I'm fishing in some really snag infested areas, which consists of Spatterdock pads, overhanging & downed timber and various vegetation, which creates problems for getting even a 2 lb bass out of that mess with a lighter weight rod. I also like to use larger size flies in these areas, flies that may be up to 8-10" long tied on 2/0 to 3/0 size hooks, for which the heavier rod is needed. I'm often using 20 lb test tippets, again not due to the fish size, but due to conditions. It's akin to the bass angler who uses 65lb braided line on a baitcaster for flipping jigs, which I also do, because that strength line cuts thru vegetation & aids in dragging hooked fish out of a mass of debris. It has little to do with the fish size in this case.

If you only have one rod, or are only purchasing one rod for general use, then there will always be trade offs no matter what species you chase or where you intend to be fishing.
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Old 01-16-2013, 11:14 AM
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Default Re: Is an 8 wt too much rod for smallmouth?

Another potomac angler here .

I agree with the above posts that an 8 weight is quite ideal for smallies around here. I like my 6 weight, but it's a ***** to cast #2 and 4 poppers when there's wind, and heavy streamer patterns suck as well.

You don't so much need the heavier rod to fish the fish as you do the heavier fly line to cast those big flies IMO.

Plus, warm water does not require light leaders/tippet nor delicate presentations. Go with the 8 weight and I doubt you'll have any problems.
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