I my area, the great PNW, a 13 ft. 7 wt is the standard spey rod for Steelhead fishing. I use one for both winter and summer runs casting both skagit and scandi heads on large rivers with broad runs. I also have a 12ft. 6/7 wt. that is a much lighter rod, but still has the power to cast a long line with either of the heads previously mentioned. I do have a 10 ft 7 wt that I use for dry line fishing on smaller rivers for Steelhead primarily using waking and skating techniques.
It all depends on perspective. For years the go to rod was a 7, sometimes even an eight. Once graphite took over the fives and sixes became top dogs but the sevens are still in large supply out there and for good reason as they are workhorses. Light enough for Smallies, saller Carp. etc and heavy enough for any Redfish not to mention Salmon, Sea Trout and others. I've always had a couple if not more from the 50s onward.
I love my 7 wt, use it for bass locally, on the TX coast when the fish size doesn't justify my Xi2 8 wt., and can't wait to toss some huge streamers for fresh trout with it. My XP 5 wt. can double as a 6, and the Xi2 is just heavy for most TX applications I've found. The 7's a bvk, and has no problems with big flies yet I am impressed by the feel I get while fighting a fish with it.
Might have gone with a 691 XP if I had the patience, but then again got the BVK shipped for $175, so I was happy!
I love fishing my 9'6" 7wt. A little extra reach from the belly boat, better in the wind than the 5 or 6. It has become one of my favorite big carp rods, and I also brought it to the everglades where it worked great for seatrout and jacks, etc.
I did catch a nice redfish, but it was on my 11wt. Not sure if I would have been able to keep him out of the mangroves with the 7wt though...
My largest fish to date, on a reddington redfly ($75 clearance rod!)
My love for that rod grew immensely with that fish!
Nice carp! I really like the idea of a 7 wt, as it seems like an ideal river smallmouth stick for throwing weighted clousers but still being sporting about it. Unfortunately for whatever reason, the manufacturers must not feel the same way, since most combos I've been looking at jump from 6 to 8 weight. It's a tough decision when what you want is in the middle!
I've mentioned before that I had a bike shop. When people buy pricey bikes, they wanted the frames sized in 1 centimeter increments. That meant keeping a lot of stock in the shop, or ordering. Some customers were willing to wait a week for a frame to arrive, and others went shopping elsewhere. Cannondale and Trek came up with a solution: sell frames in Small, Medium, and Large. The seatposts grew in size so that these three frames could be fitted to anyone's inseam. There's more to frame sizing than that, however, and many customers are now sold bikes that don't fit well.
Maybe Lefty Kreh once said, "Just get an 8-weight for larger fish". You know what happens when someone famous says something, and one or two years of looking at unsold 7wt rods probably left a lot retailers telling customers that size was worthless (it's been said to me by shop employees). How often do you see a 7wt in a shop? Never is probably the answer, because they don't want to get stuck with rods that someone said were worthless. When asked why they don't have any 7wts, shops will say they're not worth owning, and around it goes.....
I have a 7wt, but use a 5wt Z-Axis for the bigger stuff (a relative term ).
Location: White City (tad north of Medford) Oar-E-Gone
Re: 7 weights....why no love?
Just my .02 cents only (leaving small trout fishing out of this) if I could only have 'two rods,' one would be a 7wt Sage XP, the other a Anderson or Miz' 7 wt for a 2hander. Very little with those two rods that would 'out gun' you.
I have a friend who says the 7 weight is like a 16 gauge shotgun. In my eyes I only need 1 good 5,6,8,9,ect. but I need (used loosely) three 7 weights in 9,10 and 13 feet for different things. A good 7 weight is very underrated on the bonefish flats, fishing for carp, bass along with streamer fishing for trouts