I am pretty new to fly fishing, I can cast pretty well for a person at my level. ( I been fly fishing since June 2008) So far I got a 5 wt, 6wt, and 8wt. Sages and Temple fork outfitter rods. I know I can use a 8wt for pike here in IL, but when I am up in Canada I would like something with more of a back bone incase I hook into a 40" plus fish. I was thinking of a 9wt, not sure what make or model I should get? Any suggestions I would like to spend less than $300 for the rod.
I also like muskie fishing. Looking to get into Fly fishing for muskies. Not sure what rod to get? Any Suggestions would be much appreciated?
As for flies, I really have no clue besies clousers and wooly buggers? What do people usually use for pike and muskies?
I have fished for Pike here in CO for the last 2 years, largest I've landed was 36" on a 7wt. I really think a 9wt is overkill but I prefer to fish a lighter rod if possible. I don't know enough about rods to help but I spent all winter tying pike flies last year. If you can spin deer hair, there are a lot more options (dahlberg divers etc.) Rabbit strip flies are my favorite, the action they give in the water is just amazing (big fan of all black). If you tie, try tying in more synthetics for clouser-like patters because bucktail wont last very long in the mouths of the toothy critters you're after. If you are planning on buying, various websites have catagories for pike/muskie if you do a general search on yahoo or google you'll get a good idea of whats out there. I love throwing big flies but smaller patterns will also work real well. There is a HUGE color variety you can choose from which is why I spent so much time tying. Anything from all black or white to perch/sunfish to crayfish patterns will work. Yellow/red and chartruese are also very popular. I use a 12-20" section of basic mono as a bite tibbet. Wire leaders get kinked after a few fish and the flies aren't heavy enough to straighten them out. Many will recommend a heavier bite tibbet but I think it takes the fun out of it. If you know you're going to land every fish you hook into and wont be broken off it is not very exciting.
BTW, muskie are called the fish of a 1,000 casts for a reason. If you land one, tell us all about it because most people will never catch a muskie on a fly.
As for the fly rods i would just use your 8 weight and save the money. Its only one size difference anyway. I had a buddy who went to Canada for pike and landed several above 35 inches with his 8 weight, it is plenty of rod just dont try and muscle the fish to much. Your leader will be the weak point (because of a wire "tippet'' in the set up not the rod. As for flies he just used big streamer and leech patterns. I think he might have used some big bass poppers as well.
Good luck to ya.
edit: As i was writing the previous poster got his post up before mine. I would take his info on the tippet because i was just using the information from my friend, not first hand info.
Like the others have said use the 8wt
What you might to do though is get a heavier line.
This will enable you to toss larger, more air resistant flies
I fish 9wt lines on my 8wts nearly all the time
Last night, in a stiff breeze I was using a 10wt line
Try it. You may never go back....
For pike, I like flies in black and red/yellow. Lots of action, plenty of flash.
One of the best and simplest to tie is a basic Seaducer
I agree with livtofish about not needing a wire trace. The teeth of pike are large enough that your tippet will slide in between and for the most part you'll be safe from biteoffs
As far as your rod, an 8 weight is plenty even for 40+ inch Pike. If you want a line specifically for pike there are Pike lines out there (Cortland makes a great line that shoots awesome). There are also Pike leaders available, I like Rio's "Toothy Critter" leaders. From my fly line, I run 2ft of 30lb mono, 2ft of 20lb mono and then the toothy critter leader. I don't like using mono for tippet as I've lost a lot of flies due to cut leaders by the Pike's sharp teeth. Other things you'll need when hunting monster Pike is a large cradle (or net), long forceps (or needle nose pliers) and some jaw spreaders. My all time favorite Pike fly is a white Popsicle leech with an orange cone head. I've caught a ton of Pike fishing the popsicle leech in an assortment of colors but the white seems to work best for me.
This is the fly I used...
to catch this Pike...
I was lucky with this one as he lost most of his teeth. Not sure how he lost them but my digits are happy
The best rod for what you want is a #10, 9', with a fighting butt. Temple Fork makes a good one in 4 pc that's very affordable. Many decent reels available for under $100. You'll only need 100' of backing and a decent drag, unless you'll use the rod for saltwater or big salmon, where you'll need more backing. Re: flies, if you tie yourself, the best is flared marabou (R/W, R/Y, R/Orange), 3/0 hook, with lots of flashabou which should extend 2": beyond the feathers. Use the largest eyes you can, too. I'm finishing a book on flyfishing for pike & musky (I'ver held 12 IGFA world records) that'll tell you everything. Wrire if you have any more questions.
I forgot to add, you need a bite tippet. Tyger Wire works great and you can tie knots in it. Other have posted you can use the 8 wt. They are right, but you'll work harder to throw big flies. I agree with overloading the rod a line wt. or two, which cuts down of false casting. I've held a lot of light tackle records but have found when using a very lite rod, the fish is often so tired by the time I land him he never recovers well enough to survive. But I hand-land everything myself, so if you've got a buddy (or guide) who is quick with a net, the lighter rod can work. I'm there for the fight, not the fish in the boat, but that's why they make 31 Flavors!