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Old 04-12-2009, 07:09 PM
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Default Smallie 5wt line recommendations

Hey I am from SE Michigan and I am setting up a 5wt for brown trout but I would like to use it for Smallies in Lake St Clair.

Any recommendations?

Thanks
Rich
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Old 04-12-2009, 07:41 PM
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Default Re: Smallie 5wt line recommendations

I too live in MI, but I'm in the Grand Rapids area. I originally used my 9' 5wt Scott for Smallies & it's OK for the smaller sized fish. If you happen to hook into a really good sized one it maybe more than that rod maybe able to handle & it's tougher on the fish as well. My recommendation is to use a heavier weight rod. It's just my opinion, but I'd use nothing less than a 7wt rod. You can throw bigger flies & it has more fighting abilities than a 5wt. Your choice.

Best of Luck,

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Old 04-12-2009, 08:37 PM
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Default Re: Smallie 5wt line recommendations

I will build another in a little bit but right now I need the to focus on the 5 wt. I was thinking I need two lines to start with, one floating and one slow sinking. Any recommendations?

Oh an likely I will be using this out on Lake St Clair I was thinking that the wind may be an issue problem...
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Old 04-12-2009, 08:40 PM
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Default Re: Smallie 5wt line recommendations

SA's Mastery Headstart would be a good one. Its basically a Bass Bug taper, but available in a 5wt, and a top quality line for a mid quality price.
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Old 04-12-2009, 09:13 PM
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Default Re: Smallie 5wt line recommendations

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCliff View Post
SA's Mastery Headstart would be a good one. Its basically a Bass Bug taper, but available in a 5wt, and a top quality line for a mid quality price.
Does this line have the AST coating?

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Old 04-12-2009, 10:08 PM
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Default Re: Smallie 5wt line recommendations

The HeadStart lines have the AST coating, and I've used them with good
results. They also have the welded loop leader connection.

I've fished for smallmouth with a 5wt rod, and had good results. Casting
larger patterns is easier with a heavier line, but I've been able to
catch some huge fish with #12 and #10 Buggers, Clousers tied on a #10
bass bug hook. A stiffer 5wt rod helps. I caught this monster on a 5wt CLICK HERE, and took less than
5 minutes to get it in.
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Old 04-13-2009, 08:59 AM
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Default Re: Smallie 5wt line recommendations

I just broke out the 5wt for some big brown hunting with some SA Sharkskin. Very good casting line. The noise stuck out right away, but by the end of the day, I was used to it. I'm not going to say it was a huge technology advancement over other lines, but it does cast nice and very smooth. Otherwise I use Rio Clouser when I do chase smallies on the 5wt and is the same line I use on my 8wts. Now all of my bass fishing is done with 8wts, but do bring the 6wt along.

I only use a 5wt on small streams and when the fish are running on the small side. 5wts will work on bigger fish, but its when you have to control a fish out of wood, weed or other obstacles, that a bigger rod definatley helps. The wind will be your problem. 8wt is a good rod for St. Clair, especially when there are good sized pike and musky in there.

As for slow sinking lines. I would get a sink tip. Makes it much easier to pull the sink tip out for your next cast. I use the Rio Streamer tip (10' of clear intermediate head) the rest floating.

Tight lines!
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Old 04-13-2009, 09:45 AM
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Default Re: Smallie 5wt line recommendations

If you get into those 20+ inchers we used to get in May on Lake Saint Stupid, with a 5 weight you'll be under-gunned. Sure it will work but your hands will be tied a bit.
Tossing clousers with an intermediate line a good distance will be a challenge, but again... do-able.
The next part is landing those brutes. If you're stuck with a 5 weight, make sure the reel is up to snuff! Those smallies don't roll-over and play dead like a largemouth after the first run or two!
Dang do I miss spring on that lake!
Keep that 5 handy in late June when the fish fly's hatch. Hit the docks on broad daylight with a hex dry and hang on for bull bluegills!
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Old 04-13-2009, 10:06 AM
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Default Re: Smallie 5wt line recommendations

Largemouth versus Smallmouth: I fish for both, and largemouth can give
in sooner than smallmouth. Smallmouth in my area tend to be smaller than
LMB, so it can be a wash. What does a 7-8 wt offer in terms of landing a
fish? More brute strength to winch them in? Yeah, but only if the tippet is
heavy. Are either species leader shy? On some occassions yes, but on
others, no. Do you have to throw a 3-5" pattern to entice either species?
NO! I've caught my biggest smallies and LMB on rather small patterns.

I've never had to play a fish of any sort for very long on a 5-6wt rod. In fact,
when I see people playing fish forever, I wonder what the heck they're doing.
I suppose a 5,6,7X leader with a large fish on would require a longer fight, but
then tippet size shouldn't be less than 4X for bass.

I gave up using a 5wt for river smallmouth, and switched to a 6wt: easier
to cast bigger stuff into the wind, and acheive enough distance to reach
fish. The LMB in my earlier post was caught while fishing for trout. I would
have used a 6wt if I knew he was going to bite. He didn't roll over and die BTW . I caught a 16" LMB this past Friday on an 8'6" 5wt ZXL, and he
definitely didn't roll over and die ! Once again, I was fishing for
trout, but the LMB was fine with me.

Looking for a new SMB/LMB rod, I would say start with a stiffer 6wt. If you
only have a 5wt, and a new rod isn't in the works, you can definitely go
fishing for either species. Use at least a 4X tippet (3X is better), and have
at them. Keep the pressure on as much as your tippet will allow, and you'll
have either species in hand quickly.

Edit: I've never caught a 20" smallmouth, but my son caught a solid 16" smallie on the Delaware River a few years ago. He
was using an ultralight spinning rig with 4lb test. Funny thing was he dropped the rod, and then handlined the fish until I
was able to get the rod back in his hands...LOL!

***Excellent Smallie, FlyMaster!!!!!!
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Old 04-13-2009, 10:35 AM
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Default Re: Smallie 5wt line recommendations

Oh Yeah...If you're going to use a 5wt (even 6wt) have a properly sized
net with you. You'll have a heck of time trying to get a decent fish to
hand if you don't use a net. The LMB in my post above had to be played
into some very shallow water before I was able to use my trout net as a
spatula . I caught a 24" channel cat on an 8'6" 4wt a few weeks ago
(made LOTS of serious runs), and had to move myself into a few inches of water to subdue him. I've caught smallmouth that come in pretty easy until
they see me, and then the fight is on! A lot of fish are that way, however.
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