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!!!!!!