Thread: About Your Rod;
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Old 04-24-2010, 01:41 PM
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Default About Your Rod;

I think I can shed a little more light on this subject by telling you how I handled the rod thing. When I came here in 1988 I only owned one good rod, an Orvis 7' 9" Far & Fine 5wt. The rod was my trout fishing rig and had a Hardy Feather Weight on it with as much backing as the spool would hold. I had carried that rod from Atlantic Salmon rivers in Newfoundland to the Landlocked Salmon rivers in Maine. Some times I had to break fish off least they would take the works but I was able to land many of them.

[IMG]Click the image to open in full size.[/IMG]

When I moved here for good I still brought that 5 wt. and caught many a nice Char, Rainbow, and even Silvers while using it with a Battenkill 3/4 spring & pawl reel on it. I did by then own a 9' 9wt. and adapted it to the business of salmon fishing out of common sense and necessity. Over the past six years I have added more specialty rods and they are the backbone of my fishing gear. I will list them and you may have just what you need already. The reel is by far more important than the rod in my estimation so I will list the reels I use also.

1. 9' 7wt. 4 pc Quarrow Drake with a Hardy Viscount Large Arbor Disc Drag Reel. Used for Sockeye, Silvers, and Pink Salmon. However you can catch Kings using a 7wt rod, below I am holding a 19 lb fish that I harvested using this 7wt.

[IMG]Click the image to open in full size.[/IMG]

2. A Sage VT2 9' 7wt. with a Lamson Velocity 3.5 reel. This rod seems more appropriate for Large trout / steelhead because it seems more sensitive than the Quarrow. It may be because I paid so much for the rig compared to the other 7wt set that I think of it as better suited to fishing my pretty flies for those pretty fish.

3. 8'10" Orvis Light Salmon with a Hardy Cascapedia 8/9 reel. This is a 1964 bamboo salmon rod and I use it for Silvers and light Kings. In some of the rivers of the interior the kings run on the small side. A 25 lb fish is a big one and average is around 18 - 20 lbs. I do not fear breaking the rod because the reel gives the best control I have ever seen. Below are a pair of Silver Salmon taken on the old wood rod. These are heavy fish; the reel is the Cascapedia 8/9. If you are not weight shy these reels are serious big game handlers. I would add, do not do what I did; I spent $300 more to get a Brit built model but I think the Korean ones are probably just as good.

[IMG]Click the image to open in full size.[/IMG]

4. Orvis 9' 9wt. Silver Label with an Orvis Odyssey IV reel. With this rig you can safely handle King Salmon up to 46 lbs. (My best) The reel is another true big game tool and it makes the difference when you get a big one on.

5. This year I plan to use a 13' 8wt. two hand rod purchased from LL Bean also using the Orvis Odyssey IV. (I have an extra spool) I have been practicing the casting and seem to be ready to go. I plan to use this huge rod on a river that offers little in the way of back cast room for Silvers and Trout / Steelhead. I'll keep you posted on this.

6. For a very special place I have a 6'3" graphite rod made for me by Hal James of Pennsylvania in 1994 I believe. I am not sure of the blank but is was modeled after the T&T 6'3" stealth that was marketed about then. I paid 120 for the rod and 25 for the tube. Great small water steelhead rod 5wt. but able to handle fish over two feet. (I don't weigh them) Trying to handle a long rod on some of the streams that I fish for large fish would be an exercise in futility. Below is shown the 6'3" with an average cattch. Take note of the Camo;

[IMG]Click the image to open in full size.[/IMG]

7. I fish with an 8' 6wt. Battenkill bamboo rod with a Hardy Princess on it for steelhead / trout on some medium size waters and have accidentally caught Silvers up to the 9 - 10 pound range while doing so. This would require finesse if you intend to bring cane rods. Watch where you cast.

8. When I know that there is little chance of a big fish being about I use a 6' 6" Orvis flea with a Hardy Feather Weight for Trout, Char, and an occasional Grayling.

If you own a 9' 5wt. trout rod don't be afraid to bring one along. I use an Orvis 9' 5wt. PM-10 with a CFO IV spring & pawl reel for general Trout and Char fishing on certain rivers.

So there you have it, you already have a rod that will catch fish here in Alaska so don't put off your trip because you think you need an extra $1000 just to gear up. I once was the guest of a man who had caught a huge Marlin on an 8' 6wt. fiber glass rod while fishing from a skiff. Any rod is far better than no rod, it's a matter of how you work the tackle that will land your fish.

As for me there are more rods and mor pictures but I think this will do for now.


Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard

The Alaska Fishing & Outdoors Blog;

Last edited by Ard; 04-26-2010 at 09:27 PM. Reason: Add text
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