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Thread: Smallmouth gear?

  1. #1

    Default Smallmouth gear?

    I primarily trout fish western NC but plan on exploring more into eastern Tn and maybe up in to the Va's. I've never fished for smallies but plan to soon. Is there a perfect weight / length rod that I should use. Right now I have only 4, 5, and 8wt rods. From what I have read, 6 to 8 is the most used for smallies. For some reason, I have wanted a 7 wt for a while and think this might be a great all around choice realizing I really have nothing to base this on. Any help or thoughts that might steer me in the right direction? A 6 wt seems logical since I don't currently have one and I can use it for streamer trout fishing. Just want to make sure I get something with enough backbone for smallmouth. I will probably spend most of my time on the French Broad and smaller streams.
    James

  2. #2

    Default Re: Smallmouth gear?

    I personally like a fast 6wt or a mod/fast 7wt that is 9' long. Some of my favorite flies for (river) smallies are clousers and deer hair poppers. Each have either some weight to them or some wind resistant bulk that can make casting a challenge on something too slow for me.
    Less likey, more green dots
    BrookFieldAngler.com

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Smallmouth gear?

    I've used from 3 wt's up to 8 wt's for Smallies, based simply on the waters size & the size flies I want to use. Generally these 2 considerations limit the size of the fish, and even the occasional bruiser is not a problem, no matter what rod wt I might be using. That's fishing!

    There's really no right or wrong to it & often it's just a matter of personal preference. For the majority of the places I've fished for them, I go with a 8'6" 6 wt that I've had for many years. (Cabela's Gary Borger Signature model, no longer made.)

    No matter what you decide to try, there's always going to be conditions, situations & fish size that won't fit the rod. It's always a compromise no matter how much thought we put into it.

    Frankly, you would probably be fine with what you have. Of course, sometimes we all need an excuse to buy another rod!
    Remember, no one likes to be behind the big truck, but that's better than being under it!

  4. Likes jaybo41, yonder, krikau27 liked this post
  5. #4

    Default Re: Smallmouth gear?

    Quote Originally Posted by bigjim5589 View Post
    I've used from 3 wt's up to 8 wt's for Smallies, based simply on the waters size & the size flies I want to use. Generally these 2 considerations limit the size of the fish, and even the occasional bruiser is not a problem, no matter what rod wt I might be using. That's fishing!

    There's really no right or wrong to it & often it's just a matter of personal preference. For the majority of the places I've fished for them, I go with a 8'6" 6 wt that I've had for many years. (Cabela's Gary Borger Signature model, no longer made.)

    No matter what you decide to try, there's always going to be conditions, situations & fish size that won't fit the rod. It's always a compromise no matter how much thought we put into it.

    Frankly, you would probably be fine with what you have. Of course, sometimes we all need an excuse to buy another rod!
    All I need is an excuse. A 6 is all I probably need for my area. Now the shopping fun begins.

    ---------- Post added at 09:02 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:58 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by brookfieldangler View Post
    I personally like a fast 6wt or a mod/fast 7wt that is 9' long. Some of my favorite flies for (river) smallies are clousers and deer hair poppers. Each have either some weight to them or some wind resistant bulk that can make casting a challenge on something too slow for me.
    Gonna start the search for probably a good 6 wt.
    James

  6. #5

    Default Re: Smallmouth gear?

    I really enjoy my l-tech 6wt... Casts effortlessly and I really enjoy the reel seat design

  7. #6

    Default Re: Smallmouth gear?

    I have used a 6wt more than any other weight but if you already have a 5wt,thats a good rod to use.A lot of people prefer that weight and you can always upline it with a 6 wt line if neeed.Your 8wt would take care of the bigger flies.

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Smallmouth gear?

    Bigjim is spot on.

    To answer your question from my perspective, what size flies and what type of fly will you be using?

    I fish a 590 when targeting smallies and throw #6 streamers to #14 dries. It works well enough on medium size streams. I just need to change my stroke as the fly's weight dictates and the distance I need to cast.

    Full disclosure: I did add a 6 wt for streamer fishing to handle weighted or larger flies, admittedly I am more of a trout guy. Add to that, I have a weakness when it comes to tackle.
    ~*~Leave only your footprints~*~

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  10. #8

    Default Re: Smallmouth gear?

    I use a Redington 5/6 (Full outfit for like $150) for small mouth, and I have never had any issue landing them. The other good thing, is if the smalllies arent hitting, I can still throw a fairly small fly that will catch the panfish.

    If you are going to start exploring Va, let me know, maybe we can meet up and I can show you some good water. There are two very good ones to choose from, The New River and The James.

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  12. #9

    Default Re: Smallmouth gear?

    Quote Originally Posted by swhite1989 View Post
    I use a Redington 5/6 (Full outfit for like $150) for small mouth, and I have never had any issue landing them. The other good thing, is if the smalllies arent hitting, I can still throw a fairly small fly that will catch the panfish.

    If you are going to start exploring Va, let me know, maybe we can meet up and I can show you some good water. There are two very good ones to choose from, The New River and The James.
    Sounds good. Will let you know if I make it up that way. Grew up in WVa, White Sulphur Springs, and want to get back up that direction.
    James

  13. #10
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Smallmouth gear?

    I also agree with BigJim.........I typically go with a 3 or 4 weight, because I know the average size fish in the New River in Ashe County, North Carolina........plus there are lots of sunfish that love to hit top water poppers as well.......you can land a good sized smallmouth on a 4 weight....and have alot of fun in the process.......
    yonder

    Here I walk slowly, deliberately, taking it one step, one trout, one sunset at a time. -Harry Middleton

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