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kartman35 04-13-2013 11:50 AM

Opinions on a few rods for Northern Pike
Hi there I've recently picked up my new 6wt outfit and am looking forward to my included lesson. Meanwhile I have a trip planned for early June in Quebec's Gouin Reservoir. I'll need something heavier for casting big flies and so I'm shopping for rod number 2. My plan is to find a discontinued or previous year's model of an otherwise "higher but not high-end" rod. This way if for some reason I don't like it, it will be easier to unload in local classifieds. My hunt so far has uncovered these deals which I think might represent good value and or make for a fun rod to hang on to.
St. Croix Legend Elite 9wt from the US for around 300 CDN or "make an offer"
St. Croix Legend Ultra U909.4 from the US (I'm in montreal) for around 220CDN
Sage Vantage 8wt 2007-890 (2pc) 179.98 CDN from Canada
Sage Flight 8wt 2006-890 (2pc) 229.98 CDN Also from canada

The 2 piece thing doesn't bother me much, any time I'm pike fishing I'll have my 6'3" one piece walleye jig rod with me anyways....

Any thoughts on the above rods/deals? Are any of them likely to be harder than the others for a beginner to control? Any opinions of 9wt vs 8wt primarily for northerns, but maybe for salmon or steelhead if I ever get the chance? So far I'm leaning towards offering 250 for the Elite...thoughts?

The local Orvis store is having a 40% off sale on BBS reels so I'll probably put one of those on. The other option I have is they have a Clearwater rod/Access reel package in 8wt with backing and line for 380...However I kind of prefer the idea of having a US made higher end package from a few years back for around the same price...Unless you guys tell me my logic is flawed and there have been such advances in the last few years that the current model clearwater is a superior product...

Thanks for any opinions

Thanks much

weatherwar 04-15-2013 11:42 PM

Re: Opinions on a few rods for Northern Pike
You'll be fine with an 8wt. A 7 would probably be pushing it, but you're safe using an 8wt.

As for which rod. That list is pretty open and it looks like you have plenty of room to spend money. All of those rods will work great. As everyone on here always says, test them before you buy them. You might like the action of a certain one more when throwing huge streamers.

Also, really quick, it looks like there is a 890-4 Flight for $216 here: Closeouts ~ Colorado Fly Fishing, Fly Fishing Gear ~ Roaring Fork Anglers, Glenwood Springs,CO

MoscaPescador 04-16-2013 01:04 AM

Re: Opinions on a few rods for Northern Pike
Eight versus nine? Both can throw flies bulked up with lots of fur and feathers very easily. The issue is wind. How much of it do you have to deal with?

Sorry. I do not have any experience with the St. Croix rods. I used to sell Sage rods. The Vantage is a pretty easy going rod designed for someone who has a slower stroke. The Flight is tad quicker. Both rods can throw most payloads for their designated line ratings.

If you can cast a few rods, go at it. That would probably be best.

I suggest giving the Orvis Clearwater rod a good look. In terms of fit and finish, the current generation of Clearwaters is the best price point rods that Orvis has made even though they are made offshore. As for casting, you can figure that out.

If you choose the Orvis Clearwater, do not get the outfit. Go a la carte. That way you can get the reel that you want. Also you can get the right line to suit your needs.


stoneyclove 05-04-2013 06:33 AM

Re: Opinions on a few rods for Northern Pike
Sage have just came out with a line of pike and musky rods that look nice. I use a loomis crosscurrent 9 and 10 wt.

moucheur2003 05-04-2013 07:28 AM

Re: Opinions on a few rods for Northern Pike
An 8 should be good for both pike and salmon. So would a 9, but I find an 8 easier on the wrist if you're going to be casting a lot for several days running.

The Redington CPX is a very nice rod that was recently discontinued. Sierra Trading Post is selling out the remaining stock at deep discounts. You can get the 2- piece 8-weight version today for $134.55 if you use discount keycode HNE3290J, or the 4-piece for $147. (I would suggest the 4 piece for convenience.) It is a little stiffer than some other 8 weights, but if that bothers you you can dampen it by using a 9-weight line instead of an 8.

STP is always running discount promotions, but they change every few days and some days you can get a much better price than others. That keycode I mentioned above expires today. If you're not ready to decide just yet, go to their website and sign up for their email list to be sure you will always have the current discount offer.

pete a 05-04-2013 11:33 AM

Re: Opinions on a few rods for Northern Pike
We have the Sage Flights and Vantages in 7, 8, 10wt. I really like these rods.

Don't misunderstand the fast, mod/fast nomenclature of today. Many makers now spend more time telling how "fast" they are over just about anything else. So watch out on some, as many feel like a long spinning rind rather than a fly rod.

The Vantage 8wt is fast enough for throwing large bugs with accuracy. My son uses it well, in a variety of applications. I could live with this rods for vast majority of 8wt needs.

The 8wt Flight is my go to rod for salt water and bass fishing. It is a faster than the Vantage but none of the harshness many "fast" rods display today.

We have the 7wt in a Vantage and I love it with bit smaller bugs and streamers. IMHO the 7wt is the real "un-sung hero" of fly fishing. 6wt's just can't toss a bug large enough for most bass/pike/salt water use. A 7wt really makes a difference here.

Pete A.

Here's some bragging pics (my sons) caught with Sage Flight & Vantage:

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