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  1. #1

    Default Difference between 4, 5, and 6 wt

    Might be heading to the Pyrenees in July and I’m wondering about what rods to be messing around with. The guide I’ve been out with uses a 9’ 5 wt. The rivers are medium sized. We should be wading.

    I have a 9’ 4 wt G2. Is it time to buy a 9’ 5 wt? If I find a great deal on a 6 wt will that be just as good as the 5 wt?

    I fish mostly saltwater with sz 2 clousers. Can’t a 4/5/6 wt throw a caddis pattern all the same?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    SF Bay area California

    Default Re: Difference between 4, 5, and 6 wt

    Well I have never fished the Pyrenees but, if the guide is using a 9' 5wt and you already have a 9' 4wt then I would be tending toward buying a 9' 6wt for the versatility that would afford you.

    A 6wt rod was pretty much the standard all-around weight in a trout rod for many years before the 5wt became more popular. You are correct that a 4/5/6 weights are all versatile trout rods, as you go up in line weight you just need to lengthen the leader when fishing drys. When I go for bigger fish in the fall I usually take my six weight rod to throw streamers. But, if a hatch comes off I can switch it up and catch small trout using the same rod while fishing a longer leader and small midges. A small trout can still put a good bend in a 6wt rod.

    So my vote would be to go for a 4-weight rigged for dry flies or light Nymphing and a 6-weight for heavier Nymphing, bigger dry dropper rigs or streamers. Another part of my recommendation is that you said you do a lot of saltwater fishing so after the trip is over the 6wt could also be used for light saltwater fishing if you get a reel with a good (sealed) drag.

    Good luck on your decision and I hope you get to go on the trip.


    Tim C.

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  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Sheffield UK

    Default Re: Difference between 4, 5, and 6 wt

    Do you believe what is written on the rods?. So many times we hear of "up lining", "down lining", when in reality almost every rod will handle a range of lines.
    When I was younger I was given the advice to "choose the line for the job, then match the rod to the line". Not foolproof but a good starting point.
    Conditions will determine which outfit is most suitable, that will be specific to you and the situation, your guide might have his own reasons for choosing a specific outfit.

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  6. #4

    Default Re: Difference between 4, 5, and 6 wt

    The difference between #'s 4, 5 & 6-weight rods trout fishing is about the same as the difference between #'s 7, 8 & 9-weights flats fishing. I know little about the Pyrenees other than the food is likely much better than most mountainous areas I fish in America. Do your research and consult with your guide focusing on flies most likely to be fished and the diversity of methodologies to be employed. If it is mostly dry flies on medium sized rivers your Scott #4 would likely be just fine. However, as in all fishing trips one must be outfitted with at least two rod outfits. A more powerful 6-weight would enhance your fly size and wind fighting range but your guide favors a 9'/#5...probably with good reason. Since your G2 is at the more moderate end of the flex spectrum, you could supplement with a #5 (or 6) with a flex profile more in tune with your salt rods. Much has previously been written here about 9'/#5's and while a consensus does not and will not exist...and I do not own one...Asquith may be the best. X and Avantt are very good indeed and a price point down further has rods like SKY and Taylor's new Truth.

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  8. #5

    Default Re: Difference between 4, 5, and 6 wt

    In my experience/opinion there is a difference between a 4, 5 and 6 but there is also a difference between different tapers.

    Using 9 foot 5 weights for example, there is a big difference between a Winston Pure and a Sage One. The One is a fast action rod that will cast with a lot of line speed while the Pure will be a much lower line speed and a totally different casting stroke.

    My suggestion would be to go to a fly shop and cast a bunch of rods and see how different they are versus the 4 you already have.

    A 9 foot 5 can be a good all around trout rod but perhaps you want to go with two, a “small” and a “big” rod.

    There are no hard and fast rules but spending some time casting rods will tell you what you think. Which is what really matters.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

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  10. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Hudsonville, Michigan
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Difference between 4, 5, and 6 wt

    I do agree with Tim, you've got a good 4wt set up with your G2. Maybe look into a 6wt Scott Flex 9'. I have one and am very pleased with it, especially the grip. I primarily use it for Smallmouth fishing and throwing large streamers for trout. Great rod without breaking the bank!


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  12. #7

    Default Re: Difference between 4, 5, and 6 wt


    agree with denny - due to orvis Report in 2014 this might be a reasonable decision.

    best regards


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  14. Default Re: Difference between 4, 5, and 6 wt

    There’s all kinds of water to be had, but judging from my own experience and other trip reports I have read a 4wt would be very versatile. I agree with the suggestion of a dry fly / small stream and a wet fly / larger water set up. But I would really suggest to email or call your guide.

    There’s also personal preference and what kind of fishing you like and feel confident with. My travel companion when fishing mountainous areas in the Scandinavian north always bring a 9’6” 7wt and usually a 9’0” 5wt for more intimate work.
    My ”casting cannon” by comparison is usually a 8-9’ 5wt and I almost always bring a shortish 3-4wt rod for most of my dry fly work. He spends a lot of time fishing the salt and likes reach, I love small stream fishing and love it when I can execute a cast on a fish I snuck up on.

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  16. #9

    Default Re: Difference between 4, 5, and 6 wt

    I think really, the only solution here is to get a 5wt AND a 6wt. And maybe two lines for the 6.

    But really, not much sense in a medium flexing 5 if you alaready have a 904 G2. A newer fast 5, especially if it a known quantity like the X or Asquith, is going to handle light 6 wt. duties too. Those rods can handle some wind or sure, you might have an all around and nymphing line. The Igniter in a 905 would cover everything from your G2 completely through most 6wts range too. I don't mean that you have to get an expensive rod, those are just examples I know about.

    Oh, a 906 Radian could cover 5 and 6wty duties too. Tip like a noodle, butt like a tank.

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  18. #10

    Default Re: Difference between 4, 5, and 6 wt

    For this occasion I wouldn't be using anything but dry flies. I sometimes throw big streamers on floats and think at the moment I would use a new true to line 8 wt.

    I'm going to head to the Marlborough, MA fly show and try some 5/6 wts. I guess the list is Avantt, Asquith...

    Also, I buy tons of used rods flip through them like crazy buy/sell/buy/sell. This is a rod I will probably buy new and want to just stick with.

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