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Thread: Compare 3 wts

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Blog Entries

    Default Compare 3 wts

    As I've grown a bit older, I've developed an affinity for smaller water, high elevation creeks, and small watersheds and tributaries from tail waters, for several reasons;

    1) They are plentiful within an easily commutable distance of me.
    2) They are FAR less crowded than the larger waters, (particularly here in Colorado where angler quantities are robust), therefore, provide a more tranquil experience.
    3) They are easy to wade if needed and fishable almost always without worry of flows.
    4) They can be fished with lightweight, very pleasant to use, gear.
    5) They offer, potentially, as great or greater challenge in stalking wary fish. (smaller fish naturally are predator hyper sensitive as easier targets).
    6) They offer, by location, exceptional insect habitat in most instances, and therefore offer, arguably, heightened opportunities for fishing dry's. (think size 22 Parachute Adams and Brookies).

    Because of this, I have become somewhat of a light line enthusiast over the last 5-7 years. I know that many people do not fish lower line weights, that they prefer the mass of larger line for casting manipulation, and that certainly, any smaller of body can be fished with larger gear. However, I have come to know this aspect as a challenging, new dimension, to my fishing resume. Becoming an artist with a 3 wt or lighter is it's own unique skill set, requiring a bit of re-write of one's casting prowess, and a completely different set of presentation expertise. I also would argue, that a 3 wt is an optimum medium for this canvas. In recent years, light line rods and lines have come about from 3,2,1 wts. to 0,00,000,0000 wts. and who knows how much lighter, but, I have found that as an all around light line configuration, 3wt is the most usable, especially under any slightly adverse conditions that may arise. The lightest weight I own is a 1 wt. But find, with the exception of one 2wt. I hold in admiration, that the 3wt is the "5 weight all arounder" of light line configurations.

    With this in mind, I thought I would open up a post for others that may be light line enthusiasts, or those exploring the options where we might compare 3 wts and our experiences there-of. Especially since the 3wt options currently in market are catering to the niche quite admirably and are very robust as of current, in both Glass and Graphite + material design.

    What is your favorite three weight and why?
    How many three weights have you fished, your opinion on them, and in what configurations?
    What new three weight are you eyeballing as a prospective purchase?
    How many three weights do you own?
    Do you also prefer the 3 wt as an all around light weight rod? If not what do you prefer?

    Aaaaaand Gooooooo...........

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Columbia, MO
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Compare 3 wts

    I own two 3-weights; a 7'6" glass custom rod made for me by Midwest Custom Fly Rods and a 8'3" graphite Orvis Western Series. I like both of them for different reasons. The shorter glass rod gets me into brushy creeks and the Orvis gives me a little more reach on more open streams. I can cast them equally well, so I don't really have a favorite between them. I have cast a buddy's 7'6" St. Croix Ultra. It's more of a full-flex than mine, so would take getting used to. I owned a 7'6" 1-weight graphite, for a short time. I just could not make friends with that rod, so I sold it. So, my answer would be to not go any lighter, at least for now.

    "As no man is born an artist, so no man is born an angler" ...Izaak Walton

    "Nothing is as bad as something that is not so bad"...Sr. Percival Blakeney, aka The Scarlet Pimpernel

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  5. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Southern NH

    Default Re: Compare 3 wts

    I fish 3 wt (and lighter) rods often.

    They're not current, but I'd suggest the Echo3 7'6" 3 wt. or the Sage TXL-F 7'10" 3 wt.
    The TXL-F is faster than the Echo, but not hugely so.
    I've used both of these on fish ranging from 5" to 24". They're light when you want that for small fish and strong enough when you need it for larger ones.
    Today is the first day of the rest of your life.


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  7. #4

    Default Re: Compare 3 wts

    I have a plethora of 3's. Including the unfished Dart. My fav is probably the 380 RPL. The RPL's (8'6" and under) still make me shake my head even vs all new rod tech. Powell Legacy, Winston 386 BIII, Helios 8'4", I think I have 7 or 8 3's...These posts make me feel like a rod monger. I have a disease.

    As you can imagine I spend a great deal of my fishing time on small waters with the kiddos.

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  9. #5

    Default Re: Compare 3 wts

    I use my 3 wt when the water is low and the fish spookier than normal. I use a Sage LL 3 wt. She can lay the line down so smooth, Provided I don't mess up.

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  11. Default Re: Compare 3 wts

    I have 4 3wts. One is a special purpose Euro Nymph Sage ESN which sees little use. The most frequently used are a Scott G2 8'8" 3wt, Hardy 7' 3wt The Stream glass rod, and a Winston LT 7'9" 3wt. I probably reach for the Winston the most as the 5pc rod tube is easiest to pack into mountain streams. I love the G2, but it has to be an outing with not much of a breeze, and with little likelihood of throwing much other than Sulphurs or Rusty Spinners or other smallish/medium dries. And the Hardy Stream-if it were only a 4 or 5 Piece-it would go everywhere as I enjoy the feel and action of the rod.
    Last edited by tln1313; 01-08-2019 at 06:10 PM. Reason: typeo

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  13. Default Re: Compare 3 wts

    Somewhat different waters, I think, from reading Gierach etc. Small streams here, not long rivers so fairly close to the tide running off Dartmoor with no snow melt. 4 #3 rods, 1, 10ft for clear open water where control of line is paramount. 2, Greys 7'6"#3 for most streams with a little headroom. 3, 6'6" Orvis troutbum, my favourite small stream rod.. just perfect. 4, Chinese 6'6" 3, very nice rod, little bit faster than the Orvis and, in very covered streams, don't care about scratching it..
    The Superfine Trout bum, (about 2006 ish) is the nicest rod I own, would love it in a 7ft and a 7'6" #4 (Same blanks as the T3) but can't afford it.. Ah.. the size of trout run to 3 to the pound but have sea trout to 5 pound+ish and the Orvis(best), actually all the rods hold 4lb fish well and bigger if tippet allows..
    Last edited by lepirate; 01-08-2019 at 06:14 PM.

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  15. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Northern California

    Default Re: Compare 3 wts

    I have a bunch of 3 wts, and a couple of 2's. One fiberglass in each line size, and a few graphites. None are terrible expensive but all work fine.

    The small trout streams I fish rarely have a lot of wind and don't have many fish greater than 8-9". I prefer my 2 weights for that fishing, its a lot of fun with small dries. I recently picked up a Redington Classic Trout in 2wt, I'm liking it so far.

    I use the 3 weights more for panfishing on larger water, like the CA Delta, close to where I live. They handle wind better, especially when overweighted with a 4 wt line, and throws beadheads better. I also catch a fair number of largemouth up to about 4 lbs when panfishing, and the slightly heavier rod can handle them better and is still a blast to fish with a nice size bluegill or crappie.


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  17. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Billings, Mt

    Default Re: Compare 3 wts

    7'9" Diamondback Classic or Winston WT 803... two of the sweetest small water trout rods ever made..

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  19. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Northern Colorado

    Default Re: Compare 3 wts

    My favorite fishing is high mountain streams and alpine lakes in Colorado. I have two 3 weights. A 76 3 weight Blue Halo and a 703 Scott F2. I think 3 weights are perfectly matched to glass.

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