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  1. #1

    Default Upgraded 3wt for Driftless Brookies and Bluegill

    I am searching for a 3wt to upgrade from the Echo Carbon. I like the rod well enough but am always searching for something else. I have been contemplating the Orvis Superfine Carbon/Glass, Douglas Upstream, Sage Pulse, and Scott Flex. Is there something in this price bracket that I am missing and should look at? Also I have never fished a Double taper and was thinking that this may be the rod to first try it on. Or I have a Rio Creek 2wt sitting around that does not have a rod. It has a head weight of 100 grains, I was thinking that it may just work on a slower 3wt.

  2. #2
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    Jan 2017
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    Default Re: Upgraded 3wt for Driftless Brookies and Bluegill

    Scott F Series

  3. #3

    Default Re: Upgraded 3wt for Driftless Brookies and Bluegill

    If you’re looking in the 7’6” range, I’d honestly figure out a way to save up another couple hundred bucks and get a 376 Sage DART.

    It would be a massive upgrade over what you have and you’d never find yourself itching to upgrade your small 3wt again. Maybe itching for another rod, like all of us with the disease do from time to time, but you’ll be wanting to fill a different spot in the quiver when you do.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Upgraded 3wt for Driftless Brookies and Bluegill

    Quote Originally Posted by seattlesetters View Post
    If you’re looking in the 7’6” range, I’d honestly figure out a way to save up another couple hundred bucks and get a 376 Sage DART.
    Just my opinion, but why on earth would anyone spend that much on a 3wt rod, especially for brookies and bluegills. If you want to buy a 3wt rod at $700, make it bamboo.

    I agree with zjory, fiberglass would be a fantasic choice for the price range you're looking at. And there's so many fiberglass makers out there to choose from.

    And looking at your list, I have to ask, what type of action do you prefer, because your kind of all over the place from slow to mod/slow to med/fast to fast.
    The only thing human kind ever learned through history, is that through history, human kind has learned nothing.

  5. Likes Ard, zjory, troutbum_74 liked this post
  6. #5

    Default Re: Upgraded 3wt for Driftless Brookies and Bluegill

    I was thinking Sage Dart for a bit. I talked my self out of it. As for action, it does not much matter to me. I fish all sorts of different actions.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  7. #6

    Default Re: Upgraded 3wt for Driftless Brookies and Bluegill

    Quote Originally Posted by scotty macfly View Post
    Just my opinion, but why on earth would anyone spend that much on a 3wt rod, especially for brookies and bluegills. If you want to buy a 3wt rod at $700, make it bamboo.

    I agree with zjory, fiberglass would be a fantasic choice for the price range you're looking at. And there's so many fiberglass makers out there to choose from.

    And looking at your list, I have to ask, what type of action do you prefer, because your kind of all over the place from slow to mod/slow to med/fast to fast.
    Just my opinion but I wouldnít pay even $70 for the most expensive fiberglass rod ever made, let alone the $700 or more some of these rods are priced at.

    I like bamboo but Iím not going to find a new cane rod that will put a serious smile on my face for $700. I might for twice that much, but itíll suck if I ever accidentally break it.

    The Dart is the most insanely light, ridiculously thin, supremely ďfeelyĒ rod Iíve used. Way more feel than even my most expensive bamboo rods but still more capable of making all the difficult technical casts and sometimes awkward casts we need to make when we find ourselves on small streams. Itíll zip a surface popper 50í on a pond, too.

    If you happen to live where the only fishing readily available to you is small streams, brooks and ponds, it makes a great deal of sense to spend upper-mid price range dollars for a stick youíll use a great deal of the time. I live in the mountains and literally have hundreds of small streams to fish within a two hour drive, perhaps fifty within an hour and at least a half-dozen within twenty minutes. I fish the latter about three times a week after work in the summer when it stays light until 10pm up here. I have quite a few small stream rods, with the Dart being the least expensive. I use the longer ones (8í - 8í6Ē) on more open creeks and the Dart (mine is the 076, but Iíve fished all of them except the 366) when things get tight. I also have a beautiful 7í 3wt hollow-built quad cane rod that gets used a few times a year.

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  9. #7
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    Default Re: Upgraded 3wt for Driftless Brookies and Bluegill

    I might suggest that the OP read through the "compare 3 wts" thread, as there is a pile of insight there.

    Additionally, If you want to stay within a specific budget, but desire some top flight gear, you might consider the resale market, perhaps the auction site. Often, very often, there are literally virtually new top tier rods available at significantly discounted prices.

    I think you will find plenty of great rod recommendations to consider on the above mentioned thread.

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  11. #8
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    Default Re: Upgraded 3wt for Driftless Brookies and Bluegill

    Quote Originally Posted by scotty macfly View Post
    Just my opinion, but why on earth would anyone spend that much on a 3wt rod, especially for brookies and bluegills. If you want to buy a 3wt rod at $700, make it bamboo.

    I agree with zjory, fiberglass would be a fantasic choice for the price range you're looking at. And there's so many fiberglass makers out there to choose from.

    And looking at your list, I have to ask, what type of action do you prefer, because your kind of all over the place from slow to mod/slow to med/fast to fast.

    To Scotty's point, it is certainly not mandatory nor required to use high end gear for small water. However, as I have opined previously at length in the 3 wt thread, small water can often offer some of the most challenging and unforgiving angling experiences that exist. Arguably, gin clear shallow small water can create the most presentation sensitive demand in all of fishing, to some of the most hyper aware, predator sensitive, spooky, fish in existence. Often testing the skills of the most accomplished anglers, forcing them to up their game to their very limits, when only allowing for one singular presentation pass or fail, before being sent down stream to another location or back to the truck. Bigger water is more forgiving, usually allowing multiple presentations and larger margin of error of locating a presentation, simply try again and continue fishing. Small water failed singular presentations often end production immediately. Because of this, I often contend, that small stream enthusiasts should equip themselves with specialty tools that are capable of less error, and tools where pin point presentation can be accomplished with greater consistency. I believe that I could take any 9' 5wt on the planet and go fish med-lrg water, sling lead, make a half butted nymphing attempt, and catch a fish or two, but I believe the same cannot be said for small water where a single failed attempt at pin point presentation can yield a hard pass/fail for that stretch of water. My counterpoint would be, if I could only have one inexpensive rod and one higher end rod, my higher end rod would be to fish the smaller water that requires more perfect presentation and my less expensive would be to sling whatever on larger water.

    To this point, we all like quality gear, and we all likely would usually prefer to have the best that is affordable to us each individually. I do believe it makes perfect sense to spend within one's means, but also, seeking high quality gear for smaller water is quite logical, and although counter intuitive to some, arguably it is more important, and easier to rationalize, than high end gear for other fisheries that allow for much greater margins of error and routinely allow 2nd and 3rd chances at fish.

    Lastly, I do like quality fiberglass, and I think fiberglass, in certain instances, offers a viable alternative to small stream enthusiasts as an option. It has come a long way from my original Shakespeare Wonderod, with brands like Scott, and other custom makers with dialed in blanks leading the way. However, there is a unique class of lightweight graphite rods, from several makers, over several decades and yet still, that were specifically designed for these scenarios as well and offer exceptional performance in this task. I have opined, and will again, these rods will rival and exceed any specialty small water glass rod I have ever cast or fished, including the latest high end offerings.

    I think maybe Scotty, Zjory, and any other local CO members should plan a sunny day to come down to my place, drink some craft beer (bring plenty I like beer), and cast some rods, I am willing to bet, (after casting Morgan/Brackett era IM6's or WT's in 6'6" 2&3 wts and 7' 2 wt & 7' & 7'6" 3wt & Winston Pure/BIII LS 7'6" 3wt, & Scott GS 773, Dart 376, Scott MMT 6'10" 3wt)- that within two beers time, you will; 1) Understand the value of a high end small water rods 2) Throw rocks at anything less, including top fiberglass, after experiencing the feel and accuracy of some of these rods.

    Bring dixie cups too and we'll put them under overhanging branches and you'll see what I mean..

    Seriously though, to the OP, and back to topic - Go cast- and fish if possible, as many small water rods as you can get your hands on, and follow your personal preference, one will speak to you, and after all, the only one that needs to be happy with this choice is YOU. Good luck on your search !! Keep us posted on what you choose!!
    Last edited by cooutlaw; 04-14-2019 at 01:30 AM.

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  13. #9
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    Default Re: Upgraded 3wt for Driftless Brookies and Bluegill

    Quote Originally Posted by cooutlaw View Post
    To Scotty's point, it is certainly not mandatory nor required to use high end gear for small water. However, as I have opined previously at length in the 3 wt thread, small water can often offer some of the most challenging and unforgiving angling experiences that exist. Arguably, gin clear shallow small water can create the most presentation sensitive demand in all of fishing, to some of the most hyper aware, predator sensitive, spooky, fish in existence. Often testing the skills of the most accomplished anglers, forcing them to up their game to their very limits, when only allowing for one singular presentation pass or fail, before being sent down stream to another location or back to the truck. Bigger water is more forgiving, usually allowing multiple presentations and larger error of locating a presentation, simply try again and continue fishing. Small water failed singular presentations often end production immediately. Because of this, I often contend, that small stream enthusiasts should equip themselves with specialty tools that are capable of less error, and tools where pin point presentation can be accomplished with greater consistency. I believe that I could take any 9' 5wt on the planet and go fish med-lrg water, sling lead, make a half butted nymphing attempt, and catch a fish or two, but I believe the same cannot be said for small water where a single failed attempt at pin point presentation yields a pass/fail for that stretch of water. My counterpoint would be, if I could only have one inexpensive rod and one higher end rod, my higher end rod would be to fish the smaller water that requires more perfect presentation and my less expensive would be to sling whatever on larger water.

    To this point, we all like quality gear, and we all likely would usually prefer to have the best that is affordable to us each individually. I do believe it makes perfect sense to spend within one's means, but also, seeking high quality gear for smaller water is quite logical, and although counter intuitive to some, arguably it is more important, and easier to rationalize, than high end gear for other fisheries that allow for much greater margins of error and routinely allow 2nd and 3rd chances at fish.

    Lastly, I do like quality fiberglass, and I think fiberglass, in certain instances, offers a viable alternative to small stream enthusiasts as an option. It has come a long way from my original Shakespeare Wonderod. However, there is a unique class of lightweight graphite rods, from several makers, that were specifically designed for these scenarios as well and offer exceptional performance in this task. I have opined, and will again, these rods will rival and exceed any specialty small water glass rod I have ever cast or fished, including the latest high end offerings.

    I think maybe Scotty, Zjory, and any other local CO members should plan a sunny day to come down to my place, drink some craft beer (bring plenty I like beer), and cast some rods, I am willing to bet, (after casting Morgan/Brackett era IM6's or WT's in 6'6" 2&3 wts and 7' 2 wt & 7' & 7'6" 3wt & Winston Pure/BIII LS 7'6" 3wt, & Scott GS 773, Dart 376, Scott MMT 6'10" 3wt)- that within two beers time, you will; 1) Understand the value of a high end small water rods 2) Throw rocks at anything less, including top fiberglass, after experiencing the feel and accuracy of some of these rods.

    Bring dixie cups too and we'll put them under overhanging branches and you'll see what I mean..

    Seriously though, to the OP, and back to topic - Go cast- and fish if possible, as many small water rods as you can get your hands on, and follow you personal preference, one will speak to you, and after all, the only one that needs to be happy with this choice is YOU. Good luck on your search !! Keep us posted on what you choose!!
    Sounds like a perfect Colorado day to me. Iím in.

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  15. #10

    Default Re: Upgraded 3wt for Driftless Brookies and Bluegill

    The rods already suggested are all great options. I might suggest, especially since I also fish the driftless, is to consider a St. Croix Legend Ultra with eight a 7’6” 3 wt or maybe even an 8 footer. I have a 7’6” 4 wt and really like it for the kind of water you find in MN and WI. For fishing blue gill I would consider a bit longer rod if fishing from shore, mainly because on many Midwest lakes and ponds, you need to reach beyond the weed lines to effectively fish, which also helps in lifting fish over the weeds when landing them. Today, I caught 30 plus bluegill on a local pond in about 50 minutes. I was using an 8’ reading ton 5 wt. In fact, if you fish a lot for bluegill a 5 wt makes sense in the context that you can occasionally hook a hefty bass or big crappie where the stiffer, stronger rod is a plus. In any event, it is a gas catching trout and panfish on these rods. SR

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