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Thread: What are you using for steelhead?

  1. #1

    Exclamation What are you using for steelhead?

    I'm in NW Oregon and just wading into the wonderful world of fly fishing. I've spent more time researching equipment and locations over the last month than working my day job. (It's not an addiction and I can quite any time I want to, thankyouverymuch)

    I'm curious to know what the steelheaders here are using. On the strong advice of an experienced pro, I started out looking for a 9' 8wt. Went to a fly shop and was told I should really be seeking a 10' 7wt.

    There are chinook runs on the same rivers I fish (Sandy & Clackamas), but only 2 months out of the year vs. year-round steel.

    I'd love to hear what you guys use and why!

  2. #2

    Default Re: What are you using for steelhead?

    Your right in the middle of "Steelhead Mecca"

    I've a relative newby to chasing Steelhead. I jumped in head first by choosing the two-hander route instead of the single hander and have had an absolute ball learning a new method/style. With many good rods reasonably priced it needn't be a horribly expensive game to get into either.

    You have so many folks up there that use the two- hander that I would find a reputable shop and start walking the path. I'm sure there are some speyclaves lined up soon where you can look, touch, and cast various rods.

    Good luck with Steelhead.

  3. #3

    Default Re: What are you using for steelhead?

    I have noticed that, fyshstykr. Spey technique is a huge thing here, but it's such a debate as to what style is "best." I do find it interesting that it's famous for its use in heavily brush-covered areas when we have several very wide rivers with plenty of room for an overhand technique. And then of course there's always roll casting when space is limited.

    What was it that convinced you to go two-hand out of the gate?

    -P

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Hillsboro, OR
    Posts
    671

    Default Re: What are you using for steelhead?

    Hey Pinky.

    Well, i have mentioned this on OFF before but i think that a 7wt is too light for winter steelhead. Not that the rod will break or anything but i worry about tiring out a native past the point of recovery. I have a 7 for summer steelhead and a 8wt Redington and a 8/9wt TFO for winters. If you were to hook a chinook, that 7wt is going to be way too light.

    I am a native fish advocate and anything to help them out is my objective. At this point, every native is precious and needs to be returned unharmed. The sooner they are brought to hand and released, the better.

    Let us remind ourselves what the conditions are like on our coastal streams. It isnt often where we have a lot of room for back casts. I still feel like i am threading a needle when casting just a 9'. A 10' is going to be even more likely to meet branches.

    If you want a longer rod, i would just go get a 11' switch rod and learn a few spey techniques. You will have the option of 1 hand casting when you can.

    Look at it this way, pick up and 8 or 8/9 and you will have rod enough for winters and most salmon. It wont be long before you are expanding your rod collection and have a 7 wt and 5wt, etc, etc....

  5. #5

    Default Re: What are you using for steelhead?

    Quote Originally Posted by pinkygonzales View Post
    I have noticed that, fyshstykr. Spey technique is a huge thing here, but it's such a debate as to what style is "best." I do find it interesting that it's famous for its use in heavily brush-covered areas when we have several very wide rivers with plenty of room for an overhand technique. And then of course there's always roll casting when space is limited.

    What was it that convinced you to go two-hand out of the gate?

    -P
    My first time Steelheading was with a good friend who uses a two handed rod, he was willing to work with me, and another person offered the use of his equipment. It was something totally new to me then, now, honestly the tradition & romance of the two handed rod with Salmon and Steelhead fishing is the driving force.

    As far as the debate....I wouldn't pay attention to it. I will nymph when drifting from one spot to the next if I'm not rowing (I usually am), but as soon as I'm at the top of the next run I'm using the two hander.

    You mentioned "wide rivers and plenty of room for an overhead cast".....to that I will say much longer cast (if needed) and ease of casting with a two handed rod once you get through the initial learning curve.

    Two handers are a lot of fun to use, I'm planning to use one for the rivers I frequent for trout this year.

  6. #6

    Default Re: What are you using for steelhead?

    I'm using a TFO 8 weight with an Allen Alpha II reel for norcal steelhead. I'm trying to find a good deal on an 11 foot 7wt switch, been looking at the St Croix Imperial Switch because the two handed thing really has me intrigued. (and it would go with the Hardy St Aiden reel I just got for a steal!)
    -Carl

    Steelheader's Anonymous.

  7. #7

    Default Re: What are you using for steelhead?

    This is my go to for that type of fishing: A 13' Highlander...









    I fish a 10' 7wt Helios as a backup. You know for when I do dum s**t like leave the reel for my spey rod on my bench because I decided to change the leader the night before.

    With that being said and based on another post in this thread. I would be very interested to see any data (if any even exists) on landing times between a 9' 8wt and a 10' 7wt with the same set up (i.e. rod make, reel leader etc.). Honestly I doubt there would be that much difference but to each their own.

  8. #8

    Default Re: What are you using for steelhead?

    General rule of thumb as i understand it is that a spey rod (say 7wt)=9wt single hander in terms of fish fighting.

    For steelhead and salmon I would strongly suggest you get a two hander. they are so versitile and much more fun to cast than a single. You can nymph or swing a two hander easily with practice.

    If i was to have one chromer rod it would be a 13 foot 7 wt

    but being the gear ***** I am my stable consists of:
    sage z axis 7136
    tfo pro series 14 9
    tfo deer creek 13 7
    Echo switch 11 7
    Orvis helios 11 6
    and a ghetto tfo ticrx 7/8 wt overhead casting extension that throws bombs with the right line

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