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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
    Posts
    17,149
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    132

    Default Re: What rod to add...?

    Hello,

    I only own one 3 weight fly rod. When I bought it I already owned a 5 weight rod that would work very well in nearly every situation I had ever encountered. However I had a thing for small streams, I lived in North Central Pennsylvania where there were wild trout streams every direction from home. Now I'm talking small streams, streams where a really long run or stretch of the creek might be 40 feet total from the head water to the tail out so I didn't need something capable of launching 60 foot 3 weight casts. I ended up with a 6'6" bamboo 3 weight and never once thought that maybe I could have made a better choice.

    I don't have a bunch of pictures of it but I do have one, the rod has its own reel and is seen here along one of the little streams I bought it to use on.


    You will buy what you want I know but you did post this question here so now you're getting my opinion. I think that a guy who makes long casts on a small stream is going to miss a whole lot. A whole lot of opportunity to catch fish and to fully appreciate the virtues of small stream fishing. One other thing I'll say while I'm at it, I noticed that in your original post to said, "What surprised me about the area we fished was how small the streams we fished were. Not to mention the beautiful little trout we caught." Remember I give opinions I don't make law, but...… unless you have some very patient friends I found that small stream fishing often isn't a "we" kind of thing. Small streams aren't the kind of places where you want to be in a hurry or to be hurried by another angler.

    Small streams are a place where you can learn all about big streams and rivers if only you take the time to realize that they are miniature versions of every great river you may ever get to fish. Small streams are the type environment where being the only person or the first person to be there on any given day is the best way to find out what is really there. They usually mean narrow channels and shallow waters where a fish has the edge over the average fellow plowing along with his 9 foot 3 weight rod looking for a place to float an indi rig. I have always fished them upstream using dry flies or downstream using feather wing streamers. By working my way carefully down a small stream patiently probing every corner, each little current seam and making good use of any available streamside cover to hide myself I've been able to find fish that others never dreamed were there.

    I don't know how crowded the Driftless area is but if I lived near it I'd be searching out those places and time slots when I could be alone and I would use my little bamboo rod to fish there.

    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

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  3. #12

    Default Re: What rod to add...?

    Sounds like a three weight rod is needed in your quiver. For me, a 4wt 7'6" Orvis Superfine Glass fits those waters. It is quite stealthy, a blast with small fish, gentle on tippets and great in close quarters. If a big, bushy dry fly in the wind or a small rabbit-heavy streamer with dumbbell eyes is needed, the 4 wt glass has the power to do that easily. A 3 wt bamboo as mentioned by Ard will likely also have surprising power on tap while offering marvelous delicacy of presentation and tippet protection. Of course we are talking only 5 to 40 ft casts, but sometimes under those ledges is a surprisingly big ( relatively) trout who would welcome a small streamer or large, bushy dry presented accurately.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

  4. #13

    Default Re: What rod to add...?

    I love the small stream threads. All of my years of running left me creaky and stiff as a board. Crawling around in the bush is painful for me, but I well remember my early days of fishing little rhododendron lined creeks in North Carolina and Georgia such as seen in Ard’s photo.

    I would say a 7’ to 7’6” 3weight would be the way to go. I think you need a rod that loads well into the butt section. Others may say a fast action rod. I would cast the Scott G series 7’”. I’ve been a Sage guy most of my life. I’ve cheated on Sage with the occasional Winston, but have been an otherwise steadfast Sage guy. Having said that, I’m really impressed with what Scott is doing. I own a Radian and have my eye on a G series 8’4” four weight.
    Last edited by Redrock; 01-27-2019 at 10:08 AM.

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  6. #14

    Default Re: What rod to add...?

    All great posts and advice Mcbeck, I should of added in my previous hastily posted comments is that I primarily fish rivers on the northern driftless and the little bit longer rod helps instead of hurts. I primarily swing and dry fly fish.

    If I was going to upgrade from my budget CT my local fly shop has the new Winston 3wt 8’ which I love but $880 is just a bit steep for me.

    I’m also a Sage man myself for my big game rods but I am looking for some 3wt glass for creeks and streams, my friend and fourm member itchmesir is a glass rod fanatic and he has introduced me to some really great glass rods. The only size where I don’t have a glass option is in 3wt.

    I like very fast rods, and slow as well, my mood and desire changes on every trip out. Rods in 3-4-5 wt all work well on the driftless.

    Sometimes I fish my fast 5 st Croix, other times my glass 5, I fished my 8wt glass fenwick for many years and surprisingly enough it’s landed the most trout over 20” but way overkill for driftless trout.

    It cuts both ways for me, 3wt best presentation, catches the most fish but the most heartbreak on large lost fish.

    The 8wt big and heavy sized to the largest fish in the river, way fewer trout caught, the largest landed and released.

    There are beasts in the driftless as you will see.

  7. #15

    Default Re: What rod to add...?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ard View Post
    .… unless you have some very patient friends I found that small stream fishing often isn't a "we" kind of thing. Small streams aren't the kind of places where you want to be in a hurry or to be hurried by another angler.
    One thing my buddy and I used to do, we'd fish some little creek and just bring one rod for the two of us. One guy's job was to cast and fish. The other guy's job was just to heckle the one fishing. We'd swap out after every fish caught. We always had a lot of fun doing that.

    Regarding the rod for a small stream, I got a little 7'6" 4# redington. It was perfect for that. I thought the 4# handled the wind significantly better than any 3# I used. Never felt like I had too much rod with that little redington.

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  9. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Farmington, ill. -Stop by for a cold beer on your way thru
    Posts
    723
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: What rod to add...?

    As others have said I can't tell you what you will like but I take both a 3wt 7'6" Echo Carbon and a 4wt 9' Echo Dry and find I use the 4wt more on the Driftless stream I go to. YMMV. There are some pretty big fish there.

    Good luck

  10. #17

    Default Re: What rod to add...?

    Ard, I appreciate your opinions, I did ask for them after all. I very much agree about it being more of a personal endeavor. I am blessed with a childhood friend that these adventures can take on a life of their own. Our game plan for our 1st trip to the driftless was, "You head up stream and I'll head down stream. Meet at the car at a designated time for lunch. I was just barely more selective in choosing a wife, then I was choosing who I fish with.... that said I fully subscribe to your sentiment.
    " I have learned that to be with those I like is enough" Whitman

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  12. #18

    Default Re: What rod to add...?

    Unknownflyman, my 1st flyrod I ever bought, was an 8wt for Bass. My other fishing (non-fly) pursuits involve much heavier equipment, going after Muskie, big Iowa Largemouth and Smallmouth in Minnesota. I started this thread to confirm what I was thinking, as far as getting something lighter yet. Truth be told, the 8wt will get the most work out of any of the wts. because I will mostly have opportunities to go after the Bass and not the Trout. I am blessed to be within a close proximity of some spectacular farm ponds. I have caught numerous Bass, Crappie and panfish that would be considered "Wall hangers". Saying that, I like the challenge of trout fishing. Trophies aren't always about the size of the fish caught as I am certain you know, having read a lot of your posts. My style seems to favor faster action rods, though I honestly don't know where to start. I am leaning towards a 3 or 4wt in a 7'6"-8' rod I think lol
    " I have learned that to be with those I like is enough" Whitman

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  14. #19

    Default Re: What rod to add...?

    I think a glass rod in 3wt 7’ or 7’6, and then trade out one of those 905s for a 804. An 8’ or 8”4 in med-fast 4wt and I think your trout quiver is going cover a lot more bases very nicely.

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  16. #20

    Default Re: What rod to add...?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mcbeck View Post
    Unknownflyman, my 1st flyrod I ever bought, was an 8wt for Bass. My other fishing (non-fly) pursuits involve much heavier equipment, going after Muskie, big Iowa Largemouth and Smallmouth in Minnesota. I started this thread to confirm what I was thinking, as far as getting something lighter yet. Truth be told, the 8wt will get the most work out of any of the wts. because I will mostly have opportunities to go after the Bass and not the Trout. I am blessed to be within a close proximity of some spectacular farm ponds. I have caught numerous Bass, Crappie and panfish that would be considered "Wall hangers". Saying that, I like the challenge of trout fishing. Trophies aren't always about the size of the fish caught as I am certain you know, having read a lot of your posts. My style seems to favor faster action rods, though I honestly don't know where to start. I am leaning towards a 3 or 4wt in a 7'6"-8' rod I think lol
    I’m thinking you can’t go wrong, if I may add one last thing, whatever you choose please make sure it has a warranty and a fix it plan, most brands do, Echo, Redington, Sage, Orvis etc ect. Bushwhacking and especially winter is hard on graphite, my 3wt is in the shop for a week and a half.

    I look forward to reading of your adventures in the driftless section.

    Tight lines!

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