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  1. #1

    Default Fly rod weight for Bass and Trout and some good starter flies for each species.

    Hey everyone, this is my first post on here.
    I've had a cheap little Wakeman 5wt rod for a while now and some cheap flies from Canadian tire, I've had decent luck catching both Brook Trout and Largemouth alike. However this year I intend to invest in to a good rod and reel and get some nice flies to go along with both, however I'm caught at a bit of a crossroads- I fish for Largemouth and Brooktrout often, and I've been using my old 5wt for both now for the better part of the year with no serious problems, although I've never caught anything over three pounds on the five weight, I've read that a 4 wt is ideal for the small brook trout streams I fish, but it would be too light for largies, but a 7 or 8wt would have trouble casting the lighter weight flies for the small trout. I was thinking of resting somewhere in the middle at a 6wt rod? I also plan on using it for Sea-run brook trout in Newfoundland, so I don't think a 4 weight rod would cut it, and likewise with a 7wt or higher.

    I would also appreciate any advice on some good flies to pick up for both species, and if anybody is willing to tell me anything I would greatly appreciate it.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Portland and Maupin, Oregon

    Default Re: Fly rod weight for Bass and Trout and some good starter flies for each species.

    There is no one wt. fits all flyrod. For your next rod decide which species you will pursue the most. If it is trout the acquire a 4 wt. and use your current 5wt for bass. Or, you could get a 6 wt if you fish bass more often and use the 5 for trout. Then buy the 4 wt later when you can afford it. Next, replace the 5 wt. Eventually you may want two 4, 5 and 6wt rods of different actions. Or, maybe a 7wt or a 3 wt. and the beat goes on...

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  4. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Minnesota - Northern Driftless

    Default Re: Fly rod weight for Bass and Trout and some good starter flies for each species.

    You need at least two rods, possibly six, and if six was nine, I don't mind.


  5. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Brazoria County, SE Texas
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Fly rod weight for Bass and Trout and some good starter flies for each species.

    I fish for Largemouth bass quite a bit. For near surface feeding bass, I like size 2-1/0 deer hair divers, some are called Dahlberg divers. They cast easier than many of the other less aerodynamic bulkier poppers out there. A six weight, maybe even your five weight, should be alright for these divers. They are readily available for purchase at many of the online shops or you can tie your own. For where I fish, they are pretty much irresistible to bass hanging out close to the surface. I like Olive, Chartreuse and white colors, possibly mixed with black.

    For Largemouth bass feeding in somewhat deeper water, my favorite pattern is a Balanced Leech. Second favorite might be a bead head woolly bugger. I like size six buggers in olive, brown or black. If you roll your own, you can put in some chartreuse for the hackle or use chartreuse marabou for the tail.

    For something bigger for subsurface, but not bulky, I like the Balanced leech in size 1 or 2. You might have a harder time finding those for purchase, but they arenít a tough tie, marabou tail, dubbed on via dubbing loop Simi Seal body. The woolly buggers and Balanced leech can be both cast effectively with a six weight, maybe even your five weight.
    Wherever you go, there you are.

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  7. Default Re: Fly rod weight for Bass and Trout and some good starter flies for each species.

    Since you said you don’t have any serious problems .. you don’t need a new rod. If, however, you just want a new rod .. no worries. I’d get an 8 for the sea run brookies and bass. The five is fine for small stream brookies. Would a three or four give you more stealthful presentations and a softer rod to fight the fish on small tippets and small hooks? Sure, but if you already have a five and can only get one new rod .. get the eight.

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  9. #6

    Default Re: Fly rod weight for Bass and Trout and some good starter flies for each species.

    I've used a 6 wgt for trout at times. If you're dealing with 3-6 inch brookies it might be a bit of overkill. I caught a couple of brookies that size when I stopped to fish the Upper Credit River on my way to a lake in Northern Ontario. On my local creek which is stocked with trout but also has pan fish, smallmouth and largemouth in it. I usually use my 8 1/2' or 7 1/2' 5 wgt. When I'm specifically fishing for smallmouth or largemouth I use my 9' 6 wgt. You can cast larger flies with it, not that you need large flies to catch either fish. For starter flies for bass, you can't go wrong with a white, black or olive woolly bugger. I don't use them that much. I normally use bait fish patterns for bass though I do have some streamers up to 6 inches long. I did well this year on large Mop Flies Top water. Soft foam poppers and sliders, Crease Flies, Gurglers, Chernobyl Ants and Los Alamos Ants. Brook trout, I'm a dry fly person. I use a CDC and Elk(Deer Hair), Usuals, a variation of a Quigley Cripple and occasionally, midge patterns. Subsurface, Bead Head Pheasant Tail Soft Hackles, mini-mop flies, soft hackles, the occasional Green Weenie and small Woolly Buggers tied on size 14 or 16 2XL hooks, White, Olive, and Copper. Before these guys convince you need a fly rod for every occasion, I own 6 fly rods, two 5 wgts, two 6 wgts and two 8 wgts. They cover all my cold water, warm and salt water fly fishing need.s
    "All things considered, I'd rather be in Philadelphia."

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  11. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Atlanta/West Yellowstone

    Default Re: Fly rod weight for Bass and Trout and some good starter flies for each species.

    I fish almost exclusively for trout and almost exclusively with 9' 5 and 6 wt rods -- occasionally an 8' 4 wt on a small stream. But i am fishing for trout mostly on the scale of 10-20" mostly in medium to big streams and lakes. If i were often fishing smaller streams i might (or might not) want to use slightly shorter, lighter rods. If i were often fishing for bass i would likely want to fish a 6 wt or possibly something heavier. Beyond my own personal preferences, one other thought: even among people who fish similar species/locations you can find some pretty significant differences of opinion in how to fish them. There is a pretty clear trend in trout fishing going on for some time towards lighter and lighter rods, with a lot of folks using an 8 or 8.5' 4 wt on pretty big water where others would use a 9' or 9.5' 5 or 6 wt. Many folks will use 4 wts and lighter and well under 9' on small streams. On the other hand, i doubt i will ever use any rod lighter than a 4 wt, and i actually like 8-9' rods on small streams because of the added reach. There are countless examples of these kinds of choices. I just thought i would try to eliminate any possible clarity you might find in all of this!!!!

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  13. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Northern Colorado

    Default Re: Fly rod weight for Bass and Trout and some good starter flies for each species.

    For my tastes there is just not enough mass in a 5wt line for bass bugs like Dahlberg Divers. You can cast them but can you control them? I may use a 6wt for bass but usually I'm picking a 7 or 8.

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  15. #9

    Default Re: Fly rod weight for Bass and Trout and some good starter flies for each species.

    I'm in the same boat as you, split between warm water (bass and panfish) and trout fishing.

    I started with a 5wt package. I bought a Fenwick Crafted Glass fiberglass rod (5wt rod) that I've lined with a 6wt bass taper. Still use that for pond and Erie Canal (think mid- sized river) fishing. Best 50$ I've spent on fly fishing equipment.

    I recieved a 5wt LL Streamlight as a gift and that was my main trout rod for a while.

    Got a Cabela's switch rod for two handed casting in lakes (Finger Lakes) but that is a specialty rod for a specific purpose.

    I recently purchased a 10' 3wt Fenwick Aetos rod and absolutely love it for trout and panfish. It's my main trout rod now.

    I would recommend a 3/4 weight (depending on trout/stream size) and a 6wt fiberglass or 8wt graphite rod for bass. Disclaimer: This all goes out window if you're fishing big western streams. My trout streams are 40' across max.

    Go to patterns are Midge (Griffiths gnat), X-Caddis, light Cahill, Squirmy Worm, Hare's Ear Nymph and pheasant tail nymph for trout. Woolly buggers, balanced leeches, and foam poppers for bass. Panfish hit everything but if I had to pick one it'd be the bully bluegill. All can be purchased/ tied readily.

    Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
    Last edited by ottosmagic13; 02-10-2019 at 09:19 PM.
    Q: How many turns on a whip finish? A: "Enough to cover your mistakes" - AK Best

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  17. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Ontario, Canada

    Default Re: Fly rod weight for Bass and Trout and some good starter flies for each species.

    I use a 4 weight for my smallie fishing, I've had fish up to 4 lbs in moving water and are no problem at all. Using a 7 or 8 weight for bass is overkill IMO, they were only really needed to cast the big bass bugs but now with the advancement in line tapers I can throw bass bugs on a 4 weight.

    I do occasionally use a 6 weight as well for bass, but any higher than that and it ruins the fun. Just another perspective for you...

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