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mikel 12-11-2010 12:42 PM

Intro and question
Hi....I've lurked a while and posted a little. Seems like I should introduce myself quickly and then I have a question.

I live on the central Ca coast (Santa Cruz area) and fish the Sierra, east and west as well as the Trinity and Klamath for steelhead. Once in a while my wife and I do a road trip someplace and I get to fish other states. This fall we went to Va and snuck over to WVa for 2 days on the Elk River, for instance.

All C&R (well, 99%) and my fav way to fish is dries from my tube, especially up high in the E Sierra...but I love it all. Since it's winter, for the next few months I'll be fishing the central valley tailwaters mostly until the passes open and I can get over the Sierras again.

So...I've read several places that the Sage 389LL is either (a) the best 3 wt ever or (b) one of the 5 best 3 wts ever. Either way, that's a pretty impressive "concensus" about a single rod.

My question would be...Is there a concensus "best single" or "5 best" 9' 5 wt all around rod(s)?

I understand that a 9'6 or 10' 5 wt might be better for nymphing than a 9 footer (and all of that)...and that there are both glass and bamboo devotees out there, but I'm looking for opinions on the best overall 5 wt, if you could have only 1...and regardless of age or number of sections.

I'm curious and have a friend, new to FFing who asked me this same question. I didn't have an answer. Thanks for any input...


jpbfly 12-11-2010 01:39 PM

Re: Intro and question
:welcomean Mike.
not sure someone will be able to answer your question...what's the best 9ft 5wt for me...that is the question:)?you're the only one to know the answer...try as many rods as you can and decide which is the best...for you;)
I've got several 9ft 5 wt and enjoy them all regardless their price or how famous the brand is...

Jimmie 12-11-2010 02:13 PM

Re: Intro and question
:welcomean Mikel.

mcnerney 12-11-2010 03:06 PM

Re: Intro and question
mikel: Welcome to the forum!
I agree with JP, rods are personal preference items, what you might like in a rod, I might not like. Which rod is best boils down to what feels right in your hands. There are so many great rod makers out there today you have a vast range to choose from, like JP says, "Go out and try as many rods as you can".


mikel 12-11-2010 03:16 PM

Re: Intro and question
:)I completely understand that the rod I like best and that fits my stroke may not be on this list...I'm not looking for buying advice at all. It's a different question than that. It's "what is the legendary best in class all around 5 wt?" If there's no answer, that's ok...Thanks for your advice is certainly correct.


ant 12-11-2010 03:50 PM

Re: Intro and question
Greetings, Mikel!

I got your question, but I'm not sure that there is a definitive. The "If God were to fish a 5 wt.... what would he use?" The '59 Les Paul of fly rods. I think that fishing, especially fly fishing, is subject to too many personal preferences for there to be one rod to stand out alone as the rod to beat all rods.

Some will mention a Sage, or a Redington, while someone might mention some obscure fiberglass rod not made since WWII.

I'm a big fan of St Croix rods. It's one of the first rods that I ever bought and casts like a dream. But here lately I've been getting into old vintage fiberglass rods. I've found myself really liking the slower action and the softer presentation.

And in a year I'm sure it will be something else.....:D

I think that the best answer you'll find is the best 5wt in the history of the world will be the one that you love and catch a ton of fish on. Be it a Sage or an unbent cloths hanger.

MoscaPescador 12-11-2010 05:37 PM

Re: Intro and question
I know people who will say that the Sage XP 590-4 is the best five weight ever produced. I prefer the newer Sage Z-Axis version. Is that the best five weight? It could be. It could not be.

Just for fun, I made an Xtranormal video of a similar conversation that I have heard over and over. It's not as entertaining as the "Mumbles" series that is all over the internet, but I had fun. Enjoy.


crittergetter 12-11-2010 07:23 PM

Re: Intro and question
MoscaP summed it up with the video perfectly...

You will need to try a bunch of rods before you find the one works for you.

I went through about 8 to 10 rods in 18 months buying used on EBAy and selling back. I landed on Scott G2 9'. Then I tried a 10' rod Z axis. I nypmh totally now and landed on a used Helious.

One fishing addicted friend said.. No golfer has 1 club why should fly fishers only have on rod...

Enjoy the challenge...


PS.. for the Money Grey's steam flex is really cheap now because Hardy/Gray's discontinued it. It really transmits all the action into your elbow.

dang old king 12-12-2010 08:51 AM

Re: Intro and question
I know this is ridiculous but I have 5 rods 3x 4wt and 2x 6wt.All are 9'6" or 9'. Four are two piece and one is a 4 piece for back packing into high mountain lakes.
They all have there own character and fish differently.I can toss my 9'6" 6wt Powell a mile to a skittish rising trout and have a delicate presentation.Conversely my 9'6" TFO is a giant lever that I horse heavy weighted streamers with.
I was really bummed out with the action of my 4pc 4wt Sage though.I thought I would be able to chuck some streamers with it,but it doesn't handle the amount of line I need to load, too reach the middle of the crater..
With that being said. Your selection should be decided by your casting ability, your surroundings ie..water you fish.. over hanging vegetation... tight casting zones... size of target.. method with wish you fish. Dry, Streamer, Nymph. The 5 wt is a most versatile weight and will be my next purchase. I recently bought a 4pc 5wt pack rod for my youngest he loves it. It's an Albright,I fished with it before I gave it to him,it has great action

Just my $.02 worth Good fishing to you sir..I have a friend In VA trying to unload his Z-axis if your interested I will give you his Email and you can negotiate a deal

Remember to put your toys away after your done playing with them.


mikel 12-12-2010 03:31 PM

Re: Intro and question
:)Thanks for the nice welcome everyone....

MP, you may have a future as a video guy.


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