9'6" 5 and 6 wts For Lakes

dbgoff

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I am looking to purchase one or two longer rods to use primarily in stillwaters. For years I've used 9' rods (Scott S3 and Scott Radian) and both seem to get the job done but the past several years 70-80% of my fishing (and fish caught) have been in stillwaters, so I'm thinking about picking up longer rods to add to my 9 footers. I like to use 5 wts in high-country lakes and 6 wts on big reservoirs. Most of my fishing is stripping leaches and streamers, with damsels, scuds and soft hackles thrown in when the big stuff doest work, and the rare day when I can throw a dry, but I'm experimenting with indicators, balance leaches and chironomids. All of my stillwater fishing is out of a float tube or a pontoon and I only target trout (although I welcome the occasional smallmouth bass).

My luck with 10 footers has not been great. I find them physically demanding to fish and hard on my forearm, wrist and hands. I built a 10' 5 wt. on a Dan Craft "Black Canyon" blank and its a gorgeous rod, but a beast to fish. I also have a 10 foot Sage XP 8 wt. which I use for steelhead and salmon. I've never loved that rod but must admit it gets the job done. I also built a Sage ESN 4wt which I have learned to use effectively, but the action is unsuitable for the stillwater fishing I do. So, maybe between the 9' and the 10' is a compromise I can live with and get the advantages of a longer rig. I'm looking seriously at the Sage Pulse and have also thought about the Orvis Recon, and maybe a Beulah, but obviously there are others. While I have many premium rods, I'm hoping for something in the middle price point, especially since my lake fishing is not a finesse job and I'm considering getting two of them. Thoughts?
 

tpo

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I'll give you my experience. I'm not into high end rods, so I can't advise on brands/ models, but I do a lot of Stillwater fishing and have a bunch of 9-10' rods in 5-6 weight. I like the longer rods for lakes. They hold more like off the water when fishing from a tube, are helpful in recovering slack line quickly when a fish runs towards you, and they are better fish fighting sticks. I also find longer rods provide a softer tip that improves feel and helps with a hard strike. I don't find them more tiring to fish, but it depends a bit on the rod (my 9.5' 6wt Redington Vice does seem like a heavier stick, my 10' Fenwick Aetos and 9'9" Cabelas LSi I find not much difference vs. my 9' 5 wt rods). Personally, I'd get a 10' rod as I think the 9.5' one wouldn't give you enough difference vs. 9' to justify the expense. One other thing: I've found the longer rods are also great nymphing rods and find I am using them more and more on larger streams and rivers so they getting more use than I originally expected. Good luck with your decision.

Tom
 

reels

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I do a lot of stillwater fishing, but all from shore so my observations may not be directly applicable to float tube fishing.

Based on my experience I actually find a 10' rod to be less work than something shorter, especially when trying to cut through the wind.
Using a shorter rod I often find the need to really dig into the rod backbone which equates to more power on casting strokes (double hauling, etc.) and thus more fatigue.

One of my favorite mid-end rods is probably the Douglas DXF (I have the DXF 5104).
I find it has enough power for throwing heavier offerings and yet supple enough for dries and lighter rigs that require a delicate delivery.
I probably wouldn't consider this a full on streamer rod, but it's a nice sweet spot for me.
If they make a configuration that suites you, it might be worth casting one if you have a nearby dealer.
 
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