First glass rod; dedicated dry fly rod - what weight

sjkirkpa

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Hi All, I am thinking of getting a glass rod dedicated to dry flies. I have a complete arsenal of graphite rods at most weights and most of these are relatively fast (or super fast - like the Echo EPR) rods. But, I want to slow things down, have a rod dedicated to short distance casting, accuracy and sensitivity. I'm not looking for brands, but more for advice on weight. I don't know whether to go for a 4wt or 5wt. I know, not an easy question. Oh, and we are mostly talking about brook trout and brown trout on small to medium rivers.

The rods I currently use most are 4 wts and 6wts (for dries and streamers, respectively). Although I occasionally fish dries with my 6wt and small streamers with my 4wt. I only fish nymphs when desperate and no one is looking (actually, the real reason is I have no idea what I am doing with nymphs).

I hardly ever use a 5wt, because I have 4wts and 6wts that I really like. My 5wt is probably the least performing rod I own.

I need advice, for purchasing a glass rod, should I stick with the weight I like for dries (i.e., a 4wt) or fill that hole in my arsenal by getting a nice 5wt glass rod? Thoughts?

Thanks in advance
 

WNCtroutstalker

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I think it ultimately depends on what size dries you're casting. That said, assuming you're talking typical trout patterns and not exclusively large hoppers or other bulky flies, I would go with a 4--for the same reasons you've been grabbing your 4 wt graphite rod rather than a 5 or 6. Also, glass rods are generally/often less line weight specific than graphite rods, and so I'd expect that you could go up or down at least a line weight from what's written on the blank. So if you think you'd normally fish a 4 but in certain instances felt a 5 would be better, your 4 wt would likely handle a 5 wt line fine. Anyway, without knowing all of the variables/specifics involved, if I was in your shoes I'd be leaning towards a 4 wt.
 

sjkirkpa

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I Also, glass rods are generally/often less line weight specific than graphite rods, and so I'd expect that you could go up or down at least a line weight from what's written on the blank. So if you think you'd normally fish a 4 but in certain instances felt a 5 would be better, your 4 wt would likely handle a 5 wt line fine.
Thank you. These are the subtle insights that I don't know and was hoping to find here. Your thoughts make a awful lot of sense. Thanks.
 

jayr

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I looked long and hard at several glass rods and weights when I decided on what I wanted. Mine is a dry or dry/dropper only rod. I ended up with the Orvis glass in 7’6” 4 weight and couldn’t be happier.
 

mikemac1

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I fish dries (size 16-8 including big foam hoppers) with glass a lot on medium to small rivers here in SW Montana. On the day its either a 3 weight or 4 weight depending on wind and stream bank cover. The soft 3 weights with a 1/2 a double taper line perform beautifully when you don’t have to make long roll casts or the wind isn’t whipping. The soft 4 weights are a better choice with WF line for roll casting and punching into a bit of wind. Another thing to consider is the generation of glass you are seeking. I suspect new glass rods perform differently than those made in the 90s. In my quiver I have two Winston Retros in 3 and 4, a Scott F703/3 and a DiamondGlass 7’ 3. They all perform well in the right conditions.
8D863C5D-F7D6-4815-91DD-B89EFBBE3BE6.jpeg
This is a 3 weight Winston Retro hooked up on the Firehole
6A65868F-94AD-4BB6-B307-8D0073B51AB3.jpeg
Had a ball on 12” rainbows on this small headwater stream in Eastern Victoria, AU in 2017 with the Scott 3 weight
 

skunkedalot

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everyone will chime in I am sure.....
Glass ,If you can find one- highly recommended- Vintage Fenwick 7 for a 5 or 7/1/2 for a 5. that is my current dry fly rod. thi rod has a soft tip. even the smallest trout for panfish put a bend on it. A lot of fun. There are plenty of others to choose from- depends on your budget.
The Cabela's CGR rods are also great bank for the buck.
 

proheli

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Hello OP

If there is no wind, I prefer a 3wt, if I need some distance or there is a little wind, then a 4wt. If the situation requires any more than that then i have 904 graphite.
 

trev

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My choice is vintage 7-7.5' 5wt. (that should be perfect for modern 4wt line, imo)
In current rods I'd have to try the rod because there is such a spread in how the rods perform, with what I consider a poor tool being seemingly quite popular. And I suspect the best modern 3wts might be 5wts by comparison with the vintage stuff,
I fish a number of vintage rods and they will take one weight heavier at short distance, but I can fish one or two weights lighter with better results as a rule. In a longer rod I'd likely change to 3/4wt at 8.5' or longer.
I own and regularly fish a 'glass rod built by the 1950s master Bill Phillipson designated as "DFS" Dry Fly Special" and he chose to build them in 6wt at 7,5' and 7wt at 8.5'. I like the Phillipson DFS76 with a DT5F for dries, one weight down from his designation of HDH.
 
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planettrout

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You might want to peruse these two sites for additional information:



My personal choice and what I have been using for 45 years is this Winston "Stalker", 7 1/2', 4wt fiberglass fly rod made when Winston was in San Francisco. All my kids learned to fly fish with this rod - seen here on the Frying Pan River in Colorado in 1975...




PT/TB
 

rmorrison

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Even within glass there is a lot of variation in action available these days. Have you any experience casting/fishing glass rods at all?
 

sjkirkpa

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Even within glass there is a lot of variation in action available these days. Have you any experience casting/fishing glass rods at all?
None at all. Here's the thing, I have plenty of graphite rods. I don't really need another rod, I just want to try fiberglass. If I get it wrong initially, I'm good with that. I just want to start my journey into fiberglass somewhere. Just like I migrated towards faster graphite rods over the many years, I hope to have that same learning experience with glass.

I want to start with a dedicated dry fly rod/line for in-close, delicate presentations. I have more than enough stiff/powerful graphite rods for trout, but nothing that is dedicated for delicate, fine presentations. So, I figured I'd try glass.

Based on what I can discern from the replies to my initial question, I think I will start with a 4wt. Maybe an Echo River Glass, just because I have several Echo graphite rods already and I like them. Who knows if I will like their glass as well.

Also debating an Orvis Superfine. But it is on the order of 2X the price of an Echo River Glass.

I thank everyone for their thoughts and I look forward to starting my journey into glass
 

Upstate08

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Just chiming in to echo a few points already made. I whole heartedly agree with WNCtroustalker in that glass does seem to be less line specific. I too have an Orvis 764 Superfine glass and it’ll throw a line size up or down no problem. It is a fantastic rod that’s tons of fun to fish, but yes, on the pricier side. I also have an old Eagle Claw Featherweight 5wt and that feels like it’s be a bit much as a dedicated dry fly rod. It’ll do, just not a gracefully as the Orvis.

As also mentioned already, Glass does vary by brand like graphite, but I can confidently recommend a 4wt for dries. You could put a 3wt line on for calmer days, or go up to a 5wt when the wind picks up or you want to toss bigger bugs. Either way, glass is a blast, enjoy the hunt!
 

skcwolfgang

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I have found that for me slower glass fishes a line size lighter than graphite. I have a Tom Morgan 8’ 5wt E glass that I built that makes a great dedicated dry fly rod. I also had an S glass by Steffen brothers that was great as a dry fly rod and it was a 3-4. I also have casted the orvis 4 weight S glass and the action is much crisper than the TMR rod. I would see what the action on the echo river glass was and if you want the rod to be able to cast hoppers I might step up to the 5 weight. I have sold both 2 and 3 weight glass Rods because they were not strong enough to be practical fishing tools.
 

trev

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I find anything less than 5wt impractical as general fishing tools. Although I don't want a specialty rod for each day or fly so I may be odd.
 

patrick62

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Since you are in experimental mode I would try one of the Cabelas CGR rods which are, as skunkedalot noted, on sale. Not that they are expensive to begin with.

A few years back they were all on sale for about 30 bucks apiece so I bought them all except for the 6.5 ft 4 wt which I already had. No regrets.
 

gpwhitejr

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My CGR 3-weight arrived today. It is shipped fully assembled (3 piece) in a big cardboard tube. There is no case or rod sock. The reel seat does not have threaded rings, just rings that slide over the reel foot and hold by friction (nostalgia, as a kid I had a cheap spinning rod like that. I am trying to remember how often the reel fell off). By contrast, I have 2 CGR 5-weights and both came with a case and a "regular" reel seat (I don't know the technical name, the usual kind with a threaded ring). I had a Cabela's Prime 1-piece 3-weight that I broke (too bad, 'cause I really liked that rod and though it was dirt cheap they don't make it anymore). The Prime came with a sock but no case, and it had the regular screw-type reel seat.

I took it out on the yard and it seems to cast OK, though it is very windy. It will probably be good for the little stream down the road. (I was there earlier this AM with my tenkara rod and all I could catch was a bunch of little minnows.)
 

redietz

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Sliding band reel seats are common in shorter, lighter weight rods. I'd almost go so far to to say that for three weights and under, that are seven feet or less in length, they are the "regular" type of seat.
 

skunkedalot

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Send the rod back or call them - it should come with a case. they screwed up.
i just got the 7/8 and it too came in the long cardboard tube but it was cased.
 
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