How big is the difference between a 6wt and an 8wt?

emazingjawa

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I just bought a complete outfit that is a 6 weight but i'm worried I might have gone to small. I mainly fish largmouth bass and massive peacock bass (I live in south florida). Now i think the reel is big enough but the rod is what i'm worried about. I don't think it has enough leverage to pull the peas up. (I'll add a pic for reference). http://i.imgur.com/kaduOvK.jpg

Is it worth it to buy another rod? What are the advantages of having a heavier weight rod, longer casts? The ability to throw bigger flies? The rod that came with the setup honestly isnt the best, I got the complete for $200. I eventually want to move to some smaller saltwater fish as well. Any advice would be appreciated, thank you :)
 

silver creek

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A fly rod has 2 purposes. One is to cast the fly and that is why the line size goes up as flies get heavier and more air resistant. The second is to fight the fish.

As far a peacock bass are concerned, even if the flies could be cast with a 6 wt, the rod is not strong enough to control that fish.

I would say start with an 8 wt as a minimum. Consider a 9 wt fly rod if the bass as going to be big. See below for more information.

Fly Tips

https://peacockbass.wordpress.com/2009/08/05/fly-fishing-for-peacock-bass-–-tackle-guidelines/
 

emazingjawa

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Thank you for all that info! It really pointed me in the right direction. I'm definitely going to get a new rod, an 8wt is what im thinking. The peacock in miami are not nearly as big as the ones is south america, the one in the picture was landed on a 7ft medium action bait caster. Another question is the leader, I'm still kinda new to fly fishing (Today was my first time in 7 years) and what I did know back then, most of it I forgot.

The leader on my line is extremely tapered and very thin at the tip, if I just let the peacock pull on that line for one second its gonna snap for sure if my drag is set the slightest bit to tight... And i will be adjusting my drag quit a bit because one cast will be a 2lb Mayan Cichlid, and the next will be a 10lb peacock that fights like no tomorrow on the same fly.

So basically should I change my leader up? What diameter and taper? The fish dont get spooked by fishing line that much, I'm using 20lb braid right now and they dont even notice it, they just destroy whatever is in sight.
 

mtboiler

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Let me throw out a few things here. First, a salt water reel and a fresh water reel are two different things. Salt water will tear up a reel. If you do not have sealed bearings you are playing with fire. Second, you need a better drag for salt vs fresh. Most fresh water fish do not take massive runs like salt water fish. The power and speed of the salt water fish commands a better drag than you typical fresh water fish.
Ok, now for the peacock bass, fresh water fish but with some power.
If it was me, i would buy a 8 or 9 wt salt water combo for two reasons. First, you get a better reel and sealed bearings. Plus, even though peacock bass are fresh water, they fight like a salt water fish. A heavier rod will get you more power and backbone and allow you to throw heavier flies.
Now lets talk leader. In most cases, aggressive fish that are not leader shy, pike where I live, will not be concerned about tippet size. I would suggest you look into heavy leaders or just use mono. Most Pike fisherman just throw 20 or 30 lb mono as their leader and heavy flies. I use to fish largemouth bass with 20 pound mono as my leader and it never bothered the fish. I fish 30 pound 'hard mono' for pike as my leader. much more abrasive resistant.
If you plan on using the rod and reel combo for salt water, get a sealed bearing reel and a 9 wt. if you plan on just fishing fresh water with it, get an 8wt. Just my thoughts.
 

karstopo

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You might consider a shorter Rod like Sage Bass II, G. Loomis Pro 4x shortstix, TFO Minimag, even a Cabelas CGR. Shorter fly rods have great leverage, lifting power, for pulling big fish out of and away from cover. I have a 8' 6-8wt TFO minimag and it has more lifting power by far than my 9' 8wt TFO BVK.

I'm an inshore salt person that mostly prefers a shorter Rod going after redfish as long as I'm standing in a boat, canoe, or kayak. Nothing is written in stone about a fly Rod having to be 9'. Wading, it makes more sense having a long Rod. And you can probably cast a 9' Rod a little farther all other things being equal. The Sage II is 7'11" and is designed with peacock bass in mind. But it would certainly handle comparable sized redfish.

You can take that tapered leader and cut off the thin tippet and tie in a new section of tippet of 20# or 16# mono or fluorocarbon. Fluorocarbon sinks so it isn't very good for topwater flies, but it's thought to be more abrasion resistant and less visible to fish vs mono. I use a blood knot to join two sections, but there are other knots available.

Nothing wrong with getting a 9' 8wt. I have a couple. But you might look into some of the speciality rods like the Sage Bass, G. Loomis shortstix, TFO minimag, and see if their product descriptions fit what you primarily like to do on the water.
 

moucheur2003

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I mainly fish largmouth bass and massive peacock bass (I live in south florida).
If they are likely to run over 5 lb I would go for the 8 rather than the 6.

In any event, even though a 6 weight rod is strong enough to fight most largemouth bass, a 6 weight line is a little light for throwing the kind of big air-resistant poppers and streamers that bass fishermen typically use. A big #2 or #4 deer hair bug is a lot easier to toss with an 8 weight.
 

bluwave

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You can definitely fish with a 6wt, but I think a 7-8wt would be a better size for what you're doing. You should take a look at the 8wt TFO BVK.
 

wwpool

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To me how fast or slow the rod also is a factor.. some fast 6wts seem like an 8 to me....
 

kevind62

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Getting bored so skimming through threads and decided to pipe in on this one.

First of all, it's simple math. The difference between a 6 wt and 8 wt is simply two weights. 8 - 6 = 2 Not rocket science. :D

Seriously though, just going by the question containing any sort of warm freshwater fish is all about habitat. Sure, cold water trout tend to try and run under a rock if possible. But not for long and they'll pretty much most of the time just run off some line or take you down a river bank for a spell until you wear them out. Most of the time cold water trout like to use the current to their favor. Just run out in the current and lay perpendicular to the line pressure and let the current do the work for them in fighting you off. For warm freshwater this is not the case. You don't really have the option of just spooling off line to let the fish run. Do this and you're wrapped around a tree, roots, brush pile, or some other reeflike structure and you're broke off in the first 15 - 20 seconds of the fight. You need stoppability. Easy to just fill your reel with heavy line but you'll also need a rod with enough spine to support this. If you can find an 8wt or 9wt in an 8' rod or shorter I think you'll be able to fish for bass in the 5+ lbs range easily regardless of sub-species. Go any heavier on the weight of your rod at longer lengths I would guess will give you a much more cumbersome piece of equipment to horse around all day on the water. You're looking at likely having to invest in a heavy 9'-12' 10wt - 12wt or spey rod to go bass fishing. Might want to head to the gym and hit the heavy weighs for a few months before you venture out fishing all day. ;)
 

moucheur2003

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I like an 8 for LMB. 6 is a little light to handle bigger fish, although it's possible. More importantly to me, 6 doesn't do a good job casting those big air-resistant deer hair bugs. You could get by with a 7, but an 8 does everything better. 9 for me is overkill.
 

Mcbeck

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I like an 8 for LMB. More importantly to me, 6 doesn't do a good job casting those big air-resistant deer hair bugs. You could get by with a 7, but an 8 does everything better. 9 for me is overkill.
I totally agree with this. My trout fishing experience is very limited, but I have caught tons of LMB on an 8wt fly rod (inexpensive Bass Pro rod) , biggest to date on the fly is a 6lb fatty. I now have other rods, but the 8 seems to just be the perfect wt for the size of flies you throw and the heft of the bass you might catch.
 

dennyk

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My 9' 6 weight is a great rod for throwing larger trout streamers and is my go to weight for Smallmouth Bass. My 9' 8 weight is my standard for Large Mouth Bass, sometimes throwing bugs the size of small tweety birds. The 8 weight shines when even a smallish 15 inch LM gets snarled in a weed bed or around a lily pad and the power of the rod is needed to pry the fish free.

So with that being said, the information in the previous posts are all pretty sound. I would emphasize getting a reel built for salt fishing with a good sealed drag system.

Good Luck and welcome to the forum!

Denny
 
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