Rod selection process- match line to rod or vice versa?

VaFisherman

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But as S&S said above the a wide spool keeps the drag more consistent longer. A narrow spool reel means as the fish takes more and more line the drag tension increases which is just the opposite of what you want when the drag on the fish is also compounded by the amount of line dragging thru the water.

I prefer a narrow spool also but you must know that some adjustment on the drag may be necessary on long runs with lighter tippet, although you most likely will have to make an adjustment on a wide spool reel if enough line is out anyway. This may be more theoretical than actual issue but it is science/math so the problem is there.
 

bonefish41

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T: but factor in a wider spool but with same spool diameter ...the old days of squat sure but with same spool diameter you will have larger circumference with the wider spool...with the same amount of line out
 

bonefish41

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But I think comparing my Big, wider Danielsson 4.13 functional spool diameter(excluding the rim which 4.65 in with my narrower Silver King 4.45in functional spool diameter(5in including rim) and essentially a full pack backing and line the difference between backing diameter for both using 12wt is functionally slight Dan is 3.5 in braid diameter and Silver is 3.7 start of braid with all the flyline out...or distinction without functional, on the casting deck difference...IMO
 

sweetandsalt

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We do have to take into consideration that the backing load is part of the arbor diameter. You would have to have an awful lot of backing out to effectively alter the drag setting on that Silver King for example. I agree they are well built and a good value and my wife has one for here two hander but Danielsson's are not for me.
 

LOC

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No, not structural and some believe wide is good as there is less diminution of diameter as a fish takes line keeping the drag setting more consistent. That is engineering, I'm a fisherman. When a large, strong fish takes a lot of backing and I can retrieve it back, I intend to focus on the fish, not on level winding and visually constantly checking that my backing - line is going on evenly. I've seen fish lost even a rod broken by a chap who knew what he was doing but built up a pile of line on one side of his wide spool Lamson, jammed a pillar and his H2 exploded into multiple pieces...and he lost he bonefish. I insist, personally, on larger diameter and narrower spool aspect ratios. Abel, Hatch, Nautilus and modern Hardy concur. I've trained myself all my life to level wind and I'm fine but the narrower the spool the more intuitive the process.
I’m glad I asked. That’s a scenario that I would have never thought of for your dislike of wide spools. For myself I’m relieved it’s not a structural problem. I get now why your not a fan. Thanks 😎
 
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fatbillybob

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I have never fought a fish that could out reel me. The min length 9ft rod also gives you play to control the need of reel retrieve speed and to benefit the tippet. I have narrow and wide reels. It just does not matter to me. If i had to pick...I pick drag. I want the best drag possible.
 

dynaflow

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hatidua said (in part) "I'm apparently doing it backwards, I start with picking a rod in a line weight appropriate to the species/conditions as I figure I can swap different lines a whole lot cheaper than I can tailor rods to a specific fly line."
I agree,and also rate the rod choice as my #1 priority,followed by the reel and then the line,and the reel is as important as the rod if you fish the salt for hard running fish.This isn't a priority for most fresh water fishing as reels are mostly more line holders than anything else.I also agree with sweetandsalt and trev re narrow tall reel spools with large arbors.I like the value Danielsson offers but not their (mostly) wide spools.You don't want to have to be mindful of laying backing down evenly in the heat of battle.
 

sweetandsalt

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I "like" a number of differing reels but have never chosen a rod to go with a reel. Though for me too the rod comes first it must also like the lines I intend to fish it with or it too is a no go. There are too many reels across the price spectrum for me to fish with one which I regard as having a design deficiency, and many do.
 

LOC

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In regards to the OP, probably the best route to take for his criteria would be to pick a rod first that can handle the prescribed line.
Since he is going to be throwing Pike flies a little more attention should be paid in how a rod is going to handle that kind of line.
After he's set on a rod he can still stick to his plan of using a Danielsson since there are a few models in their lineup to balance the rod he has picked.

As for wide spools I certainly see folks concern if it is a problem for them. I as a lot of you am on auto pilot when it comes to these kinds of details. For myself there would be no advantage specifically sticking to a narrow spool because I will guide the line the on just as I would a wide spool (I fish narrow and wide). This is the first time I ever even have thought about it honestly but it is good to keep in mind when suggesting a reel to someone especially if they are new to salt.
 
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trev

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hatidua said (in part) "I'm apparently doing it backwards, I start with picking a rod in a line weight appropriate to the species/conditions as I figure I can swap different lines a whole lot cheaper than I can tailor rods to a specific fly line."
I agree,and also rate the rod choice as my #1 priority,followed by the reel and then the line,and the reel is as important as the rod if you fish the salt for hard running fish.This isn't a priority for most fresh water fishing as reels are mostly more line holders than anything else.I also agree with sweetandsalt and trev re narrow tall reel spools with large arbors.I like the value Danielsson offers but not their (mostly) wide spools.You don't want to have to be mindful of laying backing down evenly in the heat of battle.
When you pick the "a rod in a line weight appropriate to the species/conditions " you have effectively put the line first. The line is the "weight" designation criteria, rods aren't real specific, and the "species/conditions" determines the preferred taper configuration. The only part of the line left out of you putting the line first in the brand name.
 

logan1994vh

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Having fished a Lamson trout reel for the past few years, I definitely have to level wind mindfully at times. The line will pile and jam the reel if not careful, though I DO probably have the reel a bit too full. The Danielsson F3W 7Ten has a narrower spool at 1.10" vs the L5W 6nine with a spool width of 1.31". For reference, 1.10" is the same width as a Hatch 7+ and the average spool width in Trident's 8wt reel shootout.

The more I research rod/line pairings, the more frustrated I get with the current state of rod/line ratings. Designating rods with grain weight windows seems like it would at least solve some of the problems. If there are no shops that offer test casting with non-trout tapers, I will get a line and pair the rod to the line. If nothing else it will be an interesting experiment and learning experience. Hopefully it doesn't end up getting expensive haha
 

sweetandsalt

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The more I research rod/line pairings, the more frustrated I get with the current state of rod/line ratings.
What has frustrated you in pairing a line with a rod? The majority of good quality rods are pretty true to weight in their line reconditions...assuming you are selecting a line that is not intentionally over weighted for some specialized purpose.
 

logan1994vh

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What has frustrated you in pairing a line with a rod? The majority of good quality rods are pretty true to weight in their line reconditions...assuming you are selecting a line that is not intentionally over weighted for some specialized purpose.
I suppose some of it is just the general overload of information, choices, and opinions on lining. 8wt lines are offered from 210 to 280 grains, debate continues on overlining modern fast action rods, and even the rod manufacturers (TFO and Echo) have given wildly varying recommendations when asked.

As I think about it more, though, the frustration really comes from getting lazy and wanting things to fit into neat, easily understandable boxes (so I can focus on fishing for new species!). I have a feeling I’ll end up trying a bunch of different lines in the years to come as I learn what does and doesn’t work for my casting stroke and gear. That’ll probably be pretty fun too. After all, we didn’t get into fly fishing to keep things simple haha.
 

trev

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8wt lines are offered from 210 to 280 grains,
The mass (weight) of standard lines is for the first 30' only, an 8wt is between 202gr and 218gr with 210gr being the target. For thirty feet. Most fly lines are about three times that long and so the whole line in 8wt could weigh roughly 650gr. What line manufacturers are doing is saying that if the rest of the line is almost weightless then that whole line weight (or a greater portion of it) can be concentrated in the front end and the rod designed to carry and cast the full conventional line can still cast that super heavy head, they do this so fly anglers won't have to think, or calculate the partial line weights vs full line weights and how many feet of ten weight line to replace how many feet of eight weight line to get an early load on the rod. If you want a heavy approach to casting rather close or for shooting you no longer think about what larger line to buy and cut down and splice to fit that presentation, you simply look at the specialty line that already is built heavy in the head and integrated to the shooting line.
If you want simple, just buy conventional true to weight DT or WF lines with taper profiles suited to the presentation, you will find that all rods will perform well enough with that loading, I believe, although I my self tend to use much heavier lines to suit my conditions. I actually did take up fly fishing to make things more simple, and overall I think it is simpler and easier than casting a thousand different lures on fifteen different rods to a single species.
 

sweetandsalt

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For me, I have never regarded fly fishing as simple, easy and having neat little boxes. From my first HDH AirCell on a Medalist forward, complexity has been involved. Yes, fly lines are rated and mfg. data supplied for their first 30', true. Also true as more line extends out your tip-top, extra mass is added to the cast. Rods accommodate this further weight by simply bending further down into stouter portions of their tapers and are deigned to do just that. We are fortunate to have available diverse fly line tapers to suit our specialized needs like casting longer or shorter, delivering small or big wind resistant flies and more. Matching lines to rods does take some homework, experimentation and experience that come from this process which does pay dividends in enhanced performance on your part.
 

bigspencer

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As above....I mean when seasoned Fly fishermen and women are bamboozled by the seemingly infinite choice of lines
methinks there's something amiss!
To me...with the price of lines today...it seems like, above all else....the profit motive..........and the willingness of younger anglers, without the experience, to be sucked into the marketing maze of specific gear that are not necessarily the most meaningful in successful angling.
 
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sweetandsalt

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I plan to use this rod primarily for pike/salmon streamers, but with a little salt flat mixed in if I go on vacation down south.
Now that we have, by consensus, informed "rod first", I'm going to add an additional consideration. Sometimes it is overlooked when selecting a rod like "9'/#8" that here are 8's and 8's. A streamer optimized #8 needs lower end power but a deeper flexing upper half to facilitate open loop, slower line speed casting of often bulky and sometimes weighted large sized flies. Conversely, a flats biased 8-weight wants a faster action with a sharper tip for high line speed tight loops to pierce wind and provide distance. A compromise generalist between the two is feasible and often appropriate but this design characteristic is worth noting similarly to a 5-weight for dry flies as opposed to a softer tipped nymphing rod.
 

trev

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Now that we have, by consensus, informed "rod first", I'm going to add an additional consideration. Sometimes it is overlooked when selecting a rod like "9'/#8" that here are 8's and 8's. A streamer optimized #8 needs lower end power but a deeper flexing upper half to facilitate open loop, slower line speed casting of often bulky and sometimes weighted large sized flies. Conversely, a flats biased 8-weight wants a faster action with a sharper tip for high line speed tight loops to pierce wind and provide distance. A compromise generalist between the two is feasible and often appropriate but this design characteristic is worth noting similarly to a 5-weight for dry flies as opposed to a softer tipped nymphing rod.
The "streamer optimized" and "dry flies" vs "nymphing rod" has jut put the "fly first" again, if you follow the "consensus" you will equate all number eight rods at time of purchase and end up using a line optimized to the rod and flies optimized to the line and then you will fish only where and for whatever species that picking the rod first has trapped you into.
 
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