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Thread: Light Saltwater setup

  1. #1

    Default Light Saltwater setup

    Is a 7wt considered too light for saltwater?

    I'm not talking big blue, more like flats and some intercoastal stuff. Redfish, snook, sea trout, perhaps a bonnet-head every now and then.

    I got my eye on an Orvis ZG Helios 9ft 7wt Tip flex 10.0 for a damn good price.

    I thought I might couple it with a Okuma Helios. Line and such would come later as funds became available...

    Damn fly fishing, between it and family, I'll be more than broke, I'll be broken...
    It's not the heat, it's the stupidity.
    What manner of jackassery will I be subjected to today?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Light Saltwater setup

    Bump up
    It's not the heat, it's the stupidity.
    What manner of jackassery will I be subjected to today?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    quiet corner, ct
    Posts
    8,503

    Default Re: Light Saltwater setup

    It can be done. I know a guy that fishes for stripers with a 3wt and 6wts on the flats are common, wind permitting.
    That said, I think you'd be happier with an 8wt. You'll find it much easier to toss the larger flies often needed in the salt.
    The simpler the outfit, the more skill it takes to manage it, and the more pleasure one gets in his achievements. --- Horace Kephart

  4. #4

    Default Re: Light Saltwater setup

    A 7wt would be fine for the fish and areas you mention.I fish 6 & 7 wt's on the flats here for stripers,flounder and trout with no problems.My 7wt has also seen duty in the surf and off the jetty.As long as you keep the weight down on your flies you will have no problems.Ive caught stripers to 26" in backwater areas on my 6wt with no issues.I prefer to go light when I can.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    4,019

    Default Re: Light Saltwater setup

    I'm with Riptide on this.

    You COULD use a 7 weight conditions permitting, but you'll be more limited in the size of flies you can throw and wind is a more or less constant in unprotected SW flats. And you never know what may come along in SW.

    You may want to toss 2/0 poppers for specs, spun deer hair stuff for snook, and heavily weighted stuff for deep water reds. An 8 would be a tad better than a 7. (My first choice for general all around inshore salt would actually be a 9 weight if you absolutely knew you were going to limit yourself to one SW rod).

    You might also give some thought to the gear that you have already and where this sport may take you down the road. If you have a 6 weight for example, I'd think you'd be wise to jump up a bit in line weights to cover you for different situations rather than go up one line weight. If you went with an 8 and really got into SW, you could add a 10 weight down the road and be pretty much covered for anything in SW except for blue water stuff, including occasional large tarpon assuming it was matched to a decent reel.

    mark

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    South Texas
    Posts
    4,313

    Default Re: Light Saltwater setup

    A 7wt is a fine light salt set up for reds and specs. Most of the flies I throw at the two will be propelled just fine by a 7wt. (size 4-6 clousers and darker/brighter carpy/bonefishy stuff)

    However, when the wind kicks up and the water is dirty enough to where you need to throw bigger flies to get them noticed, a 8wt is great and a 9 divine.
    http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-..._1276302_n.jpg

    I'd rather hunt fish than bait deer any day.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Light Saltwater setup

    Thanx for the replies.

    The equipment I have so far is as follows:

    (1) 7'6" 2wt St. Croix Legend Ultra (mated with a Cortland 55 - panfish rod)
    (1) 7' 3wt St. Croix Imperial (real old model, will be mated to the Cortland 55)
    (1) 8' 4wt St. Croix Avid (mated to a Martin Mountain Brooke Large Arbor)
    (1) 9' 5wt St. Croix Imperial (older model, can't recall the reel)
    (1) 9' 5wt Quarrow Big Horn (same reel as the Imperial)

    I also have a 6/7wt 8' Garcia Conolon that was given to me with a Pflueger Medalist mated to it (never fished it)

    I got a line on the 7wt at a steal. I've been thinking of an 8wt, but I also thought I'd do with the 7 and get a 9 later. I don't really plan to do any big water (read tarpon), although I know you have no choice in what decides to take the bait.

    My ultimate goal is bonefish and permit, but that is way, way down the road.
    My wife's relatives live in Beaufort, SC, so I can do some redfish there at times.
    It's not the heat, it's the stupidity.
    What manner of jackassery will I be subjected to today?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    4,019

    Default Re: Light Saltwater setup

    Axle,

    The main difference in weights between 7, 8 and 9 is that the you'll increase the top end of the size, and weight of flies you can throw, basically for the same range of fish species, and more oomph in wind as you move up in line weight. The reels typically used would be similar in size if not identical, with 200 yds of 20lb backing plus fly line. Redfish, blues, bones, stripers, specs, spanish macs, snook, snappers, fluke etc would be typical targets. I guess I tend to be more biased towards heavier weights in SW and in general than some, mostly because of wind and the desire to bring fish in more easily since i pretty much release everything anyway.

    The reason I suggested a pairing of 8 and 10 as opposed to a 7 and 9 is once you step up to 10 weights, the reels typically paired with them would hold more and heavier backing- on the order of 300 yds of 30lb, and this puts you in a different ball game in terms of things you can target with them. Generally though, they are still efficient casting sticks and you can comfortably blind cast them all day long, as opposed to many 12 weights typically used for 100 lb tarpon. A 10 would be a great weight for mahi, roosters, cobia, stripers, large permit, backcountry tarpon (anywhere from 12-100+ depending what decides to eat), snook, jacks, small tuna to 30lbs, sharks, and fishing deep from a boat where you might need lifting power. If you were to take occasional trips with a guide for big tarpon, you'd probably want to use the guides 12 weight gear for sight casting, since most of the day you'd be standing around waiting for them to show as opposed to blind casting all day long.

    Since you mentioned bones and permit as down the road possibilities, Keys bones, as opposed to bonefish in other places, tend to run large and the flies tend to be larger than those used elsewhere. Although 6 and 7's are used for them down there, it is more common to see 8 and 9's for bones and often a spare 10 weight rigged up with a crab fly for incidental permit. In other destinations- bahamas, belize etc smaller flies and lighter weights might be a bit more common.

    Just my 2 cents.

    mark

  9. #9

    Default Re: Light Saltwater setup

    Quote Originally Posted by peregrines View Post
    Axle,

    The main difference in weights between 7, 8 and 9 is that the you'll increase the top end of the size, and weight of flies you can throw, basically for the same range of fish species, and more oomph in wind as you move up in line weight. The reels typically used would be similar in size if not identical, with 200 yds of 20lb backing plus fly line. Redfish, blues, bones, stripers, specs, spanish macs, snook, snappers, fluke etc would be typical targets. I guess I tend to be more biased towards heavier weights in SW and in general than some, mostly because of wind and the desire to bring fish in more easily since i pretty much release everything anyway.

    The reason I suggested a pairing of 8 and 10 as opposed to a 7 and 9 is once you step up to 10 weights, the reels typically paired with them would hold more and heavier backing- on the order of 300 yds of 30lb, and this puts you in a different ball game in terms of things you can target with them. Generally though, they are still efficient casting sticks and you can comfortably blind cast them all day long, as opposed to many 12 weights typically used for 100 lb tarpon. A 10 would be a great weight for mahi, roosters, cobia, stripers, large permit, backcountry tarpon (anywhere from 12-100+ depending what decides to eat), snook, jacks, small tuna to 30lbs, sharks, and fishing deep from a boat where you might need lifting power. If you were to take occasional trips with a guide for big tarpon, you'd probably want to use the guides 12 weight gear for sight casting, since most of the day you'd be standing around waiting for them to show as opposed to blind casting all day long.

    Since you mentioned bones and permit as down the road possibilities, Keys bones, as opposed to bonefish in other places, tend to run large and the flies tend to be larger than those used elsewhere. Although 6 and 7's are used for them down there, it is more common to see 8 and 9's for bones and often a spare 10 weight rigged up with a crab fly for incidental permit. In other destinations- bahamas, belize etc smaller flies and lighter weights might be a bit more common.

    Just my 2 cents.

    mark
    I agree.
    I just got back from Folly Beach and I can tell you first hand, casting into the wind is a serious pain! There is almost always some sort of wind coming off the ocean whereever you go...
    I had an 8 wt and could cast fine from my kayak up in an inlet to the Stono, but keeping the kayak away from the bank is a different issue...
    Surf casting was a super pain! I destroyed a clouser that I had not superglued the bucktail on just casting it...

    I met a guy from Wisconsin there who was using a spey rod for surf casting and it worked well, but distance was not an option. 25 yards was about all he could do, and that's not too bad in the surf as long as the fly gets down there fast, but those waves bring the line back in real fast. Lots of casting.
    Even for flats with no surf, the wind will prohibit you from casting a 7 wt a lot of times. Even an 8 can be an issue.
    Worry about the wind and the flies, not the fish... My opinion is to downsize rods on a trout stream and oversize in salt.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Light Saltwater setup

    Thanx, Peregrines. You truly are a sage in a world of insanity.

    If I do manage to land the 7wt., I might sell it and turn on an 8wt. The 10 can wait a bit....hell, the 8 can wait, really, I just look for good deals.
    It's not the heat, it's the stupidity.
    What manner of jackassery will I be subjected to today?

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