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Thread: Rod Weight Question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Southwest, VA

    Default Rod Weight Question

    Hey guys,
    I currently have a Orvis Clearwater 8'6 5wt rod as my only rod. I am looking to pick up something that will be a little more fun while fishing for trout on small to medium sized creeks/rivers (15' wide at most). My question is what weight I should look at. Most of the creeks that I fish I am under pretty good amount of tree limbs, etc. and am casting 10-15'. I have looked at some 2 weight and 3 weight rods but want to hear some opinions from others with more experience with these weights. I would like to have a rod between 6' to 7'6 and want to hear some pro's and con's of each weight? Hope this gives enough information to get some answers. If there are any factors that I have left out that you need to know, let me know.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    South Texas

    Default Re: Rod Weight Question

    I know many will argue otherwise, but I view a 3wt as the minimum practical weight. Below that and you're getting into something that really comes up short when dealing with wind or even smaller terrestrial patterns.

    I would suggest a 7-7'6" 3wt with some power so you can readily overline it with a 4wt for shorter casting or heavier flies.

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

  3. Default Re: Rod Weight Question

    My outfit was exactly like yours when I decided to buy a new one this summer. Having always wanted a bamboo rod I picked up a 3 wt. and after catching my first trout on it I was in love. I agree that going under this would really be light and I'm not sure you would get out of it what you want if you ever want to fish a weighted nymph or something substantial like that.

  4. Default Re: Rod Weight Question

    I agree with these two guys. The three wt is a great light line rod. Even small fish are fun as heck on it. In a 7 or 7 1/2 foot rod you will be surprised what you can do with it as far as casting and fighting fish. The flex in it also helps protect light tippet when you hook into a big one. I have a 9ft 3wt sage that belive it or not I can cast a double fly rig with a strike ind. pretty well.
    Getting below a three wt and you really start limeting yourself to not only flies but casting as well.
    One thing you do need to keep in mind though when fishing light rods and tippets. If you hook into a really big fish you sometimes have to choose between over fighting and killing a fish or breaking him off. I have (on purpose) had to break off a few big fish, but I know they will be there to try again someday.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Rod Weight Question

    I can’t agree with all of the statements in this thread about rods under 3WT. Personally for small creeks and streams I grab either my 000710-3 TXL or my 761-4 Superfine Trout Bum. Both rods are excellent choices for smaller waters. I have no issues casting the flies I want to cast with either of them. As far as wind goes I have personally not had any more issues with the lighter lines than I would have with any of my heavier rods.

    For the comment about fighting larger fish on smaller rods I will just say this. I regularly fish my TXL for fish over 17”. Yes sometimes I even throw a nymph rig on it under an indicator. When I hook a larger fish I put it on the reel and use side pressure when fighting it. I can honestly say that it does not take me any more time to land a trout (22” and under) on any of my ultralight rods as it does on my heavier rods, but YMMV.

  6. Default Re: Rod Weight Question

    I'm with Sasha on this one. If you're regularly fishing 3x, 4x, 5x, or even lighter tippet, your tippet will break *long* before you stress a UL rod to the point of breaking. A heavier rod does not allow you to apply more pressure to a fish unless you use heavier tippet as well.

    I regularly catch 3 to 5lb bass on a 00, 1, 2, and 3 wt rods, using weighted buggers and 3x tippet. They can be "horsed" in and landed in under a minute or two--just like a 6 wt rod and 3x tippet.

    (chunky bass on 1 wt Orvis)

    I absolutely agree that you *will* be able to cast larger flies with a heavier line, so I just end up tying smaller versions of popular flies. My light rods do okay in winds up to 15mph or so, but higher than that and a heavier rod also has an advantage.

    Obviously ultralight rods aren't always the answer but they can be used in a lot more situations than most angler are led to believe.



  7. Default Re: Rod Weight Question

    Small streams, overhead trees, wary fish... all mean a shorter, softer action rod for better line control and more delicate presentation. Bamboo was mentioned, but very expensive, fragile and high maintenance. I recommend a modern 7' or 71/2' 4wt fiberglass rod. Why?... #1 Strength (almost indistructable); #2 Presentations almost as delicate as bamboo; #3 Versatile enough to use on bigger water if needed.
    T.L. Johnson in Colorado has been building Synergy Glass rods for several years now. How good are they? Don't believe me, read Fly Fish Ohio Reviews the New TL Johnson Fiberglass Fly Rod! and TL Johnson 4wt Fiberglass Fly Rod Review - Fly Fish Ohio, then check out the prices (35% off) at *T.L. Johnson Synergy Glass SG Fly Rod
    He will be introducing a new model with a new amber color to give it a more classic, almost bamboo look in about a month. New model will retail aroung $400.

  8. Default thanks for starting this thread...

    ...was looking for the same thing myself. URL in one of the replies led me to order a Johnson 7' 4 wt in the discontinued green glass for about $140 discount...don't think the trout will mind it not looking like 'boo

  9. Default Re: Rod Weight Question

    Here in Iowa we have a lot of streams similar to what you describe. I personally use a 7'6" 4wt and have a blast. My buddy uses a 3 wt for this kind of fishing. I considered the 3 wt but since it was my 1st real fly rod I opted with the 4 wt to cut the wind better.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Southwest, VA

    Default Re: Rod Weight Question

    Thanks for all of the replies. There is some great information here.

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