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  1. Default 6wt or 7wt for smallies

    good morning. as i dabble into this fly fishing addiction, i was wondering which weight fly rod is better (opinions) for smallmouth up to four pounds?

  2. #2

    Default Re: 6wt or 7wt for smallies

    I use the 7 weight most often. Sometimes it's not the size of fish that should be of concern, but the size of fly you're tossing.
    The beauty of some rods is that they have range well outside either way of their line weight rating. That, plus the 7 weight I use feels like a 5 or 6 weight in the hand.
    I'm so glad I've discovered that series of rods!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    South Texas

    Default Re: 6wt or 7wt for smallies

    A 7wt will work better when specifically targeting smallies, and for throwing the flies that attract the larger ones.

    However if you are fishing places with 4x as many sunfish as bass like I do, a 5wt will throw weighted buggers well enough and make the sunfish much more fun.

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

  4. #4

    Default Re: 6wt or 7wt for smallies

    the line wt is all about the size fly and wind conditions you're fishing, not fish fighting. you really don't fight fish with a fly rod and win.

    i do quite a bit of bass fishing, and i don't use a 7 wt. i use 5 and 6wt's for smallmouth and white bass, and 8wt's for largemouth and stripers. i use only 5wt lines on the lighter end, but when fishing exclusively with a sink tip and streamers from the kayak, i'll use a 6wt rod because it makes casting less tiresome and quicker. and i have 4 different tapers of 8wt rods and several line types for matching up to different situations. but i have never felt that the 7 was ideal for much except competition casting, because it's the biggest rod they'll allow.

  5. #5

    Default Re: 6wt or 7wt for smallies

    Im a true believer in 6wts myself, I use med/fast rods and fish for large and smallmouths, I would recommend a fast 6wt for sink line but IMO,nothing bigger then a 6wt is needed unless fishing deep lakes for them.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Southeast Pennsylvania

    Default Re: 6wt or 7wt for smallies

    I targeted smallmouth for a few years using a 5wt. I eventually bought a
    6wt for tossing bigger stuff at them, and was very happy. Having said that,
    I wouldn't hesitate to use my Sage Z-Axis 9' 5wt for smallmouth, and not
    so large stuff (even some large stuff at close ranges, or with a proper casting
    style). My shoulder gets sore swinging 6wts for a few hours, partly because
    I cast a lot, and also due to a shoulder injury from a few years ago. If I could,
    I'd use a 7'6" 4wt for smallmouth ! Actually, I could*.....

    *Yes, Yes...."You'd play it to death"

  7. #7

    Default Re: 6wt or 7wt for smallies

    Dang... I ain't learned or figured out nothin' in the past 25 years!

    From 20" + smallies in Lake Saint Clair to many floats a year on the New River you would think I would have figured out by now that tossing big harry bugs a good way is better with a 5 or 6 weight!

    Maybe it's just me (and Bob Clouser) but I found big smallies eat big food, thus the heavier line weight for tossing that food.

  8. Default Re: 6wt or 7wt for smallies

    What are you 5wt guys throwing, bluegill poppers? A 6wt will do fine for smaller flies, but try thrwoing a BIG deerhair or even foam popper, or a heavy weighted crawfish or a big wind catching baitfish fly with those lighter rods, I will admit that with the RIGHT 6wt and the best casting skill a 6 will handle bigger flies then most think, but not many rods will nor do many folks have that casting skill. I have a 7wt and fish it some, but usally I take a 6wt for smaller fish and flies and my 8wt for big hairy wind catching flies and big scally fish. If it were me starting out, I would get a good 6wt and keep my flies smaller and then get a 8wt down the road. And keep in mind that you dont always need big flies to catch big bass, I have over the last 20 some years caught several 5-7 lb largemouth on a 4 or 5 wt rod and a size 8-10 bluegill fly, but usally if I catch bass bluegill fishing they rae small ones.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Southeast Pennsylvania

    Default Re: 6wt or 7wt for smallies

    When I'm targeting smallmouth, I usually use a Clouser tied on a #10 Mustad
    bass bug hook. I use the same hooks to tie dear hair poppers, but usually
    go sub-surface for smallmouth. The biggest smallmouth I catch are in the
    16" range, and I've never seen anything a whole lot bigger caught in this
    part of Pennsylvania.

    This LMB took a #10 Wooly Bugger, and was caught on a 9' 5wt Z-Axis:

    I caught a 22-24" channel cat in March, on a #12 Green Weenie and an 8'6" 4wt:

    The channel cat made several runs, and was a real hoot. The LMB just played
    tug of war, with shorter runs. You can see the little Green Weenie in the
    cat's mouth BTW.

    With a proper leader and an oval cast, I can get a smallish deer hair bug
    out 30 feet. I had never seen the cast until I watched Joan Wulff's video.
    A 6wt makes things a whole lot easier, however, and if I were going for
    bass, a 6wt would be the smallest rod I'd choose. After that, it's a matter
    of how big your patterns are going to be.

  10. Default Re: 6wt or 7wt for smallies

    Heres some flies I tied for both large and smallmouths, these are tied on size 2 and 4 saltwater hooks and are used with my 4 and 6wt.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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