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Best rod weight for fresh & salt water fishing

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2007/2/27 11:42
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I'm looking into getting a rod for both saltwater and freshwater fishing. For saltwater, I'll probably be going for anything that I would be able to catch in the surf (wading out about 50' or waist high). For freshwater, I'd be going for steelhead. The family CFO (i.e.: wife) is going to let me get one more rod.

The big question is what weight rod would be best for this scenario. I understand that the anonized AL reel seat with a fighting butt is the best way to go. I'm looking at either an 8 or 10 wieght. Would a 10 weight be too much rod? I'm probably looking in the $200-250 dollar range.

Posted on: 2007/12/30 10:43


Re: Best rod weight for fresh & salt water fishing

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2006/9/10 21:53
From Greensburg, PA
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I have an 8wt I use for salt and recently for steelhead...anything bigger might be too much...I got a traditional combo at Cabelas for 100 bucks a couple years ago including rod/reel/line/rod case...Glad I did.

Posted on: 2007/12/30 11:58


Re: Best rod weight for fresh & salt water fishing

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2007/4/25 10:02
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I just recently used an 9ft 8wt rod in saltwater and it was fine.

I use it for steelhead and it works well.

I can tell you after actually casting the 8wt all day in saltwater your arm is going to get a workout.

Posted on: 2007/12/30 19:54


Re: Best rod weight for fresh & salt water fishing

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From Greensburg, PA
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Yeah, and then when you go back to throwing the 3-wt it takes a few minutes to realize you are actually holding something in my hand...I fished mostly out of a kayak so my cast weren't going to be that long anyway. However, sometimes I take it up to the lake just to get the extra distance and my shoulder is sore for the next day or so...

Posted on: 2007/12/30 22:21


Re: Best rod weight for fresh & salt water fishing
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2006/9/9 19:16
From Dallastown, PA
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I am a big fan of ten footers for steelhead. I also think an eight for steelhead is a little much, unless you are fishing New York for salmon and "their" steelhead.

I have little to no experience with Salt but considering the size of the flies and the ability to use sink tips that a 10' 7wt would be your best compromise.

Posted on: 2007/12/30 23:22
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Re: Best rod weight for fresh & salt water fishing

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2007/10/7 0:44
From philadelphia
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i have a seven weight sage launch,nice rod.i think that fits your needs and budget.

Posted on: 2007/12/31 1:52


Re: Best rod weight for fresh & salt water fishing

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2006/9/9 20:09
From Harrisburg
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Dear geoalex,

If you get serious about saltwater fishing I think you are going to find that an 8 weight is a little light. Most NE guys use 9 and 10 weights in the surf.

Go to stripers on line and read their fly fishing forum and ask your question over there. There are lot of helpful people over there.

http://www.stripersonline.com/surftalk/forumdisplay.php?f=153

Regards,
Tim Murphy

Posted on: 2007/12/31 16:08


Re: Best rod weight for fresh & salt water fishing

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2006/9/13 10:18
From LV
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My nine weight is much to big for any fresh water fish except salmon. I over line it for the times I use it on salt water. It's a Loomis IMX, very fast rod. I'd go with a little less rod if you truely are using it for both fresh water and salt water.

Posted on: 2008/1/3 19:28
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Re: Best rod weight for fresh & salt water fishing

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2006/9/9 8:28
From York, PA
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With saltwater there is always the "wind" factor. At least wherever I have been. You need a bigger rod with more punch.

I recently picked up a very fast Cabelas XST 9wt. What a difference compared to my 8 and 10 weights that only rate a medium-fast action. I am no fan of super fast action rods on trout streams, but I like the faster action rod in the salt. The rod is impressive for the price. I build rods but couldn't build one that well for the price of the components.

Having said that, my answer would still probably be a 7 or 8wt if I had to pick one. I think the weight of the rod size grows exponentially, and a 7 to an 8 is more of a step up than a 5 is to a 6. Casting a 9 all day requires extra time in the jacuzzi with a single malt.

Posted on: 2008/1/4 15:56


Re: Best rod weight for fresh & salt water fishing

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2007/2/27 11:42
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Thanks for all the replies. It seems that there is a general consensus that I should go with an 8WT rod. I was thinking of going with a 9WT, but was not sure if that would be either too much or too little.

A little more information about how I would probably use the rod. I would probably use it on vacations (This past Fall, my wife and I went to Cape Cod). She loves going to the beach, her aunt and two cousins live close to Fenwick Island, DE so if and when we visit I was hoping to get a line wet while there. She has a friend living along the NC/SC state line. Once again, hoping to get a line wet.

I'd like to try steelhead up near Erie in the future and was looking into trying to buy a rod that I would be able to use on vacations and eventually steelhead. Right now, my wife has shown interest in fishing streams (thus I bought her a 8'6 4 WT St Croix). One thing that is a must is that the rod be a 4 piece (3 piece would work also) for traveling purposes.

Now for more specific brands. I was looking at the St. Croix Avid 9'6" 8WT, 4 piece (A968.4), Orvis Clearwater II 10' 8WT, 4 piece (Clearwater II 108-4), TFO 9' 8WT, 4 piece (TFO 8904X). G Loomis is a bit out of my price range. It looks like the Sage rods that are in my price range have a wood reel seat. I've read that you would need anonized aluminum for the reel seat. If I'm wrong, please let me know.

A few more questions:

What length should I be looking for?
What other rod makers should I look for in the $250 range?
What about Cabela's Stowaway 9' 8WT, 7 Piece or Orvis' Frequent Flyer 9' 8WT, 7 piece? If I went with these two choices, should I go one weight higher?

Thanks again for all the replies (past and future).

Posted on: 2008/1/5 9:53


Re: Best rod weight for fresh & salt water fishing
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Joined:
2006/9/11 8:26
From Chester County
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I know I sound like a broken record - but test cast as many rods as you can before buying. A good fly shop can help.

“What length should I be looking for?”

Length – 9’ minimum, a 91/2 or 10’ may be better but may not available in all the rods you listed.

The problem that I see is that in Saltwater fishing, you will need to do a lot of double hauling for distance casting, and casting in the wind. A fast action rod would be more suitable for that type of fishing. While for steelhead, a slower action rod that flexes to the butt is most useful for casting (flinging) weight, and to wear down a big fish on without breaking a relatively light tippet.

“Now for more specific brands. I was looking at the St. Croix Avid 9'6" 8WT, 4 piece (A968.4), Orvis Clearwater II 10' 8WT, 4 piece (Clearwater II 108-4), TFO 9' 8WT, 4 piece (TFO 8904X). G Loomis is a bit out of my price range. It looks like the Sage rods that are in my price range have a wood reel seat. I've read that you would need anonized aluminum for the reel seat. If I'm wrong, please let me know.”

Since the “CFO” won’t let you spring for two rods, I would select a rod that is fairly fast. IMO, you can get away with a faster rod for steelhead (I’ve caught tons of steelhead on my Sage RPL 8wt), but a full flex rod is a true handicap for casting for distance and in the wind wheen SW fishing. BTW, the Sage rod in an 8wt does not have a wooden reel seat insert.

All decent rods:

SC Avid – Moderately fast
Sage Launch – Moderately fast
TFO TiCr – Moderately faster
TFO TiCrX – Pretty darn fast
Orvis Clearwater II - ?????? new rod - heard good things about it, but it may be on the slow side for SW.

“What about Cabela's Stowaway 9' 8WT, 7 Piece or Orvis' Frequent Flyer 9' 8WT, 7 piece? If I went with these two choices, should I go one weight higher?”

Both rods are fairly slow action and would not be the best choice for saltwater fishing.


Try to cast them all if you can. In my hand I believe the TFO’s would probably cast best for distance. Good luck.


PS - I believe that all the above rods in an 8wt have a fighting butt. DO NOT buy a rod for salt or steel without a fighting butt - that will become obvious as soon as you hook up and are taken for a ride!

Posted on: 2008/1/5 11:17


Re: Best rod weight for fresh & salt water fishing

Joined:
2006/9/9 20:09
From Harrisburg
Posts: 2190
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Dear geoalex,

Call Bob Clouser at 717-944-6541 and ask him his opinion.

There is no one I respect more for giving an honest opinion than Bob.* It may cost him money but he will tell you the truth. If he has a rod in your budget I'm sure he'll tell you about it too, but he won't yank your chain and tell you you should do "X" or "Y" if he wouldn't do it.

He'll also tell you to get at least a 9 weight.

That's all I got.

Regards,
Tim Murphy

* Edited to say that I don't want anyone to read this post and think that I implied that other people are less than honest or not like Bob. Bob Clouser fishes for all the fishes you want to fish for in the salt in the same places. There are others with that experience but I'll always defer to Bob because I personally think he has a little more experience.

Posted on: 2008/1/5 13:51


Re: Best rod weight for fresh & salt water fishing

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2007/2/27 11:42
Posts: 59
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Tim and afishinado,

Thanks for the fast replies. I work in Hershey and live in Frederick, MD. I use the PA Turnpike to get from 283 to Rt 15. Middletown will be a little out of the way, but should be worth my while. I didn't realize he was so close to the area.

Thanks.

Posted on: 2008/1/5 15:22


Re: Best rod weight for fresh & salt water fishing

Joined:
2006/9/9 20:09
From Harrisburg
Posts: 2190
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Dear alex,

When you are at 283 and the East Shore turnpike ramp you aren't 10 minutes from Clouser's shop. Just get off and instead of going to the turnpike take Rte 230 south. At the foot of the hill turn left and go to the square in Middletown and turn right.

Turn left before you go under the RR bridge and turn right again and cross the Swatara Creek at the bridge. When you wind to the top of the hill past the townhomes on your left make a quick left and and then a quick right and drive to the last street, Ulrich Street and turn right.

Clouser's is a block down Ulrich Street.

Call ahead and I'm sure he wil accomodate you if you want to stop by after work some evening. If you work this close you owe it to yourself to stop by and meet him.

Regards,
Tim Murphy

Posted on: 2008/1/5 15:37


Re: Best rod weight for fresh & salt water fishing

Joined:
2007/2/27 11:42
Posts: 59
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Well I stopped by Bob Clouser's yesterday and asked him the same questions I ask here.

He mentioned that an 8wt rod would be sufficient for what I want to do. I asked about a 9 wt and he mentioned that it would be too much rod for the purposes I would use the rod. He mentioned that I could have him custom order the rod, but that I would be able to get the rod at a better price if I shopped around locally.

I didn't ask here, but asked him about having two reels:one for saltwater and one for freshwater for the rod. He mentioned that if I kept the reel clean after using it in saltwater, I only need one reel. I forgot to ask him if I should get an extra spool, but I figured he meant that also.

Eventhough it was only a 15-20 minute visit, Bob was able to answer my questions and even told me to call if I had anymore. Great person to deal with.

Posted on: 2008/1/9 8:19



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