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Rod Size on small streams

Joined:
1/6 9:36
From Montgomery, PA
Posts: 188
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looking for some helpful feedback if you all are so inclined.

When fishing a stream that's maybe 20-30 feet wide but does not offer you a ton of casting room what is your go to rod length and what do you prefer as far as a weight?

My personal favorite that ive built and used the last 2 years is a 7'3" 2wt Temple Fork Lefty Kreh Finesse Series. I have it paired up with a Lamson litespeed reel with 1 weight line.

What do you guys prefer. Lets here it straight from the fisherman themselves.

I know there are some variables to this but lets assume its a non-stocked stream, or a tributary of a stocked stream and were generally talking fish from 7"-12" on roughly. so a 5 weight is more than likely out.

Just looking for some popular models and such that you guys enjoy using so I can better myself as a builder

Thanks,
Chris

Posted on: 1/28 14:53


Re: Rod Size on small streams

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2010/5/1 9:10
From NE OH
Posts: 1314
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I use a custom built 6'9" 2wt on brookie streams. If I'm fishing a small stream with larger fish potential (18-20" wild browns), I use my 3wt Helios. I really like my buddies 1wt Superfine as well.

Posted on: 1/28 15:13
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"You don't need 7x. All right, 7x...now you're just being stupid. That's ridiculous. You know what else...throw away the 6x, because that's garbage too." -Hank Patterson


Re: Rod Size on small streams

Joined:
1/6 9:36
From Montgomery, PA
Posts: 188
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My dad uses a 1wt superfine. I can't get him to try anything else!

I have a sage txl-000 weight at 7"10" It's about all I can do to land anything over 12 inches. Usually use it first day for stockies

Posted on: 1/28 15:17


Re: Rod Size on small streams

Joined:
2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
Posts: 13556
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First, 20-30 feet across (if an average, not a max), I wouldn’t consider that “small” per se. That’d fit squarely in my “medium” sized category.

Also, how thick are we talking?

As you’re from montgo county asking about small streams, I’ll assume you mean your typically rhododendron lined high gradient mountain stream, and answer for that.

I prefer generally 7-8 ft rods in a 5 wt. Reasonably fast action, though I’m gonna fill it with a 6 or 7 wt line so that it loads easily at typically short distances. Call it the Joe Humphreys type approach.

I fish these streams a fair bit, and I know lots of guys like their 2 and 3 weight rods so that a 6” brookie can show off a bit during the fight. I get it, and have nothing against that. I just don’t much care about the fight. I don’t fish these streams and chase small fish because I want a fish that fights hard.

And to me, light line weights are all about finesse. They're about throwing midges or tricos with 6x or 7x tippets on slow glassy currents for fussy fish on a limestoner somewhere. These streams are pretty much the complete opposite of that. They are not at all finesse streams. The fish ain’t picky, you're throwing typically size 10's and 12's on 3x or 4x tippet, small enough to hook the "good" fish but big enough so that the "dinks" can't get it in their mouths nomatter how hard they try. A splash freaking attracts them, they’ll tolerate a little drag, they ain’t line shy, and heck, on the water at least accuracy doesn’t even matter that much, they’ll move clear across a pool to hit that fly.

All that matters is getting that fly into tight places, and doing it from far enough away that you don’t spook the fish, which puts brush between you and fish. You’re punching casts through weeds and twigs. You’re trying to throw a tight loop under that thar overhanging branch that’s 1 ft off the water. You’re standing on one leg leaning sideways in the rhodo trying to make a bow and arrow cast through a small window so that it lands far enough up there to float back between those two rocks which are 20 ft away. Everything (except the fight) screams power. High line speeds and tight loops on short casts with no backcast. That's what I'm looking for. A broomstick.

Unfortunately it is hard to find 5 wts under 8 ft. They do exist but are often pretty pricy, which you also don't want in places like this as they're easy to break in the brush. So many with my line of thinking end up with 4 wts.

Posted on: 1/28 15:38


Re: Rod Size on small streams

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2006/11/2 8:50
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I use a 7 1/2 foot 4 wt. on small mountain streams.

It is quite a versatile rod. You can fish the real small brushy streams with it. But also make long casts with it where you find larger pools.

And it has enough ummph that you can cast weighted streamers, chuck big Stimulators against the wind, fish a weighted stonefly etc., as well as the more typical dry fly fishing.

Regarding 5 weights being out. Not at all. I've fished such streams many times with an 8 1/2 ft. 5 wt.

Some of the best mountain stream fishermen use 5 weights. The Orvis 7' 9" 5 wt is one of the classic small stream rods.

Posted on: 1/28 15:48

Edited by troutbert on 2014/1/28 16:12:37


Re: Rod Size on small streams

Joined:
2011/7/6 13:48
From Philadelphia PA
Posts: 1652
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I love my 7.6 3 weight Orvis Clearwater II on pretty much everything. I have fished a stream maybe 5 feet across to some 30 + feet across. As with anything being aware of your surroundings and how you fly fish is the key to your own success on any waters.

PCRAY - I'm in it for the fight - who cares about what type of fish.

Posted on: 1/28 15:51
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"I am respected when I walk into any fly shop. Salespeople wait on me hand and waders. I once tried underwater casting just to see if I could. I am the most admired Fly Fisherman in the world. And when I fly-fish, I use the Orvis Access. Stay Fishing MF


Re: Rod Size on small streams

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2011/7/6 12:30
From Ephrata, PA
Posts: 6514
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I use either a 6' 5wt (very tight streams) or a 7'6" 6wt (not so tight)

Posted on: 1/28 16:00


Re: Rod Size on small streams

Joined:
2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
Posts: 13556
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Quote:
PCRAY - I'm in it for the fight - who cares about what type of fish.


I don't care about type of fish either. My main goal is to enjoy time in the great outdoors in the most beautiful surroundings I can.

Regarding the fishing, my goal is to challenge myself to make casts that are very difficult to make, and hopefully catch "difficult" fish in the process. Not difficult as in "hey, that's a tricky current seam". More like difficult as in "how in the heck am I gonna get a fly in THERE." Under banks, little caves, brushpiles, rhodo tunnels, etc.


Posted on: 1/28 16:06


Re: Rod Size on small streams

Joined:
2011/7/6 13:48
From Philadelphia PA
Posts: 1652
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Amen to that! And that Why I buy them cheap flies, from the Fly Fishing Show, that fall apart. I don't feel as bad when I loose them.

Posted on: 1/28 16:09
_________________
"I am respected when I walk into any fly shop. Salespeople wait on me hand and waders. I once tried underwater casting just to see if I could. I am the most admired Fly Fisherman in the world. And when I fly-fish, I use the Orvis Access. Stay Fishing MF


Re: Rod Size on small streams

Joined:
2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
Posts: 13556
Offline
Lose em! I'll wade under banks, into little caves, brush piles, rhodo tunnels, etc. to get them back!

^^But that's actually out of laziness. Much quicker and easier than breaking it off and then retying tippet and fly.

Posted on: 1/28 16:17


Re: Rod Size on small streams

Joined:
1/6 9:36
From Montgomery, PA
Posts: 188
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I'm in Lycoming county pcray just the city of montgomery! I thank you for the overwhelming rreply though. And I . stand corrected I meant 30 feet wide at a max.


Posted on: 1/28 16:18


Re: Rod Size on small streams

Joined:
2013/5/31 21:37
From Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 154
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Quote:
I love my 7.6 3 weight Orvis Clearwater II on pretty much everything. I have fished a stream maybe 5 feet across to some 30 + feet across. As with anything being aware of your surroundings and how you fly fish is the key to your own success on any waters.


PennyPack, I have the same rod. Haven't tried it yet, but I'm really looking forward to it. I have it paired with an Orvis Battenkill II reel and 4wt line.

I'm anxious for a good thaw to try it out!

Posted on: 1/28 16:28


Re: Rod Size on small streams

Joined:
2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
Posts: 13556
Offline
Quote:
I thank you for the overwhelming rreply though.


Well, I guess you’re answer is that it depends on the person, where they fish, and what they’re looking for out of the experience. Those of us who fish these streams are kinda “special”. And “special” people never agree on anything.

This thread has come up many times. In generalities, most are in agreement on rod length. As long as you can get away with, but not longer. In the nastiest spots, sometimes a 6 footer is called for. On more open streams, you can get away with 8 or 8 1/2 feet. But 7’-7’6” are most common, and most versatile.

Regarding line weight and action, there are generally 2 schools of thought. Some like the soft action, 1-3 weights. Some want fast action 4-6 wts.

The latter group is reasonably common in PA, constituting close to half of our hard core brookie guys. But that’s still a small niche in the fly rod business, and apparently our type are nearly absent on the national scene. Because if you go looking for a 7’ 5 wt, well, good luck! There ain’t many out there.

A little story. 2 years back I was at a fly show and watched Joe Humphrey’s casting demo. He mentioned that he was using a Helios 7’6” 5 wt. I was in the market for such a rod, and I knew it didn’t exist. So I approached him at the author’s booth and asked him what his rod “really” was.

Joe: “It’s an Orvis Helios 7’6” 5 wt.”
Me: “They don’t make one of those, I checked.”
Joe: (coy smile) “They do for me.”

Posted on: 1/28 16:31


Re: Rod Size on small streams

Joined:
1/6 9:36
From Montgomery, PA
Posts: 188
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Just a little convo to get the blood pumping for warmer days. They are coming I promise!

Posted on: 1/28 16:31


Re: Rod Size on small streams

Joined:
1/6 9:36
From Montgomery, PA
Posts: 188
Offline
That's a pretty cool story. I can envision that conversation. . I.bet you were left a little speechless? Lol

Posted on: 1/28 16:33



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