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Smallmouth Rod

Joined:
2006/9/9 22:43
From Delaware Co.
Posts: 3449
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I looking to buy a fly rod just for smallmouth . Can anyone give some good intel on what wt action and brand of rod would be good for fishing for smallies on the Brandywine and Perkiomen rivers. Alot famous bass fishermen like Clouser and Murray say to use a 8 wt rod when fishing for smallies . But wouldn't that be to much for these rivers the average smallie, I catch is usually about a foot long . Any information you can give would be helpfull thanks...

Posted on: 2006/10/2 22:13


Re: Smallmouth Rod

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2006/9/9 20:09
From Harrisburg
Posts: 2183
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Dear Fredrick,

I guess the first question you need to ask is will you be fishing the Susquehanna in the future, or do you have plans to try saltwater, or a lot of largemouth fishing?

If you know you won't be fishing larger rivers or salt then you can probably get by just fine with a 6 weight. As a compromise, you may want to look at a 7 weight. It's not so much a matter of sizing your rod to the fish you plan to catch as it is making sure you can cast the size range of flies you want to use under all conditions. It will be more versatile if you find yourself fishing weedy bass lakes for example.

I can say without question that if do you plan on fishing the Susquehanna much you will appreciate an 8 weight. The river is 1/2 mile wide or more and it is windy more often than not.

You didn't mention a budget, and you didn't mention a prefered rod action so I will just say that might want to look at some of the rods from TFO and St. Croix. Both companies offer a variety of rods in sizes 6, 7, and 8 in prices ranging from $ 100.00 to $ 200.00 with excellent warranties. The Sage Launch series is also under $ 200.00, and I am sure there are many others.

Hope this helps.

Regards,
Tim Murphy

Posted on: 2006/10/2 23:10


Re: Smallmouth Rod

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2006/9/9 22:43
From Delaware Co.
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For budget I would have to say under $300 for a rod , as far action not sure what ever action would be best for casting bass flies. I don't own a boat so I don't think I would be fishing the Susquehanna any time soon but I do enjoy the occasional largemouth pond. Right now I've been using my Sage SLTCA 5 wt for bass and it gets the job done barely....

Posted on: 2006/10/3 0:32


Re: Smallmouth Rod
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2006/9/13 12:42
From Altoona, PA
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Quote:
I don't own a boat so I don't think I would be fishing the Susquehanna any time soon


At Summer levels (when you would be flyfishing the Suskie anyway), the river is quite wadeable. It drops to 3.5' through July and August and warms up nicely. At those temps, bass will rise to bugs like the white fly, or hexes or take the bait fish that are rising to them.

I use a 6wt on smaller streams but have an 8wt for times when the wind is strong or I am throwing bigger flies. I like a moderate action, as I think it favors my casting stroke. However, that's why you want to go around to different shops and try a few rods.

Posted on: 2006/10/3 9:18
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Re: Smallmouth Rod

Joined:
2006/9/9 20:09
From Harrisburg
Posts: 2183
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Dear Fredrick,

Knowing that you already have a 5 weight I'm going to suggest that you look at at least a 7 weight. Personally I don't think you will see enough of a difference in "fishability" for bass by going up only one line weight.

There is a common theme amongst fly fishermen that it is best to split line weights as you add rods for different situations. ie. 4, 6, 8 weights, or 3, 5, and 7 weights. That is by no means a law, but it's a good general rule to be sure that each additional rod can serve an additional purpose.

With a budget of $ 300.00 or less you have literally dozens of quality fly rods to chose from. I'm going to stick with the brands I already suggested and say that within those brands and your price range you can find rods that run from the slow side of medium in action up to superfast. There are other brands in your price range that are also worth checking into, Orvis, Loomis, and Winston come to mind. They all have several lines of rods under $ 300.00.

Get out there and get casting. I'm sure you will find a rod that is suitable for the way you want to fish. One thing I will add is don't be afraid of buying a modern used rod. It's not like they wear out, and you can often get the top of the line used rod from a couple of years ago in excellent condition for about half of what it sold for new. Many fly shops take trades and sell rods on consignment for customers, and there is always E-bay.

Oh, and you don't need a boat to fish the Susquehanna with a fly rod, in fact for fly fishing a boat is an impediment. Somebody in the boat always has to worry about boat control while drifting and fishing time suffers accordingly for the captain. When the water conditions are right the Susky is easily wadeable, as are other large rivers like the Schuykill and the Delaware.

Regards,
Tim Murphy

Posted on: 2006/10/3 9:20


Re: Smallmouth Rod

Joined:
2006/9/10 21:53
From Greensburg, PA
Posts: 13623
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I find my 8wt to be a little big for some smallmouth water. I don't catch enough 15in plus fish with it to justify it being my "regular" smallmouth rod. However if the wind is blowing hard, i'll dig it out to fish for trout in a stocked lake. I find myself using it more than I ever thought. I might even get around to taking it to erie for steelhead. You're shoulder will get tired. I do most of my smallmouth fishing with my 6wt. I would make sure you get at least a 9ft rod and use decent "bug taper" wt forwrad line. That will make up for any shortcomings in rod size.

Posted on: 2006/10/3 10:31


Re: Smallmouth Rod

Joined:
2006/9/11 16:58
From Berwyn
Posts: 7
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I agree with the above. A 7# in a 9' length is what I use. Don't forget to add the Temple Forks Lefty Kreig TiCr series to your list of rods to try before you buy. And oh yeah, don't forget to get a decent reel. It'll be more than for just holding line. Good Luck.

Posted on: 2006/10/3 16:55


Re: Smallmouth Rod

Joined:
2006/9/28 14:40
From Philadelphia
Posts: 368
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I fish an 8' 5 wt Winston that I'll sometimes overline to a six on the Perkioman, Brandywine and smallish warmwater streams. I use my 9' 8wt Ibis for the Delaware, even in the back channels. While I've never fished the Suskie ( and shame on me), I can't imagine being comfortable with anything less than an 8 wt.
Coughlin

Posted on: 2006/10/4 8:04


Re: Smallmouth Rod
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2006/9/9 19:16
From Dallastown, PA
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Fly Rod choice is broken into parts of importance.

Primary importance being whether the line wt. will cast the flies used to go after a particular gamefish. Murray and Clouse would recommend 8 wts. because they use heavy, wind resistant flies, thus needing a line wt. that will cut the air and propel the fly to the target. Keep in mind if you are fishing smaller rivers or creeks for smallies, your weighted flies are not as heavy. and maybe your wind resistant flies are not excessively so either. So their allegience to 8wts is founded and will serve you nicely but it may be a overkill for the smaller creeks and rivers. And heavy in the hand too.

Secondary importance is whether the length/flexibility/strength will stand up to the larger of the species you are after. If you have a shot at 20" smallies but catch mostly 12" fish I'd pick a rod that would handle 15" fish easily. Also, consider that river depth flow increases the stress or "pull" on the rod. Rememeber a 12" smallie in the Susky fights harder, makes stronger runs and runs quicker than a a 18" trout.

So in my eyes you need something over 9' and at minimum line wt. of 6 with a heavy action (tip flex) to throw larger flies. I use a 6 wt 10' with a med action. It is my steelie rod and does a pretty good job on the susky. I also have a 9' 7wt tip flex for windy days and as a back up. (funny thing is it was my first rod for the job but I hated it when I got the ten footer until it got windy and the 10'-6wt wouldn't do it.

Here is the deal...don't buy a rod because you think it will fight the fish nicely. (make them feel bigger) Or not buy one that will do the job of casting because you think it will horse the fish in. So what if when you set the hook on a few 6" bass that they go over your head. When you hook one that is 16" you will be glad you had that 6-7wt. rod.

HTH
Maurice

Posted on: 2006/10/4 16:16

Edited by Maurice on 2006/10/4 19:53:44
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Re: Smallmouth Rod

Joined:
2006/9/9 22:43
From Delaware Co.
Posts: 3449
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Wow thanks, I didn't think that I would get much information on this subject, I thought the majority of the people on this site were trout bums, but I guess I was wrong .It looks like I'm not the only one on this site that enjoys to go out and catch some nice bronz backs when it gets warm. I learned alot from the information that everyone gave and I decided to go with a 9' 7wt rod with a fast /medium action.I also seen a nice 9' 7 wt scott rod for sale on Murray's website made just for smallie's its pricey but I think it would be peferct for the water I will be fishing and I have plenty time to save till next year....

Posted on: 2006/10/6 21:01


Re: Smallmouth Rod

Joined:
2006/9/9 22:43
From Delaware Co.
Posts: 3449
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Maurice Quote:
Rememeber a 12" smallie in the Susky fights harder, makes stronger runs and runs quicker than a a 18" trout.


PAJ Quote:
And oh yeah, don't forget to get a decent reel. It'll be more than for just holding line. Good Luck.

Posted on: 2006/10/6 21:24


Re: Smallmouth Rod
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Joined:
2006/9/9 17:32
From Gettysburg
Posts: 9129
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I will second the notion that you should consider a 9' for an 8WT for the big rivers. However, most of my smallie fishing is on local trout streams that have warmed up during the summer. The fish here seldom exceed 14". When it comes to small creeks I am a fan of very short rods and do most of my smallie fishing with a 5.5' rod for a 4WT. Since I prefer large, heavy flies for smallies - it is "chuck 'n duck" casting but most of my casts are short and I find short rods are accurate and catch fewer trees. Most of my better creek bass are caught sight fishing in clear water so "hugging cover" is necessary and I find a short rod more effective - the major downside is I can't roll cast with a short rod and heavy flies.
One reason I like the 8WT for the big rivers - aside from all the other good explanations in earlier posts - is the possiblity of shots at carp and muskies. Have a good reel with a disc drag and at least a 100yds of backing if you want to play the carp game.

Posted on: 2006/10/8 8:40






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