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5 Wt Line on a 4 WT Rod

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2008/3/11 9:40
From Doylestown
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Last year I was using 5 wt line on my 7' Penn 4 wt rod. I liked the feel and the distance I was casting. I once read that matching line wt with rod wt is not a precise science but I don't think I'm experienced enough to know if the line wt is too heavy for the rod.

Question is, how do you know or what are the signs if the line weight is too heavy for the rod?

Posted on: 2013/1/1 10:46


Re: 5 Wt Line on a 4 WT Rod
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Quote:

RCFetter wrote:
Last year I was using 5 wt line on my 7' Penn 4 wt rod. I liked the feel and the distance I was casting. I once read that matching line wt with rod wt is not a precise science but I don't think I'm experienced enough to know if the line wt is too heavy for the rod.

Question is, how do you know or what are the signs if the line weight is too heavy for the rod?



If it feels good....do it!

Some rods cast better with a little heavier line, especially some of the faster action rods. There is only 20 grains difference between a 4 & 5wt line (120g vs 140g). And without complicating things by discussing different tapers, roughly casting a 26' of 5wt line is about the same weight as casting 30' of 4wt line. For casting close-in, some anglers prefer using a heavier line to load the rod for casting short distances.

Long and short, no problem trying different line weights to match to a rod. One or even two line weights above the recommended will not flex a rod more than say fighting a fish or pulling on a snag.

Use the line and line weight that works best for you with your rod.


Posted on: 2013/1/1 11:25


Re: 5 Wt Line on a 4 WT Rod

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2006/9/21 0:02
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I have one reel spooled with a 5 weight line, that I use on both my 9' 5 weight rod, and my 8'6" 4 weight rod, and it works great for me.
The 4 weight rod is rather stiff - it's an old Orvis HLS - and the 5 weight line flexes it just a little nicer at short distances.

If a line is too heavy for a rod, you would likely notice a lack of power when casting it at longer distances

Posted on: 2013/1/1 11:50


Re: 5 Wt Line on a 4 WT Rod

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From Gamehendge
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All personal preference. Just cause it works for one person dosent mean its going to work for you. I personally use cheap BPro 5wt line on my 4wt rods. I have used more expensive lines, just dosent really make a difference to me. But obviously you dont want to use a 7wt line on a 4wt rod.

Posted on: 2013/1/1 13:28
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Re: 5 Wt Line on a 4 WT Rod

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Some rods out there are versatile enough to handle three or four line weights. They usually have a "moderate progressive" action that's faster action with lower line weights, more full flexing with higher line weights, and sensitive to load off of the tip with only a few feet of line out, even with a light line.

The thing is, they're often slower action than many anglers prefer these days, and they usually want a double taper for the lighter lines they throw.

But if you like the slower casting stroke and DT lines, some classic glass and early graphite rods (IM6 and "pre-IM6") work well with three or four different line weights. Phillipson fiberglass rods, Walton Powell graphite rods, Winston glass and early graphite are all good examples. Picking the right line size often becomes more a matter of the size of the fly with rods like those, since they can handle such a spectrum of line weights.

I used to own a Walton Powell 10' 2-piece graphite rod that was rated on the maker's decal for 3-4-5-6 weight line. I sold it way too cheap. If it were a 3-piece, I wouldn't have thought of selling it at all.

Posted on: 2013/1/1 23:09


Re: 5 Wt Line on a 4 WT Rod

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2011/5/3 12:22
From South Lebanon Township, PA
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I overline both of my Brookie rods (both 4 wts) with 5wt line. I think it's a pretty common school of thought on rods where on average you'll be making casts with less line out than the amount of line the rod was rated at.

It is a pretty exact science when they rate the rod for line weight...in that it's rated to cast best with a certain amount of line of a certain weight out. More line out = more weight the rod has to cast. But it's not exact in that anglers often cast a rod with more or less line out than what the rod was rated at...makes sense, not every casting situation requires the exact same length cast. 30' of line seems to be the gold standard for line weight rating, but some rod makers rate some of their rods with different amounts of line out based on what the rod's intended purpose is. Bottom line, test out the rod with a couple different line weights to see what works best for how YOU intend to use the rod. Going up or down a line weight or two isn't an issue if it makes the rod fish better for YOU.

If the line weight is too heavy, or you're trying to cast too much weight for the rod between the line weight and the weight/drag of the fly, you'll probably notice that the rod will cast fine up to a certain distance. Beyond that, and it will be a pretty sharp cutoff point, your casts (and false casts) will start to collapse on themselves and fall apart. You'll end up with a pile of line/leader/tippet that didn't turn over.

Posted on: 2013/1/2 8:43


Re: 5 Wt Line on a 4 WT Rod
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I have a rather soft 5 weight that I throw my 3-weight line with when fishing little waters, and it is a perfect match, so go figure.

Posted on: 2013/1/2 12:05
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Re: 5 Wt Line on a 4 WT Rod

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From Ephrata, PA
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I overload my small stream rod too. 3wt on a 2wt rod.

Posted on: 2013/1/2 12:42


Re: 5 Wt Line on a 4 WT Rod

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I overline my small stream rod. 7 wt line on a 4/5 wt rod. I also have a 5 wt spool for the reel and sometimes use that if I'm expecting to be casting more normal distances. On larger streams I generally just match the rating.

As Swattie said, it's not just a function of line weight and the rod, but also of distance. But there IS an ideal LOAD weight for each rod, err more accurately a range of load weights. The center of that ideal range should correspond approximately to 30 ft of fly line, past the tip, of the line wt the rod is rated for. A rod should have a decent "fluff" factor, though, meaning it's fine with 20 or 40 ft too, hence the "range".

But if you're casting really short distances, going with a larger line wt isn't overlining, it's properly loading. Likewise, if you're into super distance casting, going with a smaller line wt isn't underlining, it's properly loading. Each line wt is going to have a range of distances that it's appropriate for, and these will overlap.

For my small stream work I'm generally working with maybe an average of 10 ft of fly line beyond the tip. Note that's BEYOND THE TIP, and doesn't include leader length. If you do the straight math I probably should be throwin a 12 wt line on this 4/5 wt rod, as 10 ft of that is equivalent in weight to 30 ft of 5 wt line! That's not accounting for the taper or momentum effects, so it gets a bit more complicated. The reality is that, with a 5 wt line, it works but is not ideal in close, but is great from 20-40 ft. With a 7 wt line it's fine in close and can reach out a little when necessary, but over 25 ft or so it starts to break down. With a 9 wt line it's wonderful at around 10' but feels overloaded if you go much beyond 15', which is needed sometimes even on small streams. I settled in on a 7 wt line for small streams.

Posted on: 2013/1/2 13:11

Edited by pcray1231 on 2013/1/2 13:27:41


Re: 5 Wt Line on a 4 WT Rod

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Guess I didn't answer the question.

It's too heavy for the distance you are casting if you excessively slow the rod down. You can't get tight loops, you can't get the line speed. The rod is fully loaded before the line straightens out behind you on your backcast, and you gotta start your forward cast too early or else the line is gonna start falling. Everything just starts falling apart, you can't keep it airborne.

It's the same feeling as if you have too much line out on any line. When yard casting, go to your max distance, where you can't reliably cast further with any consistency or accuracy. THAT is what it feels like when you're overloaded. It just all happens at a shorter distance with heavier line weights.

Posted on: 2013/1/2 13:41


Re: 5 Wt Line on a 4 WT Rod

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2008/3/11 9:40
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Thanks guys. I had no idea so many people use line that is 1 wt heavier than the rod or the narrow difference between 2 sucessive wts.

For some reason I though using a heavier wt line on a rod was cause for being banished to Siberia, but just now I recall seeing rods calling for 5/6 wt. I'll have to practice using different wt line on the same rod.

Posted on: 2013/1/3 10:58


Re: 5 Wt Line on a 4 WT Rod

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I feel like this is something that is a sign that rod manufacturers have made rods "too fast"?

I know I used to love "fast" rods I started with a Sage FLi with is like a 2X4. now my go to is an Orvis rocky mountain overlined one size. just perfect for short casts but also no slouch for bombing line upstream if needed.

Posted on: 2013/1/7 2:46
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Re: 5 Wt Line on a 4 WT Rod

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Quote:
I feel like this is something that is a sign that rod manufacturers have made rods "too fast"?


Nah, just for PA. The ratings are accurate. But they're for 30 feet of fly line beyond the tip, i.e. a 40ish foot cast. That's a LONG cast for a lot of people in PA, where our wild trout waters tend to be smaller. But it's appropriate if you're primarily fishing streams the size of the LJR or Penns.

But if you're fishing big rivers, or salt water, and you find yourself bombing nearly every cast as far as you can, complete with double hauls, you might see it oppositely. You might even consider underlining your rod if wind isn't a huge factor. A western fisherman might scoff at fishing for 5" brookies in a stream you can legitimately jump across without getting wet.

The problem lies in the necessity of having a relatively consistent rating system when the distance that people are actually casting is nowhere near consistent. I have no problem with asking people to recognize their situation and adjust accordingly. It's better than having a wildly inconsistent rating system.

Posted on: 2013/1/7 15:31


Re: 5 Wt Line on a 4 WT Rod

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I fish very small streams with dry flies, after trial and error I wound up overlining almost every rod I have by a line weight. Be careful with setting up rods with lines in yard casting; you can wind up setting up your rod with line for longer casts than you actually use on small and even medium streams. The very common 20-25 foot small stream "real world fishing" cast looks like nothing in an open yard. The very common 40-45 foot yard cast is overkill on many small streams, the pools are smaller than that.

Posted on: 2013/1/8 9:40


Re: 5 Wt Line on a 4 WT Rod
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Quote:

k-bob wrote:
I fish very small streams with dry flies, after trial and error I wound up overlining almost every rod I have by a line weight. Be careful with setting up rods with lines in yard casting; you can wind up setting up your rod with line for longer casts than you actually use on small and even medium streams. The very common 20-25 foot small stream "real world fishing" cast looks like nothing in an open yard. The very common 40-45 foot yard cast is overkill on many small streams, the pools are smaller than that.



Agree with KB above. Try this: Don't change the rod, change the line. I have reels set up with different weight lines. Many times, when fishing smaller streams with short casts, I will grab a reel loaded with line-weight heavier than the rod. Bigger water, longer casts?....no problem, I often use a line weight lighter than I would use for smaller streams. Experiment to find out what works best.

Posted on: 2013/1/8 9:58



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