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5wt to 3wt

Joined:
2007/11/28 9:53
Posts: 10
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Hi, I've been using a 5wt for a few years now and considering something lighter for small streams like a 3wt. Since I've never casted one what can I expect?

Tim

Posted on: 2007/12/12 11:27


Re: 5wt to 3wt

Joined:
2007/1/2 11:55
From Bozeman
Posts: 19932
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It'll be lighter in your hand, wind will have more effect on it, it'll have trouble turning over bigger flies and tippets, and it might have a more delicate presentation.

I'd go cast a few before buying.

Posted on: 2007/12/12 11:44


Re: 5wt to 3wt

Joined:
2006/9/10 21:53
From Greensburg, PA
Posts: 13623
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To feel very light...but seriously you may feel more in control. It will just take a few minutes to get used to and then your 5wt will feel like a log for a few minutes until you get used to that again...the length might be more of a change than the weight...hit a shop that'll let you test cast some...

Posted on: 2007/12/12 11:47


Re: 5wt to 3wt

Joined:
2006/9/18 8:28
From Attitudinally, one mile south of Lake LeBoeuf
Posts: 850
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I agree with Jay. I've actually found a lighter rod to be an impediment when trying to punch a line into the tighter places so common on smaller streams. At least this has been true for me with rods in the shorter class that are usually used on small waters.

I'd give it some thought based on how open the places you fish are..

Posted on: 2007/12/12 11:48


Re: 5wt to 3wt

Joined:
2006/9/10 21:53
From Greensburg, PA
Posts: 13623
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I'm not sure where you read he called it an "impediment". I don't encounter a lot of wind in tight close in streams. I even find that sometimes (kind of depends on which direction its blowing, with me, against me, across me) the smaller diameter of the line cuts the wind better than a heavier thicker line. I think JackM has a 9ft 3wt.
I think whats important is what everyone agreed on and that is to cast some...more than one. I had (2) 7ft 3wts for some time. One was very soft and delicate and the other was really fast and took only a flick to cast it. They will feel very different.

Posted on: 2007/12/12 11:57


Re: 5wt to 3wt

Joined:
2007/5/10 14:53
From Carlisle
Posts: 633
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I started out with a 6wt for all trout fishing and I became a very soft caster from throwing #20 flies with such a strong rod. When I finally bought a lighter rod it was amazing the difference in the cast and how delicate everything came off. The techniques I used with my 6wt carried over to my 4wt and actually made me look like a better caster because I was able to lay the line more gentle with less effort compared to the 6wt.

I think the most important factor in how the feel will change is the length of the rod. I have a 7' 5wt, 8' 4wt, and a 5' 3wt and the difference in those rods is incredible due to their lengths. The 5 footer is impossible to toss anything long and accurate along with anything with weight I only use the rod in tight streams due to this fact. I think the biggest thing you need to look at before you decide on what length to get is the surroundings on the streams you plan to fish the new rod with. If long cast are the norm, get a longer rod and short for short cast.

Posted on: 2007/12/12 12:13


Re: 5wt to 3wt

Joined:
2007/1/2 11:55
From Bozeman
Posts: 19932
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Tom,

I always thought it may have punched through the wind about the same, but if there is a stiff breeze, I've found that 3wt line will blow right back at me before it falls to the water. The actual forward cast works fine. In this situation, I'll crouch real low so that the line can get down to the water faster.... That, or I'll go get my 4 or 5wt.

Posted on: 2007/12/12 13:00


Re: 5wt to 3wt

Joined:
2006/10/2 10:08
From Westmoreland County (near fairgrounds)
Posts: 3735
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I have a long 9' 3-wieght and a short 7' 3-weight (recently acquired from TomGamber). I found the long rod a little awkward on small tight streams where I believe the new short rod will excel. The long 3-weight will cast a light fly a great distance.

I think you'd love a 3 weight for drys size 14 and smaller. You can do a little light nymphing or streamer fishing with a 3-weight, but if you think you're going to be slinging lead all day or throwing a size 10 Green Drake dry you probably want 4 or 5 weight.

Posted on: 2007/12/12 13:52
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Re: 5wt to 3wt
Moderator
Joined:
2006/9/11 8:26
From Chester County
Posts: 8866
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I agree with all the previous posters concerning rod length. I tend to like to fish rods on the long side more for their ease of mending, roll casting, and holding line off the water when nymphing.

With respect to rod weights, I own rod weights from 3-6wt for trout fishing. My 3wt is used exclusively in smaller streams, with small flies, no weight added, and in calm conditions. 90% of the time the 4 and 5wt rods work the best for the conditions I face. I use my 5wts most early in the season, because of higher water conditions (usually), more wind, and fishing larger/heavier nymphs and streamers. As fly sizes and flows decrease in the early summer, I use my 4wt more in both small and medium sized streams. My 6wt is used on big water – the Delaware River and the big rivers out-west. The 3wt is a true specialty rod for me, and rides the bench for most of the season. There’s nothing that a 3wt can do that a 4wt can’t – but the reverse is not true – IMO. Good luck.

Posted on: 2007/12/12 14:38


Re: 5wt to 3wt

Joined:
2006/9/10 21:53
From Greensburg, PA
Posts: 13623
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Jay, like you said, if you keep it low it helps. I have more trouble if the win is blowing across than I do if its in my face or at my back. Heck, I've had my 8wt stop dead in a big gust but my point was that you really won't be using the smaller rod in big wide open windy conditions anyway. The biggest reason I went to a shorter rod was because it was just too tedious to be bushwacking with a big 9ft rod. Getting a 7 footer thru thickets and and branches and around trees when you follow those 4 ft high deer paths along the creeks.

Posted on: 2007/12/12 15:42


Re: 5wt to 3wt

Joined:
2006/10/26 23:01
From Ohio
Posts: 657
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The biggest difference is small fish are a lot more fun on a 3wt. I use a 7' 3wt for most of my brookie/small stream fishing and usually fish just dries. If I am thinking it may be a streamer, nymphing, or dry/dropper, I use one of my 4s. If I had to pick only one rod for small streams it's be a 7 to 7 1/2 4wt.

Posted on: 2007/12/13 19:36






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