of the Salmon River Guide
Which Fly Rods - by Fishy Fingers
Many people want a simple recommendations on fly rods........so
here is a not so simple guide to prospective buyers.
Does a $1,000 fly rod out perform a $100 fly rod?
Yeah, if you can cast it!
Almost all modern fly rods are respectable casters with the proper
line. Every rod has a "grain window" it is designed to
perform in. Grains are a standard weight measure, unlike "line
ratings". All 8wts. are not created equal. There are rods that
cast well with 10-60ft. of line out of the top guide. These rods
are versatile tools that do everything "well". They have
a big "grain window". These are "utility" rods
that perform admirably in a variety of situations.
MOST big $$ rods are designed to perform in a narrow "grain
window" (go pick up an old Sage RPL smart ass know it all,
and you'll agree quickly!). MOST $$ rods are designed to perform
OUTRAGOUSLY well in a specific situation.
The following is a guide to help you in the rod picking process.
1. Choose your "line weight".
2. Choose your length.
3. Choose your brand/model.
4. Fine tune with "grain weight".
The following recommendations are for steel only. I don't want
to taint this post with filthy mud shark talk. (I'll share my feelings
on that in Sept., Fly Guy"). LOL
1. If you want a single hander, a 7wt is hard to beat.........."but
what about the 20 lbers? Won't an 8wt control them better"?
Yes, BUT, if your fishing a single hander chances are you're either
bottom bouncing or nymphing with light line. A 7wt will protect
your light tippet. PERIOD!!!!
If a spey rod is what you're after then an 8 or 9 is the ticket.
Your targeting active fish with heavier tippets. The 8 or 9 will
have the nuts to push that T-14 or QD 8 out.
2. The only draw backs to a longer rod are in transport and tight
cover. They give the angler more sport, and the fish a more humane
fight. Line control is easier and more precise. They enable you
to "clear" more line before the forward cast. Longer fly
rods are better. PERIOD.
For a single hander 10-11.5 ft is great. For Spey, 12+....even 15+
3. Brands/models. These are MY opinions only, but at least they
are all from the same point of view, not 20 different people.
St Croix...Great "Utility" rods. ALL their rods are pretty
close in action. The bigger money ones are only SLIGHTLY faster
and have better hardware. The entry level "premier" rods
are perhaps the best rod for the money at $99 to be found anywhere.
Sage...You better be a world class caster. Almost all of their
rods transmit little "feel" to the caster. These rods
are like Swiss clocks....and your timing better be that accurate
Winston...If you like to feel a rod load into the cork, this is
your stick. They are not wimps though. My 7' 3wt will double haul
a #6 woolybugger 60 ft. That is a mile for a true 3wt that will
also load with a trico and 10ft of line out!
G Loomis...GL3's are one of the most friendly, versatile rods ever
built! Hands Down.
GLX's...They cast on a level all they're own. AND they also blow
up more then all other rods put together!
Loop...I only know their spey rods, but they are awesome for the
price (@450-650 US). They handle a wide grain window and are well
appointed. Moderate to fast depending on series. I prefer "Blues".
Thomas & Thomas...The holy grail (for me anyway).
Single handers: Horizon...Fastest most unruly rod ever built!
Vector...All the performance of the Sage RPLXI without the timing
Speys...1308, My next purchase. Anyone a loan officer? Best rod
I've ever used.
4...I hope some of my past fiascos and forays help you find that
new rod you want. Before you do get that rod.....CALL THE MANUFACTURER,
AND GET THE "RECOMENDED GRAIN WINDOW"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
If you prefer to "feel" the rod load, buy a line at the
high end of the grain window. If you're a fast rod, timing guy,
buy a line in the low end of the grain window.
Anybody who has opinions on Manufacturers/Models feel free to jump
in. Here's your chance to compile a database for future reference.
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