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Starter Fly-rod weight


JimR
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Wondering what weight fly rod would be a good all around starter. I fish the Kish mostly for those who are familiar. For those who may not be: It's mostly 10-16 inch smallies with the occasional tank. Pike are plentiful, but seldom (unless your fishing for them) will one over 24" show itself. Lots of white and rock bass. The former scarcley reaching more than 14", and the latter, well, they try hard. I'm thinking 6 or 7 but I will be the quintessential new guy when it comes to this so I need your help. Thanks.

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Jim,

 

I think you are right that a 6 or 7wt. would be a nice first rod. There's not a lot of difference between the two line weights. If allowing smaller fish to show off a bit more is more important to you, go with the 6wt. If having a slightly increased capacity for casting larger flies is more important to you, go with the 7wt. Or to split the difference, I might suggest looking for a more moderate actioned 7wt. rod so that you can get some benefits of both.

 

Colt

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I agree with both of the above. I personally would favor the 6wt, my reasoning being it's got enough backbone to handle anything you would catch on the Kish, and it will cast any fly a 7wt will. I prefer the lighter, because most of the fish caught are just going to be average for their species, and catching 12" smallies on a 7wt all day wont be much fun. Actually, it would still be fun, but a little more fun on the 6wt. I use my 6wt as my everyday go to rod for Carp, and they will put more bend on the rod than any smallie. If you want to cast large, heavy flies, on the 6wt, you will just learn how to adjust your cast a bit. I commonly use heavy clousers, and large rabbit strip style streamers with my 6wt, as well as large topwater poppers. Another benefit, sometimes its fun to make a little more delicate of a presentation with a hopper style pattern, or beetle pattern for example. This is a little easier with the 6wt than 7wt. Just my two cents! Ryan

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Guest rich mc

i would go with a 6wt. in the sections of the kish in dekalb i fish a smaller length rod helps with the trees. depending on the rod you may be able to use a heavier line on another reel spool for when its time to throw a larger fly. rich mc

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Guest Jim S.

Jim,

I fish the Kish as well and I started with a Cabela's TLr 8' 6" 5wt lined with 6wt. They are on sale right now. http://www.cabelas.com/product/Cabelas-TLr-Fly-Rods/1309027.uts?Ntk=AllProducts&searchPath=%2Fcatalog%2Fsearch.cmd%3Fform_state%3DsearchForm%26N%3D0%26fsch%3Dtrue%26Ntk%3DAllProducts%26Ntt%3Dtlr%2Brod%26WTz_l%3DHeader%253BSearch-All%2BProducts&Ntt=tlr+rod&WTz_l=Header%3BSearch-All+Products

 

After I decided I liked FF, I got a 6wt. Anyway, I just thought the TLr was a nice rod for the price to start.

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6wt. You really don't need to cast the big stuff on the Kish.

Poppers, Clousers, Wooly buggers, and Deceivers attract Kishwaukee smallmouth.

Chances are you'll end up casting only the Poppers and Clousers but the WB's and Decievers seem to work well when the first two don't.

All flies mentioned above are simple ties so be sure to let the wife know that the fly rod doesn't work unless it comes with a fly tying kit. :D

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Late to the party but have to agree with most, a 6 wt moderate fast rod over-lined with a 7 wt line should get you where you need to go, not just on the Kish but most anywhere, even some saltwater play.

 

I typically use a faster 5 wt rod with a heavy weight forward or bass bug 6wt line, but then I'm not the sharpest crayon in the box.

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Love the ideas about the 5wt. instead of 6 or 7. Being one of the crazy ones, I, too, like fishing a lighter wt., faster/stiffer rod than most would recommend. I like rods that offer plenty of 'give' in the tip down about a third. then stiffen thru the middle. 8'6" minimum. I don't know the river, so you might take the water into consideration when deciding about length. Some waters are quite crowded with trees, etc. Shorter rods help in that respect, but I've found overall, shorter rods restrict you more than help. What's your budget? There are definitely options out there. More if you don't mind the price. Good luck finding the right match!

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Guest Josh Glovinsky

I have only been fly fishing exclusively for a year and fly fishing in general for less than two so I don't know much about much. I use the 7wt Scientific Anglers Bass kit. Love it and I can chuck anything I want including my own makeshift float-n-fly rig. The kit I picked up you can get for 100 bones at Gander Mtn. Put the insurance on it for 10 bones. No questions asked replacement and I have broken mine a couple times falling off logs into creeks and other miscellaneous clumsiness.

 

I chose the 7wt because I am not planning on exclusively fly fishing for smallies. This year I hope to run into some Northern, carp and any other species that can give me a thrill. I am sure you can use a 6wt to catch very large fish but the 7wt lets me make amateur mistakes like grab the rod above the cork when fighting big fish or in my case not so big fish. I can use the 7wt for any species around here for sure. It is true that the average size smallie out of the kish is not super exciting on a 7wt. Even with bigger fish on the 7wt, you are way more worried about your leader breaking than the rod.

 

I have two of the same kit. Let me know and we can go out and you can use one.

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It really sounds like 4wt work to me, but I would get a 5, possibly upline with a GPX/Grand or a full 6 line. Then you can throw slightly larger flies but still fight small fish on a "small" rod. That is, unless you get a very soft (slow) 5wt, in which case you'll want a 5 line.

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While for a proficient caster a 5 or even a fast action 4wt would be a good choice for a river like the Kish a beginner with limited casting ability would be better off with at least a 6wt & a good quality 7 line especially if dealing with larger flies or wind.

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Don't know if any of you folks get the L.L.Bean catalog but I recently got their spring fishing catalog with a trout on the cover. The photography on the first half of the book was downright gorgeous.

 

I thought it was odd to see Eric post on a fly fishing subject. "Photography" explains it. (I thought we had him for a minute there, boys)

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Jim, I know your question was not directed to me but if I may intrude, any bass bug taper or heavy weight forward floating line will work for fishing river smallies or lake bass. A good value is the Scientific Anglers Mastery series Head Start line. It is marketed for beginners with its heavy weight forward design to make casting easier but it works in grand fashion for throwing large bass and pike flies. It comes with many of S A's top attributes but is priced lower for "beginners" Ha. Another good line but more expensive is Rio's Clouser line, it's been around quite a while and is always rated highly for throwing big or heavy flies. There are many other good ones out there but you could sure do a lot worse than either of these two.

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Rob,

The question was "open" to anyone, but directed I guess towards Ron since he brought it up, more input the better and could save someone a $70.00 plus mistake. My first line was Orvis Easy Mend suggested by Tom L. Very nice, like it a lot but felt really dry and wanted to coil when the water got warmer in the summer. So I now have a spool with SA Mastery Bass in hopes to keep the slick feel in the warmer temps and not knowing how it will react to cooler weather, I have my Easy Mend. Probably a good idea to have two lines anyway?

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Left on the reel all flylines tend to coil some more than others. The Triangle Taper I prefer for trout fishing coils much more than the Airflo I use for bass. The coils are easily removed by stretching the line a few feet at a time as you strip it off the reel. Dressing the line has no affect on coiling.It's meant to clean the line to keep it floating well/cast further.

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We had better stop the direction this is going or poor little Jim S. is going to be hightailing it to K-Mart next time he

hears that Jaclyn Smith has come out with a new Line of Dresses. :D Har, har, har!

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