Looking to Improve

Discussion in 'Fish on the Fly' started by BiteMyLine, Jan 16, 2008.

  1. BiteMyLine

    BiteMyLine Just One More Cast

    I'm looking to improve my fly gear and want to buy a new setup. I'm looking for something to handle bass, trout, and panfish. I'm thinking of a 4 weight attached to either a 7' or 7'6" rod. I hit farm ponds with poppers and such targetting panfish mostly but also occasionally throw a little larger poppers and other flies for bass. I have the perfect smallmouth creek in my backyard and tied up an incredible crawfish pattern I'm thinking will be perfect for this creek. It has rejuvenated my interest once again in fly fishing but I could really use a better setup before I think about it again. I have an old wlamart starter setep that is a 6 weight on an 8' rod and it is just not in good shape any longer. Bought it over 10 years ago and havent even touched it in two years for sure. The drag is gone, spool pops out, line gets pinched between the spool and frame, the line is trashed, and it just flat out sucks. Its been thrown in the rocks, kicked around, and flat out used and abused. I also would like to hit the Mad River here sometime in the very near future and target some trout. I have always wanted to do this and have never had the chance before but I know a guy who lives in a good area and is willing to take me to a few holes. I could use some help on what types of patterns and sizes are good for this time of the year as well as advice on a new rod and reel setup.

    I looked at a couple setups online at BPS. Both White River namebrands(BPS), Dogwood Canyon, and both Hobbs Creek outfits. I'm leaning towards the Hobbs Creek Outfit for 112.99 and second the Dogwood Canyonfor 84.99. Anybody have any suggestions or use either one of these? Also wondering if there is any advantage/disadvantage throwing a 7' rod compared to a 7'6". I do fish some tight areas where roll casting is the only option but I'd imagine longer rods for longer cast and of course smaller rods for more control. Also could use some advice on fly patterns and sizes. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I'm working very close to BPS in Cincy and I'll be heading down there next week to stock up for spring, new neoprene waders, and improving my fly fishing gear and tackle.
  2. In terms of what weight fly rod to get for an all purpose rod, you need to consider the types of flies you intend to use, espeacially when pursuing the bass you mention. Attempting to throw a wind resistant cork popper or bushy deer hair diver (let alone a weighted streamer) type fly with a 7'-7.5' 4 weight rod would make for a long day in my book. Also, casting a nymph setup with an indicater and splitshot is easier to do with a longer rod of heavier line weight. If you had to choose only one rod for the fishing you describe I would recomend a 5 or even a 6 weight. May be a bit much for the gills, but I think it would better serve your needs.
    Addditionally you need to consider ease of mending the line and ability to roll cast when you think about rod lenght. A small rod does not always keep the flies out of the trees and can make mending more difficult. I use rods from 8' to 9' on the Mad with no troubles.
    In terms of BPS rods, I have the 6wt "classic" outfit that I think is a pretty good set-up for the $. I also have a friend who has the "Hobbs Creek" set up and is happy with it. Hope this is helpfull.

  3. Very good points made. In my experience a 8' 6" 5wt is most versatile. But I also have a 8' 4wt that I built that I use alot as well. I think the control comes in casting it's easier for me to control the casting on shorter rods, but easier to control the line in the water with rods over 8'....so it would depend on what type of fishing you are doing if you are drifting then mending is important if you are tight casting then a short loading rod is important. BUt if you hit open water you want to be able to shoot some line out if you are searching...not really an answer!! ha!! medium action 5wt over 8' the medium action has been really enjoyable for me.
  4. If your looking for an all around rod, then a short 4wt isn't going to cut it for you. A medium action 6wt would probably be better suited to your needs. You can cast small bass bugs and Clouser minnows with a 6wt better than you could with a 5wt. I'd recommend an 8'6"- 9' rod.
    I used to have one of the Bass Pro Classic 8'6" 6wt's and found it to be too stiff to be an all-around rod. It's a medium fast taper. I think a better option is the Orvis Clearwater 9' 6wt as it is a true medium action rod and you can actually feel panfish on the other end. I have one of the older model Clearwater 6wts and highly recommend it. I've used the rod for bluegills, smallmouth, largemouth,
    trout, carp, catfish, and steelhead. I know that BPS has a couple Orvis rods listed on their website, but don't see the Clearwater on there. I'm sure they carry that series in their stores though. The Orvis Clearwater is far and away a much better rod than the White River Classic, and you get the Orvis 25 year warranty.

  5. i have a 7'6" 4wt eagle claw granger with disk drag reel. the rod was cheap(just $50 on ebay), but i can throw up to 60' casts depending on wind. its great for small creeks, but sucks for mending and longer(35'+) roll casts. also, the biggest fly i would consider putting on would be size 10-12. any bigger, especially on windier day and youre throwing into knots. hope this helps a bit
  6. I have an older clearwater 8'6" 5wt midflex and It's my primary rod I love fishing with it. They came out with a newer version this year. They were blowing the older ones out last year and I picked one up for a really good price.
  7. Janus just hit BINGO!!...At least in my book. I own 2 wt through 8 wt, & the one "all around" rod I always have with me is my 8'6" 5wt. Mine is a fast action Diamondback & it will handle most situations for me. I truly believe a 5 wt is THE definitive multi purpose fly rod.
  8. i was on a short rod kick (6ft-7 ft) for about 5 years and found myself cast with my arm extended higher---7 ft rod and raising my arm = 8 ft rod---lowering my arm made it easier on the arm---

    my shortest rod is an orvis far and fine---7'-9" 4-5 wt---its good for trout from throwing # 16 dries or for # 2 weighted zonkers (duck and chuck style)and great on gills

    the 4 last rods that i have bought have all been 9 ft long
  9. BiteMyLine

    BiteMyLine Just One More Cast

    Thanks for all the help. Might head to BPS and see what I can find. Looks like I may be in the ballpark of a 5wt instead.
  10. I had a great shopping experience recently at Mad River Outfitters. The gentleman there let me try about 5 different rods, and what I thought I was going to like tossing I ended up not.

    Anway, I ended up with a TFO 8' rod, that felt a lot smoother than my old bass pro / white river rod. I was going to get an 9' rod, but decided after some experience that if I'm going to be doing more river fishing from a canoe this year, shorter would be better.

    Anway, check out some other fly fishing specific companies (bass pro in Chicago sells most of the major brands). You should definitely ask to take them out back and cast them (I wish I had before my first outfit). you're likely to get a few pointers if the sales person knows they're stuff as well.
  11. I agree with the posts about the Clearwater by Orvis and the TFO rods. I own a 8.5' 5wt Clearwater mid flex and think it is a great all around trout rod. I own 2 TFOs (3&4wt) and think they are the best deal in fly fishing. They cast much like some of the more high end (that is to say expensive) rods I have had the pleasure of using but at a fraction of the cost. Of course individual results will very with what kind of feel, action etc. you happen to like. Cast before you buy.;)