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I live in Massillon and want to get into some steelhead fishing. I'm going to start with spinning gear, but want to get into flyfishing for them and have done some flyfishing for panfish, but not much. I have a few questions if anybody can answer them. For a spinning outfit, what pound test and length rod would anyone recommend? Also, mono or fluorocarbon line? When I do transition to fly fishing, what weight rod and can it be used for smallie fishing too? Suggestions on 2 or 3 flies that would be best for steelhead also to get me started? Lastly best river to concentrate my time in and are they any good eating? Thanks in advance.
 

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I strictly fly fish for steelhead. I have a 10 ft 7 wt which also works for small mouth (it can throw those bigger bass flies). I also just picked up a 13'6" 8 wt spey rod. I fish the Grand River in the fall, and the Chagrin and Rocky in the winter and spring. The reason being is that the Grand flows the best in the fall and then the others flow the best in the winter and spring. I really recommend flourocarbon for your leaders, 8 lb for dead drifting and 10-12 lb for swinging flies or in dirty conditions. When dead drifting for steelhead I use an indicator and almost strictly use clown eggs, blood dot fly foam eggs, or sucker spawn patterns. All of these are in pink, peach, or chartreuse. When I'm swinging flies I go with leech patterns, hoh bo spey patterns, and intruder spey patterns. You can find all these flies at fly shops or look them up on youtube if you want to learn how to tie them. I catch and release all of my steelhead so I don't know much about eating. I'd imagine for spinning I would use atleast a 10 ft rod with 8 lb flourocarbon as your leader. PM if you have any other questions.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I strictly fly fish for steelhead. I have a 10 ft 7 wt which also works for small mouth (it can throw those bigger bass flies). I also just picked up a 13'6" 8 wt spey rod. I fish the Grand River in the fall, and the Chagrin and Rocky in the winter and spring. The reason being is that the Grand flows the best in the fall and then the others flow the best in the winter and spring. I really recommend flourocarbon for your leaders, 8 lb for dead drifting and 10-12 lb for swinging flies or in dirty conditions. When dead drifting for steelhead I use an indicator and almost strictly use clown eggs, blood dot fly foam eggs, or sucker spawn patterns. All of these are in pink, peach, or chartreuse. When I'm swinging flies I go with leech patterns, hoh bo spey patterns, and intruder spey patterns. You can find all these flies at fly shops or look them up on youtube if you want to learn how to tie them. I catch and release all of my steelhead so I don't know much about eating. I'd imagine for spinning I would use atleast a 10 ft rod with 8 lb flourocarbon as your leader. PM if you have any other questions.

Thanks for the advice. Appreciate it.
 

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spinning gear is easy. what ever you got to start!. eventually you will feel the need to upgrade to a longer 8-10 ft rod to help cast the lighter tackle. it also helps take the shock of big fast runs of the steelhead. 6-10 leader is what I run with no preference on what I run any particular day. if you run braid you need the leader. if you run mono run a leader lighter than main line so you don't lose the whole rig on snags. jig and maggot jig and minnow just hook and minnow and egg sacs are the preferred bait. I will never tell you what You NEED. lol a lot of guys will tell you what to run. what ever I say is just what I run. I fish the grand 90 % of the time. learn your river and you can fish when most guys won't go due to high flows. any more questions ask! you will get lots of info on here.
 

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I can only help you out on the spinning. This is what I run. Any pole will do if you plan on going right into fly fishing. Longer the better though. 15# mono with a raven float then a Mico swivel to a fluorcarbon leader. A quality 6 lb leader with do in most conditions. You can adjust to the conditions if you want to be picky. Google shot patterns for steelhead fishing and there will plenty of info. I run Bloodrun floating mono for my main and im starting to like there leader line as well. There running a promotion though fishusa buy a thing of mailline and get a spool of leader for free. #8 or 10 hook will do for spawn sacs which I run 80% of the time. As far as rivers I only fish the grand and ashtabula with Conny mixed in a few times. Download the river boss app on your phone and learn what conditions to like to fish. PM me with any questions as well.
 

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As far as spinning rod line, I personally don't like fluoro as the main line in cold water and overall cold conditions. Too stiff and "springy" for my tastes(when Cold!) You will always want to use a few feet of fluoro as a leader perhaps a couple pounds lighter than your main line( I use 8 or 10# test) quality mono.
For flies, you absolutely never want to be without some black, brown, & olive Wooly Buggers(size 8-10)!
 

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What ldrjay said is very relevant. You can drop money in rods, reels, etc. where as you get started with what you have. A few floats, green, white or black 1/32 oz jigs and waxworms and you are fishing. 8-12 lb mono line and lighter leader will save you from losing your bobbers when you snag. If you can get your hands on a low cost 9 foot rod and wader... you are very dangerous in ohio.
 

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When I started float fishing, I had the benefit of going with someone who has been a successful steelhead angler since the 90's and he had me on fish almost immediately. His rig is a 10' 6" rod, 2500 series spinning reel, 8 lb. mono main line, 4 gram inline float, microswivel attached to a 6 lb. fluorocarbon leader (3' to 3 1/2') and a daiichi 1150 hook size 12 (but I'm sure there are other hooks work just as well). He adds enough shot to get his bait down and to help create neutral buoyancy (the float will go down with very little resistance). Higher, faster flows may require more shot and maybe a bigger 5 or 6 gram float. During low, clear conditions he'll go to a 4 lb. leader. And he always uses fresh eggs in his spawn sacs...not cured. He will also tie bigger sacs with a brighter netting (chartreuse) in higher, stained water. Sometimes uses white netting when the water gets that nice green tint to it. He goes with pink netting closer to spring. All that being said, I catch the hell out of them trolling with just my walleye gear at the mouth of the Grand in the fall! Tight lines
 

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I live in Massillon and want to get into some steelhead fishing. I'm going to start with spinning gear, but want to get into flyfishing for them and have done some flyfishing for panfish, but not much. I have a few questions if anybody can answer them. For a spinning outfit, what pound test and length rod would anyone recommend? Also, mono or fluorocarbon line? When I do transition to fly fishing, what weight rod and can it be used for smallie fishing too? Suggestions on 2 or 3 flies that would be best for steelhead also to get me started? Lastly best river to concentrate my time in and are they any good eating? Thanks in advance.
get yourself noodle rod 10'6",best for steelhead,and you can use this rod for crappie,eyes and bass.you can use any rod,but you will land more steelhead ,they call that noodle,it bend like noodle,take the shock of,if the fish go wild.
 

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get yourself noodle rod 10'6",best for steelhead,and you can use this rod for crappie,eyes and bass.you can use any rod,but you will land more steelhead ,they call that noodle,it bend like noodle,take the shock of,if the fish go wild.
Hey got me hooked. I agree with everyone here. If you need a noodle rod, I have two that I rarely use and dont need anymore. I think they are nine footers and I could sell you one cheap.... 15 bucks. Nothing wrong with them, I just dont do much steelheading any more. Send me an email [email protected] I hope I am not violating forum rules with this.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Hey got me hooked. I agree with everyone here. If you need a noodle rod, I have two that I rarely use and dont need anymore. I think they are nine footers and I could sell you one cheap.... 15 bucks. Nothing wrong with them, I just dont do much steelheading any more. Send me an email [email protected] I hope I am not violating forum rules with this.
Thanks for all the advice guys. I have a 7' spinning rod with a 2500 series reel already spooled with mono so I guess I can start with that and just need to get some fluoro for a leader. As far as this time of yr., any rivers better than the others? Rocky, Changrin, Grand? Not asking anyone to give away their spots.
@ happy, I'll let you know. I'm gonna try to get some on spinning gear first I think before I switch to fly.
 

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I've been going to the Rocky because of the short drive from the Masssillon area (45-50 min). The other good rivers are much further. I went last spring...maybe 7 times. I didn't have much luck with my noodle rod, but I didn't know much at all. I caught one small steelhead, but I learned a lot. I picked up a fly rod and practiced at Mohican in the early summer catching brown trout. I'm excited to get back up to the Rocky and try again with my flyrod. Saying all that to say this....It's definitely different fishing than what we're used to. It takes some time to start catching fish. I read a lot on here, but I can only take in so much info without actually trying. Each time I went I got better. Don't expect to go up there and kill it, because you'll be disappointed....and if you do kill it, give me all your tricks. Lol.
Good luck.

Thanks for all the advice guys. I have a 7' spinning rod with a 2500 series reel already spooled with mono so I guess I can start with that and just need to get some fluoro for a leader. As far as this time of yr., any rivers better than the others? Rocky, Changrin, Grand? Not asking anyone to give away their spots.
@ happy, I'll let you know. I'm gonna try to get some on spinning gear first I think before I switch to fly.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I'm going to go tomorrow and try the Rocky to start. Not knowing the area I just have maps of access points along the rocky, grand, and chagrin, so hopefully I can find a decent spot. So far I'm gathering if I run mono line, which I do 10lb test, then I need a 6-8lb leader of fluoro. You guys connect the leader with a knot or microswivel? The bobber goes above all that I assume.
 

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I'm going to go tomorrow and try the Rocky to start. Not knowing the area I just have maps of access points along the rocky, grand, and chagrin, so hopefully I can find a decent spot. So far I'm gathering if I run mono line, which I do 10lb test, then I need a 6-8lb leader of fluoro. You guys connect the leader with a knot or microswivel? The bobber goes above all that I assume.
Rocky is blown out and not fishable right now drove over it this afternoon.
 

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You guys connect the leader with a knot or microswivel? The bobber goes above all that I assume.
I use a micro swivel, helps with line twist.
You would be better off waiting for better conditions to make the drive from Massillon, everything is high and dirty from the rain. If you absolutely have to get out and fish, keep your drifts closer to the banks on the seams where fast and slow water meet. High fast water pushes the fish to the edges, and casting to the middle is a waste of time, fish don't want to fight that stuff. Don't fish the areas where water eddies, and flows backwards, upstream. They won't be in that either. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I use a micro swivel, helps with line twist.
You would be better off waiting for better conditions to make the drive from Massillon, everything is high and dirty from the rain. If you absolutely have to get out and fish, keep your drifts closer to the banks on the seams where fast and slow water meet. High fast water pushes the fish to the edges, and casting to the middle is a waste of time, fish don't want to fight that stuff. Don't fish the areas where water eddies, and flows backwards, upstream. They won't be in that either. Good luck!
Thanks, gonna try my luck. I'll report back in.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Got skunked today at the rocky, but should have figured that. Was using spinning gear and just experimenting since I've never been steelhead fishing. Used spoons and floated some jigs with an egg. Water was murky and muddy. Still nice to get out.
 
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