Travel rod?

Discussion in 'Fish on the Fly' started by Rooster, Dec 15, 2008.

  1. I'm looking for a rod to use while backpacking in the Smoky Mountains. I'm completely UNSKILLED at fly casting. It will be used on the smaller streams, tight quarters with a lot of trees, and primarily for dry files. Only short casts will be necessary, and the trout are tiny in these upper streams. I've read where outfitters in the area suggest 3-6wt rods from 7-8.5'. Not sure if a short rod is a good thing for me?

    Anyway, I'm thinking an 3wt 8' rod would be my best bet?

    Now, would you suggest a “starter” model from an “upper end” rod maker (Sage – Launch/ Winston – Ascent/ Orvis - Clearwater), or would my money be better spent on a St.Croix (something I could find at bass pro)? I want to keep the rod around $200....on sale.

    I found two sage Fli rods on sale for $205:
    4 piece 3wt 8'6”
    4 piece 4wt 7'6”

    Any suggestion on power/length/brand would be greatly just needs to break down to under 30” for backpacking.
  2. Flyfish Dog

    Flyfish Dog Banned

    For something like you mentioned what is called blue line streams. I would suggest a 2 wt. 6'6" will be ideal. 4wt. is definitly overkill and I advise against it. I use a 0wt. Sage for all my brookie fishing. With 3wt. on the top end of wt limit. Staying under 8 ft you be good and I have taken 2 pcs up in the mtn with no problem so don't overlook that but I do prefer a 3 pc for little more convience.
    St Croix warranty is not very good! Find a Scott A2 which are currently on sale and fine rod and durable, I be afraid to take a st croix rod in the trees since I had one break far to easy so I can't recommend them for that at all. Some of the fiberglass series rod are really nice to play on these kind of streams so don't overlook them either. The Sage FLi are nice rod for the money since they have the same characteristics as the Z axis without the premuim grade components and finish.

  3. ryosapien

    ryosapien Bad@

    i own an FLi and think it's fabulous of course mine is a 7 wt and i use it for steelhead which is far from applicable to what you are looking for. Keep in mind that it is a fast action rod that flexes near the tip making it a bit stiff to cast. Yeah as far as a travel rod i don';t think you need to find a 7 pc or anything i think those are for folks who for some reason need to carry their rod on the airplane or in their breifcase? good luck it is always fun to buy a new rod.
  4. rod opinion varies for the smokies greatly. not all days will be dry fly days, and the smokies have a great abundance of aquatic life. most guys that I know who fish the smokies 100-250 days a year will use nothing less than a 4 wt. ranging from 7'6ft to 9ft. the reason for the longer rod is to make dapping easier. now most of the old timers will complain that they don't make anything short (6'6") and heavy (5-6wt). the reason thy prefer this set up is for the brushy streams. now you are probably saying "man who needs a 6wt to catch tiny fish!?" not all fish in the smokies are tiny. I spent a week in the smokies shocking up a stream this summer and we had 7 browns OVER 24" come up in a 200 meter stretch. like I said before there is an abundance of aquatic species in the smokies, thus bringing me back to why the old guys up the heavier rod's, they like to catch more of the bigger fish. sure you can go out with a 000wt-3wt and catch 100 brookies in a day, but after the second day of that, it may get a little boring.

    to answer your question in short though if I had to have ONE rod for the smokies it would be an 8ft 4wt.
  5. I would say a 7'6"-8' four weight would be ideal. light enough that little fish are fun, light enough to protect as light a tippet as you could care to use, and heavy enough that without alot of casting practice you could still throw a small streamer or some nymphs when the conditions apply. I love fishing with really light rods but I have learned to always bring a heavier rod with me when I fish with a 3wt and down, its a pain but it has paid off in far to many occasions, two rods doesnt work in the smokies however. as for rods, you could get a nicer , but I cant afford them so I fish some orvis, redinton, and mostly tfo, they have a great warrenty, and cast as well as the user, dont let anyone tell you they are bad rods, for what your doing the tfo finnesse series 7'9" 4wt is $180 with a lifetime warrenty.
    crkwader, someone did just come out with an old school fiberglass 6'6" 5/6wt;) I cant wait to cast it.
    and who did you shock with?! that would be amazing down there, did you get any off the really rare or difficult stuff, tangerine darters? flame chubs? ..madtoms? man I'm jealous.
  6. Thanks for all the input!

    I'm leaning towards a 7'6” 3wt Scott A2 (I found them for 30% off and under $200 shipped). I use spinning gear on the Little River and some of the larger creeks, I already have a 4wt (but 9' is too long for the tight tree cover), or I would go with a 4wt. This rod will be exclusively for the smaller flows with tight tree cover.
  7. Great choice I think that will serve you well. I have alot of short rods. The 7'6" 3wt is a good combination of wt and size that will work well in the tight situations . I do have a 7' 6wt wright mcgill featherweight from the late 60's that I love to fish with and covers the tight areas that might have some bruisers.
  8. Flyfish Dog

    Flyfish Dog Banned

    You made a wise choice, Scott rod are really great. Anyways if you ask 10 different fisherman on the same thing you are more likely to get 10 defferent answers! With the 3wt. you are moree likely to enjoy it better! IMO. Not every fish are going to be big but it sure would be nice but reality it isn't.
    Have fun and be sure to post a report with pictures!:)
  9. Once again, thanks for all the help!

    Of course, I have more questions......

    What size reel would you suggest?

    I found some Ross Rhythm reels for under $100. Should I go with #0 or #1? Zero is rated for 1-3wt. One is rated for 2-4wt. I'm thinking that smaller is better? But, the zero is only 1/4” smaller and .2oz lighter. Does it make any real difference?

    Might as well suggest some good fly line for this application, and save us all some trouble. LOL
  10. 1. the rythm is awesome get it.
    2. I would go with the smaller reel, unless your fishing for carp steelies or striper around here you should never get into your backing, that and I personally like the balance with smaller reels, this is the way I like reels, the best way is to go to a shop and put both sizes on a rod and feel it out, but its up to you.
    3. line is as important as the rod, dont skimp, I would put rio gold on it, I have replaced the lines on ALL my trout rods with gold, tough, mends wells, roll casts with ease, and speys, plus it has an olive tip witch I like with rising fish. SA makes some comprable lines as well, I just dont use them as much.
  11. Flyfish Dog

    Flyfish Dog Banned

    Fantastic reel! I got a #1 on my 3wt Scott E2 rod that I use for bluegills. Gets the most use the entire year. I myself would go with a #1 than the smaller size cause it will feel better on your A2 rod. Can't go wrong with ether one though. I am using Rios Grand on this one but will be switching to Airflo cause Tthe Rio didn't hold up at alll from the heavy use did with it throwing poppers. My other 3wt I am using Rio's Sel. Trout line. I personally didn't like Cortland line at all. Mastery series are nice line to. So with your casting short distance mostly I would go with a Grand Series but if you already have a 4wt, I try that also since it may be surprising to note a difference in casting close range. If you going to cast over 40 feet then use a 3wt. You'll never know until you try it. Goodluck with your purchase.