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Thread: All-around rod for lower American

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2021
    Location
    Sacramento
    Posts
    4

    Default All-around rod for lower American

    I'm looking for an all-rounder rod recommendation. I've been working with my trusty one-and-only 9ft 5wt, but I'm looking to get a second rod that's more suited to the many non-trout species on the Lower American, i.e. shad, steelhead, and stripers.

    I assume I'll end up with a handful of rods at some point, but since I'm going one at a time I thought I'd see if there was good do-it all rod wt for the Lower, since I'm in the area. My instinct to this point has been to get a 6wt, and then eventually build towards a 2-4-6-8 quiver (2 for alpine streams and backpacking, 8 for targeting stripers or winter steelhead), and then my current entry-level 5wt could back up the 4 and 6. However, it looks like 3-5-7 (7 mostly on the American or anywhere else I'm targeting the non-trout species) might also get me a more rounded out quiver sooner.

    Any thoughts would be appreciated from folks more familiar than I.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Bishop, California
    Posts
    746

    Default

    Just wait until you get into the Spey game… then you’ll be recreating this with the two handers. Before you know it, you’ll have about 15 rods. Haha

    A few questions first though, Do you have access to a boat/kayak? Are you mostly planning on wade fishing? Have you ever tried a Spey/switch rod?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2020
    Location
    Stockton
    Posts
    37

    Default

    If you are fishing the american alot then getting a spey or switch rod is a great new addiction to start. Makes it easy to cover the larger water. A 4 weight will be fun for shad and summer steelhead

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Sacramento
    Posts
    7,684

    Default Advice???

    Forgive me if I'm wrong but it sounds like you're relatively new to fly fishing. Since you already have a 9' 5 wt. rod, I'd recommend going for a 9' 7 wt., next. This choice suits my personal preference but may not fit yours. So, with that in mind, why not contact someone like a guide who fishes rivers/lakes/delta) for their input?? Andy Guibord or Maury Hatch for example. You can contact guides at either of the two fly shops in this area.
    "America is a country which produces citizens who will cross the ocean to fight for democracy but won't cross the street to vote."

    Author unknown

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2021
    Location
    Sacramento
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sheepdog8404 View Post
    Just wait until you get into the Spey game… then you’ll be recreating this with the two handers. Before you know it, you’ll have about 15 rods. Haha

    A few questions first though, Do you have access to a boat/kayak? Are you mostly planning on wade fishing? Have you ever tried a Spey/switch rod?
    Ha I know spey is pretty popular on the American, but I'm trying to limit the new things I'm taking one at once. I do not have access to a boat at the moment. I am however a whitewater boater, own stand up paddle boards, and will one day get a sit-on-top kayak. The barrier to entry on that one isn't very high for me, but for the time being I'll just be wading (which I know just strengthens the spey argument).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2021
    Location
    Sacramento
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Darian View Post
    Forgive me if I'm wrong but it sounds like you're relatively new to fly fishing. Since you already have a 9' 5 wt. rod, I'd recommend going for a 9' 7 wt., next. This choice suits my personal preference but may not fit yours. So, with that in mind, why not contact someone like a guide who fishes rivers/lakes/delta) for their input?? Andy Guibord or Maury Hatch for example. You can contact guides at either of the two fly shops in this area.
    You're not wrong, I am relatively knew. I've fished sporadically for a while but a knee injury this winter cooled some of my other pursuits and inspired me to start taking fishing me seriously. Forgive the pun, but I'm hooked.

    You're not the first person to suggest a 7wt, so maybe I should start thinking about it seriously. I was leaning towards a 6wt and then an 8wt....I was on the lower Yuba today trying to cast streamers and heavy nymph setups and my 5wt seemed a little under gunned, which made me think 6 for larger trout setups, 8 for other species. But that's mostly because I worry that 7wt wouldn't be a good choice for other trout applications,.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Rescue ,CA Cromberg, CA
    Posts
    1,769

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    A 7 will treat you right to get started. My single hand days I preferred a 10’ 6 wt for winter steelhead but you’d be in for a battle with a big striper on that. I prefer to have ever weight rod for all species, its addicting! I give you 2 years and you’ll have an arsenal of gear

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Antelope
    Posts
    278

    Default

    I'll piggyback to all this, seeing that you have a 9ft 5wt a 7wt would be the next step in the rod quiver. But I wouldn't recommend a 9ft rod as it would be a bit short for indicator fishing. Great for overhand casting, not so hot for indicator fishing. I personally fish with and guide with a 10ft 7wt for indicator fishing for winter steelhead. Now a 10ft can be a bit much to handle for some but I love it, but if you want to have a rod that can do it all, like if you want to striper fish with it, best bang for the buck is a 9.5ft 7wt, you can indicator fish with it, throw 300gr sinking striper lines with it, 300gr outbound short dry lines on it for top water 250-300gr 15ft-24ft streamer tip lines for shad and 325gr trout skagit to single hand swing with. It will do it all, and do it all very well. Down the road maybe look at a 10ft 6wt for lower sac, Feather rod, non winter steelhead, and more down the road a 10ft 5wt so you can indo fish 1 rod on the Truckee, Yuba, LT and so on, and have a 9ft 5wt for dries.

    Over time you will get an arsenal
    Here's an idea what I fish on my boats for single handers
    9ft 5wt
    10ft 5wt
    9ft 6wt
    10ft 6wt
    9ft 7wt
    10ft 7wt
    9ft 8wt
    9ft 9wt
    2 handed rods
    4wt trout speys
    5wt speys
    6wt switches, only 11'9" legth, I dislike 11ft rods unless they are 3/4wts
    6wt speys
    7/8wt switches again in the 11'9" category
    The 6119s are sage rods, my 7/8-119 are Hardy Demons

    Hope this helps.
    And Always Remember
    Keep Those Line Tights
    Brian W Clemens
    Nor Cal Fly Guides
    530-354-3740
    norcalflyguides@gmail.com
    www.norcalflyguides.com


    "I have many loves and Fly-Fishing is one of them; it brings peace and harmony to my being, which I can then pass on to others."
    ~ Sue Kreutzer

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Sebastian, FL, USA, Earth
    Posts
    21,829

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Darian View Post
    Forgive me if I'm wrong but it sounds like you're relatively new to fly fishing. Since you already have a 9' 5 wt. rod, I'd recommend going for a 9' 7 wt., next. This choice suits my personal preference but may not fit yours. So, with that in mind, why not contact someone like a guide who fishes rivers/lakes/delta) for their input?? Andy Guibord or Maury Hatch for example. You can contact guides at either of the two fly shops in this area.
    First off Darian is one of, if not the most knowledgeable and highly respected guys here......thanks old buddy.


    Back in the single handed days I was a 3, 5 , 7, and 9 weight guy for Nor Cal.

    2, 4, 6 and 8 line is good too.


    Number one seller is the 9' #5 in 4 piece today.


    When I went 'all fly' I had tons of conventual tackle that I gave away for decades.

    Same thing happens to many as they get into Spey / Two handed fishing.


    "How many fly rods do you need?" Answer: "Just one more."
    Bill Kiene

    Fly fishing travel consultant
    Certified FFF Casting Instructor
    Email: billkiene63@gmail.com
    Cell: 530/753-5267
    Web: www.billkiene.com

    Contact me for any reason........
    ______________________________________

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Grass Valley
    Posts
    145

    Default

    I always carry a 9' or 9' 6" 6 weight under the backseat of my truck (usually it's 9' 6" but sometimes the old 9' Sage RPL+ has lived there for years), just in case I have the urge to go fishing when I'm on the road somewhere. It's a go to rod and I figure it'll work for just about anything. To me, this is the best all around rod for what I like to do. YMMV

    Full disclosure, I'm an even weight guy and have very few odd weight rods. Like you, I started with a 9' 5wt years ago and still have it but it sees little use these days. A 4 wt sees more use for drys and 6 wt for streamers or nymphs. Over time, I've filled out the quiver and acquired 6 wt, 4 wt, 8 wt and 10 wt rods. If I was going to the Lower American for stripers or big steelhead, I might consider the 8 wt but wouldn't be afraid to use a 6.

    As suggested above, if you think that you'll use the 5 wt then skipping to a 7 wt might be the ticket. It'll do most of what a 6 wt will do but it'll be a little much for smaller fish.

    All that said, two handed rods see the bulk of my use these days, except for dry flies for trout.

    --Joe

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