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Thread: New flyrod...reds?

  1. #1

    Default New flyrod...reds?

    Happy New Year's to everybody. I cashed in a gift cert. to Cabela's and got an inexpensive combo flyrod; Cahill 6 wt w/9' 3 pc. rod and Ross flystart reel.
    I have an 8 wt. set up for reds that I used last year and had a blast on Kenai reds with it (used it for 3 weeks straight, bent it to a "U" and it never broke! Running 20 lb. mono straight off the reel). Anway, is my new 6 wt. too light for reds? I got it mostly for early rainbows & pinks in Hope, as my 8 wt. seemed a little excessive for them. The reel came with 20 lb line as a package and am wondering about the weight of line I can use for reds? I guess I'm wondering if the 6 wt will take the amount of abuse a big red can dish out? If I run mono off the reel for reds, what should be the max lb test?
    One more thing, I don't like the amount of noise/clicking that the reel makes on the retrieve (don't mind it when it's out-going); can I disassemble the reel and remove whatever makes the noise without affecting performance?
    Thanks guys & gals,
    Jim

  2. #2

    Default

    As for the reel...possibly. I'm not familiar with the internal guts of the cahills. If it's the triangle style pawl, then yes but you'll end up in freespool if you do.

    Will a 6 wt handle a red? Yes. Would I use a 6 wt to go after reds? No. I have landed a 40+ lb king on a 5wt lamiglass fly rod, a really light backboned dry fly rod I was using at the time to fish egg patterns for bows. King took the egg pattern and the fight was on. Would I do this again? No. Target bows behing kings with a super light rod that is.

    Really there is 2 things to consider. Is the rod stiff enough to fight a fish out quickly without killing them? and two, what kind of conditions are you fishing in, ie fast water, lots of wind super gaudy pike foofoo flys. If you have to ask it's likely to light. I'd rather be to stiff and not kill fish, then be to light to enjoy more fight. Dont get me wrong here, not all 6wts are created the same. Many are powerhouse packing rods that can do more then the number would imply. So back to the original question, can it? It can, only you can make the decision is it enuf rod...

    As for lines. I opt to stick with the typical backing and fly line combo. Reason is the fly line being much thicker is MUCH easier on the hands. If you dont fish much it wont matter to much, the line burns, or line cuts. If you fly fish so much you have a calus on your line stripping hand (pointer on my right hand) going with a fly line is a better option. If you do just remember what pound backing you have, if it's 20lb backing stay under 20lbs on your leader material. If it's 30lb backing stay under 30lb leader material, pretty simple. I run 30lb backing and for reds and kings usually run 17lb test mono for leaders, for kings I'll sometimes bump up to 20lbs. The lighter you go the more often you need to be dillegent about checking for nicks and frays which you should do normally anyways.

    So in a nutshell, I'd stick with that 8 for reds and use the 6 for pinks and bow's in hope.......

    Lastly, fighting fish on a long rod...dont put your rod UP so much like you always have been told. This is mainly for fish that are way out away from you. Once you have a fish close, keep your rod down more. Force the bend in the lower portion of the rod, not in the middle or upper sections. Or you WILL break rods!!!! It's just a matter of time. A nick or a scratch will do it to ya. Farther the fish is out, the higher up the rod needs to be to keep that bend in the lower portion of a fly rod. The closer he is, the lower it needs to be to a point, you'll understand when you stick one and try it. By putting the bend in the lower portion of the rod you are also fighting the fish out quicker, which is a good thing on fish you plan on releasing.....

  3. #3
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    yes and no, no because you don't want to be throwing that much lead on a nice flyrod, yes because you should be able to land reds with 8 pound test and not break your rod. When I'm meat fishing at the russian I throw an 8/9 weight just cause I like that backbone as to not disturb trout fishermen.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  4. #4
    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    I use my 8wt on the Kenai in the combat zone. I will use it on the russian if the crowds are bad too. I do use my 6wt on occasion if the crowds are not thick and I have an area to play the fish and not disturb others. That is not very ofton. It is usually when im chasing bows on the russian early in the season when the sancturary is closed and everyone is at the mouth. I get lucky and get a push of reds coming in and just clip of my princess nymph and tie my coho right to my fly line with a 3/8ths rubber core weight. it gets the fly down to the fish and in the clear water I steer my fly right where it needs to be. I have never used my 8wt on the second run in the lower kenai as those green backs and the river have some fight. I have used my 9wt but I have been using the same 9ft 8wt for over 13 years now and just love it. Oh and I just use an older Scientific Angler reel that has never let me down. So if the right time comes up i say go for it and have fun but be careful dont want to hear the awful sound of "crack" Just m 2 cents worth
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

  5. #5

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    Thanks for the replies/advice guys; the points that have been made will be taken. The point about where you fish (conditions) I didn't think of. I am able to control a big red with my 8 wt, but where we fish mostly (Sterling, below the rapids) I'd be in big trouble if I couldn't turn a hot fish with a 6 wt; adios amigo! In fact, this last summer we caught some reds that I thought were surely snagged because I could not get them turned or under control for a few minutes; alas, they were legally hooked, but they put the hurt on me! My arms ached after getting those guys in, but with a smile from ear to ear. I can't believe I've only used a fly rod for reds this last summer, what a difference compared to our baitcasters; I fear I am in danger of getting into the finer points of flyfishing ('bows, pike, etc). No, No, No, I will not look like a Cabela's guy! Those are the guys we make fun of on the river; aargh! I'm not sure, but I think I do lower my flyrod fighting a fish, I think I do it sub-consciously and out of necessity, not luxury. I'm a little wary of lead coming at me at 60 mph and keeping that rod a little lower decreases the flight path. Last year one of my fishing partners (fishing with a 10 wt) had a wild fish on, rod held high and me standing behind him with the net, the fish came unbottoned, and I took a direct hit with the lead on my upper forehead; I did have a ball cap on so that took the brunt, but my eyes watered a little (only a little); yep, I always wear sunglasses too. I think I will try that 6 wt if conditions are favorable, but I do believe after ya'll's suggestions that prudence says to use the heavier rod; better for the fish, companions, fellow anglers.
    Thanks again and I'm all ears for any other advice,
    Jim

  6. #6

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    cabelas fly angler LMAO!

    Trust me, if you get into it...you will be yuppized by all your friends no matter what you have, what you wear or what you own! I am the cheapest guy on the water....ok ok maybe no to cheap, but still seem to fall into that catagory. And there is not a stitch of cabelas on me, or dan baileys, or sage, or orvis....you get the idea...

  7. #7
    Member stewjacobson's Avatar
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    Default Rod tip in the water?

    Several years ago my cousin and I met an OLD man fishing alone at Moose landing on the Kenai. We were the only ones there and helped the old man when we could. He and my cousin were catching fish I was netting for 'em. I was getting skunked. The old man turned out to be from Mesa, AZ too. Small world. But he said to put the rod tip in the water and the fish won't fight, just come calmly as you reel in. I did not believe it , but tried it and it worked. I think it is part of our heritage to keep the tip up and fight the fish. I know that part of the fun is the fight, but some times just to have the red come quietly.
    Stewart

  8. #8

    Default Hey Stew...

    My dad-in-law is from Mesa; he's a general contractor mostly for commercial type buildings (medical/dental, tenant improvement, etc). He comes up to stay at our place in Sterling every year; fishing nut!
    Anyway, sticking the rod in the water doesn't sound like too much fun! Also, I think the rod tips on fly rods are somewhat prone to breakage if smacking around on the rocks (in the Kenai, you can't hardly see anything). To each his own though!
    I've found that once the fish is hooked (not trying to rip his/her face off by the way), a calm, cool hand on the rod and steady, gentle pressure is more than enough to bring a red in somewhat quickly as opposed to going nuts from the starting gate. Some fish are just bent on lunacy though; that's when all etiquette (sp?) goes out the window and you're just fighting for your life against a 8 lb. fish, like when they charge you, swim thru your legs, then up the bank a yard or two, then back into the water and all over again.
    Fish On! Wait, it's January, sorry guys.
    Jim

  9. #9

    Default

    Well considering the rod tip is designed to cast, and not to fight you're right JIm, they will break easily!

    But a low rod tip does do a number of things. Instead of keeping it low though, work a fish up and down. by that I mean gettem up, then rollem with a low rod tip. It'll tire the fish out extremely fast to the point you can land them without killing them, or if you are keeping them giving them a lot less time to come off. You'll see the tarpon or other big fish guys doing something like this, kinda lowballing deal. Another one is to hittem sideways which is more of what I do then the lowball deal. Gettem up then hittem sideways. A fish in a river situation will put its head down, having the force of water help them stay down. So you are now fighting the river, and not so much teh fish. By hitting them sideways, or lowballing them if you can get below the level of the fish (or atleast to the same level), you make them fight side to side, which means they cant take a break.

    This however creates more problems. If they are upstream from you, lettem go. By hitting them on the downstream side, you'll turn the fish downstream. We spooled a baitcaster with 2 spools of fireline on the reel on a big king in the gulkana. I was at the oars with 2 of my buddies from MN a few years back. I had him turn that fish, we figured was over 40, but I highly doubt a 50. Anyways, Al didnt quite get the concept of what was going on. I asked a couple times how the line is going, trying to deal with the raft and two none water bank wader walking guys, trying to keep things organized when I realized the fish hand not stopped yet and was going quite fast......We hit the cat, turned downstream and rowed for all I had, never did catch up to the fish. About the time I was getting speed by rowing backwards downstream, KEEEEEEEEEERPOW, the line busted at the reel. Some ego's were overly bruised here, it was his first fish, on the first run, on the first day, of his first ever trip to Alaska. Wish I would have paid more attention...but you'd think a MN boy would know he's loosing line fast....we all grew up fishing one way or another. Anyways that is just one bad experience of a lowballing or side ways pressure can get ya. Becareful with it.

    Try and pay attention to what side the hook is in the fish so you dont rip it out of there face. Also, and I forget which, on a downstream fish, will actually get the fish to move upstream. I want to say pull from the upstream side, so if downsream is to your left as youf ace the water, pull sideways low at the water to the right side, pump and reel. The fish will surf back up to you. An easy way to gain line. And for a fly fisherman, get back into that ever so precious flyline. I hate getting to far into my backing. Always seems when somethings going to happen, it'll happen here. Don't force it and you'll see what I mean. Try it with a grayling or small rainbow....the concept is the same. One will turn the fish down, one will turn it up on a downstream fish. On the upstream becareful you dont pull to the downstream side, or you'll katapult the fish downstream at mach 50. If he does go racing down, loosen your drag a skosh, go low and back upstream with the rod and pray you stop'm

    Hope it makes sense...try it on the water, you'll get it really quick. The video I remember seeing was Billy Pates Tarpon fly rod videos.....he shows the lowballing techinique. It works, extremely well! As does hitting a fish sideways, when used appropriately.

  10. #10

    Default

    forgot to add.....

    To keep that rod tip from breakign using a low rod....point your rod out a little farther from you when you put it down if you're going to try it. This will help keep the bend in the lower half of the rod. Whatever you do pay attention to where the rod is bending. From hookset, to a bonk/release, keep the rod bent on the cork end or you risk breaking it...doesnt matter if it's a fly rod, spinning or baitcaster.

    Another tip for deep water fish....keep your rod low. WHen you are pumping and reeling....drop your rod down ot the water and lift up just past horizontal...any higher and you're wasting energy and putting little pressure on the fish. Doesnt matter if it's a lake, river or ocean. Everything here is angles.....once the fish goes straight down, lower your rod! As the fish comes up towards the surface, put that rod back up, still keeping the bend in the lower half of the rod.

    The keep it high mentality will break rods and loose fish!

  11. #11

    Default Well put...

    Tradbow. As to the deep water fishing, I agree 100%. I used to deckhand on a charter boat here and coached lots of women, men, kids while fighting tuna, mahi's, ono's, and everyone's (over-rated) favorite; marlin. Keep that rod low! Smooth, efficient "pumps" work way well, as long as you can get a full crank or two (depending on reel ratio). Get the momentum going and don't stop, don't change the retrieve speed, don't change anything. Funny that women & kids outfish men lotsa times; they listen and have to use finesse instead of macho muscle. One time we had a "macho" guy in the chair fighting a marlin, ya know; tattoos all over, Tom Cruise haircut/matching glasses, "that's my fish!", wouldn't listen too me, so I just keep the chair pointed towards the fish and smile; all a sudden, keep in mind I'm on the downwind side, this guy without warning pukes up the last 3 beers he had all over me, no kidding. Kinda gross. Great thing about warm ocean water, scoop up a bucket and a impromptu deck shower is in order. Not sure why I got on that string, but hopefully it was entertaining!
    I got kinda confused on all the upstream/downstream stuff 'bow, but I'll experiment in July. I just know that if I don't lay into the fish (any fish, Alaska, Hawaii, fresh or ocean water) too radically, they are much more handable. I might be considered "boring" when a fish is on, I've experienced too many losses to count that fish in the pan until it's actually on the stringer, even in the net doesn't guarantee 100% success; I've tripped and fell in the river and lost a fish; that only happened once, now I'll dive into that river to avoid losing him!
    Jim
    Last edited by Big Jim; 01-09-2008 at 20:09. Reason: spelling correction

  12. #12

    Default

    Think of it this way....you are facing quartering upstream...the fish has run upstream. UPstream is to your right.

    For whatever reason you need to turn that fish back downstream....

    Take your rod, drop it low and left, and pump and reel. You'll be pulling on the fish sideways, not up and down like the typical pump and reel highsticker is doing. Now you are pumping and reeling horizontally. Reel down to your right towards the fish, and pull downstream to your left. That fish WILL turn downstream!

    You can do the same to get a fish to come upstream. It doesnt always work while they are running, but it works very well once they've stopped!

    Fish swim side to side. By pulling up and down, a fish has to tip its head down and the force of the river will hold the fish to the bottom. As they tire you'll see the fish come up to the surface, head down tail up usually....as they are trying to stay down. WHen you see this, hittem sideways, alas be prepared for a battle. Fish doing this head down fight wears out the fisherman, while the fish takes a break. Y ou'll end up heaving pulling, pumping, reeling and get little line, move the fish very little. Change up how you pull on the fish to keep the fish fighting you and the water...the more it works the faster it'll tire, the quicker to land boat/net you'll be.

    Just MAKE SURE you keep the rod bent in the lower portion of the blank or YOU WILL break it.

    The lower you can keep the rod the better this works. Eventually you'll get to a point you start rolling a fish. But like was said, dont hit the rocks!

    All of this will make a fish fight harder, quicker, and more sporadic. You can and likely will loose fish, it's fishing. It's good to play with on smaller fish, like kenai reds. If you saw it done I'm sure you know what I'm talking about.

    Boy I sure miss river fishing...... If I dont skipper a charter boat this summer, we'll have to hook up! It works well on everything right down to grayling and on up to the biggest muscle fish in the water! Did I tell ya I miss river fishing?

  13. #13
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Get a 5wt stowaway and a CR reel, great combo for trout, hammer handles etc.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  14. #14

    Default ok bow...

    I think I get the picture! I'll experiment with that new 6 wt! It only cost me 80 bucks (actually didn't cost me anything; was from a gift cert) so if I bust it, I'll probably live; although I will be careful! Maybe I should just stick to the 8 wt as it proved itself thru big time abuse last year and never failed. I'm sure we did all the stuff to fly rods that you shouldn't. I let my buddy use it on the bank while we drifted bait for kings, and I see him leaning backwards, the rod parallel with his body, bent into a "u", the tip almost touching the handle; I stared intently, waiting to see my first rod snap, but that sucker took all the abuse we could throw at it. Needless to say, we've all got our own flyrods now, so I'm thinking mine will survive for a while.
    Jim

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