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Thread: Will a 7-wt rod be a good compromise

  1. #1

    Default Will a 7-wt rod be a good compromise

    I have a five day trip to the Kenai planned which will include 4 days of guided river fishing and a fly-in trip. It will not be a fly fishing specific trip, although I do want to include some fly fishing. I don't want to over burden myself with equipment since I will be able to use a lot of the gear from the lodge. I want a compromise rod which will cover a lot of fishing.

    I plan on taking my nine and a half foot seven weight St. Croix rod with a wide arbor reel and a multi-tip seven weight line. I also have an additional spool for this reel which holds a Teeny 7-wt Tandem line (the Tandem has a Teeny Mini Tip at one end and a Long Shot Floating tip at the other end).

    I am hoping, since this will not be a fly fishing specific trip, that the seven weight will cover a lot of useage. I don't expect to target Kings on the fly since this would not be fair to the other anglers fishing with me.

    Am I correct in thinking that my 9.5 foot 7-wt rod will cover a lot of fishing opportunities along the kenai (Kings excluded)?

  2. #2
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    well if you have a good seven weight that casts nice don't use it for reds if you plan on catching them the standard way, you get a 3/8 oz lead hitting a high modulus graphite rod and you can say goodbye to that rod. A 7 wt is also a bit much for the small stream rainbow fishing you will find in the area, not because of the size of fish but the need to make delicate accurate presentations. That being said I primarily fish a seven weight for trout when I'm in waters open to salmon fishing because then I don't end up throwing a 3 wt at a king or something like in the past (oh you can land kings on 3 wts...) plus its nice for streamer fishing.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  3. #3
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Default Yes...

    I think a 7 wt would make a fine all around rod for the Kenai. Contact Jerry Herrod and he will take you fishing from driftboat or wading. He does 1/2 and whole day trips. He is a super nice guy and very knowledgable. http://www.alaskatroutonthefly.com/guides.htm is the link to his website. The guides at Troutfitters could help you out as well. Great information is available in a book by Scott Haugen titled "Flyfishers Guide to Alaska". It breaks down the state into areas which are seperated by chapters. The Kenai of course has its own chapter. Tons of places to explore there. The book give directions and maps. Makes it real simple to get around. Tells you the where/when/how. Below is a link to the book at the store here on the forum.


    http://www.outdoorsdirectory.com/sto...671868fbfbcd45

    Another excellent book is "Topwater, Flyfishing Alaska"....

    http://www.outdoorsdirectory.com/sto...671868fbfbcd45
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  4. #4

    Default My decision...

    My decision is to use the lodge spinning and casting gear and bring only flyrods. I will bring my 7-wt St. Croix and also a 5-wt and a 9-wt combination. My rationale is that since I am probably going to make this trip only one time - I might as well have the gear I will enjoy using.

    One really nice thing about fly tackle is that I can tie and bring hundreds of flys at a very little weight. I am looking forward to many enjoyable hours at my bench between now and my trip.....

  5. #5
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    If you will be fishing for reds I would leave the custom flies at homes. The only thing you need for reds is a small piece of yarn tied to the proper hook. Your 5 and 7 weight rods will see little action if you are fishing around other people as you need to beach the fish pretty quick.
    Tennessee

  6. #6

    Default

    well considering the kenai bows top 20lbs a 7 weight would be perfect! It is atleast for me my go to for big water, fast water, deep water, and or big fish rod. Times you'll need it is when fishing a heavier fly, fishing a heavier sink tip to get to fish, fishing fast water, fishing big water, or just fishing big fish.

    I'm using a 9' 7wt gl4 (not made anymore).

    My next go to is a 3wt sage LL and a off hand 1wt (forgot the maker whose sense gone out of buisness). these are stocked interior lakes or small fish rods, grayling bows cuts or dollies.

    In a nut shell I th ink you'll do fine with that 7. And I've landed some awfully big kings on mine!

  7. #7
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowwolfe View Post
    If you will be fishing for reds I would leave the custom flies at homes. The only thing you need for reds is a small piece of yarn tied to the proper hook.
    I disagree, use weighted flies (an unweighted fly is <1/4 oz legally, a 1/4 oz. fly is huge with lots and lots of lead) it keeps your line paralelle to the bottom increasing the chances that it will hit the mouth of a sockeye. Plus if you use little red nymphs fish will actually hit.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    Default alternatives

    If I only had one rod for kenai rainbows and reds, I'd pick a 9.5' 8 wt. yes, there are 20 lb rainbows. There are many more 5 to 10 pounders. These aren't uncommon, and it doesn't hurt them any to get them landed a little more quickly (than you might with a 7 wt).

    Fresh sockeyes fight like fresh summer steelhead. They are tough. An 8 weight is definately not overkill and handles lead or heavy sink tips better than your 7 wt. The kenai isn't a long river, but it does have heavy current in most places. You will be amazed at the power of a fresh sockeye when it gets in that current. A lot of rods get broken fighting sockeyes for a variety of reasons: horsing the fish in crowds, horsing the fish when not in crowds, heavy lead flying back and smacking your rod, having other rods smack yours while in a combat zone. Because of this, I don't use high dollar rods for reds much. Plus, the cast 9 (or flip, as we call it when fishing reds up here) for sockeys is rarely more than 20 or 25 feet, sometimes much shorter so you don't need a high performance casting rod.

    If your trip was for rainbows only, your rod is nearly perfect in my opinion. It's overkill for the smaller bows, but it's great for the bigger fish and the average fish is still going to put a full bend in it and strip line from you. The only way it could be better is if it were 10' (that's assuming you're strong enough to throw that bigger stick all day). Better ability to cover the water and better mending capability is why I prefer the added length.

    In summary, your rod will work well as a compromise.

  9. #9
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    Having grown up down there I would say an 8 or a 9 wt. for reds and or silvers depending on when you want to go.

    For trout I use a 5 wt. for most streams and bows up to 20 inch range. If your in fast water for bigger ones then the 7 wouldn't be bad, I bought a 7 wt loomis switch rod for that very purpose, heavy sinking lines and large wet flies will be handled easier that way.

    Most guys carry a 5 and an 8 or a 6 and a 9. I carry a 5 and an 8 and will be adding a heavier spey for kings just as a thought.

    For reds in murky water in the kenai I use a gamakatsu with an egg loop and some yarn, the fish don't know the difference. Use 3 feet to fluoro leader, it's hard to nik and sinks well, doesn't have to be the expensive stuff either. Don't go heavier than 15 lbs with the fluoro, I almost broke my 8 with 20 because I realized my maxima was breaking alot more easily that it does.

    In clear water (for reds) a version of the teeny nymph (no he didn't invent it but everyone gives him credit) can work well. Also comets, brassies, and shrimp patterns work well, all range of colors, and sparse is the key.

    I just skimmed things so I didn't see where you were going on the kenai but there are limited seasons when the salmon aren't in where dry flies are of concern for bows. If the salmon are in it's eggs or flesh, smolt can work and don't get caught without sculpins. I know guys will have a fit for me saying it but I always caught fish and high mountain lakes (and the low ones for small stocked fish) with grayling are the only places on the kenai where I went to dries to really catch fish. In the streams there are more abundant and larger prey than insects for the big fish to worry about unless it's between runs or is really early in spring.

    Good luck.
    River Runnin

  10. #10
    Member willphish4food's Avatar
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    Default tying flies

    Looks like you have it licked with the rod choices. Definitely smart to bring a variety rather than one rod! As to flies, there are many great books, but two I always recommend for Alaska are Tony Route's book, "Flies for Alaska" and the Alaska Fly Fishers "Fly Patterns of Alaska." Tony's book has fewer patterns, but a page or two story about how and where he used each pattern, so you can learn a lot about the fisheries while tying the patterns. It also has detailed instructions on tying each pattern. Fly Patterns of AK also has a description of the use of each fly, but its a short paragraph on each, and its a recipe book only, with no tying instructions. This makes room for quite a few more patterns. A couple other good books for reading while you prepare are "ABC's of fishing Alaska's Small Rivers and streams", and "Fishing Alaska's Kenai Peninsula."
    There is an absolute ton of information out there, and many many great books, but those two will have you really well prepared for the types of fishing scenarios you'll run into. Since the trout are so incredibly salmon life cycle oriented, and very nomadic, they behave differently and you'll find them in different water than you'd expect if you're used to fish in more bug oriented environs.

  11. #11
    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak_powder_monkey View Post
    well if you have a good seven weight that casts nice don't use it for reds if you plan on catching them the standard way, you get a 3/8 oz lead hitting a high modulus graphite rod and you can say goodbye to that rod. A 7 wt is also a bit much for the small stream rainbow fishing you will find in the area, not because of the size of fish but the need to make delicate accurate presentations. That being said I primarily fish a seven weight for trout when I'm in waters open to salmon fishing because then I don't end up throwing a 3 wt at a king or something like in the past (oh you can land kings on 3 wts...) plus its nice for streamer fishing.
    The 7 wt will be fine. I love my rplx710 for king's yet too meet a fresh water fish in Alaska that can't be landed on a good 7 wt.

    AKPM the standard way of fishing reds at the mouth of the Russian is a mockery of fly fishing and designed to snag fish! Period! Nothing natural sits with a 3/8 oz weight under it then lunges forward towards the bank in lightning fast streaks! Rpcrowe it is also my opinion that if I was only going to do one trip up here I would not waste my time on the Kenai unless I booked a half day drift.
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    I would say a drift is a must on the kenai. I would not do combat fishing by any means. Late season still holds good fishing for the everyday fisherman and I agree with your assessment of the lower part of the russian. Farther up I have got reds to pick up nymph patterns and smolt patterns in still pools so I think there is some true fly fishing to be had even when it's packed if you look for a empty stretch (usually takes a hike).

    All the other things on the kenai and it's accessibility make it a good place to go AND do some fishing. If fishing is your number one go to the nush or something. That place is amazing year round!

    I would agree anything can be landed with a 7 wt water permitting. Realistically much of the flowing waters in the sate with kings will not easily permit a 7 wt.
    River Runnin

  13. #13
    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    River runnin

    Couldn't agree more with your thoughts on taking a hike away from the crowds. With just a little extra walking you can get to water open enough to actually cast a fly rod to salmon using correct technique and catch as many if not more fish than the folks embroiled in combat fishing. Even jumping up a few pull off on the road can greatly improve the enjoyment, if not numbers of fish, of your day.
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