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Thread: Best rod weight for trout

  1. #1
    Member Raptor_1's Avatar
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    Default Best rod weight for trout

    Pondering this question for a while now. I have a #4 that I like for trout. I like to go as light as possible for the thrill of the fight. I have noticed though that it doesn't cast for s**t in the wind. Just wonder what some other thoughts are. I am planning on upgrading to a #6. What do you guys use?
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    Default Rods

    I mainly use a 6wt, it usaully can handle any sutiation for trout. It is my all around rod for me. On lakes I'll try to down size to a 4wt depending on the wind and fish I am after....sometimes I'll even drop to a 1wt if iI can

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    You should define "trout". Rainbows, dollies, etc.. and what part of the state. They vary drastically in size depending on where you are. And before some smartass says dollies are not trout, yes they are. In NW Alaska anyway.

    Also, what kind of waters do you fish? Stream fishing, larger rivers, lakes, from boat or from shore.

    What size and type flies do you throw the most? Dry flies, woolly buggers, #2 lead wrapped esl, etc..

    What is the average size "trout" you normally catch. 2-4 lb, 4-8 lb, etc..

    Left handed or right. Ok, kidding on that one. But the other questions do matter. Without knowing this, you won't get good advice.
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    In Colorado, I love my 4wt Sage Launch. It has a little more backbone than most 4wt rods that I've tried and I've been able to muscle around a few 4-5lbers. I can cast a ton of different flies, double nymph rigs with lots of weight and an indicator, or tiny dry flies. I do have a 5wt as a backup but don't use it much, if I ever get rid of my current 4wt I'd buy another for sure.

    If every fish was a big fish, fishing big rivers (40ft+ wide, or big enough you can't cross really), or always casting large flies, I'd probably go with a 6wt.

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    Member Raptor_1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by danattherock View Post
    You should define "trout". Rainbows, dollies, etc.. and what part of the state. They vary drastically in size depending on where you are. And before some smartass says dollies are not trout, yes they are. In NW Alaska anyway.

    Also, what kind of waters do you fish? Stream fishing, larger rivers, lakes, from boat or from shore.

    What size and type flies do you throw the most? Dry flies, woolly buggers, #2 lead wrapped esl, etc..

    What is the average size "trout" you normally catch. 2-4 lb, 4-8 lb, etc..

    Left handed or right. Ok, kidding on that one. But the other questions do matter. Without knowing this, you won't get good advice.
    I do most of my trout fishing on the valley streams. Occasionally I'll make a run to the kenai. So I guess mostly stream fishing. Flies typically in the #12-#6 region. I like to fish beads and egg paterns a lot, but spend a little time with dry flies if I see some fish rising. Size wise they can get fairly large up there, but most of them are in the 1-3 pound range.
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    I fish a 5 wt or a 7 weight 98% of the time
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    Premium Member Wyo2AK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak_powder_monkey View Post
    I fish a 5 wt or a 7 weight 98% of the time
    Ditto

    My standard work rod for trout is the 5wt. Back in Wyo I was fishing in the wind A LOT - so came to appreciate the 7wt. I also like throwing big streamers.
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    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Im a 5wt junkie on the kenai and the valley streams. I do have others but prefer the lighter rods. I might use the 6 in June and early july when the water is ripping. Even then I love to stick with my 5 wts
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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Raptor_1 View Post
    Pondering this question for a while now. I have a #4 that I like for trout. I like to go as light as possible for the thrill of the fight. I have noticed though that it doesn't cast for s**t in the wind. Just wonder what some other thoughts are. I am planning on upgrading to a #6. What do you guys use?

    I think it's a good idea to use a 6wt. I know what you mean by the thrill of the fight, but it's not always the best idea to wear out a fish as much as you have to sometimes with the lighter gear. The lightest I use for trout is a 5wt. but I prefer to use a 6. More backbone to bring in the fish quickly. To each their own, that's just my opinion.

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    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    [quote=aknater;421041]I think it's a good idea to use a 6wt. I know what you mean by the thrill of the fight, but it's not always the best idea to wear out a fish as much as you have to sometimes with the lighter gear.


    June and I do not leave our fish exhausted. You can still use a 5wt and do it right. I prefer the lighter action as it does not seem to pull as hard on the mouth, the lighter reel allows more play with the fish. We have never had a fish go belly up or be even close to that when netted. When we pull the hook and turn them to the current they swim right out. Experience goes a long way on a lighter rod and I would rather play them more than grip and rip them in with a stouter rod. Just my .02
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

  11. #11

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    "June and I do not leave our fish exhausted. You can still use a 5wt and do it right."


    Right on....that's why I didn't bash 5 wts. I use a 5 wt quite often. All I said was a 5 wt is the lightest I use for trout and that I wouldn't use any lighter.

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raptor_1 View Post
    I do most of my trout fishing on the valley streams. Occasionally I'll make a run to the kenai. So I guess mostly stream fishing. Flies typically in the #12-#6 region. I like to fish beads and egg paterns a lot, but spend a little time with dry flies if I see some fish rising. Size wise they can get fairly large up there, but most of them are in the 1-3 pound range.
    I would look at a faster action 6 wt 9 foot rod. A 5 would do nicely for most of what you are saying, but a 6 is only moderately heavier and would offer a little more backbone if you get into a nicer specimen than usual. This would also reduce the redundancy in your line up since you already have a 4 wt. I would say go with a good six weight. Not sure what your 4 wt is, but if going to a 6 wt, consider getting a fast action rod. I think you would like the added line speed that is often associated with faster action rods. A tight loop is critical on a windy day, but a fast action rod will help generate faster line speeds. It will be up to you to make the tight loops to go with it. Practice and play with it if it is different than what you are used to. Everything is the same except for the tempo. Two of my absolute favorite 6 weights are my St Croix Legend Ultra and Scott E2. Incredible rods. If you use a WF line which I suspect you do, look at the Scientific Angler gpx line. Best I have ever used. Don't underestimate the importance of a quality line.
    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.

  13. #13

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    I totally agree with Dan...Since you have a 4 wt already, get the 6. Especially if you're fishing the valley streams. You'll definitely want some backbone, simply because there are so many spaces on those streams where you have no room to play and you'll need to get the fish in quickly or you'll have no chance of landing it.

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    I also have that 9' 6 weight St. Croix Legend Ultra rod that Dan has. It is a very good rod for a good price.

    I bought mine before they remodeled them last year. I have fished it with streamers on the Valley streams and it was always casting farther than I expected before I go used to it. It actually casts streamers better than my Z-Axis.

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    I agree You need a 9 ft 6 wt in a fast action for the kenai. That way you can cast them bigger flys in the wind and when you hook that big bow you have enough backbone to kind of control him lol. on the otherhand your 4 wt is a great rod for the vally streams. I live in kenai in the summer and the vally in the winter and have a 4 wt and a 6 wt............

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    Member Raptor_1's Avatar
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    Thanks for answering my questions fellas. I will plan on picking up a fast 9 ft 6 wt then. I'm still learing a lot about this type of fishing and trying to get better at it. I haven't caugt a whole lot of fish yet, but as I gain some experience I expect the catches to go up. Thanks again
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    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aknater View Post
    "June and I do not leave our fish exhausted. You can still use a 5wt and do it right."


    Right on....that's why I didn't bash 5 wts. I use a 5 wt quite often. All I said was a 5 wt is the lightest I use for trout and that I wouldn't use any lighter.

    After rereading that this morning it came off totally wrong. Thanks for the understanding aknater.
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

  18. #18

    Default No worries

    Chuck, I can't say how many times we all get each others' feathers ruffled, because we can only say so much, or come across as limited as we can in a typed conversation. I kinda figured you didn't quite read exactly what I posted that first time, so I responded only after taking a self-issued 5 minute timeout. I've actually seen you on the water a few times, so next time I'll say hello. I can't make Fishapalooza because of the timing with my hunting schedule, but I'll see you out there sometime this year!!

    Nathan

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    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Sounds great nate. Stop by and meet june and I and trade some stories.
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

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