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Thread: 3wt?

  1. #1
    Member Floridascuba's Avatar
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    Default 3wt?

    thinking of picking up a 3 wt fly rod. Still not sure where I am going between Kodiak, Juneau, or Valdez. Is it too small for any of those locations? I currently have a 5, 8, and a 12.

  2. #2

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    With your other rods already in the rack, it will be an excellent addition. I get a lot of use out of my old 8'9" Sage 3-weight. It's perfect for dollies, and on calm days I use it lots for pink salmon in saltwater. Those average about 3.5#, so that's not a stretch with a decent reel and drag. Big limitation is if you try to throw heavier flies, but with an aggressive leader taper it will surprise you just how big it will throw. A 5-weight is definitely more versatile and more capable, but nowhere near as much fun as a 3.

    Avoid the Sage lines if you plan to throw anything approaching a "heavy" fly. Even beadhead nymphs bigger than about #14 give the Sage line fits. Surprisingly one of the best lines for saltwater is the SA Head Start, with it's short, aggressive head. It's still controllable with dries, so that's my pick of lines. By the time you get down to a 3, there's not a lot of leeway for building up tapers in a line, and "going with the flow" and putting the weight into a shorter head such as the Head Start to get around it. Not a bad windy day line for such a little rod, either.

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Default

    As mentioned before me, the line and fly of choice is a big factor, not just the species you are targeting. I would give the 5 wt a try and buy a noodle rod if you find a use for it later. I have some 4 wts that get little usage myself. Perhaps consider trying the 5 wt before buying anything smaller. I think you will find you can get a lot done with a 5 and 8 wt.
    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.

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    Member jakec5253's Avatar
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    Default 3wt

    I use a 3wt for lake fishing out of my float tube, and small grayling streams. If you plan on doing either of those, a 3wt would be a great investment. I have never fished any of the places you mentioned, but here in the south central, I use my 3wt quite a bit.


    Jake
    All the romance of trout fishing exists in the mind of the angler and is in no way shared by the fish.

  5. #5
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Jake,

    Sweet underwater pic!
    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.

  6. #6
    Member jakec5253's Avatar
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    Default PIC

    Thanks Dan. It came out pretty good, though I probably looked pretty silly trying taking. I was in my float tube, trying to hold the rod high enough to get the fish to swim close enough, and then hold the camera under water at the right angle.
    All the romance of trout fishing exists in the mind of the angler and is in no way shared by the fish.

  7. #7
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    Default

    Here in Juneau, I use a 3wt for all of my freshwater cutthroat and dolly fishing. For saltwater, sometimes I use the 3wt (Like in tidewater areas of small streams that get runs of chums), but I usually use a 5wt because of the fact that a 5wt is much better at casting things like clousers. But when using beads or nymphs, a 3wt is definately good for anything under 20". And for those wondering, I am using a TFO finesse 7'9" 3wt.

  8. #8

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    I have a couple 3's and a couple 4's...(multiples for backup and in case I take someone out). And like was said I use mine quite a bit also. I also have an 8'9 sage LL I love fishing with. But I have to admit the TFO 4wt is a sweet casting rod also...I think its the presentation model, would have to look if you're interested.

  9. #9
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    Default Three Weights

    Sage and TFOs are wannabee three weights. They are really four weights or heavier. That's why you can fish streamers with them and handle big fish. Three weight rods are for dry flies and nymphs.

    For a real three weight try a Winston. The catch is much more enjoyable, and the tippet is much more protected.

    Proud owner of DL4, IM6, BIIt, WT, and Pre-IM6 Winston Three Weights.

  10. #10

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    hmm...a 3wt is a 4wt now there's a discussion..so my tfo 4 is really 5? I do like to bump up a line on all my rods, but that is more personal pref then anything. It works for what I do when it comes to floating lines.

    I did have a higher end 5wt that casted like a wet noodle, definatly a dry fly rod, I was hoping it to be my next trout rod, sold that and opted for a gl4 10' 6wt. The 5 couldnt handle anything with weight or that held to much water. But I bet it wasiu5n one hellacious dry rod....

    I do think some rods are more specific for certain things then others. take a bamboo rod for instance, you CAN cast heavy nasty weighted flies with super heavy lines, but why when a fast action will do the job much gooder? not taking anything away from a boo rod (something I'd like to build in a 3wt someday). It's like using a knife for a screwdriver, it works but it isnt quite the right 'tool' for the job.

    The Finesse tfo (not presentation like I was thinking earlier) I have casts xtremely similar to my sage LL, which is much slower then most 3wt's I've had the chance to play with.

  11. #11
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    In the world of bamboo rods a dry fly rod usually has a stiffer tip and little faster action than a wet fly rod. South Bend had a series of rods with a dry fly action, a series with a trout action, and a series with a bass action.

    A good bamboo rod builder like Carlin can build a bamboo rod with a taper that will throw big heavy flies just as well or better than graphite rods. I only use weighted streamers when I have to to get down to fish in current. It is much more enjoyable to fish an unweighted streamer with a sinking fly line and you get much better action on the streamer. I fished old Granger bamboo rods with a sinking streamer line and big Kelly Galloup streamers this summer. It fished streamers as well as any graphite rod I've used including a six weight Z-Axis. The first time I tried it I couldn't believe how well that bamboo rod cast the streamer line and the big streamers. I was consistently casting farther than I expected.

    Bamboo, fiberglass, and graphite rods all come in a wide variety of tapers and actions that will work for various fishing applications. The search is to find the best one for your application.

    According to some of the experts the best material for building a short three weight rod is fiberglass.

    The only TFO rod I currently have is in the Finesse series. It is the 6'9" 5/6 fiberglass rod. It is an interesting little rod that fishes very nicely.

  12. #12
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    My next rod will be a 2 wt, for juneau and Kodiak
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  13. #13
    Member Scottsum's Avatar
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    Default All 3 wts are not created equal.

    In my experience, every rod designation, even from the same manufacturer has a little different action. To say that all Sage and TFO 3 wts are wannabees is a pretty bold statement. I have a 6wt RPL+ that I just adore (I searched all over to find a 4wt in the same series because I love the crisp, fast action.) I have fished a good bit with a 6wt XP as well, and I really didn't care much for it. It's supposed to be a fast action rod, but in my opinion just isn't as sweet as it's predecessors. I have 3 or 4 four wts from as many manufacturers and all of them cast differently. I have one less expensive 4 I purchased in a deal from TU that is a blast on tiny fish, but if there's any current at all, or if you hook a decent sized fish, it's useless. It just doesn't have the backbone necessary. I would classify it more in the realm of a 3wt, or even less.

    Anyway, just because it's called a 3 wt, doesn't mean it will perform like any other 3wt. I always say try before you buy.

    Just my $.02.

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