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Thread: 8 wt Fly rod enough for kings?

  1. #1

    Smile 8 wt Fly rod enough for kings?

    I have an 8 wt Redington with an Orvis Battenkill Bar Stock reel. Will this be adequate for Kings? I know most people recommend a 10 wt for Kings, but I don't want to buy a new rod & reel for just one fish for just one trip if I don't need to. A friend of mine said it would be OK for most Kings, but that if I luck out and hook a monster , I could lose it due to too light of a rod . What do you guys that do this every year say?

    Regards,
    Bruce

  2. #2

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    Is it still under warranty and do you have a reciept? If so than give it a go.

  3. #3
    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Your pushing your luck for sure. A good 8wt gets used and abused on 2nd run reds let alone a king. Lets just say a small 25lb king with 7MPH current. Probably not gonna be a good ending. I have been fishing up here for 27 years and would not want that fight. The only way I would try it is from a boat. You would have to be able to chase the fish up and down there river trying to wear them out before your rod becomes kindling. Then if your in an area with lots of boats you will have your hands full for sure. Im not saying it cant be done. I love a challenge myself but IMO that one is pushing it.
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    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
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    Depends on whose 8 wt you are fishin'.... they're not all created equal.

    Then again neither are anglers.

    Some know how to extract maximum performance from their equipment.

    An 8 wt CAN be adequate if you know how to make a rod constantly bend with 75-80% load AND apply maximum pressure low and to the side at all the appropriate time points during the battle. Just realize it WILL take more time.

    I landed my fair share of kings up to 30 pounds with an old glass 8 wt Fenwick, but I'd much prefer a 10 wt to make the job more expeditious.
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
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  5. #5
    Member Tight Lines's Avatar
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    Talking

    My experience is that kings on an 8wt would be pushing it. I use a 10wt rod and reel and can handle kings with out a problem. I use an 8wt for reds and it is perfect. I would bring it along because where there's kings there are uasually reds around too. You could most likely get away with a 10wt rod and an 8wt reel without an issue. Like you I tend to watch the cost so a $80-100 rod is a reasonable alternitive to breaking the bank.

    Have a great trip and "SET THE HOOK!!!!
    Dave
    I'll hold on to my Bible & my Guns, you can keep the change!!!

  6. #6

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    I've gotten kings out of Ninilchik with my Sage 8wt. I've landed a few at Ship with it too. I'd say when your fighting a hatchery king, you should be ok but you're pushing it! I usually bust out this rod when the crowds are thin and there's lots of room to play just in case the fish decides to make a run up or downstream! My two primary king rods depending on the river are either my Lamiglas 10wt or Loomis GL3 9wt.

  7. #7

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    my go to is an old gl4 7wt though when we are into them I change over to a 10wt mega rod (loomis).

    I guess it would depend on the water itself and as physician said your experience. We've put to net fish in the hi 40's on 7's. Typically most fish are in the teens to mid 20's.

    The rod itself will dictate what you can and cant do. A softer 8 wont get good hooksets without reefing and strip striking.

  8. #8
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    Default 8wt is adequate

    until you snag a king in the tail.


    my mother caught several on the mulchatna on a 6 wt. with probably 4 lb test. so it surely can be done.



    I use a 10wt. lamiglass for kings.

  9. #9

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    Yeah, I second (or third, or maybe fourth) the general consensus here. Depends on the water you're going to fish and your experience. If you hook into a 70 lb. Kenai king with an 8wt and you don't know what you're doing you're probably going to have a broken rod on your hands if you're not careful. But a 25 lb. Kasilof king might be a different story entirely.

  10. #10
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    If hooked in the mouth a king should be manageable on an 8wt; you just keep the angle lower than you would with a heavier rod. If you foul-hook one it will probably not be coming in the same day and you may as well break yourself off and get back to fishing.

  11. #11
    Member willphish4food's Avatar
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    I treat this question like asking "can I hunt grizzly with a .243?" The answer is, yes. You may even kill a few. Chances of getting your butt handed to you are much higher though than if you use an appropriate griz caliber, like a .338.

    Yes, you can catch kings on an 8wt. But your odds of getting your butt handed to you by a nice fish are much higher than if you use a 10 or 12 weight. Personally, I know that most kings I hook will be under 40#. But a good number will be between 30 and 40#, and a few each year will be within 5 pounds either way of 50#. 8wt is NOT my tool of choice for kings that size, especially in fast flowing and snaggy waters.

  12. #12

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    Be prepared to chase the fish and attempt to stay below the fish. Sometimes that is a pipe dream but a big fish that is working the current AND your line/rod pressure is got many things working for you. A fish below you has the upper hand.

    If you can't chase the fish 'cause of tree sweepers or what ever, your last chance is to let a belly of line form below the fish so the fish feels the pull below him and often this causes the fish to turn and move back up stream.

    In any event, with 15 1b tippet and good knots you cannot break off without pointing the rod directly at the fish... and don't hesitate to do a deliberate break-off vs. losing your line by taking your backing to the final knot.

    Good luck!!!! (I'd fish that 8wt)

    L

  13. #13

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    Not saying your question isn't a valid "freshwater fishing" question, but if you asked it over on the "flyfishing forum" there might be people there that don't look at this forum that might be able to give you some help, too, if you want a few more ideas on the subject. Just a thought.

  14. #14
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    Default Smoke em if you got em boys....

    If it's what ya got....then use it. No point in getting a cheapo ten weight...it will fish like a good eight weight...just heavier. Use a good strong leader set up, take control from the start (as someone said don't go to the end of the backing if you can help it) chase it if need be but be firm....the first run on a king is consistently the most intense part of the fight. When backtrolling (which I've got most of my king experience on)...I get the bite, set the hook, and then that sucker goes like a freight train back towards saltwater. So, if you survive that initial run, life gets a lot easier.

    I like my ten weight....but adding another set up just in case you get hooked up is probably money not well spent (unless ya got a lot of it then get a good ten foot tenweight with some real nuts to it).

  15. #15

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    In most road accessible streams, rare is the place you can backcast or frankly even roll cast for kings either due to the number of people or the stream bank. I've fished for Kings in the typical areas in SouthCentral Alaska and I have never had to ever worry about going into the backing since I never have used fly line. In many places the extra diameter of the flyline makes it a lot harder to get in the zone. I know the flyfishing purists would shoot me, but just load the reel up with 30 or 40 pound straight mono. Then if a big fish overpowers you 8wt, you can still have a shot by playing the fish mainly off a direct drive reel.

    Though not "flyfishing" in the traditional sense, the fly rod is still the preferred "flipping" stick since the weight and balance lets you fish it a lot longer than a comparable "king worthy" rod with a nice reel. Less chance of tangling on the reel or handles too. Just watch your knuckles when the big fish hits!

  16. #16
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    I caught and landed numerous kings on an 8wt fly rod in my years in here but, one must be particular as to the water conditions being fished. The largest I was able to wrangle was a 40lb'er on my 9ft Sage.

    Give it a go, the worst that can happen is, fun !

    Well, provided you have a warranty on that fly rod .

  17. #17

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    It depends on the water and the kings.

    Smaller water with plenty of room for you to follow the fish, no sweat on fish to around 30 pounds. Bigger water or bigger kings and limited room for you to follow fish, sorry charlie.

    I have fished half a dozen rivers over the years where an 8 was ideal and a 10 was overkill for the 20-25 pound fish that predominated. But small rivers are not typical for kings any more due to habitat destruction in the watersheds.

    Heck, an 8 is plenty for silvers to over 20 pounds, so why wouldn't it be fine for kings in a similar size range? The rivers are typically of a size you can wade across with a little care and wide open banks or bars to walk (or run!) on. Heck I've even landed a couple on those same rivers with a 4-weight, hooked incidentally while drifting Glo Bugs for trout. Took time and patience and I planned to eat the fish anyway, so I wasn't too worried about tiring them excessively. And yes, I usually just break them off when fishing with a 4.

    Fishing the road system elbow to elbow with idiots? Bring a 10-weight and the patience of a saint for the lost souls casting across your line and unwilling to move while you fight your fish.

  18. #18
    Member scott_rn's Avatar
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    Bruce, where are you going to fish?

    Kardinal_84, how does the mono cast? is that what the "flipping" comment addressed?
    Thanks

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by scott_rn View Post
    Bruce, where are you going to fish?

    Kardinal_84, how does the mono cast? is that what the "flipping" comment addressed?
    Thanks
    There are two ways to get your fly down in the "zone" with a fly line. Either use a VERY heavily weighted fly on a long leader or a heavy sink tip with a short (3-4' leader). I normally fish a sink tip that is made of T14 and weighs 140 grains (it's 10') for steelhead. When I hit the Naknek next month I'll have a second chunk of T14 that is 15' and it weighs 210 grains... now you probably can't throw that with your eight weight but trust me, there are 8wt sinking fly lines that can get you down in the zone and still be doing some what of a normal fly cast....

    Years ago (late '70's) I used a 22' chunk of lead core line on my 9wt to get to the kings on the Gulkana.... you don't have to use that stuff anymore but there are plenty of sinking fly lines these days that will work.

    I suggest you ask this line question on the fly fishing forum.

    Cheers,

    L

  20. #20
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    Default How

    much room will you have to fight the King and how much time are you willing to spend? Also, how long do you expect the other fishermen around you to keep their lines out of the water while you play your fish?

    If you're on a hole all by yourself, then you may get away with the lighter setup.

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