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Thread: Rod info for reds

  1. #1
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    Default Rod info for reds

    I am new to this forum and thought I would give a little intro. I am from Pennsylvania, I spend virtually all my free time fishing. I will fish for anything, you can catch on a fishing rod ( Including eels and carp). I make as many trips as possible each year too fish Lake Ontario Tribs., for Kings, Browns, and Steelhead. Me and my fishing buddy are finally going to come to Alaska this summer. We will be there from July 24 to Aug 4. We have 3 guided trips planned for Kings on the Kenai. The rest of the time we will be fishing self guided. I will probably asking many questions of the forum between now and July.

    Question 1: In all my research about fishing for Reds I find that everyone for the most part is recommending heavier line and rods than I use for Kings and Steelhead in NY. I use a 10' med light rod ( noodle rod ), with a Teton fly reel loaded with 12 lbs Maxima fishing line. I have landed countless Kings (20-30 lbs) with this setup. Does anyone fish with similar setups in Alaska, and if not why such heavy rods and line?

    Thanks in advance !
    PA KING FISHER

  2. #2
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    I use a 9' 8wt fly rod for reds in the Kenai and Russian. I prefer a Sage XP because it has good backbone and a fast tip. Reds are caught in the current. They're extremely powerful for their size and coupled with the current, your noodle will likely be all af that, a noodle, that is. Since you'll almost always be in proximity to other people you'll need to get control of the fish fairly quickly. I use 10# Maxima mono or a floating line with the same Maxima tied as a 6-8' leader. With reds you'll only have 10-12' of line out and you won't retrieve it. You make a short drift, pull the line in with your free hand, sweep the rod upstream and release the line, and do it again. Over and over. You'll be sight fishing. See it, catch it. It's a riot.

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    A little over kill depending on where you are fishing but I use an 8 1/2 ugly stick lite, med-heavy action with 30lb mono, I have even gone to 60 lb. super line on some. Can you do it with a lighter rig, yes but I would go no less than 20lb. especailly when combat fishing. If you can get a gravel part to yourself, (unlikely) then you can get away with smaller gear. Most fly fishermen I know use mono, some up to 50lb. line.

    If you are fishing from the bank on the Kenai I would use heavy gear, big fish 8 to 12 lbs. and fast water 7+ mph and lots of sweepers to pull fish around. There will also be lots of people unless you are at a lodge where you have a private bank, then it may not be as difficult. Most locations you cannot chase a fish down the bank and you have to pull them back up current and that puts a lot of stress on your gear. I have heard more than one rod snap on ocasion due to inexperience fishermen and too much load on the rod, one reason I went to ugly sticks.
    Hope this helps.

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    Default Ugly stick!!!

    Find a rod that is 8' to 9' if fishing kenai. You can use short rods but for flippin a long lite action rod is all you need. find a med. action rod. Buy a nice abu garcia reel ( bait caster). Load it with 16lb cajun red line. 18 if you want. Most people think you need to drag a salmon in as fast as you can , cause of the other people. Heck with em. If you have a fish on and someone has a problem moving or waiting a couple of min. they shouldn't be combat fishing. Don't bother fishing during the busy times 4pm-11pm. waite let all the light weights go and then hit the river, or fish and then see what happens it's up tp you. Hit me up if you want some good advice. can't put all the secrets here on a main page!!!
    Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.

  5. #5
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    I use 12 lb test Maxima Ultragreen. It's true that you should use heavier line if you're combat fishing, but it is not true that such crowds are the only option on the road system. I frequently find solitude where I can fish in a manner more to my liking. The difference? I'm willing to hike for an hour before I make my first cast.

    -Brian

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    All good posts, and suggestions. Let me clarify mine a little, reds, for me, are a freezer filler and my goal is to get a limit and go home. I get tired of fishing for them after a while and I just want my 3 or 6 and get off the river so someone else can have a spot. I don't want to break a line, if the fish is fowl hooked I can pull it out or straighten the hook quickly, but I have enough power to handle a fish and put it on the bank. To each his own but there should be plenty of opportunity for reds during the time that you are here.

  7. #7
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    Oh yes, I went to ugly sticks a couple years ago, I got tired of throwing my loomis rods down on the rocks and getting stepped on and basically treated how one would treat an ugly stick, so I went to ugly sticks. I treat my equipment pretty hard that is not really for a $200+ rod.
    Had a good buddy get his highly prized Sage stepped on at the Russian, it was a custom build rod and the blank is not made anymore, he was sick, and he knew better and kept saying it after the incident.

  8. #8
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    9' 8wt w/ 20# when fishing mainstem/ combat
    8.5' 5wt w/ 2x when fishing for trout and catching salmon (happens a lot )
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  9. #9

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    Hi folks, speaking of catching reds on fly rod, I got a 8 wt Cabela's rod/reel combo last year but have yet to rig it; what's the best way? As yet, the reel has not been loaded with anything; this will be for sockeyes. Mr. Pid mentioned floating line w/leader, does the floating line make the presentation too "vertical" in the water column or does that keep you from snagging the bottom?
    Also, what method/sinker types do you guys prefer? I've tried them all (probably not), but have only been doing this for a few years and I know there's a lot of you been around a long time. I saw a guy use a tool he got from TW that crimps & punches a hole in the lead, then attaches it to a swivel, then leader to the fly. Is any method, lead or rigging better than another??
    Looking to get some red blood on that fly rod in July,
    Jim

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    Big Jim you will get a lot of different answers to your question. When you go to the river look at all the different setups. It is amazing. It really depends on what works for you. I typically will use a 200 to 400 grain Rio Grande fly line depending on water conditions and current with no weight at all. If I find I'm not getting deep enough I will throw on split shot to the leader to get were the fish are. Split shot placement will depend on how far I need the fly to stand up in the current.

  11. #11
    Member RMiller's Avatar
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    I use heavy rods and line because I am either fishing with a million other people where every time a king is hooked you have to get every other line and lure off yours to get the fish in or I fish in a snag choked river that I have already put enough fishing lures in.

  12. #12
    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    I love my 6wt. lamiglass
    Living the Alaskan Dream
    Gary Keller
    Anchorage, AK

  13. #13

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    Kaveman, I will obviously expose my flyfishing knowledge with this question, but that 200-400 grain line is sinking, right? Do you spool it directly on the reel, and how long/wt of a leader do you use? What kind of knot to join the two; seems like the guides & tip of the fly rod are really small, a blood knot or similar would get snagged in the guides, right? I might have an extra spool for the reel, but if limited to one spool, which line would you commit to having on it?? Also, is that sinking line rated like mono (lb test)??
    Thanks for the help,
    Jim

  14. #14

    Default Fly rod for reds

    On the Kenai strip casting is the technique used to hook fish. I would recommend an 8 - 10 wt fly rod. You will need a good fly reel loaded with 30 lb mono. I think it's much easier to flip and drift than with a spinning or bait casting reel because the handle does not get in the way. Plus the set up is usually much lighter.

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    Differnet types of water, different types of gear. I am origionally from PA and have fished the great lake tribs for steelhead and salmon. The water is smaller and much less powerfull. Reds may be one of the smaller salmon but they fight like crazy! I will use no less than an eight weight rod wich would be more comparable to a medium heavy rod. I would try to get a nine foot rod just for line control. I use eight of nine pund maxima line. If you use line that heavy on most noodle rods you will increase the number of pieces your rod. Even though your coming to Alaska you will not be leaving the crowds that you find on the tribs.
    Good Luck,
    Dave

  16. #16

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    steelieguy made me think of something; he mentioned 30 lb test line on a 8-10 wt rod, how do they equate the wt of the flyrod to its rating for lb test line?? My flyrod is not accessible to me at the moment, but do they have the line test rating on flyrods like spinning & casting rods??
    Thanks,
    Jim

  17. #17

    Default Rods for Reds

    Big Jim, I don't think fly rods have a mono rating. The Kenai has some of the biggest reds in Alaska, and I don't think you want to use your top of the line fly rod for strip casting for reds just in case it snaps. My girlfriend uses a 10 weight fly rod purchased for a nominal price from Trustworthy hardware in Soldotna. 9ft rods with medium fast to fast action and a strong but section work the best in crowded line ups. A friend of mine made me a custom fly rod using a Loomis GL2 (8'6" fast action) blank with bait casting guides. Perfect for the Kenai flip, and no way to snap it.

    10 wt - 30 lb
    8 wt - 20lb

  18. #18
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    I use my 8wt fly rods with 10# straight mono quite often, depending on the current. The key for red fishing is to get the fly down to the fish without the top current whipping your line downstream. Straight mono works great. I have mono spooled on my good reels and don't hesitate to use it on my good rods. Reds, silvers, or steelhead, I use this setup a lot if the current is fast. I won't use heavier line than 10# because it offers no feel. I rarely lose a fish to line breaking.

  19. #19
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    I use a floating line because I hate having mono wear my finger off, it works fine the most important thing is the distance between the fly and the weight it should be 2-4 feet and the fly should be weighted lightly (that is under the legal limit but more than just the hook) I get 95% of my sockeye in the mouth.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  20. #20
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    This might be a little off topic, but, powder monkey has got the right idea. hook to sinker setup is the main idea! when fishing with weight of any kind the proper amount is the most important factor. sinkers 2-4' up your leader will produce a better swing than having them too close. rod, doesn't really matter, presentaition is everything! i highly agree w/ mr pid, lightest line you can get away with the better. if you happen to snag a fish, straighten the rod and snap him off. no sence drowning a fish when you can put on another .50 cent fly and go back to fishing.

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