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Kenai/Russian 'bows: Fly rod? Spin? Bait cast?

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  • Kenai/Russian 'bows: Fly rod? Spin? Bait cast?

    Is there any fish-catching advantage to fishing these rivers for rainbows w/ a fly rod over spinning or bait casting? For bouncing beads and bobbers of some sort, I don't see it myself. Are flies and a fly rod a superior weapon to bait casting beads? Where do the old-time spinning rod and spinners/spoons fit in the list of rainbow catching hardware? Last? I'm just curious what people think, as I am thinking about heading that way this late summer/fall. I have not really fly fished in many years, have no suitable rod/reel, and if I can avoid buying and storing another set of gear in the house that would be best. Thanks for any opinions, and, while you are at it, please list the GPS coords of 6 of your favorite spots....

  • #2
    Well, I'm very biased because I'm a life long fly flinger! There are advantages and disadvantages to fly rods vs spinning/bait casting rigs and the true answer is, it all depends! I do fish both ways. The big advantage of a fly rod is precise presentation and control to specific spots in the river, especially when you're looking for natural drag free drifts. But that takes a fair amount of skill and expertise with a fly rod. If you're just bouncing/flossing beads there isn't any large advantage to a fly rod. While most of my fishing is done with a fly rod, I frequently fish a spinning float rod many times, especially when I'm faced with big water that has tons of water to cover (like the Kenai) as i can get very long drag free drifts very easily. I rarely bring that float rod along to the Russian though.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by NorcalBob View Post
      Well, I'm very biased because I'm a life long fly flinger! There are advantages and disadvantages to fly rods vs spinning/bait casting rigs and the true answer is, it all depends! I do fish both ways. The big advantage of a fly rod is precise presentation and control to specific spots in the river, especially when you're looking for natural drag free drifts. But that takes a fair amount of skill and expertise with a fly rod. If you're just bouncing/flossing beads there isn't any large advantage to a fly rod. While most of my fishing is done with a fly rod, I frequently fish a spinning float rod many times, especially when I'm faced with big water that has tons of water to cover (like the Kenai) as i can get very long drag free drifts very easily. I rarely bring that float rod along to the Russian though.
      What exactly is a "spinning float rod?" I've never heard the term and I've used a spinning gear since I was a kid. Then again, I'm kinda old and not always up on the new lingo.....lol.
      Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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      • #4
        Originally posted by 4merguide View Post
        What exactly is a "spinning float rod?" I've never heard the term and I've used a spinning gear since I was a kid. Then again, I'm kinda old and not always up on the new lingo.....lol.
        The spinning rod version of a centerpin rod. Basically a long spinning rod designed to fish floats. Deadly with beads and flesh flies on large rivers like the Kenai. Very popular in the steelhead fishing world.
        https://www.fishusa.com/Fishing/Fish...t-Fishing-Rods
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5v2k7eXoCT8

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        • #5
          The Russian and the Kenai confluence (and about 1/2 mile down river) are "fly fishing only", single hook only. Yes flys and beads can be fished using tackle other than a fly rod. The biggest deterrent to using spin/baitcasting gear would be the amount of weight needed to utilize them. You only need enough weight (split shot) to get the bead/fly near the bottom. If you're happy just "flipping" your probably good to go. If you need some distance, you can rule out a bait caster because the weight needed to cast will effectively anchor the lure to the bottom.
          For fishing beads and flies, a fly rod is a much more versatile tool, IMO.

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          • #6
            Exactly what NorcalBob said. A centerpin rod and reel (reels are specialized) will allow a very long extended drag-free drift at a prescribed depth below a float. The cast is typically more or a modified flip and then the reel effortlessly spins allowing line to feed into the drift. Assuming a long depression or rip that is likely to hold fish, the bead or fly or bait will multiply the chances of getting a hook up. I personally stopped using a centerpin setup because I believe it almost takes the challenge out of catching fish. That's just me, if it is numbers you are looking for, I don't think you can beat a centerpin.

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