Help me choose: four weight or five weight?

Non-Trout pursuits

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jsrieck
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Help me choose: four weight or five weight?

Post by jsrieck » Wed Jul 23, 2008 8:35 pm

I have an eight weight and I would like to get something lighter for hill country rivers. What would you suggest? Can I cast a size 6 hairbug with a 4 wt rod?

stiles
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Post by stiles » Wed Jul 23, 2008 8:55 pm

Tossing bugs and streamers for bass sounds like the job for a 6 wt. I have an 8 wt for the coast, a 4 wt small stream perch jerker and a 6 wt that I use for trout, bass, etc....



~~~ ><Ǽ>

Jimbo Roberts
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Post by Jimbo Roberts » Wed Jul 23, 2008 9:52 pm

I'm not the best person to ask these questions as last count I had 24 functional flyrods (Broken ones can't be counted). For Bass fishing a 6wt would be a better choice. If it has to be a 4wt or a 5wt go with the 5 weight. My motto is to buy 1 per year and add to the collection. The downside is that sometimes it's hard to decide which rod to use! Jimbo

jsrieck
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Post by jsrieck » Thu Jul 24, 2008 2:26 pm

Jimbo - what do you find yourself using the most? What is your "pet" rod?

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Coconut Groves
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Post by Coconut Groves » Thu Jul 24, 2008 2:39 pm

Since you have an 8wt, I'd get a 6wt, then maybe ad a 4wt later down the line.

5wt is a good trout rod, but if you are doing bass fishing, a 6wt is better suited for streamers and larger bugs, plus, it has the back bone for larger fish. Another plus is that a 6wt can be used for light salt water fishing. I think the 6wt is the best all around rod for this area.

A 4wt is another good choice, but for more delicate flies and perch, trout. It is too small, in my opinion, to be a "go to all around" rod. Larger flies, mending, and high winds will challenge your casting with a 4wt, not mention if you get a 6 pound bass on it. :)

I went with the evens - 4, 6, 8, and 10. I am going to add a 9wt for permit and higher winds at the coast, and a 12 next year for tarpon/blue water fishing. I've had two 5wts before and just didn't use them that much. My 4 and 6 cover it pretty well.

If you want a 6wt that is light as a 5wt and feels like one too, but has the backbone to punch a long cast and land fish, check out the Winston Boron IIX rod. I've started cheating on my Sage and Scott rods - the BIIx is unreal.
"Strip... Strip... Strip...... Fish On!"

k smith
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Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2006 9:13 pm
Location: Texas Hill Country

Post by k smith » Thu Jul 24, 2008 3:50 pm

You just can't beat a 6wt, 7ft to 7.5 ft fiberglass rod in these hill-country rivers. :)

Jimbo Roberts
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Post by Jimbo Roberts » Thu Jul 24, 2008 6:02 pm

For Bass fishing in the Hill Country Streams and Rivers I have been using 2 rods mostly. If it is wide open (no low hanging cypress tunnels) I use my Sage 690XP. The second rod I use, in those tight tunnels, is a TFO Finesse 7"9" 5wt. I also recently built a Sage Smallmouth rod. This rod is about a 7-8wt. (not really sure as it comes with it's own flyline) and is 7'11". This rod is for heavier fishing and larger flys. I have only fished it once (mainly nymph fishing for Perch, I know, what was I thinking?) and it will shoot line like crazy, has lots of backbone, and relatively fast taper. I think once I get on some Bigger fish that require larger flys this will be the tool to use. Although I thought this would be a great Hill Country Rod, for tight casting in the cypress tunnels, I am begining to think it maybe too fast for that kind of fishing. More time with the rod in these areas will tell. I will post up my findings later. Jimbo

jchristensen77
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Location: San Marcos, TX

Post by jchristensen77 » Sat Jul 26, 2008 1:25 pm

Being a recent transplant from waters in the Northeast, I have never fished with a rod longer that 8' or a weight heavier than 4. Given that, when I moved down here I found myself at a major disadvantage in the Hill Country streams (in most cases). The fact is, Texas has alot more wind, and less trees than the small brook trout streams I could spit over in most places.
Being stubborn as I am though, I still fish exclusively in the Hill Country streams (including the Guadalupe trout fishery) with my four weight 7.5'. This does put me at a disadvantage though, as I wouldnt call it an "all arounder". Bigger bass waters are pretty much out, and the white bass runs are difficult, but not impossible. Double-hauling has become a must, bordering on Carpal Tunnel syndrome as I dont like the idea if the wind or an errant cast swinging a heavy streamer into my neck or face... This has happened to me more than I like to admit :oops: But for the small Guadalupe bass and Rio Grande cichlids a four weight fast action cant be beat for spunk!
Again sometimes though, its like trying to throw a cotten ball across a football field.... I would go for a six weight, fast action....
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eric_burnett
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Post by eric_burnett » Sat Jul 26, 2008 7:38 pm

A question that I would have for you before you get a new stick would be:

What is your current rod?

Depending on what you are used to throwing, you will get a totally different answer on what would be ideal for you.

If you are used to floppier rods, a six weight medium-to-fast action, matched with the right line may cast the bugs that you want and give you the feel of the fight. If you are used to casting stiffer rods, may I suggest that you go with a fast action 5 weight.

The Sage bass rods are sized for the equivalent of 10 weight and 11 weight lines (290 & 330 grains) and in most case will be overkill. That being said, if you are casting poppers, dahlberg divers, any Rainy bass flies, those rods rock. Also, if you are going on big lakes in a bass boat, these rods really shine.

My all-arounder is an Orvis 5 weight Zero G tip flex 8'6". It is thin for a fast action five weight but it throws flies in the 6 to 8 size range with no problem, and it can handle 3 lb largemouth and 6.5 pound carp after they are hooked but it still bends nicely for a little bluegill. It can also nymph fish with the best of them.

At the end of the day, you may just have to spend an afternoon at the local fly shop, and test cast what they will let you. Ask to test different lines as well. A TFO rod with new Sharkskin line is a cannon and can outcast a Sage, orvis, scott, etc. with other lines.

I hope that helps and not adds to your dilema. Good luck and enjoy buying the new toy.

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Coconut Groves
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Post by Coconut Groves » Mon Jul 28, 2008 9:34 pm

I've casted the Sharkskin and liked it, but I personally think that the Airflo ridge lines cast just as good, if not better, and are more affordable (Shark is $100, Airlfo are $60). Airflo lines have ridges that run the entire length of the line. The ridges create less surface contact when casting and when on the water.

Local guide Jeff Davis turned me onto them eariler this year and I've bought 6, 8, and 10wt versions (ridge distance, bonefish, and tarpon taper, respectively). They float the best out of any line I've used, shoot like a canon and do not get as dirty. They are also PVC free and have a 5 year warranty against cracking.

Check them out at http://www.flylines.com

Boy, this ended up sounding like an ad. :) I don't work for them, I just like telling people when I come across quality products that work.
"Strip... Strip... Strip...... Fish On!"

TrentW
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Post by TrentW » Thu Jul 31, 2008 11:11 am

I will give you a vote for fiberglass. (Proxy vote for Ron since he is gone) There are many rods to choose from that range in the 7-8 ft. range that fit the bill perfectly for the hill country. If you are into vintage gear you can't beat a Silaflex, Phillipson, Fenwick, Quite Loop... ahhh; I can't think of any more at the moment. Most of the older rods in this length are around 6 wt. Steffen Brothers and Mcfarland Rods will custom make a fiberglass for you that will fit your exact needs. If you do a search on the subject you will find some great info already posted on the subject. Also, check out fiberglassflyrodders.com for superior knowledge on the subject.
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This summer I found a new favorite rod. A Lamiglas 4wt. It will throw bigger flies than you think. I would not take it to the Devil's River, but it is perfect for the smaller streams around here. The Sabinal, Medina, and Upper Guad are fine examples of where this rod shines.
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It is so much fun to cast. It lets the little fish show off a bit, but it can control a five pound fish with no problem too.
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Ron Mc
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Post by Ron Mc » Thu Jul 31, 2008 12:38 pm

For that size 6 hairbug, you can't beat a venerable glass 6-wt. in 7' or 7-1/2'

If you're hunting for venerable rods on ebay, Silaflex is probably the best buy.
IMO, Phillipson Master MF70 is the best rod (ever), but others will tell you to look for a Fenwick FF706 or FF756
Fenglas FF756-4 is a late model rod (discontinued in 2002) that is highly desirable and may still be socked away in the back of a few fly shops.
Orvis Fullflex A or Golden Eagle, 7-1/2' 6-wt. is a Fine rod.
Money no object? Look for a Vince Cummings River Rat or Water Witch.

Back from AK, but life is still hectic - traveling again, so I probably won't get a photo essay up for awhile.
Ron Mc

k smith
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Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2006 9:13 pm
Location: Texas Hill Country

Hill Country Fly Rod

Post by k smith » Sun Aug 10, 2008 10:13 am

Jsrieck,

Here's one that might fit your needs:

Temple Fork Outfitters just released a rod called the SG-II.
It's a 6'-9", 5/6 wgt, 2-piece rod.

Since it's not on their web site yet, I called the company ther other day.
It retails for $179 (about half the price of a Sage Smallmouth rod).

The rumor is that it may be more of a 6/7wt, depending on your line preferences.

A rod like this might be just right for the Texas hill country...

Alex Argyros
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Location: Austin

Post by Alex Argyros » Sun Aug 10, 2008 6:14 pm

Is that the TFO fiberglass rod? I have a 6'9" 6wt. fiberglass blank from TFO that I've been finding ever more creative ways of deferring building.

Alex

k smith
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2006 9:13 pm
Location: Texas Hill Country

Post by k smith » Mon Aug 11, 2008 3:49 pm

Yes, I've been told that it is the same blank.
Although I like slower action rods, my graphite-loving friends might like this one alot since they like a faster action.

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