July 20, 2018

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Old 03-09-2018, 05:16 PM
flyfish_tfo flyfish_tfo is offline
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Default Lets talk small stream rods...

I'm interested to here what everyone's preference is for fishing the small streams/"blue lines".

I've been using mostly a 7' 3 weight fiberglass rod as well as a 7 1/2' 2 weight that I built last summer. I'm thinking of building a 6'6" 2 weight.

What do you guys prefer as far as material... Carbon? Glass? Maybe even Bamboo?

Line weights... 3 weight? 2 weight? 1 weight or lighter?
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Old 03-10-2018, 06:33 AM
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plecain plecain is online now
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Default Little rods

I've used a 6' 2 wt. St Croix Imperial for a few years. It's a marginal 2 wt. and is happy with a 1 wt. line. Use a tiny reel and this is about as light as it gets.

RDP's light rods are very good for the price. I have the 7'6" rods in 0 wt. and 1 wt.

For a longer rod I like any of the Sage 7' 10" TXL-F series or the Sage ZXL 8' 2 wt.
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Old 03-11-2018, 05:37 AM
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I have a Hardy Flyweight 6’ 2-piece 2wt which is fun for small brookies but not much of a caster. My go-to for small blue lines is my JP Ross Beaver Meadow 6’-6” 4-piece 2-3 weight, Bauer reel with WF3F. Rod is carbon-fiberglass composite and casts like a dream - perfect for those trick casts where you have to get to that hole a foot below that overhanging branch.
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Old 03-11-2018, 08:54 AM
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Default Needs Some Backbone

I have built a number of small stream rods and the great part is I get to cast them. The first thing I find is that if the rod easily bends deep then in order to make casts I must lengthen the casting stroke to avoid tailing loops. This is a problem in tight quarters. The best is when the short rod in a 2 or 3 weight can be easily cast with a shorter stroke where the top of the rod responds.

Because fly lines are weighted, and therefore given it's size listing, by the first 30 feet, making 10 to 20 foot casts plus leader causes us to have to apply greater force to bend the rod. Bending is the new term for loading. Because of this, I use a line one weight higher. My favorite is 6'6" 3 weight linear composite glass with a #4 weight forward floating line.
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Old 03-11-2018, 10:48 AM
bjibeaver bjibeaver is offline
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Talking

I have a couple of rod/reel set-ups that work very well on small water. My wife bought me a 2 piece/2 wt from Cabella's several years ago that I added an Orvis Battenkill II reel with 3 wt WF line that just kills it. I added a 3wt sinking tip line on an extra reel for bottom fishing. The blanks were a reasonable price and I have built several of these rods for family members. I'm finishing a Lamiglass 2 wt/2 piece to try out this spring with a mini White River Classic reel from Bass Pro Shop.
Living in the Mt. Washington Valley sure makes it easier to explore all the little blue lines.
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Old 03-11-2018, 04:32 PM
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If you are on the thin blue lines, a twenty-foot cast would probably be your maximum. After 20' you are either around the bend or casting up three stair-steps.

If you are using a 7.5' leader, and a 6' rod, once you add two feet for catenary, the line past your rod tip is only 4.5'. If your rod is a 2wt., you might want to use a 4wt line. As the front taper of a standard (not bass bug) WF line is often the same as DT lines from the same manufacturer, and you are not using the belly of the line, buying a DT would allow you to switch ends when you have scraped the life out of your line on the rocks.

Just some idle thoughts as we go through Farch... the longest month.

P.S. - I don't know if modern lines have much of a level front tip anymore, older lines had as little as 2', as much as 12'. Cutting the level tip off would improve loading on the short casts.

Last edited by overmywaders; 03-11-2018 at 04:37 PM.
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Old 03-14-2018, 01:41 PM
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wet_fly_action wet_fly_action is offline
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Thing is..... small stream fishing can be pretty diverse. If your small stream fishing involves a lot of overhead cover, you need a shorter rod. This is the case when I'm fishing for salters down the cape. There I fish a 6' Phillipson because of it's length and its exceptional roll casting.
I used to fish the same rods on streams in the white mountains of NH (where there is little to no overhead cover) because I thought "I don't need the length of a longer rod". However years of experience taught me that I did in fact need the length for the atypical situations posed by these smaller waters. Mainly things like high sticking dry flies through pocket water. I've settled on 7'6" or 8' 5wts as ideal.
I also have 6'6" and 7' rods for situations in between these two. They all take the same line wt so not as expensive a proposition as it sounds.
I could certainly go with a lighter line for the fish (I've landed some brutes on my 4wt for sure) but discovered that one of the secrets to tempting the bigger fish in small streams is to go big and bushy with your flies. If you fish these streams with small flies like you would on highly pressured water you will catch small fish, which I think leads many to conclude that these streams only contain "dinks".
Get into a slower action rod and learn to adjust your casting stroke accordingly. What you sacrifice in distance will be made up for in accuracy.
Also- IMO no need for a leader longer than the rod. I usually don't use anything longer than 6' and have done as short as 4'. It may seem strange to some but give it a try and you may decide like I did that having more flyline outside of the rod tip is more beneficial than the longer leader.
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Old 03-15-2018, 10:26 AM
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Well said, wet_fly_action. Nice to see you posting!
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  #9  
Old 04-17-2018, 09:07 AM
flyfish_tfo flyfish_tfo is offline
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Well, there it is. 6' 2 weight glass. Finished it last week. Should be a fun rod!
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  #10  
Old 04-18-2018, 04:55 PM
Chris_NH Chris_NH is offline
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Another vote for 6' 2wt. Fiberglass rod. So enjoyable to fish. Overlining with a 3wt line makes all the roll casting weighted flies even easier.
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