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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I plan on purchasing a new fly rod this summer. Question is, what size / weight....for what I will be fishing. I plan on using this rod as a general purpose rod. I will be going to Oak Orchard NY this fall to fish for Steelhead and Salmon along with big Browns. I also fish the local streams and Rivers for bass and trout. What size / type rod do you all recommend? Thanks in Advance.
 

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Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you will not find a rod that is suitable for everything from stream trout to king salmon.

If you plan on targeting the kings then a 10' 9wt. If you latch into a hot coho or fresh king, be prepared for a long tiresome fight if you go much lighter. I have watched cohos on the Oak explode $600 fly rods, they will make your life miserable if you are not prepared to catch them. I learned my lesson my first trip up there trying to fish with a 10' 7wt, it just didn't have the stones to do anything with those salmon. With the extreme crowds, a 20 minute fight is not going to make you any friends.

However, if you are going a little later in the season when most of the salmon are zombies, a 10' 7wt would be perfect medicine to handle the steel, browns, and the occassional moldy salmon.

For a compromise a 10' 8wt might be what you want. Its gonna be a little too light for the fresh salmon and a bit too much for the steel/browns.

I wouldn't consider any of these rods very suitable for stream trout fishing. However, if you would go any lighter than the rods I mentioned, you are likely to have some major issues with landing fish (in a timely manner) on the oak.
 

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A 5/6 weight is pretty much the most versatile rod/reel for PA fishing, trout, smallies, etc. As mentioned above it won't be suitable for Steelhead & Salmon. An 8wt would be more appropriate for that. I own a 4wt. 5/6wt. and an 8wt.
Most of my fishing is done in rivers and streams for bass and trout and the 5/6 gets most of the use. I've used the 8wt. for bass and found out that even good fighting smallies don't feel like much of a fight on the stiff 8wt.
it really takes alot of the fun out of fishing for them.

I'd get a rod/reel that you will get the most use out of, perhaps you can borrow or rent one if you're taking a trip to NY for the Steelhead and Salmon because that is on of the few places you will end up using a heavier rod.
 

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I use a 6wt for Steelhead in Erie and the fresh ones can give me quite a time getting them in.Wouldn't be prudent if in a crowd......
It works okay for Bass and warmwater fishes, about the right size and can throw some smaller stuff for trout if need be..
But for up North at least an 8wt so you have a fighting chance........
 

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The closest you are going to be able to get it done with would be a 9' - 9'6" 7wt. This will be decent for bass rivers, over-kill for trout streams, and decent for the Oak - if you stay away from the mud sharks (kings). I would recommend a 5 wt and an 8wt though, that would cover everything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks a lot guys. This is exactly the kind of info I am looking for. Ive been fishing my whole life but dont know a whole lot about fly fishing yet. Seems like maybe I should purchase 2 rods. I would definately get more usage from a 5 or 6 wt rod being that I fish smaller streams and rivers for smallies and trout more often than hitting the bigger waters for salmon and steel. Next question - being a relative beginer, what makes of rods do you guys reccomend that wont break the bank - especially if I am looking to purchase two rods now.....any combos that you are aware of?
 

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I have a friend in Milford that has his own line, I purchased the 5/6 wt. from him last year and I've very pleased. The reels are the best I've ever seen. I also
like St. Croix rods alot for the money but not the reels they include in their combos.

I can hook you up with my friend if you like. I paid $150 for the set-up completely rigged with backing, fly line and leader. I paid about the same for my St. Croix 4wt outfit, great rod but definitely not the best reel. I can post a pic of the 5/6 wt. if you like. Smoothest drag I've seen, after buying it last year I can say that it's the first time I've consistently fought fish using the drag on the reel, smooth as silk, even though I mistreat it and get sand and dirt in it, it still works great. I even bought a 4wt reel to go with my St. Croix rod.

There are guys that might tell you to go with a name like Sage or another high end outfit. My friend spent nearly $600 on a Sage and has used it 6 times in 2 years, he just never really got into it. I'd start with something less expensive and work my way up, with less expensive outfits you can purchase 2 if you decide you want the medium and the heavy rigs.
 

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Check into TFO for the rods, or keep an eye out for disontinued Sages, St. Croix, ect. The best advice I can give is GET A ROD WITH A WARRANTY. There is no reason not to, almost all of the manufacturers offer some type of warranty even for thier cheaper models.

Steelheading/Salmon fishing is very tough on reels. I would reccommend looking out for any Lamsons or Orvis reels you may find on sale. You should be able to get either for a tad over $100 on sale. I have an Orvis Vortex I use, the thing is a beast, but it may be a little more than you want to spend.

IMO for the great lakes fishing you can afford to spare a little bit on the rod, but you need the highest quality reel you can afford. You have will have your drag tested quite often, especially with the salmon. Just as I have seen salmon break rods, I have seen them fry drags on cheap reels.

The opposite is true for troutin, spend the money on the rod and save on the reel as a top notch drag is typically not required.
 

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Sage Launch Series is under $150...
Very nice rod....
 

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I fish the Oak a lot and a 8wt will be great for the steels and browns and as far as the salmon No Problem!! 30lb king wont bust it, Not even close! unless you dont know how to fish and hold your rod straight to the heaven like a lighting rod for all the pressure on the tip, People tend to forget the leader/tippit will break way before the rod does even on those Mean Kings. So dont waste your money on buying two rods, 8wt is perfect all around rod for the Oak, I know guys in Flordia that use an 8wt to stop the blistering speeds of Bones dead in there tracks.
Stop in at Orleans Outdoors tackle shop when you get up there and talk to Ron He will help you out alot set you up and if you buy your rod there he will take 10% off of it and if you buy a combo he will take 20% off. Sweet Deal! He sells all Brands of rods and reels. I use a Loomis rod and a Ross Rhythem reel (I personally like USA products and try to save up and buy them when i can) Its good lifetime waranty stuff but little pricy. But worth it for life. Get after them and have fun up there its a good time!
Fear No Fish!
 

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Oh and one more note If you do decide to buy two rods and want one for smaller fish like stocked trout and stuff then a 4 -5wt would be great for that I would buy a 5wt and 8wt good luck!!!
 

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Ironcity
If you still need a combo I have a St Croix 9ft 7/8 wht with an Orvis Rocky Mtn reel with a wf 7 wt line on it
Asking $250.00 or bo +shipping
 

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Check out Bass Pro... White River has some nice set ups for not a bad price. I have 3 rods from there, a 7' 4wt, 8'6" 5 wt, and a 9' 8wt. I really recommend the 9' 8wt Hobbs Creek full set up for NY. I bought it specially for salmon/steelhead on the salmon river. I payed $115 and it worked out great, didnt have much of a problem fighting fish
 
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