What’s your winter steelhead setup? - Spey Pages
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-20-2019, 10:09 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
adamess's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: BC
Posts: 104
Getting cold. HOPEFULLY some fish are moving in. What’s everybody’s winter rig? Last couple outings have been my 9wt Renegade w/commando head and tip and a pretty standard intruder pattern. Depending on what the weather does this weekend I might try a longer rod with a Rage/ex fast sinking polyleader and a good ol Winters Hope or something on Monday...

adamess is online now  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-21-2019, 04:08 AM
Registered User
GWJ's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: NW Oregon
Posts: 386
I fish a few winter setups depending on river and water levels, and that quiver includes:

Burkie 8134 with either a 575 Nextcast Zone FF or FI with 12' T8 or T10 on a couple of larger systems.

Burkie 7134 with either 540 Skagit Compact or Skagit Switch or NC Steelhead Finder 515 FF or F1 with 10-12' of T-8 or T-10.

Burkie 7117 with a Skagit Switch 480 with 10' of T-10 on smaller rivers or second rod for runs with limited back cast or high flows fishing short.

Might also play with a CND BV GT 7132 with Skagit lines 480-510 or Nextcast Steelhead Finders around 515.

When I float stretches I typically bring two rods with different setups to cover different situations. When bank fishing I typically just pick a rod most appropriate for most runs on that river and stick with it for the day. With recent and ongoing rains, looking forward to dropping rivers and fresh fish in the systems. Good luck to all.
SLSS and coalbe like this.
GWJ is offline  
post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-21-2019, 10:30 AM
Relapsed Speyaholic
sinktip's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: All S-Rivers Above the Equator
Posts: 5,346
I try and keep it simple. I have lots of options but 95% of the time my winter setup is a Meiser 1308 MKX (pure joy) coupled with a Nextcast Steelhead Finder 45 - 525 gr float/intermediate version - and a 15’ Rio tip of Typ 3,6 or 8. On occasion, I will swap out the Steelhead Finder for the slightly longer Salar Finder 45 in the float/2 configuration. This meets most of my water matching needs.

The other 5% is when I just get the overwhelming itch to swing a long rod and then it is a 16’ Meiser MKX 9/10 or MKS 10/11 with a Winter Authority 70 and a Rio tip.


"Loud reels save lives"
sinktip is offline  
post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-21-2019, 05:09 PM
Registered User
Rifflehitch's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: all s rivers, but Sky is home.
Posts: 1,805
CND Skagit Specialists with 600grn Int compact, CND BV GT14' 8wt with Nextcasr 575grn FI zone, or if its freezing out and dont want to strip in line CND 15' Solstice with 70' GPS
GR8LAKES FLYER likes this.

Tight lines! B K Paige
"Occupy Skagit"
Wishin I was fishin the Sauk!!!
Rifflehitch is offline  
post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-21-2019, 07:21 PM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: All Rivers flowing into Georgian Bay
Posts: 17,590
Well, here in the GL's, it's all about keeping ice off your guides so you can fish hassle free.
This year, winter came early and the "ice bug" started around mid-November, so much for a mild winter

Saying that, for me it's about having enough "fishing" line out of the tip of the rod that can be cast, controlled and fished without shooting or stripping line and still cover the water I'm fishing effectively.

So here's what I've been using lately:

Meiser Highlander 14ft 7/8/9 EVE, matched with a #9 Gaelforce 15M Extended Spey Head, a 20ft thin mono leader and some feathers or fur lashed to a heavy iron. If I feel I need to get down further, I will add an Airflo 10ft poly or a 15ft Snowbee poly in either Fast or Extra Fast density right off the end of the EES15M Head. IF I need to slow it down some more, then a Snowbee 9/10 1D Short Head gets the nod. This line is trimmed back 4ft and a 10ft Airflo or 15ft Snowbee poly is looped on. Same offering applies to all scenarios

Like Duggan, if the feeling of "Big Stick" comes around, I will travel to a river that is more conducive to the big boy sticks. Then it's my Meiser 16ft 8/9/10-CX with a #10/11 73ft Gaelforce Equalizer, 22ft thin mono leader and same feathers or fur lashed to a heavy iron. Yup, I can add an Airflo 10ft or 15ft Snowbee poly right off the tip if I feel the need to go down more. If I need to slow down, then it's a #10/11 Drury Impact 73ft, full sink S1/S2, with or without the same polys as above ... same offering too
I will also have to decide if it's the above lines, or a Worcestershire salmon DT11 in either floating or intermediate. I have custom cut one end on both of the lines to accept higher density 15ft Rio Replacement Tips, if I feel the need I must get down more than the mono leader option. Oh and the same offering as above will be used


Have you Swung a Spey Fly today ??
GR8LAKES FLYER is offline  
post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-21-2019, 08:40 PM
registered text offender
matuka mike's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Orewashingontanaho
Posts: 1,330
while I have others, 3 burkies get most of the love. usually my rod/line choice depends on the size of the river, the volume of water, wadeability, fly size/weight and therefore tip size I want.

my 7125-3 usually gets a 450gr Skagit switch 18-20ft head, I forget exactly. usually i'm throwing 10' t-11, but occasionally a hair longer, or 10' of t-14. in low/slow water sometimes an original 6/7 rio shortheadspey chopped @ 10' with 10' t-8 and moderately or unweighted flies. the latter being my favorite casting winter rod/line combo, even if not the most versatile of all.

7134-4 throws 540gr skag compact most often. frequently up to 12' of t14. this combo gets the most use by far and it shows. also throws the SHS in a 7/8 occasionally .

8142-4 usually throwing the gen2 rio SHS w/ 15' tips up to type 8 and moderate flies for big rivers, but not really fast water . occasionally a 580gr skag com for big/fast water and any tip or fly I want to throw.

the other 2 I throw are both echo 3's the 7130 and 8142. the latter would be my first choice if I could only have 1 winter stick. best all round winter Skagit rod for the $ ever imhho. of course its now discontinued

rarely would I ever want more than 2 different rods on the same river/same day.

insta-release not Insta-gram !!

Dog is my co-pilot !
matuka mike is offline  
post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-22-2019, 12:30 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: McKenzie
Posts: 290
Smaller rivers or tight runs: Sage Accel 8114-4 with an OPST Commando 400 gr and whatever I want to chuck. Or a AF Skagit Switch 480. Smooth.

Larger rivers or open runs: Burkie 7134-4. Historically used an AF 540 Compact Skagit but recently purchased a FIST 510. Love the "oomph" of this rod and it will launch it all.

"You need to go fishing. You have a drift inside you, that tells you to "go to the river". Goran Andersson
spfd jason is offline  
post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-22-2019, 01:13 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: OR
Posts: 3,079
8140 Meiser MKX
8126 Meiser MKS
7111 Meiser Highlander

Combined with Nextcast Zones and Coastals, rod combinations depends on size of river
SLSS is offline  
post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-22-2019, 02:09 AM
Registered User
RogueZilla's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Rogue River and a few others
Posts: 55
Inland on the Rogue:
I use a Hardy Zenith 12'6" 7wt w/a 4" Bougle & a Skagit Max 525.
Plus a Sage One 11'6" 8wt w/a Hardy Marquis LWT Salmon#2 and a Chucker line for nymphing (I know but the wife demands a fish now and then) on the skinny parts of the river.

On the coast mainly the Chetco where the fish are brutes:
I use a 13'6" 8wt Zenith w/a Tibor Riptide & a Skagit Max Long 600. If the Kings are around I'll fish a Sage Method 11'9" 9wt w/a Lamson Arx 4 and an Airflo 660 FIST

Hardy nailed it with the two hand Zenith rods. I just love them and they cover for my bad casting.

I learned to fly fish at 9 years old because putting a worm on a hook is gross. It still is.
RogueZilla is offline  
post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-22-2019, 04:53 AM
newcomer to spey casting
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Penns Creek
Posts: 158
In lower Great Lakes tribs, I use a 12'9" Echo Glass Spey 7 wt with a 500 grain Rio Game Changer in F/H/I and iMOW tips when flows are up and a slightly lighter Rio Scandi body and SA sonar polyleaders or OPST floating tips when flows are low. Flies are either weighted with a pair of bead chain eyes, one or two beads to a side, or unweighted. Maxima serves for tippet.

Most spots aren't that wide; the rod length helps me present to obvious fishy lies and pick them apart. In the rare spots I need more distance, the Echo Glass Spey gets the job done while looking pretty good for an inexpensive rod. It's tough too, an especially good feature since I can be clumsy clambering down steep banks.

Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk
bocast is offline  
post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-22-2019, 06:59 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 22
Winter Steelhead Rigs

I'm impressed by the number of fishers using the Burkie 713-4.
I also use a Skagit 540 with it.
On small streams, it's a Meisner Switch with lines supplied by Bob.
Oregon134 is offline  
post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-22-2019, 07:35 PM
Registered User
swingndeep's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Oregon
Posts: 707
Winter set up

Bigger water:
Burkheimer 7134 with nextcast 550 zone and 525 steelhead finder
Sage 8124 Euro with nextcast 575 costal and 550 zone
10-12 T-tips for all above.

Small stuff:
Sage 6126 Euro with 425 steelheadfinder
Burkheimer 7117 with a 475 costal.


Winters Hope Fly Fishers
swingndeep is offline  
post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-22-2019, 08:10 PM
Registered User
debarb's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: oregon
Posts: 709
Sage graphite IV 8124 w/ Rio Skagit 550gn for tips.

Or, Winston 7133 b2 w/ ballistic vector 450 for winter floating fun.
debarb is offline  
post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-22-2019, 08:10 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: PNW, w. WA
Posts: 1,081
I'm not seeing a need or even desire to use or assign different rods for the different rivers I fish. So I fish my favorite rod, my CND Solstice 13' 4" 7 wt on all medium and large rivers to good effect with a 450 gr Skagit and type III, VI, and occasionally VIII tips. I'll switch up for a couple smaller streams I fish and use the Forecast 11' 6" 6/7 wt and a 400 Skagit. Because of the shorter rod I like shorter tips of 10 and 12'. I don't think there's any rocket science with this. It's just a matter of personal preferences.
salmo_g is offline  
post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-22-2019, 11:41 PM
Registered User
coalbe's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Anything within 6hrs of Portland, Oregon.
Posts: 185
This thread seems to answer my internal debate of which Burkie, 7134 or 7139. Anyone rocking the 7139? Opinions?

"Take care of the fish, and the fishing will take care of itself." ó Art Neumann
coalbe is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Spey Pages forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Linear Mode Linear Mode
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome