6 weight switch for steelhead? - Page 2 - Spey Pages
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post #16 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-04-2019, 09:22 PM
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You know itís kind of funny, there are times where a 6wt almost felt overkill for some fish and times where I was using an 8wt and got beat up!

But yes, for Great Lake tribs a 6wt has the juice (most rods) to stick it to a Steelhead. Someone mentioned above fighting the fish with the butt of the rod......very true. If you think there will be big fish in use some 15lb tippet and bend that rod like you wanted to break it! Iím always surprised how much stress these switch/Spey rods will take. Lots of reserve power in these longer rods

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post #17 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-05-2019, 01:03 AM
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Originally Posted by jdcross View Post
I think it comes down to respect for the fish.

Can you quickly land and release the fish you are seeking with a 6 wt rod?
I have seen too many steelhead caught with a noodle of a rod not up to the task and by the time the fish is landed the lactic acid build up will surely kill the fish.

Itís not about using lighter and lighter rods.
Itís about preserving our steelhead
You can definitely use a 6wt to land steelhead quickly. The one I landed took all but 4-5 minutes to land...very slow current, drag system reel and using all parts of the rod to fight/tire the fish...also using 15lbs leader helps to manage the entire set up. Now, with that said, with my 8/9wt NRX, I wouldn't have to do the ballet dance to fight the fish...in fact, I would look like a hero standing in one place fighting the fish with one hand

With that said, would I use the same 6wt after a good rainfall and the current is stronger, no I wouldn't...that's why I have a 7wt and 8/9wt.

Back east (Ontario), I too have seen many fish floating belly up down the river as a result of guys using a 4lb leader, noodle-ish rod (centerpinning - not spey) and fighting the fish for 20 minutes. They would run up and down the river trying to fight the fish and when they finally landed it, there were hi-5's all around...after "beaching" it, covered with sand, they release the fish too quickly and the fish just goes belly up as it is exhausted.

Bringing it back to BC, on the same river last fall (Chilliwack/Vedder river), I saw a guy walk a 5-6 lbs coho down the river 40 feet yelling "Fishing ON!!!" and telling everyone to pull in their lines...by the thickness of the rod and the bend of the rod, I know he uses the same rod for Springs/Kings/Chinooks
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post #18 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-05-2019, 07:00 AM
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Thanks guys. I am looking at a sage 11 foot 4 inch 6 weight for east tribs. I have a Scott L2h 11 foot 5 in 8 weight but its a little heavy to swing around all day for steelhead. I really don't swing for salmon or steelhead. I use the chuck and duck rig (bottom bouncing) for steelhead and salmon. Very effective method here on the east coast. I am looking at a switch rod around 5 1/2 ounces or a little more.
A story from personal experience, so take it FWIW. I fish the SR in Nov/Dec for steelhead using a 7 wt switch. I target steelhead exclusively. Last year a fresh King salmon slammed my intruder and took off for the Lake. I decided to do the ethical thing and play him to land and release, instead of breaking off. After a few runs, he was coming to shore,,,,, so I thought,,, takes off like a Maserati again and snap goes the rod. Did I do anything wrong? I didn't think so,,,, on the cork, etc,etc,etc,
That being said, I think a 6 wt switch is a great rod for steelhead in the NE. Moral of story is,,,even though you might not be targeting salmon, if there in the mix and decide to whack that fly,,, be prepared. Good Luck and have fun.
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post #19 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-06-2019, 06:31 PM
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I think most that would need to ask the question "is a 6 weight enough rod for steelhead ?" should not be using a 6wt. yes, for those relative few anglers that really know how to fight and land even a fairly small steelhead. lots of folks i've observed (the majority) shouldn't be using a 6wt for a 4lb wild trout !
think about the fish you might hook, not just the typical fish in the river. besides, is there any HARM in landing a typical fish more quickly ?


just because you think you can safely do it, doesn't mean everyone else can !


.
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insta-release not Insta-gram !!

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post #20 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-06-2019, 10:13 PM
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Correct me if Iím wrong but ive read from more than one source that a single hand 10ft 7wt is considered the rod of choice for great lakes steelhead. Doesnít a 6wt switch have more backbone than a single hand 7wt? If thatís the case shouldnít the 6wt switch be plenty of rod? Or am I missing something? Not trying to create any controversy...genuinely curious. That being said I was talking to guides that guide the chagrin river in Ohio and they said they almost exclusively use 6wt switch rods for fish in March and April. And the same rods for cattaraugus creek in New York in the fall.

???
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post #21 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-08-2019, 08:00 PM
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It's all about survival of the fish that are caught and released - will they survive after a long, drawn-out fight? I only fish C&R, and in all my fishing that rule is No.1, be it steelhead or trout. When I am fishing for steelhead, the minimum weight rod for summer would be a 7 wt. single hander, and a 9 wt. for late fall and winter fish. Spey rods that are a bit more stout may go one weight lighter, though I personally wouldn't. Like it has been stated earlier, it's all about respect - respect for the fish, and respect for yourself for being a good steward.

Jet sleds/boats destroy redds in the spawning grounds with their turbulent jet wash, scouring the bottom and further burying some of the eggs while ejecting the rest into the stream flow to be eaten. To protect fish, these boats must be restricted from the spawning grounds.
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post #22 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-08-2019, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by ryc1972 View Post
Correct me if Iím wrong but ive read from more than one source that a single hand 10ft 7wt is considered the rod of choice for great lakes steelhead. Doesnít a 6wt switch have more backbone than a single hand 7wt? If thatís the case shouldnít the 6wt switch be plenty of rod? Or am I missing something? Not trying to create any controversy...genuinely curious. That being said I was talking to guides that guide the chagrin river in Ohio and they said they almost exclusively use 6wt switch rods for fish in March and April. And the same rods for cattaraugus creek in New York in the fall.
Yep, you hit the nail on the head. The only reason I go heavier is for bigger rivers. It helps in casting farther and if you have a bunch of water cruising at Mach 1, that 10lb steelhead fights like a 20lber in smaller rivers. But yes, you are correct. A 6wt switch has way more juice than a 7wt single handler.........no question man. Iíve been totally schooled by steelhead on a 7wt single handier, and brought Kings to hand in reasonable time with a 7wt Spey.......no question about it

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in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

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post #23 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-08-2019, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by rakuz66 View Post
A story from personal experience, so take it FWIW. I fish the SR in Nov/Dec for steelhead using a 7 wt switch. I target steelhead exclusively. Last year a fresh King salmon slammed my intruder and took off for the Lake. I decided to do the ethical thing and play him to land and release, instead of breaking off. After a few runs, he was coming to shore,,,,, so I thought,,, takes off like a Maserati again and snap goes the rod. Did I do anything wrong? I didn't think so,,,, on the cork, etc,etc,etc,
That being said, I think a 6 wt switch is a great rod for steelhead in the NE. Moral of story is,,,even though you might not be targeting salmon, if there in the mix and decide to whack that fly,,, be prepared. Good Luck and have fun.
If your switch rod was fiberglass it wouldnít have broke

I landed this fish in less than 20min with a 6wt fiberglass switch. Now, 2 things though need to be said:

1. A heavier rod would have been better because I thought this rod was going to snap the entire time!
2. I had this rod literally bent between my hands! Low rod angle and I pulled on him so hard I got tired. But hey, Echos $30 no question warranty can encourage some boldness

But as others have stated, in which I am in total agreement; unless you are willing to take your rod to the edge and/or know how to use your rod to apply maximum pressure,.............go big for the sake of the fish
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You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

PSALM 16:11
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post #24 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 07:04 AM
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Yooper-fly,, I don't know anything about fiberglass rods, so why would that have helped? Curious
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post #25 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-10-2019, 12:15 PM
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Is the fish in the picture a kelt?
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post #26 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-10-2019, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by rakuz66 View Post
Yooper-fly,, I don't know anything about fiberglass rods, so why would that have helped? Curious
Glass just bends more without locking up. It’s also why glass rods are slower and more full flexing than graphite. Just the nature of the fiber. Might be a slight disadvantage for pure casting but you can pull way harder on a glass rod without breaking it than you can with graphite. Many big game salt rods are a glass blend for that reason.
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post #27 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 08:19 AM
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Sage 6119. Great rod.
I agree. I use the tcx 6119 everywhere in the great lakes from west michigan rivers, though erie steelhead alley. excellent rod.
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post #28 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-13-2019, 01:13 PM
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Some random thoughts, hopefully on target to the original post--first, line weight really has little to do with landing a fish. So the discussion of 6 wt versus anything else is related only to the rod. I had an estimated 12 pound fish on the line on the Muskegon in SW Michigan with a 7 wt softer action rod and I couldn't lift the fish to the surface to net it. With a much faster action 7 wt a similar fish would not have been a problem. I'm paranoid C&R, so I want a stiff action rod to help me get the fish in quickly and release it as fresh as I can. I've fished a 12'9" 5 wt rod with plenty of backbone to release the fish alive.

Second, I tried to learn to spey cast with a switch rod and was about to chuck the whole two-hand business until someone told me grow up and get a longer rod. My casting improved almost immediately. Since you can't catch a fish unless you can cast to where they are from where you are, it seems somewhat strange to limit oneself by fishing shorter rods. I do have two shorter rods for smaller rivers and ones with over-hanging limbs, but I really prefer longer rods for the sake of casting ease.

Gene
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post #29 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 10:41 PM
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I agree there is no golden rule as to 6wt vs 7wt. Depends on a lot: the specific rod characteristics, the average size of fish in your system as well as how you fight fish. Personally, I just bought a Meiser 11068CX and caught my first Steelie, a 9-10 lbs Hen. The rod was perfect, not too stiff, with enough backbone to land her quickly.

When I was ordering, I originally wanted a 11057CX. But Bob strongly suggested the 678 for the purpose I intended… He was right! He knows his rods…

Personally, I would err on the side of slightly stiffer, rather than softer… In the interest of fighting the fish...

Simon D.

Last edited by SimonD; Yesterday at 10:30 PM. Reason: Corrected the model numbers of the rods.
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