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Discussion Starter #1
Have a 11', 6-wt, TFO Switch and am looking at a 7/8-wt, TFO Spey for big water, fly swinging. Questions is what factors determine the length of the rod? Specifically; when is a 13' rod preferable to a 14' rod.

Thanks,

JDG
 

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I have a 14' rod and fish it mainly on the Clearwater river in Id. That is a big river and it is a good size, some fish longer rods? Just how big is the water you are planning on fishing? I have fished my 14' rod on a few mid sized rivers and it was to long. I fought trees and brush as well as reaching quite a ways across the river. It was just to much rod. So if you want a versatile rod some thing in the 12.5 to 13.5' range would be plenty. If you will spend the majority of your time on really big water you may appreciate a longer rod.
 

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Like LD1 said, it depends on river(s) you will be fishing. There is no need for a 15 or 16' rod on a river that is 75' across in most places. Now fish a river where the holding water is 100+ feet out it is a different story. Yes you can maybe still reach it with your 13' rod but it is easier with a 14-15' one. Unless of course you are fishing high banks with brush and then the advantage goes back to the shorter rod.

I fish a large river every fall where a number of runs require a long cast. I have fished this river for the last five or six years with a 13' for 7. Yes it works but I ordered last week a 15' for 7 to make it a little easier. For most other rivers I fish, the 13 will continue to be my go to rod.
 

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Taking 13 foot-class rods* as the norm, and for good reasons: I think that the best reason(s) for a longer rod is when fishing a big river, where you could frequently need to go for an extra 10-25 feet of distance, and when fishing floating lines, when you often need to mend a lot of line.

*12' 8" to 13' 4"
 

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sushiyummy & C&R
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I would like to add your choice of line and sink rate makes another difference. I have rods I fish with at 12's, 13', 14', 15' and lately poking around with a 16'.

For instance, I have been casting with full sink belly lines around 75' at sink 1,2, and 4. The 16 footer makes it so much easier than a 15 footer. The 14 footer is my go to long scandi rod and I won't even consider them for the full sink belly lines. The 13 and 12's are my main Scandi rods.

Shoot me a PM and we can meet on the river one day with these rods and different lines for try.
 

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Fishmonger, where in Michigan are you fishing? I fish the Muskegon and Pere Marquette primarily. The Muskegon and Manistee rivers are perfect for 14' rod (or longer). The St. Marys in the u.p is made for long rods (best river in Michigan for atlantics and steelhead). I sometimes fish my 14' rod on the PM downstream from the green cottage access. Above that I use 11' 7 wt. Also the 14' is great for surf casting! And there is alot of opportunity in Michigan for that! I prefer the long rod and use it whenever I can.
 

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I use a 14' rod on big waters and really appreciate the ease of a big mend after the cast and over all control of the line thru the swing. 12" does make a difference imo.
 

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I have a 12'6 13' and 14 i fish the salmon rivee in ny and it rarely sees uae except in the winter time, a 14'er is alot of rod. I do like the length for mending but my 13'er is just fine.
 

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13 vs 14 Rod

In addition to the range you wish to cover and the type of line, you also need to take into account the wading depth. If you often wade to mid-thigh or beyond, then a 14 footer will achieve your desired range much more easily.
 

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14 Foot

It's not that specific on this side of the Atlantic. Indeed, the 14 foot is probably displacing the long-established standard 15 in England and Scotland as the most common choice on medium sized rivers.
I own and use 12, 13 and 14, selecting on the day depending on the breadth, height and clarity of the water I am fishing; the weight of fly and tip required; and the wading depth.
 

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All other things being equal - ie weight of rod, line weight etc. - I think a longer rod is more effective for both fishing and casting.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ended up buying a used Winston BIIX 7133. Can't wait to put it to work here in Michigan.
 
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