Spey Pages banner

1 - 20 of 54 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
417 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I was just reading an interview done with Bob Clay. The question was asked " what is your favorite rod for your home water" Bob said it was a 11ft. 5/6 wt. He pointed out that a 5/6 is a 350 grain rod. That translates to a 12wt. single hand rod. Now I would think that for Kispiox steelhead I would choose at least an 8wt. But Bob makes a good point. At times I feel way over gunned when using a 7wt. for great lakes fish. Rob
 

·
Relapsed Speyaholic
Joined
·
5,428 Posts
I have landed fish on a 4/5 and I’ve landed them on an 11/12. And every line rating in between. All work but I think the important consideration in making sure the rod that you use is sufficient to land and release the fish in a timely manner without putting undue stress on them. For my local hatchery summer runs, the 4/5 works. For wild B-run fish in a few rivers, it would be criminal to use anything less than an 8 or larger.

I’m sure Bob Clay knows more about the Kispiox than I ever will but based on my four trips up there, I would never use a 5 weight.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
18,325 Posts
I have landed fish on a 4/5 and I’ve landed them on an 11/12. And every line rating in between. All work but I think the important consideration in making sure the rod that you use is sufficient to land and release the fish in a timely manner without putting undue stress on them. For my local hatchery summer runs, the 4/5 works. For wild B-run fish in a few rivers, it would be criminal to use anything less than an 8 or larger.

I’m sure Bob Clay knows more about the Kispiox than I ever will but based on my four trips up there, I would never use a 5 weight.
I doubt the 5/6 has the lifting power that a 12wt does, personaly I wouldnt use anything less than a 8wt any place theres a high chance of 30# steelhead.
There was this guy, his name was Archimedes, he taught the world about levers, fulcrums and applied force ... among other things. I think people should re-read his teachings, just brilliant !! So concise, the scientific community made it into a "law".

Mr. tip and Mr. Riffle have read that "law" and understand it I see ... I'm with them :D:D


Mike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
417 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
In one of Bob's videos he shows and explains his technique when playing a fish. He keeps the rod tip low and plays the fish more off the butt of the rod instead of the tip. Could be why he feels comfortable using a lighter rod. Of course when I fished with him 30 years ago we were still using single hand 8wt. and double hauling teeny 300's. Thank god for 2h rods now.Rob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,185 Posts
I've landed steelhead on 4 and 5 wt speys. If fish are smaller, half pounders especially, they are a lot of fun. And fighting a big fish off the reel is possible, but I find having the lifting strength to lift a larger fish at the end of the fight isn't there, and at that point I really want that fish let loose, it draws things out. I prefer a 6 or higher when expecting fish of 6 lbs or more.

Having a net person ready makes a difference, as it's fairly simple to fight them off the reel of a lighter set up, and have then fairly well subdued and hanging just out of reach of tailing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
A bamboo rod can have WAY more pressure applied to it than a graphite rod all things being equal.

If you're fighting the fish more off the reel and using heavier leads that can impact how much pressure you can apply much more so than just the stiffness of the rod.

I doubt you would see him prefer a rod of that type if made from graphite.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
71 Posts
Are we talking two different things here? casting versus lifting?


A 350 grain rod equates to a 12wt SH in casting power perhaps, but not fighting strength.


I fish SoCal offshore with live bait and its critical to fish the rod to the bait. Small bait doesn't swim well on heavy line and simply wont get bit- period.

As the stocks dwindle, and bait is often smaller as well you have to down size the rod. Most times you fish a rod based on the line lb test There are more and more people who don't even use the rod as a fighting tool in the old fashioned sense because the lighter rod doesn't have pulling power. Once hooked the fish is fought by using the reel, not the rod. Point almost straight at the fish and use very small moves to gain line. It's striking how easy and fast you can land a big fish using the method.

In Japan there is a group that fish jigs very deep on really light, limber rods. They use small reels with strong smooth drags and catch large fish easily using the same technique.


Archimedes was right- a short lever will have more lifting power than a long one. That's not debatable. If we are using 11-15 ft spey rods we lose power compared to say a 9 ft SH.
 

·
Drags are for Sissys
Joined
·
314 Posts
Have fun with a 4/5/6 weight 11 or 12 footer while in standing in waist deep stained water on a windy day on a run where the price of a admission is a larger fly; sink tip and a 100 ft cast. :surprise::surprise:

Not disagreeing that down sizing rod weight and size inst a good thing when it is possible; but often the rod weight and length used to fish steelhead is dictated by conditions and not the fish size. (at least where; when and how I fish steelhead) :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
408 Posts
Ive had this conversation/debate many times. I even started a thread in the general section of this forum quite a few years ago about it. "Under gunned"? Maybe? Anyways, I've always been a firm believer that a heavier rod is far better than a lighter one when it comes to the best thing for the fish. I've had guys say they can play and land a 20# steelhead with no issues all day long on a 5/6# rod, and do it in a timely manner. Well, what's a timely manner? I'm in the mind set that Id rather get a fish in the net that's still thrashing then one bellied up that just slides into the net and doesn't move during hook retrieval. So just for instance, this fall I landed a fish pushing 25# and was lucky to do so. Twice well into my backing (150' of running line and about another 50' of backing). At one point I could not turn the fish. It just held to the point I though it was hung up. My rod was literally "corked". 13'6 8# ECHO 3 with 20# leader. I did manage to finally turn the fish and manage to winch it back but at the end of the day, a 5/6# would not of got the job done. If it did, the fish would have been dead. I think a 5/6 is great if 6-8lb steelhead in smaller systems is they mainstay. For Skeena drainage fish, 8# minimum.
 

·
Broken Down Spey Freak
Joined
·
1,668 Posts
Peter Charles has talked, a few times, about a test he did with the Pro4x line up I believe. He set up a means to measure pull so it was the same for each rod weight/length. What he found was that each rod pulled the same amount which I think he said was only about 5lbs. This was with him pulling as hard as he could with all rod weight and lengths in the line up. You would need to confirm with him about the exact details but I found it interesting to say the least.

Longer rods for bigger rivers. Of course conditions play a big part of this equation.

Dan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
654 Posts
Watched an interesting video of a saltwater angler experimenting with the lifting power of s/h fly rod on the beach complete with bucket o' sand and pully. The more aloft the rod was held to pull the less weight could be lifted.

Bob Clay plays his fish also with the rod low, in order to protect the tip of his hollowed bamboo rods, as a result it makes sense that he is able to use lighter rods.

Watch Lee Wulff cast to then land Atlantics on a single hander..


Malcolm
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
238 Posts
Are we talking two different things here? casting versus lifting?


A 350 grain rod equates to a 12wt SH in casting power perhaps, but not fighting strength.
Bingo. Exactly what I was thinking. Although this conversation is all relative to the potential size of the fish in the water you're fishing.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jdcross

·
The Skeena in the fall
Joined
·
374 Posts
While a 12 wt. single and a 5/6 double may throw similar line weights there is a difference in how the rods play the fish

If we take a 9' 12 wt and a 20+ Kispiox steelhead, I'll assume we would be holding that 9' rod somewhere on the blank above the corks.
Let's say at the 2' mark
That gives the steelhead a 3.5 to 1 lever on the fisherman.
Now if we took a 13' rod at the 2' mark it's a 6.5 to 1 lever
That means the long lightweight rod gives the fish the maximum leverage and will require the fisherman to be play the fish off the reel not the rod.
That also means it will take longer to bring the fish in to release.

In this time of reduced numbers it's criminal to play a fish too long.

This summer on the Dean River I watched a fisherman from California play a 40" + steelhead to exhaustion.
It went belly up when he eventually released it.

We need to respect the fish and take tackle geared to the largest fish we may encounter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,090 Posts
I can play a steelhead with a reel and no rod, but that's not how I want to do it. So I use a fly rod. It makes it ever so much easier to deal with the slack line that occurs during the give and take struggle.

The references to Archimedes are applicable - up to a point. The thing about fly rods is that as they bend, the length of the lever gets shorter. So if I'm using my old 15' 10 wt. Hardy to play a fish, it is so flexible that my working lever length might be only 5 or 6 feet long. Otherwise it would be a terrific workout for me.

I'm partial to my 7 wt Spey rods, a CND 13' 4" Solstice and a Sage Z-axis 7136, the latter being a bit more powerful rod. These are my everyday steelhead rods, and I'm comfortable using them for steelhead as large as they are ever likely to come. That's easy to say given that I caught steelhead up to 23 pounds on a single hand fiberglass 8 wt.

I have one of Bob Clay's 11' 5/6 wt rods. I think the line I use on it is about 300 gr, not 350. I haven't used that rod on Bob's home water, and doubt that I ever would, although I know a couple old timers who fish it with 8 wt SH bamboo rods. I just don't find that comfortable, even though it can be done. When it comes to vertical dead lift power, there is no way that my Clay rod is equivalent to a 12 wt graphite tarpon rod, or even a 10 wt. I like my Clay rod for summer runs on rivers like the Morice, where I think the largest I've caught was around 12 pounds, but most are 8 pounds or smaller. It's also suitable for some of my home water summer run streams where the fish don't often exceed 10 pounds. I use a CND 5 wt for those same waters, and it's more than up to the task, always playing the fish with the lower half of the rod.

I think the evidence shows that it's possible to play large fish with light rods, or even no rod. It's just not as fun, and that's why we make our rod selections based on the size of the flies to be cast and the size of our expected catch.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,381 Posts
I totally agree with everyone on not being undergunned, and I also agree on how to play fish with the but of the rod.

But I have an issue with the whole lever fulcrum application. The problem I see, is that you aren’t just talking about 2 equal diameter and built fulcrums lifting a static weight off the ground. In fact, you are talking the opposite. Now, I’m no physics expert so bear with me a little, but I’ve noticed my 13’6” 8wt Spey rods have way more fish fighting power than a single hand 9wt even!
So, when you look at the fulcrums (the rods) they are built differently. Both flex, the Spey rod much more, which reduces the acute angle. The angle plays an important role as well. Also, you are dealing with a dynamic lift, the fish is pulling and moving against you. If the longer rod gives one side less pulling power, then it also gives the other side less pulling power. You can’t have a fulcrum that gives one person on one side way more pulling power and one person on the other side way less if they are using the same fulcrum.

Anyway, the butt section on my 15’ 10wt is a beast! I mean a friggin beast. Once you lay that thing down into the water with a fish on, it flexes down to the butt greatly reducing the acute angle......it’s no longer a 15’ fulcrum at that point and you have a whole boatload more power in the butt section. I guarantee, my 13’ 10wt has every bit of power and maybe more than a 12wt single handed......it’s a stouter beefier fulcrum. And when I lay it down and fight off the butt, there really isn’t any difference in the length of the fulcrum at that point.

Where the disadvantage comes would be trying to lift a grouper from the ocean floor. Then the length is at a disadvantage for sure. Or, when the fish is in close. But as far as river fishing, my 13’6” 8 wt will smoke King salmon into submission. Where I’ve seen my fair share of 9wt singlehanders being either shattered into pieces or the people having to play them twice as long.

When you talk about acute angle, that plays a huge role. For example, laying a rod down on its side doesn’t just move the fight to the butt of the rod, it reduces the acute angle of the rod to the fish as well. That’s why the most pressure you can put on a fish would be pointing the rod straight at something and going right off the reel. There are reasons for using the rod though as well. But think about it, when you want to break free from a snag, what do you do? Reduce the acute angle and point the rod right at the thing! Now if you point a rod straight at a fish it doesn’t matter if it’s a 20’ rod or a 2’ rod, same pressure. Likewise, how you decrease that acute angle changes the whole fulcrum/lever equation drastically.

I totally believe once you reduce the acute angle, the stronger lever is then the stouter one, and that is the Spey rod. I mean, that’s why a 12wt rod has more fish fighting power than a 7wt rod, it’s stouter. Likewise, Spey rods are incredibly stout in the butt section vs a singlehand rod.

I could be wrong, and I have always thought it was an interesting discussion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
This one has me scratching my head. I wonder how much stress the "average" two-hander could take. I'd imagine at some point, more "fish fighting power" (How is this measured? Some percentage of the stress required to cause failure?) doesn't matter because the weakest links in the chain from fisherman to fish are hopefully the knots in the tippet. Anyone here ever broken a rod playing a fish and care to share? Or any rod designers that could pitch in?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,381 Posts
Another thought, the fishing rods remind of cranes as well. I operated cranes for 5 years in the Gulf of Mexico and have seen my fair share of different styles and sizes. Needless to say, cranes that had 120’ booms could lift 1,000’s of more pounds than cranes with only 40’ booms. It had to do with design and stoutness. But there is a thing called the ‘force vector’. A crane has certain maximum it can lift, but it can’t lift it in every position. If the boom is extended totally parallel to the load, it is at its weakest. If that boom is brought straight up into the air, the acute angle is now completely changed, that’s where it is it’s strongest. The length of the boom (fulcrum/lever) is only one pet of the whole equation. The stoutness of the boom, and the acute angle of the boom, play a huge role. Some of the most powerful cranes in the world are the longest!!

Where Archimedes lever/fulcrum example would be totally applicable here is if the actual lever was exactly the same in every way shape and form. Like, if you took a singlehand 9’8wt rod, and were to simply extend it out 3’ without increasing the stoutness or anything, then yes, it would be weaker. But if you greatly increased the stoutness of that rod, you would have more power.

You are dealing with more than a simple lever example when you compare Spey rods to single hand rods
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts
There is no undergun rod, only undergun control. a light rod can break 15lb leader as long as you put full pressure. An 8wt rod, if keeps tip high, put not much pressure at all.
 
1 - 20 of 54 Posts
Top