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OK, I'm back with another rod question. I just purchased a Euro action Sage 9141-4 and am curious as to what others think about it as an all-purpose salmon rod. Too much? Too little? I have both Rio and Airflo 9/10 floating and sinking tip lines for it and am assuming that these will properly load the rod. I am interested to hear from others who have used this rod for salmon. Clearly, it seems great for kings, but I am wondering whether it will feel like iron rod whilst fighting smaller fish. Are steelhead/sea run browns out of the question?

Thanks,

-Chris
 

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Chris,

I fished this rod for a month a few years ago for spring steelhead. I found that for my style, the 8/9 Midspey was a nice match but 9/10 lines will certainly not overload it. I can't say how it would be for 5 lb. salmon but I would think it would make a very servicable all-around stick. It will be a little heavy for some smaller fish and possibly a tad light for some big kings but for everything in between, I think you will be in the ballpark.

Peter,

Could you please explain what you mean by a 10 weight rod being "perfect" for fish in the 3-5# range? If this is so, what do you consider "perfect" for fish in the mid to upper teens?

sinktip
 

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Peter,

Just read your post again and I have to admit you have me really confused now. Are you saying stiff, heavy weight (10 and 11) rods are better for smaller fish because they allow for light tippets as the bend is all in the tip? With a softer rod you need heavy tippet as the bend is in the butt and this will break lighter tippet? And you don't want the tip of the rod pointed at the fish except on lethargic GL fish??? If I read your post correctly then I can only surmise with these lethargic fish you use a soft rod and baby them to make the fight interesting.

Confused in the land of non-lethargic fish,
Sinktip
 

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Hi,

There are a couple of reasons why I feel better about going to the river over- gunned rather than undergunned. The first is that it's got to be better to play a fish hard for a shorter time if the fish is going to be released. Its easier to bully a fish and get it in and get it back in the water with a bigger rod than a smaller one. I find the thrill for me is the take and the first run rather than a long fight.

Also, these days tippet material is so much stronger for the same diameter than it used to be, meaning that you can fish a higer breaking strain leader without sacrificing presentation. So, you can spec the rod up accordingly, rather than have to use a smaller rod to protect a weaker leader.

Cheers,

Sam
 

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Man Peter, even your explanation of your troubling statements troubles me :Eyecrazy: I don't see a two camps of "light tippet, stiffer rods" and soft rod heavy tippet as being valid. Most of the guys I know who fish light tippets fish soft rods so that the entire length of the rod goes into absorbing the shock of sudden movements of the fish. The thankfully over "noodle rod craze" is a good example of this. I do agree that a stiffer rod transmits more of what the fish does to the angler but the time it takes to land a fish depends (aside from the fish itself) on how much the TIPPET is being used to its maximum. Soft rod, fast rod, it DOESN'T matter! A soft rod can be more forgiving as it is easier to use the entire length of the rod as a shock absorber. Now any rod pointed straight at the fish has NO shock absorbing function, a rod that is bent with the butt of the rod pointed straight at the fish with the rod in an 180 circle is the maximum shock preventor. Obviously stiffer rods in this position are putting more strain on the fish. Rods also must act as a lever. Yes a soft rod bends into the butt more easily than a stiff one, and this gives you a shorter lever, however when a rod is curved in a shallow arc and nearly pointed at the fish, you are by default bending only the BUTT of the rod and you can put maximum strain on a fish, soft rod or stiff one. Light tippets dictate fighting the fish with a rod bent in a maximum arc, heavy tippets can more fully be used with a rod in a shallow arc, bending the butt of the rod. Tremendous presssure can be brought to bear with all rods in this manner.
 

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Peter, I understand and agree completely. I think it's a matter of local perspective though.

I too am from the GL camp. Long 2-6 lb leaders and 32 degree water being the norm. When you're used to those conditions, you notice every little thing that happens.

First I'll say, I have spent VERY LITTLE time fishing the PNW. But when I was there I saw no one using less than 10 lb test. Most were using considerably heavier tippets.

On a recent flats trip the guide was amazed at how well I could walk the razor's edge on pressure and tippet strength. On the other extreme are those guys who fish 8X tippet for 4lb trout on spring creeks. Those guys probaly see subtle nuances that we couldn't see with a microscope.

To us losing ANY steelhead on 12lb seems almost absurd. The spring creek guys wouldn't raise an eyebrow when we land 20's on 4lb. Assuming a good fisherman can stay within 10% of his breaking strength, the following would be relevant. At 15lb your variance would be 1.5lb, 4lb-.4lb, 8X- roughly .07lb! It's pretty easy to see that the situations you're used to would dictate the differences you would notice.
 

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peter-s-c said:
I've grown not to like the fight of a big, tough fish on a soft rod.
In a laboratory setting a soft rod would make sense. Put a soft rod and a fast rod in rod holders, then tie on the same tippet and attatch the same fish. The soft rod wins every time. Rod holders can't react to the fish though, humans can.

I don't fish in a lab though. Fighting a fish on the butt of a soft rod transmits little feeling to react to. Fighting a fish on the tip though transmits every "thought" of the fish up the line.

Regardless of the rods action, X pounds of pressure= X pounds of pressure. Fast action rods just let me walk that line a little better.
 

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I could use a heavy tippet with a slow light rod or my 10 weight for 3lb trouts but don't think I will anytime soon. I've done the former when I was out of tippet and have caught trout incidently while fishing steelhead.

This is all an exercise in elasticity and deformation of materials on the rod line and leader. Dr Swing's shock absorber concept is good. Stretch in the tippet and line is smalll compared to that of the rod. A soft rod will travel through a greater distance while still applying force to the fish. Noodle rod (drift gear) folks regularly fish 4lb test for steelhead.
 

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IMHO, the sage 9141 is a good rod for steelhead, I bought this rod specifically for throwing tips on those windy days when a heavier line works better. Most of the steelhead we get are around 8-12 lbs, and the 7141 has been my first choice although the 9141 is a rod I'll also use.

For salmon, depending upon the kings you'll be targeting, I would think that it would be a little under-gunned. Last season on the Alagnak, we chased the occasional chinook on an 11 weight single hander, and for those big boys, sometimes we were wishing for a 12 weight. With the double-handed rod being such a long lever, the mechanical advantage is being worked on you by the fish, and if I were fighting a 30-50 lb. fresh chinook and wanting to get it to the beach before it was spent, I would be looking at least at a 11-12 weight rod.
 

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It doesn't matter how stiff the rod is if you know how to fight fish. A great lesson can be learned by fighting tarpon on relative light gear. You wouldn't want to stick you stiff tarpon rod straight up in the air. Won't work. You want to ignore the leght of the rod and fight the fish with the cork. You can feel everything the fish is doing right in you hand and react immediately. Fighting fish this way was born in the era of soft rods but is still the way to go with modern super stiff rods. Holding the rod straight up in the air, soft or stiff, is a great way to lose fish unless you are using barbed flies. A lot of the time when guiding you might tell someone to keep their rod tip up but that is simply because they are new or you are not sure if they can react quickly and properly to what the fish is doing. It is the safest bet if they do not know how to fight fish. Stiff/soft, light or heavy tippet, it is the same...just takes practice so we all need to go hook a few more fish and have fun doing it.

Greg
 

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Good thoughts Greg. Tarpon guys regularly fight 100lb fish with under 20 lb tippet and have extremely low fight times. Guys like Stu Apte and Lefty Kreh are amazing when it comes to subduing large fish quickly.

Peter, my only question about this whole thing. Why are you fighting fish with an upright rod? I prefer the down and dirty tactics the tarpon guys use when fighting my fish whether or not my rod is soft or fast. I have never had issues with long fight times although for steelhead the lightest my tippet gets is 8lb maxima. To me an upright rod gives you no leverage on a fish. With all due respect it just sounds like your technique could be better and this is not an issue on what tippet matches what rod action.

I really do not think there is any correlation at all and I fish ultra fast as well as slower rods. I think we are making something out of nothing which in the end just causes confusion. We have enough stuff to keep straight in spey casting/fishing and this aint one of them.

My $1.20,

-sean
 
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