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Old 08-15-2018, 07:17 PM
lakerman lakerman is offline
 
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Default what rod weight?

Been fishing with a 5wt for a few years now and seen a 16 inch trout caught on a 3wt, I think I'd like to get a 3wt, What are others using, opinions?
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Old 08-15-2018, 08:16 PM
ShortsideK ShortsideK is offline
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My fave used to be a 3wt., but now I do 99% of my fishing with a 4wt.
Ya, everyone is gonna say its too hard on the fish if you catch a big one and take too long to get it to hand. I've caught 19+" trout on my 3wt. and yes, it takes awhile to get them in, but they always swam away not seeming any the worse for wear.
I hardly ever use my 5wt. (Hardy Zenith).
Best combo of rods (imho) is a 4, 6, and 8wt. These will cover pretty much everything you'll come across.
Although, when its really windy, you can pretty much give up on the 4 wt., especially with really strong cross winds.
Since you already have a 5wt. maybe you should get a 3wt. There will be a BIG difference in how it casts, but also a big difference in how much fun it is to catch fish up to about 14".
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Old 08-15-2018, 09:36 PM
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I also do about 99% of my fishing with a 4wt.
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Old 08-16-2018, 03:33 AM
scel scel is offline
 
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Originally Posted by lakerman View Post
Been fishing with a 5wt for a few years now and seen a 16 inch trout caught on a 3wt, I think I'd like to get a 3wt, What are others using, opinions?
It depends where you fish and for what species.

The 5wt is a weird weight rod. It is a good trout rod, pretty good at all trout fishing, but not really exceptional. It cannot throw dries like a 4wt, nor can it throw streamers like a 6wt.

If you want to fish the Bow River, a 3wt is not a good tool. If you want to fish southern AB, it takes a very, very skilled caster to battle inevitable wind with a 4wt. On occasion, I have even broken out the 6wt to catch 8" brook trout, just to battle the wind.

Honestly, it is not ethical to use a 3wt to catch large trout on catch-n-release waters. Occasionally, it happens because, well, fishing, and that is totally awesome. If you are targetting large trout (16" or greater), a 5wt or greater is the tool to use

In Alberta, 4-6-8wt covers 100% of your fishing. In other places 3-5-7wt is the choice, but it leaves you undergunned for pike and, from my experience, underpowered to battle the wind in all the places where a 3wt would shine in ideal conditions (like the Oldman watershed or the Red Deer River watershed spring creeks).

If I were adding a second rod to my quiver, I would probably add a 6wt, to throw the streamers for those really big fish or a fast action 4wt that has enough power to punch the dry flies in a moderate wind.
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Old 08-16-2018, 06:57 AM
Mr Flyguy Mr Flyguy is offline
 
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Originally Posted by scel View Post
It depends where you fish and for what species.

The 5wt is a weird weight rod. It is a good trout rod, pretty good at all trout fishing, but not really exceptional. It cannot throw dries like a 4wt, nor can it throw streamers like a 6wt.

If you want to fish the Bow River, a 3wt is not a good tool. If you want to fish southern AB, it takes a very, very skilled caster to battle inevitable wind with a 4wt. On occasion, I have even broken out the 6wt to catch 8" brook trout, just to battle the wind.

Honestly, it is not ethical to use a 3wt to catch large trout on catch-n-release waters. Occasionally, it happens because, well, fishing, and that is totally awesome. If you are targetting large trout (16" or greater), a 5wt or greater is the tool to use

In Alberta, 4-6-8wt covers 100% of your fishing. In other places 3-5-7wt is the choice, but it leaves you undergunned for pike and, from my experience, underpowered to battle the wind in all the places where a 3wt would shine in ideal conditions (like the Oldman watershed or the Red Deer River watershed spring creeks).

If I were adding a second rod to my quiver, I would probably add a 6wt, to throw the streamers for those really big fish or a fast action 4wt that has enough power to punch the dry flies in a moderate wind.
Fully agree! I've been using a 10 ft 5wt (Sage VXP) in my canoe at a lake for the last few years, for suspending chiros and balanced leeches below an indicator, and it can handle the wind, the 20+ inchers and still let the 12 inchers give a good scrap. However, it's a brute when casting backswimmers, boatmen, minnows and then I go to a 5 or 6 wt 9ft.
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Old 08-16-2018, 08:44 AM
FlyDuke FlyDuke is offline
 
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3 weight rod with a 4 weight line. Shoots it farther than a 3 weight line. Helps in windy conditions. Fun stuff
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Old 08-17-2018, 02:47 AM
ShortsideK ShortsideK is offline
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Honestly, it is not ethical to use a 3wt to catch large trout on catch-n-release waters. Occasionally, it happens because, well, fishing, and that is totally awesome.
Sez who?
Another urban legend.
Who decided that catching large fish on lightweight fly rods was "unethical"? Me thinks its the old fuddy duddies that are stuck in the past.
No problem. They can carry on using their "sledge hammers" to catch fish.
Spare me...
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Old 08-17-2018, 05:43 AM
lannie lannie is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShortsideK View Post
Honestly, it is not ethical to use a 3wt to catch large trout on catch-n-release waters. Occasionally, it happens because, well, fishing, and that is totally awesome.
Sez who?
Another urban legend.
Who decided that catching large fish on lightweight fly rods was "unethical"? Me thinks its the old fuddy duddies that are stuck in the past.
No problem. They can carry on using their "sledge hammers" to catch fish.
Spare me...
x2
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Old 08-17-2018, 06:56 AM
Mr Flyguy Mr Flyguy is offline
 
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Originally Posted by scel View Post
If you are targetting large trout (16" or greater), a 5wt or greater is the tool to use.
The key word is targetting! So if you are going after the large trout, and consistently catching them like I do (), then a light 3wt is not a suitable tool.
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Old 08-17-2018, 07:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShortsideK View Post
Honestly, it is not ethical to use a 3wt to catch large trout on catch-n-release waters. Occasionally, it happens because, well, fishing, and that is totally awesome.
Sez who?
Another urban legend.
Who decided that catching large fish on lightweight fly rods was "unethical"? Me thinks its the old fuddy duddies that are stuck in the past.
No problem. They can carry on using their "sledge hammers" to catch fish.
Spare me...
X3

Rod weight has everything to do with the fly, the conditions, the water and type of presentation. It has little to nothing to do with size of trout unless we are talking gigantic.

My smallest rod is a 486 Sage ZXL which is a medium action light rod. It is an absolute joy to catch large fish on when in small to medium type waters. The only reason I don't have a 3 wt. is the inevitably winds one encounters most every day.

It has become obvious that the vast majority fish over sized rods using hopper/dropper, large terrestrials, streamers and thingamabobbers with chironomids. Even the lines being used makes delicate presentations impossible. Find yourselves a light action 3 or 4 wt. with a good trout taper and you will discover a whole new world of fly fishing. It is often more like hunting than fishing but very rewarding.
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Old 08-17-2018, 08:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scel View Post
It depends where you fish and for what species.

The 5wt is a weird weight rod. It is a good trout rod, pretty good at all trout fishing, but not really exceptional. It cannot throw dries like a 4wt, nor can it throw streamers like a 6wt.

If you want to fish the Bow River, a 3wt is not a good tool. If you want to fish southern AB, it takes a very, very skilled caster to battle inevitable wind with a 4wt. On occasion, I have even broken out the 6wt to catch 8" brook trout, just to battle the wind.

Honestly, it is not ethical to use a 3wt to catch large trout on catch-n-release waters. Occasionally, it happens because, well, fishing, and that is totally awesome. If you are targetting large trout (16" or greater), a 5wt or greater is the tool to use

In Alberta, 4-6-8wt covers 100% of your fishing. In other places 3-5-7wt is the choice, but it leaves you undergunned for pike and, from my experience, underpowered to battle the wind in all the places where a 3wt would shine in ideal conditions (like the Oldman watershed or the Red Deer River watershed spring creeks).

If I were adding a second rod to my quiver, I would probably add a 6wt, to throw the streamers for those really big fish or a fast action 4wt that has enough power to punch the dry flies in a moderate wind.
^I agree with 99% of this. I landed the biggest brown trout of my life testing a 2wt, and while I did land it and release it safely (pretty sure)..the whole time fighting it I was thinking F***! F***! F***! I don't think rod-weight-choice even IS a question of ethics, BUT, if you're going out with a 3wt. targeting big fish all the time, clearly you don't have a great deal of regard for the well-being OF the fish themselves. In my case, I was on a tiny stream expecting 10" fish, the 2wt. seemed like a good idea.

Seems like people have been parroting the 5wt as the ultimate trout rod forever, and while I think it's close to being that...I've yet to try a 5wt. that can bomb-out streamers in the wind effectively. Big streamers, OR heavy nymphs or nymph rigs/indicator rigs, etc. I've owned 2/3/4/5/7/9/10 over the years (multiple 3/4/5) and if I could start over...i'd probably get the best 4/6/8 I could afford, and be done with it unless I got into saltwater.

Naturally, not all rods are created equal...and someone's great/fast 4 may be better than someone else's lumpy/heavy 5wt., etc. So yes, it's entirely subjective. I'll add that if catching big fish on the "proper" weight fly rod has gotten boring to the point where you need to use a 3wt. to feel the thrill again, it may be time to take a break from fly fishing. lol
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Old 08-17-2018, 09:20 AM
goldscud goldscud is offline
 
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It's really about tippet strength and the skill of the angler. Someone who knows what they are doing can put a ton of pressure on a big fish with a 3wt. Conversely, I have seen guys fight 18" rainbows in the Bow for more than 10 minutes (rarely should be over 2 minutes). If you don't know how to aggressively land a big fish in a relatively short amount of time, maybe a bigger rod is something you should consider...and then learn how put some pressure on the fish
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Old 08-17-2018, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by goldscud View Post
It's really about tippet strength and the skill of the angler. Someone who knows what they are doing can put a ton of pressure on a big fish with a 3wt. Conversely, I have seen guys fight 18" rainbows in the Bow for more than 10 minutes (rarely should be over 2 minutes). If you don't know how to aggressively land a big fish in a relatively short amount of time, maybe a bigger rod is something you should consider...and then learn how put some pressure on the fish
We're all entitled to our opinions, but I don't agree with that statement. (and I owned one of the few, fast action 9' 3wt. rods I know of) Angler skill IS a huge component and agreed, some guys are inclined to over-play fish no matter what weight rod/leader/tippet is involved. All that said, like most of us, I've hooked fish too big for the set-up I was using and well...you just do the best/quick job of getting it in you can.

After my last post, I thought I should have added that I think there are other factors like rod length/action that play a big role. Obvious, yes, but REALLY exaggerated when using something like a float rod. (float/centerpin fishing) Progressive actions, long rods, 4X tippets, and (in my case) hefty Great Lakes steelhead and salmon. Landing a 10lb+++ fish on a 4X flouro tippet is entirely possible with modest skills BECAUSE of the rod length/action. Most bend through their whole length acting like an 11'+ shock absorber. At times, I've chosen long fly rods with slower actions to deliberately replicate this effect if I know big fish and short casts are in the cards. If you're more used to fast-action rods like I am, you have to train yourself to set with some authority, keep that bend deep into the grip, etc.
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Old 08-17-2018, 10:57 AM
scel scel is offline
 
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Originally Posted by ShortsideK View Post
Honestly, it is not ethical to use a 3wt to catch large trout on catch-n-release waters. Occasionally, it happens because, well, fishing, and that is totally awesome.
Sez who?
Another urban legend.
Who decided that catching large fish on lightweight fly rods was "unethical"? Me thinks its the old fuddy duddies that are stuck in the past.
No problem. They can carry on using their "sledge hammers" to catch fish.
Spare me...
It is not an urban legend. It is simple science. It has been documented, tested, and published. Further to that, it only takes a little bit of research to uncover the biggest fallacy in catch-n-release fishing, which is 'the fish swam away just fine'. If a fish is going to die, it will die 2-3 hours later as its organs start shutting down. If it is going to live, for the 2 hours it takes to recover, it is a prime target for predation.

Sure, you can land a large fish on a small weight rod with sufficient tippet, applying the proper side pressure, and counter-acting the fish movements, but you can put significantly *more* pressure with a higher weight rod, because, well, physics.

It is basic, simple science: as flow rates go down and temperatures rise, there is reduced oxygen in the water. The possibility of over-exhaustion, particularly of cutthroat and bull trout, becomes very real.

We ultimately each decide what is ethical and unethical. Ethics are the unwritten laws that we personally to which we each ascribe in order to live harmoniously in our society. If you want something written down, do a simple Google search on "ethics of catch and release". While on catch and release waters, it is the angler obligation to release the fish back into the water system as quickly as possible to maximise its possibility of survival. This means quickly getting it in, and quickly releasing it. But if you are the kind of person, who catches a 20"+ cutty, *then* takes a picture for your social media, "21" cutty caught on a 3wt!! S0 much fun!", should not be surprised when the stream gets shut down to angling.

You have to remember: it is the fuddy duddies that make the rules. If something is unethical now, it only takes a bit of time for it to potentially become unlawful.
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Old 08-17-2018, 11:44 AM
goldscud goldscud is offline
 
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Good post scel.
I personally don't have anything under a 4wt and have never felt the need
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Old 08-17-2018, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scel View Post
It is not an urban legend. It is simple science. It has been documented, tested, and published. Further to that, it only takes a little bit of research to uncover the biggest fallacy in catch-n-release fishing, which is 'the fish swam away just fine'. If a fish is going to die, it will die 2-3 hours later as its organs start shutting down. If it is going to live, for the 2 hours it takes to recover, it is a prime target for predation.

Sure, you can land a large fish on a small weight rod with sufficient tippet, applying the proper side pressure, and counter-acting the fish movements, but you can put significantly *more* pressure with a higher weight rod, because, well, physics.

It is basic, simple science: as flow rates go down and temperatures rise, there is reduced oxygen in the water. The possibility of over-exhaustion, particularly of cutthroat and bull trout, becomes very real.

We ultimately each decide what is ethical and unethical. Ethics are the unwritten laws that we personally to which we each ascribe in order to live harmoniously in our society. If you want something written down, do a simple Google search on "ethics of catch and release". While on catch and release waters, it is the angler obligation to release the fish back into the water system as quickly as possible to maximise its possibility of survival. This means quickly getting it in, and quickly releasing it. But if you are the kind of person, who catches a 20"+ cutty, *then* takes a picture for your social media, "21" cutty caught on a 3wt!! S0 much fun!", should not be surprised when the stream gets shut down to angling.

You have to remember: it is the fuddy duddies that make the rules. If something is unethical now, it only takes a bit of time for it to potentially become unlawful.
The weak link is the tippet not the rod. There is no one following around trout for two hours on the river to see if one weight of rod kills more fish than another. It is more speculation from someone with too much time on their hands and very little fishing experience trying to ram their imagined ethics on to other law abiding outdoormen.

You are right about how laws are made. A few elitists determine a practice unethical from their high horse position and keep flapping their gums until they get a following of sheeple with no skin in the game and no understanding of the question.

C&R kills fish period. Some places demand a person keep their catch and end their day because of the mortality rate of C&R. I choose to C&R with light tackle and sometimes take a few pictures too. Your ethics will never be a factor in that equation.
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Old 08-17-2018, 11:58 AM
ShortsideK ShortsideK is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Flyguy View Post
The key word is targetting! So if you are going after the large trout, and consistently catching them like I do (), then a light 3wt is not a suitable tool.
Many do not agree with your opinion.

Additionally, your definition of "large" may not be the same as the consensus.

Enjoy your sledgehammer.
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Old 08-17-2018, 02:15 PM
Runewolf1973 Runewolf1973 is offline
 
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According to research, 90% of fish caught on flies and lures survive being caught and released...but that's dependent on many factors. Personally, as much as I like playing a fish, I usually try to land it as quick as possible before I end up losing it lol. I currently use an 8wt rod when I'm fishing the Red Deer River since there is also the possibility of large pike and walleye although usually I'm just catching goldeye.
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Old 08-17-2018, 03:52 PM
Mr Flyguy Mr Flyguy is offline
 
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Originally Posted by ShortsideK View Post
Many do not agree with your opinion.

Additionally, your definition of "large" may not be the same as the consensus.

Enjoy your sledgehammer.
A 5wt is hardly a sledge hammer for a 20 inch trout...period.
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Old 08-17-2018, 04:09 PM
Mr Flyguy Mr Flyguy is offline
 
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Here's my final comment on the rod weight topic.

Suppose you're on the Bow in a guided trip (>$500) with a fellow angler, he's using a 3 or 4 wt, hooking the odd >18 inch fish but taking a ridiculous amount of time to bring them to the net, while you're using a sensible 5 or or more likely 6 wt, and controlling the fish efficiently. Wouldn't you be frustrated, wouldn't the guide be frustrated?
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Old 08-17-2018, 04:27 PM
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I use a 5 wt. I would highly recommend test driving several rods in the weight you are interested in before making a purchase to find out what rod works for you. Fish Tales in Calgary did this for me on a recent purchase and it was totally worth it.
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Old 08-17-2018, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr Flyguy View Post
Here's my final comment on the rod weight topic.

Suppose you're on the Bow in a guided trip (>$500) with a fellow angler, he's using a 3 or 4 wt, hooking the odd >18 inch fish but taking a ridiculous amount of time to bring them to the net, while you're using a sensible 5 or or more likely 6 wt, and controlling the fish efficiently. Wouldn't you be frustrated, wouldn't the guide be frustrated?
A 5 or 6 would be the appropriate choice because of the conditions, method of fishing, size of the water and effective flies used, not because of the size of the fish.
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Old 08-18-2018, 04:31 AM
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A 5 or 6 would be the appropriate choice because of the conditions, method of fishing, size of the water and effective flies used, not because of the size of the fish.
Ya, what he said.
I like this guy.
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Old 08-18-2018, 10:04 AM
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Let me start of this post by saying that I completely agree with having a suitable rod for the fish you are targeting, and that it is completely unethical to fish with too light of a rod. At the same time, there are several factors that influence what is too light.

-Taper: The difference in power between the tip and butt section. Casting is primarily done with the upper sections of the rod, fish fighting with the lower. Two 4wt rods will likely have similar power (they are both 4wt rods after all), but one can have double the power or more in the butt section. Case in point, I have a fast 2wt that has way more fish fishing power than a slow 4wt I own.

-River vs stream: In rivers, fish have the current to use to their advantage.

-Fish fighting technique: Many anglers simply do not use the butt of the rod and therefore don't fight fish nearly as hard as they could with that rod. If the angle of the butt of the rod and the line to the fish is more than 90 degrees, i.e. high sticking (bending the rod in a U shape), you're not actually applying as much force as you could be to the fish.

-How the fish is being landed: Do you often fish with someone who will net your fish for you, will you be netting your fish, or will you be landing them by hand? If someone else is netting your fish, you'll be able to fight the fish with the butt of the rod right to the net. If you're landing them yourself without a net, you'll need to tire the fish out to the point that you can control it with the tip of your rod. I have a fast 4wt that can easily drag in a 16" or bigger cutt using the butt section, but then when I try to land it I'm using the tip section and I suddenly have less control over the fish.

One thing to keep in mind, is even though a 6wt can apply more force than a 4wt, there are many time when the 6wt can apply more than needed, such as smaller hooks that can bend out. An experienced angler can probably put just as much force, if not more, on a trout with a 4wt as a less experienced angler can with a 6wt.
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Old 08-18-2018, 10:58 AM
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Let me start of this post by saying that I completely agree with having a suitable rod for the fish you are targeting, and that it is completely unethical to fish with too light of a rod. At the same time, there are several factors that influence what is too light.

-Taper: The difference in power between the tip and butt section. Casting is primarily done with the upper sections of the rod, fish fighting with the lower. Two 4wt rods will likely have similar power (they are both 4wt rods after all), but one can have double the power or more in the butt section. Case in point, I have a fast 2wt that has way more fish fishing power than a slow 4wt I own.

-River vs stream: In rivers, fish have the current to use to their advantage.

-Fish fighting technique: Many anglers simply do not use the butt of the rod and therefore don't fight fish nearly as hard as they could with that rod. If the angle of the butt of the rod and the line to the fish is more than 90 degrees, i.e. high sticking (bending the rod in a U shape), you're not actually applying as much force as you could be to the fish.

-How the fish is being landed: Do you often fish with someone who will net your fish for you, will you be netting your fish, or will you be landing them by hand? If someone else is netting your fish, you'll be able to fight the fish with the butt of the rod right to the net. If you're landing them yourself without a net, you'll need to tire the fish out to the point that you can control it with the tip of your rod. I have a fast 4wt that can easily drag in a 16" or bigger cutt using the butt section, but then when I try to land it I'm using the tip section and I suddenly have less control over the fish.

One thing to keep in mind, is even though a 6wt can apply more force than a 4wt, there are many time when the 6wt can apply more than needed, such as smaller hooks that can bend out. An experienced angler can probably put just as much force, if not more, on a trout with a 4wt as a less experienced angler can with a 6wt.
Unless you are fishing with size 4 hooks and 20+ pound test tippet, the rod is not relevant to the amount of pressure one can apply to a fish.

Around here you use 4 or 5x tippet and match the hatch or you won't need worry about fighting fish. I can easily straighten the hook on a small Caddis or break 4x tippet with any weight of rod from 2 to 12 weight.

I set my drags at or very near the breaking point and my 4wt Hardy doesn't scream any louder than my 6 weight. In fact an experienced angler can apply as much pressure more consistently with a full flexing 4 wt. than with a fast 6 IMO.
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Old 08-27-2018, 11:28 AM
Remps17 Remps17 is offline
 
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I would say if you were to own one rod only in Alberta it would be a 5wt, if you were to own two rods it would be a 4 and 6. I have multiple rods but find myself using my 4wt the most as it fits the fishing I do.

Catching fish on a lightweight rods isn't a matter of ethics, if you can turn the fishes head you have won the battle. someone using a lightweight rod for someone that doesn't know how to turn a fish and the their ability of their gear can cause more stress on a fish. But ethics shouldn't be in the conversation when it comes to rod choice in my opinion.
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Old 08-27-2018, 09:20 PM
ShortsideK ShortsideK is offline
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I would say if you were to own one rod only in Alberta it would be a 5wt, if you were to own two rods it would be a 4 and 6. I have multiple rods but find myself using my 4wt the most as it fits the fishing I do.

Catching fish on a lightweight rods isn't a matter of ethics, if you can turn the fishes head you have won the battle. someone using a lightweight rod for someone that doesn't know how to turn a fish and the their ability of their gear can cause more stress on a fish. But ethics shouldn't be in the conversation when it comes to rod choice in my opinion.
I knew I wasn't alone in this line of thinking.
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Old 08-28-2018, 07:29 AM
Don Andersen Don Andersen is offline
 
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Originally Posted by MK2750 View Post
Unless you are fishing with size 4 hooks and 20+ pound test tippet, the rod is not relevant to the amount of pressure one can apply to a fish.

Around here you use 4 or 5x tippet and match the hatch or you won't need worry about fighting fish. I can easily straighten the hook on a small Caddis or break 4x tippet with any weight of rod from 2 to 12 weight.

I set my drags at or very near the breaking point and my 4wt Hardy doesn't scream any louder than my 6 weight. In fact an experienced angler can apply as much pressure more consistently with a full flexing 4 wt. than with a fast 6 IMO.
MM2750 - you are bang on right.
Personally, line weight determines fly weight that can be cast. Fish size means nothing.

Don
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Old 08-28-2018, 12:12 PM
Mr Flyguy Mr Flyguy is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Andersen View Post
MM2750 - you are bang on right.
Personally, line weight determines fly weight that can be cast. Fish size means nothing.

Don
Huh? I can probably cast a #8 steelhead bee with a switch 4 or 5 wt on the Babine River for September steelhead but wouldn't that be silly, oh, and unethical as well?
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Old 08-28-2018, 05:22 PM
Don Andersen Don Andersen is offline
 
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Is that is a Spey 4 or 5 weight?

Fly weight determines line weight.
And yes, I have seen very heavy weighted "flies" lobbed by very light lines. Lobbing ain't casting.

Don
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