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#12609324 - 02/03/18 07:52 PM Fly rod weight
Creekflyfisher54 Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 03/31/16
Posts: 51
Loc: Hill country
What exactly can a 7wt catch? I want to get a good all around rod for both Salt and Fresh. Can I catch a large tarpon on a 7wt? Will a 7wt overpower trout and carp?

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#12609404 - 02/03/18 08:33 PM Re: Fly rod weight [Re: Creekflyfisher54]
RexW Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 09/24/02
Posts: 3068
Loc: Sherman, TX
Most of us would not land a large Tarpon on a 7 wt.

Too much for trout and carp? That depends on the size of the fish and the conditions.

7 wts are popular for steelhead and is my most used size on Texoma. Some people like them and some don't.

Generally, the larger the wt, the larger the size of the fly you can comfortably cast. Most rods will handle a wide range of fish sizes.

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#12609411 - 02/03/18 08:39 PM Re: Fly rod weight [Re: Creekflyfisher54]
mickfly Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 02/23/08
Posts: 1723
Loc: Fairview, TX
It's hard to find one rod to catch everything from small trout and panfish to large saltwater species. Typically, a five weight rod is ideal for trout and panfish (though some will go lighter), 7-9 weights are good for coastal salt fishing, with 10-12 weights for tarpon. Rod weights are typically determined not by the size of the fish but the size of the flies (and therefore the weight of line needed to cast the flies. I've used seven weights for trout (streamer fishing in heavy current), bass, stripers, carp, redfish, and baby tarpon, but found rods of other weights were more appropriate in other circumstances.
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#12609425 - 02/03/18 08:48 PM Re: Fly rod weight [Re: Creekflyfisher54]
karstopo Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 05/22/16
Posts: 559
Loc: Brazoria County
http://www.cabelas.com/product/Fly-Rod-Buyers-Guide/531762.uts

I like a seven weight for inshore Texas, reds, trout, flounder, black drum. etc.
A seven weight is pretty useful for small and largemouth bass.
A seven weight can cast good sized streamers and deer hair bugs and other wind resistant patterns .
You can catch small fish with a seven, you just wonít get a lot of bend in the rod.
A seven wouldnít be very good at making delicate presentations of dry flies to spooky trout.

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#12609442 - 02/03/18 09:00 PM Re: Fly rod weight [Re: Creekflyfisher54]
Meadowlark Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 11/04/04
Posts: 3125
Loc: East Texas
I agree with RexW.

A 7wt is an excellent all around rod, but recognize it has its limitations.

On windy days, it will make you wish for a larger rod. If you are throwing large weighted flies, again, you will wish for a heaver rod. If you are catching big blue gills, you will wish for a lighter rod.

If I could only own one rod, it would be a 7wt and I'd have to figure out ways around its limitations. However, a large Tarpon would be out of the picture as would several other species I love to go after.

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#12609472 - 02/03/18 09:19 PM Re: Fly rod weight [Re: Creekflyfisher54]
Creekflyfisher54 Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 03/31/16
Posts: 51
Loc: Hill country
Maybe I should just get a 6 weight because really I would only fish for Bass, Carp, Catfish, Trout both fresh and salt and redfish. Tarpon, Spanish, Jacks and others could wait until maybe I get more experience. Also kinda off topic but has anybody ever fished for mullet? I was thinking that maybe using scaled down presentations that are used for Milkfish in the Indian Ocean would work for mullet. Again, sorry about the mixed questions Iím just a highschool student who wants to fish for the rest of my life!

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#12609494 - 02/03/18 09:37 PM Re: Fly rod weight [Re: Creekflyfisher54]
karstopo Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 05/22/16
Posts: 559
Loc: Brazoria County
http://www.floridasportsman.com/2017/09/13/flyfishing_ff_0202_mullet/

http://flylifemagazine.com/feature-story-mullet-on-a-fly-everytime/

A couple of links to mullet on the fly. I havenít tried to catch a mullet, but they are super abundant at times in the surf and bays.

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#12609501 - 02/03/18 09:47 PM Re: Fly rod weight [Re: Creekflyfisher54]
Jim Ford Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 01/28/12
Posts: 1610
Loc: Texas
The rod weight is about what you are casting, and the conditions you are casting it under. While a 7 weight is certainly not an ideal large tarpon rod, there is no reason you couldn't land a large tarpon on one. The real challenge would be casting a viable large tarpon fly with it, especially in a stout breeze. And a heavier rod would give you a higher percentage of hookups in that steel jaw that tarpon have, but it's doable with a 7 weight. A good drag and sufficient backing, as well as fighting the fish with the rod butt rather than the tip, would give you a very good shot at landing the fish.

To choose an "all-around rod" you would need to evaluate the flies you would be casting and the winds you would be encountering. I have caught more redfish on a 7 weight than any other weight rod, but I have caught reds on a half weight rod, as well as on 2,5,6,7,8,10, and 12 weights. They all have their place. Here in Texas the 10 and 12 are primarily jetty rods for me. I'm sure they'd get more use if I still lived in south Florida. The 10 often gets used when I need to throw big poppers or huge crease flies/gurglers, but I don't do just a whole lot of that.

Anyway, to answer the original question, "What exactly can a 7wt catch?": Pretty much whatever you want it to. If you can cast the requisite fly to the fish with it, and have the drag and backing to handle the fish's runs, the limit is higher than the "for X species fish you need Y weight rod" crowd would have you believe. As a teenager in Florida I caught a lot of 50,60 70, and more pound tarpon on my old fiberglass trout rod that was probably about a 5 or 6 weight by today's standard. It was the only fly rod I had for a good while, and it got the job done often enough. The flies I tie now for tarpon (and I have yet to catch one in Texas) would be difficult to cast with my 7 weight, but it could be done. It wouldn't be pretty, but then the guys and gals who have seen me cast will tell you that it ain't pretty with any of my rods......

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#12609550 - 02/03/18 10:44 PM Re: Fly rod weight [Re: Creekflyfisher54]
karstopo Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 05/22/16
Posts: 559
Loc: Brazoria County
Thatís a good point about the 7 weight and Tarpon. I was just reading about this the other day and a lot of times the successful way to handle bigger Tarpon as I read it is to have a strong leader and tippet and most importantly, a strong drag. A big Tarpon could easily shatter a graphite 7 weight if you tried to high stick the fish. What I read was that the fisherman would essentially point the rod tip at the Fish at a low angle and then let the drag mostly do the work of tiring it out. The rod sort of gets protected that way until later in the fight.

A friend of mine landed a 7 foot Tarpon here in Texas on a Speckled trout baitcasting set up. He was able to follow the fish in the boat and it took a long time, but he got it and I saw the photo. Keeping the rod at a low angle is usually the way to go on big powerful fish early in the fight. Iíve seen the videos of Tarpon breaking 10 and 11 weights when the fisherman held the rod too high.

Fiberglass is tougher than graphite and you may consider glass as a good first rod. It will stand up to the heavy clouser fly striking the rod better than carbon. Itís easier to feel the rod load than a fast graphite model. It protects tippets better. Itís excellent at short to medium range shots. They can make great small stream dry fly rods. They are great for LMB fishing and around tight places because they are in general shorter than the typical equivalent weight graphite rod.

They arenít, in my experience, as good as a fast graphite rod in windy conditions. Thereís a lot of things that graphite is better about, but if Iím fly fishing for bass, catfish, carp, sunfish Iím always liking the glass. If Iím in the marsh or on the bay bay after redfish and speckled trout and flounder, Drum., Iím looking to use glass unless it gets windy.

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#12609557 - 02/03/18 10:55 PM Re: Fly rod weight [Re: Creekflyfisher54]
Creekflyfisher54 Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 03/31/16
Posts: 51
Loc: Hill country
Really good advice here guys, the problem is that iím Probably being too optimistic about the tarpon stuff. It is something I would like to consider though. Maybe I should buy a 14 weight and use it when I go GT fishing right! Lol perhaps I will look into the glass rods. Speaking of drag, is it better to have a high quality rod or reel/line. In my opinion I believe line is important and maybe what type of guides you have so casting is easier? The main point of this is to get info on the next rod I should get. My current setup is a Bass Pro 8wt that was like $150 and frankly I just use it for bass. I really donít trust the reel in the salt as it is low quality. Due to my situation I can really only afford one nice combo as I have In baitcast and spinning, so again all the help is appreciated!

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#12609679 - 02/04/18 07:52 AM Re: Fly rod weight [Re: Creekflyfisher54]
karstopo Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 05/22/16
Posts: 559
Loc: Brazoria County
http://flylifemagazine.com/cheap-saltwater-fly-reels-that-work/

I donít personally have any of these saltwater fly reels, but they all look good and are under $100.

http://www.maxcatchfishing.com/fly_fishi...shing_line.html

Line for $16.

https://www.cortlandline.com/collections...ant=33699390023

Line for $25

https://www.sportsmanswarehouse.com/spor...42524/cat101060

Line for $40.

Where you planning on fishing the saltwater? Any of the lines and reels will work up shallow just fine here in Texas at least on redfish, Speckled trout, drum and the like. Any 8 weight should work, too. Itís not long casting here, thatís my experience. If you can get the fly out 40 feet with reasonable accuracy you are in the game. Even the line that came with the combo should be good if itís floating line. An 8 weight, Iíve used the bottom of the line Cabelas graphite rods, and low end Cabelas line and did just fine with redfish.

Tarpon are probably a different game, Iíve jumped two and brought one to hand here in Texas. One was 4.5 feet and destroyed my 15 pound leader on the second leap. The second fish went about an estimated 15-18 pounds. I caught that one a rapala suspending shad and my normal all star type trout baitcasting Revo Sx reel. An eight weight would be fine for juvenile Tarpon like the one I caught in my estimation. I donít know about the big fish. The ones I jumped werenít long casts or anything and could have been easily cast to with an eight weight.

Thereís a push out there from some that says you need high end gear in the saltwater, but thatís not at all my experience here in Texas. Maybe Christmas Island or the Seychelles or Cuba or some place itís true, but not anywhere Iíve been here in Texas. The hardest part is finding and spotting Fish. Once seen, then you can often wade or paddle or pole into easy casting position.

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#12609859 - 02/04/18 09:30 AM Re: Fly rod weight [Re: Creekflyfisher54]
Jim Ford Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 01/28/12
Posts: 1610
Loc: Texas
One thing I've found out about fly reels; very few -- if any -- cast reels will hold up for long in salt water. The powder coat will begin blistering off and the oxidation beneath is unstoppable. Shop for a machined reel. A friend bought a Piscifun Sword (listed in karstopo's link above) last year based on great reviews, and he's still tickled to death with it. It sees a fair bit of salwater use. I haven't tried the other machined reels on that link so I can't comment on them. As far as a really good drag, about the only fish I can think of here that would require a really good drag would be big tarpon, jacks, big bull reds, some big carp (I've had blistering runs from them foul-hooked but don't know if they do that on the fly), probably big gar, and the offshore runners like kings and such. Many of the fish won't require you to use the drag, but playing them off the reel keeps your line out of the weeds or oysters, and away from the cleats, trolling motors, etc. on the deck.

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#12609952 - 02/04/18 10:33 AM Re: Fly rod weight [Re: Creekflyfisher54]
Meadowlark Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 11/04/04
Posts: 3125
Loc: East Texas
Originally Posted By: Creekflyfisher54
...The main point of this is to get info on the next rod I should get. My current setup is a Bass Pro 8wt that was like $150 and frankly I just use it for bass.



Originally Posted By: Creekflyfisher54
Maybe I should just get a 6 weight because really I would only fish for Bass, Carp, Catfish, Trout both fresh and salt and redfish. Tarpon, Spanish, Jacks and others could wait until maybe I get more experience. ...


You answered your own question.

Something to consider: Since you have an 8wt and are looking at a lifetime of doing this, consider sticking to even numbered wt. for the intermediate future purchases. Make purchases according to your needs based on target fish.

In your case, that would logically point to the next purchase of a 6wt.

From there, purchases can be based on need, e.g. go to 4 wt for more finesse fishing or go to 10 wt and get into some of the big powerful fish out there.

Until you get into 10 wt class, IMO, you needn't worry much about reels. They are basically just line holders at 8wt and below and do not warrant large $ investments. ( of course there are exceptions for certain fish like Steelhead and King salmon for example)

Other stuff:

1) Mullet, yes I've successfully thrown some bread flies at them...and milkfish are over rated IMO.

2) The main reason for NOT using a 7wt on large Tarpon (and other precious game fish) is to protect the great fish. 180 to 200 pound Tarpon are precious resources that should not be wasted on 7wt rods. Releasing a Tarpon after an exhausting fight on undersized equipment is almost certain death for a great, great fish. Egos should be set aside and the well being of the fish considered paramount. Don't even consider using 7wt on large Tarpon.

3) Lines are generally worth the money. A high quality Rio line for example, if taken care of, will last indefinitely in salt or fresh. They are well worth the investment.


Just my 2cents.

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#12609989 - 02/04/18 11:07 AM Re: Fly rod weight [Re: Creekflyfisher54]
Turf Dawg Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 07/30/12
Posts: 1919
Loc: Gainesville [Callisburg]
I've got a St Croix, Orvis and Rio 6wt package for sale if interested.
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#12621067 - 02/10/18 07:37 PM Re: Fly rod weight [Re: Creekflyfisher54]
CodyDog Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 10/23/17
Posts: 20
Loc: Lakeway/Fredericksburg
Originally Posted By: Creekflyfisher54
What exactly can a 7wt catch? I want to get a good all around rod for both Salt and Fresh. Can I catch a large tarpon on a 7wt? Will a 7wt overpower trout and carp?

.
A good 7wt is great for larger carp and large bass. You have some vesatility with the 7 wt as mentioned above. As far as an all around stream and river rod, I have gravitated to a 9' 5wt.


Edited by CodyDog (02/10/18 09:20 PM)

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