5 driftless rods?

General trout, fishing, conservation, or anything outdoors related discussion. Trip reports and stream conditions welcome, but please do not name streams.
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Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2011 9:50 am
Location: Minneapolis

Re: 5 driftless rods?

Post by trouts »

This is quite the loaded question. Kinda like asking someone what car they prefer. Really depends on your own personal preferences and what your trying to accomplish.

I tend to fish shorter rods than most, but have a couple 11' nymphing rods. Really depends on my mood and stream I'm fishing on what rod I grab. I like all 3 materials, but tend to fish bamboo more these days. I really enjoy fishing parabolic rods, which most tend to not like. The 5 rods I fished the most this season are the following in no particular order:
8' Spittler quad 3/2 5wt
8 1/2' Edwards #54 3/2 quad 6wt
6' 9" Constable Whallop Brook 3/4wt para
7' 5" Alchemy Dharma 4/5wt glass para
8' Winston TMF 4wt

There are a lot of good casting rods out there. Personally not super impressed with what has been put out recently by most of the major companies. I enjoy several of the older Winston rod models. You couldn't pay me to fish any of their boron rods. Never been impressed with Sage's fit and finish. Liked how the 8 1/2' One 4wt casted, but didn't feel the need to buy it. Really enjoyed fishing several of the older LL's. The new ones seem promising on the ol shake test, but would like to cast some before making much of an opinion.

What I'm worried about is the rising costs of the "newest and greatest" rod models from most of the major companies. They are pushing or over 1k now. You can get a 2 tipped bamboo rod from a decent rod maker made to your specs for around that amount. With many rods in the $200-400 range fishing just fine for most I'm not sure how some of the companies like Winston will keep their doors open.

Fun discussion and nice to see what others are fishing.

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Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2012 8:33 pm

Re: 5 driftless rods?

Post by mntroutfisher »

No longer a Driftless country resident...but back in the day my arsenal included:

9' 2 wt Sage RPL+ (great for dry flies and single nymphs)
7'6" 3 wt St. Croix Ultra Legend (primarily used on heavily forested streams)
9' 3 wt. Powell Tiburon
9' 4 wt. Sage XP (these last two rods were my bread and butter on driftless streams)

Definite preference on fast action graphite....and I find that once I get in tuned with a particular action, I don't enjoy trying to go to a slower action rod (too many tailing loops since I am so ingrained into the fast action rods).

I fish as long of a rod as possible in the Driftless....primarily for it's ability to handle mending better/longer.

I now live in NW Montana. Haven't used the 2 wt in years. Also the 7'6" 3 wt doesn't get much use either. The revised arsenal is:
9' 3 wt Powell (small, high gradient streams (with small trout). Small streams up here are typically 50 foot or so wide.
9' 4 wt Sage RPL+ and 9' 5 wt St. Croix Ultra Legend (most rivers with anything short of very windy conditions)
9' 6 wt Winston BL5 (Super windy days, big water, streamer days)

Profile of casting is quite different up here on the bigger rivers. Primarily fishing single dry flies and throwing 40 to 60 ft casts regularly for Cutthroats. Minimal nymphing (whitefish avoidance).

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