Rod/Line Weight - Ponderings

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ziffle
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Rod/Line Weight - Ponderings

Post by ziffle » Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:56 pm

I have three rods I use: 4wt, 6wt, 8wt (rarely).

My 6wt is an Airflo Tactical which I bought as part of a package when I got back to trout fishing years ago and it is frankly a pretty average rod - quite heavy, a little sloppy and not really much fun. I've caught heaps of fish with it so am not complaining at all but am now wanting to step up. I've been reading reviews, checking websites etc about all manner of different rods and have got a couple in mind but that doesn't really matter for the purpose of this post.

Many of the rods in the medium/fast to fast range today seem to be designed to prefer the half-weight-up fly lines - like SA MPX or Rio Grand. So that means 5.5wt, or 6.5wt etc. Please correct me if I'm wrong but to me the purpose of a rod in a particular weight is twofold: a) enough power to handle fish up to a certain size in rivers of particular strengths; and b) powerful enough to throw a line of a similar weight. The idea of line weight is to match to the depth, clarity, speed of the water and to the fish within it.

So, if I replace my existing 6wt with a fast action 6wt then I may well ending up casting a 6.5wt line which might as well be 7wt. Similarly if I buy a 5wt rod then casting the 5.5wt line might achieve what I have been with the 6wt.

My question is then around the power of the lighter rod to handle the conditions used to by the 6wt. The Tauranga-Taupo and Waitahanui Rivers near Taupo are good examples - they suit the 6wt perfectly but would you guys use a modern 5wt there and will it be powerful enough in the fast water?

Sorry for the ramble but I've been thinking......



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fraser hocks
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Re: Rod/Line Weight - Ponderings

Post by fraser hocks » Tue Aug 15, 2017 5:20 pm

Well id suggest that your thought process is correct. Most of the modern rods are built that much stiffer that they will handle a heaver line and so hence the line manufactures are making lines heaver than the true weight. Crazy I know!

Some manufactures are however producing rods true to weight, or should I say rods labeled correct to the line weight? Its a quagmire out there for sure. iv been saying for quite a few years now that rod manufactures should label there rods with grain envelopes, not # (some are but very few). That way you can choose a rod that suits the envelope you wish to use. Anyway I digress.

You train of though is correct, but remember that you dont have to fish the rod with the manufactures prescribed line weight on it. Try a rod and try different lines on it that maybe under or over-line the rod. You never know you might find just the rod you like with a line that supposedly isn't correct for it? And no matter what some over ego'ed idiots try and tell you the right line for that rod is the one you like! ;) Personal preference is a factor in rod choice no matter what some will try and tell you!


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Dave
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Re: Rod/Line Weight - Ponderings

Post by Dave » Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:00 pm

It is actually getting hard to find a high class line that actually complies with AFTMA standard with the correct weight for the first 30 feet. Many are more than 1/2 a weight heavy with some a full weight heavier. I think this is all about being able to say you are fishing a #5 because that makes you look more sporting when in fact you are fishing a #6. The important thing is that the line suits you and your rod regardless of the stated weight. This means you need to try out the line.
Kilwell are holding casting days in Rotorua, Turangi, Christchurch and Invercargill next month where they will have Scientific Anglers line available for you to try out. I have used SA lines in the past but I think they have joined the above weight brigade an that may suit some rods but not others. I am not in the market for another line as I have replaced one that was due to be replaced already over the winter. It was a Rio Gold and that is what I replaced it with so I knew what I was getting.
Dave



ziffle
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Re: Rod/Line Weight - Ponderings

Post by ziffle » Wed Aug 16, 2017 8:13 am

I agree 100% with what you guys have said so my question now is will a modern day hi-modulus carbon fibre rod in 5wt have similar power and strength properties to my old Airflo Tactical. If I change from that 6wt to a modern 5wt will I lose anything?



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fraser hocks
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Re: Rod/Line Weight - Ponderings

Post by fraser hocks » Wed Aug 16, 2017 8:54 am

All comes down to the rod mate. Some brands are doing line weight specific (like Swift) but other brands (like most of the Sage range) id typically be buying a 4wt and running a true to weight #5 line on it, if I wanted a true to weight 5wt setup.

You will notice that a lot of hard core nuts, have stepped down to rods labeled as 4wt these days. (I'm guilty of that as well) ID say that is mostly due to a lot of newer 4wt perform more like an old school 5wt.


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ziffle
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Re: Rod/Line Weight - Ponderings

Post by ziffle » Wed Aug 16, 2017 9:26 am

Fraser I agree with you, I'm thinking about the Winston Nexus rod in particular and that is definitely a half-weight-up rod and if I buy a #5 then I reckon I'll get the same (or better) performance out of it in terms of fighting ability, than with my current Airflo #6 rod



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fraser hocks
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Re: Rod/Line Weight - Ponderings

Post by fraser hocks » Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:13 am

yea, I suppose I don't consider fish fighting ability based on rod weight. I base that more on the tippet strength im fishing. I spent many years saltwater fly fishing so spent a long time fighting fish with the rod tip low to put max pressure on them.

Yea, you cant go wrong with a Winston. Very nice rods. There was a very nice Winston double hander up on TM a couple of weeks back. Would have loved to get that but the wife would have killed me!


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flyfish
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Re: Rod/Line Weight - Ponderings

Post by flyfish » Wed Aug 16, 2017 12:04 pm

Dan, the guy I regulary fish with uses a 5wt at Taupo (fishing a 6 line) on all the rivers and is never under-gunned, I use a 6 with a WF6 and it's ample, I actually think most rods perform best true to their line weight if casting long, but can often be overlined for short work, but, I think a decent 6 with a good, long belly 6 line is fine for what you are after, Taupo fishing isn't exactly fly fishing though, moreso lobbing heavy nymphs. When the wind comes up or you need to chase down a fish in heavy water, you'll be glad you gained that bit of extra OOoomph from the 6 IMO.



ziffle
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Re: Rod/Line Weight - Ponderings

Post by ziffle » Wed Aug 16, 2017 1:32 pm

Andrew most of my fishing is in smaller streams around Taranaki, King Country and rivers like Whirinaki, Whanganui etc. I used the TT River etc as an example but I only fish there once or twice a year. I tend to use my 4wt most of the time but occasionally e.g. Whanganui R , you need a little more. Based on all of this (very interesting) discussion I'm pretty sure I'm going to opt for the 5wt Nexus rod and load it with the half-weight -up line as described.



iank2
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Re: Rod/Line Weight - Ponderings

Post by iank2 » Wed Aug 16, 2017 6:44 pm

Hi guys , as has been stated , the weight of the line and the matching rod can get very complicated. The weight of the line is based on the weight of the first 30 feet. however the weight used for a rod will depend on the distance being cast. In the days of simple double taper lines the rule of thumb was to deduct on line weight for every 10 toot of cast. For example , if your usual cast was 30 feet of line( plus say 10 feet for leader etc ) you might match a weight 5 rod with a weight five line. However if you were wanting to cast 40 feet of line you should actually use a # 4 line to match a # 5 rod at the longer distance. Conversely if you were mainly short casting , say 20 feet of line , you should use a #6 line to make a #5 rod work efficiently.

There are now two additional complications affecting the relatively of weights between rods and lines. Firstly line design varies significantly over its length. Some lines are very heavy over the first 10 - 15 feet and then very light over the next 30 or 40 feet and are designed to cast longer distances , say 50 feet plus. Others are a very gradual increase in dimension designed for delicate presentation. You can get two lines , both quite correctly measured at # 6 , but will have quite different casting characteristics if they are used to cast say 25 feet , or say 40 feet. The second complication is that some rod manufacturers are also reacting by trying to classify their rods based on what they think they will be used for. If they are building a rod that is intended for casting heavy lures 50 feet at Taupo they may know it is #7 rod when casting most lines 30 feet , but will cast a #6 line more easily once the line gets out over 45 feet in the air.

It is very difficult for the average fisher to work through these complications , the unknowns in distraction of weight on the line , and what interpretation the rod manufacturer has made for the intended rod use.

just my 2 cents worth

Ian K



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