Rod for Montana

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Sterling Woodsman, Feb 17, 2014.

  1. Everybody says 9' #5 is the "do all" rod but I am seriously considering getting an 8' 6" #4 (maybe 5?) and a 9' or longer #6. I was thinking that cover the spectrum more effectively.

    The question is would i be better suited with a 9' #5 (the "do all" rod) or an 8'6"#4 and 9'#6.

  2. It's a fundamental principle in fly fishing that more gear is better than less gear, so clearly 2 rods are better than one rod. But you might also consider where/how you're fishing. If you're wading, you only want to carry one rod, so the 9' 5wt is a good compromise that lets you nymph fish and also switch to dries should you get the opportunity. If you're floating, and you can carry 2 rods in a boat, it's handy to have one rod rigged up for nymphs and a second rod with a dry.
    fredaevans likes this.

  3. ha. this is very true.

  4. I was thinking the 9' #6 would maybe fill that position. Some say the 9' #6 is the real "do all" rod as you can use it to throw big streamers and weighted nymph rigs. Although it's harder to make short/accurate/delicate dry presentation with it.
  5. I use a 9' 6wt for a lot of the bigger water where wind will be a factor, which is just about eveywhere. Add in the fact that a lot of the bugs are plus sized - salmonflies, golden stones, nocturnal stones, hoppers, big foam attractors and the 6wt is just what I need.

    Ron McNeal and Duane J like this.

  6. I'd say this is true. I only owned one rod for a number of years, and it was a 9' 6 wt. And if you want to throw streamers, then it's probably the best bet. I only tend to fish streamers in lakes--where I do use a 9' 6 wt--and I like the little lighter feel for dries, so my go-to river rod is a 9' 5 wt. But the actual difference is small, and you can't go far wrong in either case.
  7. At one point I had just a 5 weight, until I followed the conventional wisdom you've heard of. Then I got a 4 and 6 weight. I no longer have the 5, nor do I miss it, but I do also now have a 3.
  8. I would say what rod manufacturer are you going or thinking of going with. That would be the main factor in my choice. Each rod even though a 9' 5wt cast feel, cast and play a fish different.


  9. yeah I know I just thought I would get a general. The rod will be Sage ONE
  10.'s my $.02.....If you are only going with one rod, I like a 5 or 6 wt. If you are only fishing tricos or small dries, take a 3 wt. If you only plan on throwing heavily weighted streamers, I like an 8 or 9 wt. (sometimes a spey rod). I spend a couple of months over there each year and take them all. Pick the kind of fishing you like and take the appropriate gear. You don't have to sling big streamers and the 5 or 6 wt. will do the job for all the other things. Now to be truthful, I often use a 7 wt. for all of the above categories....I threw that in just to confuse you. Bottom line is, take what you want and enjoy the fishing!!! is not that important!
  11. I would say something on this subject, but all I fish in the summer time is a 3wt and sometime a 4 wt. I just fish skinny water, because I like to. In the winter time I use a 9' 6wt for nymphs and a 9' 5wt for every thing else. Or sometime I switch rods around for the nymph thing. It depends on which rod I grab first.
    Kyle Smith likes this.
  12. I see it this way -- do golfers head to the first Tee with a single club?



    Because different situations call for a different solution.

    The other consideration is breakage. I've seen guys break rods in car doors, stepping across them in drift boats, and when pulling them apart. I've seen guys slip on banks and that crunching snap sound is awful. I've seen rods break just casting because a rod got dinged with split shot some time before. Then, they spend a bunch of time and pay top dollar river prices for another rod and they still only have one useable rod for their vacation.

    I guided a guy one time who showed up to my boat with an old Eagle Claw fiberglass noodle rod. It was a piece of crap rod back in the 1950s and it didn't improve with age. I lent him one of my rods. He loved it. I told him they were still selling them. He thought his wife would be pissed at him if he had more than one fly rod.

    I asked him "So, when you look in her closet, you only see one pair of shoes?"

    "No!" he said, "She's not a whole closet full of shoes." He looked around, turned to me and announced "Where's that fly shop?"

    He bought the fly rod and a new reel. Both medium priced. A week after the trip he sent me an email. His wife was "very happy I finally did something for myself."

    My advice -- show up in Montana with a medium action 4 wt and a fast action 6 wt. If your budget won't warrant two rods, borrow one from a friend and keep it as a backup. Or, if the price isn't too much, rent one from a shop. You'll get to "test drive" a rod you might purchase in the future. I would tell the shop "Look, I'm interested in buying this rod. I'll rent it from you for a week, but if I come back and buy it you can discount a least half the rental price from the bill."

  13. People lump "big western rivers" into one category. Nothing is as big and windy as the Yellowstone and Missouri, so bring some skill (and eye protection) to go with that 6wt. The Bitterroot, Gallatin, Big Hole etc. are medium sized and great with a 5wt. Bring a longer 3wt for the mountains and for spring creeks.
  14. I say take all three! But then again I have close to 20 rods and work in a fly shop! It really depends on where you're talking about fishing.. On the Missouri and Clark Fork I've used a switch rod and one of my small speys that I had, but overall for most of MT I think the 4wt and 6wt would be the best combo.

    Honestly when I go to MT I take my 6' 2wt, 7' 4wt, 9' 6wt and would probably take an old 5wt I have as a backup... that's assuming I'm out there wading most of the rivers I'm fishing! Floating I would take my switch rod as well, since I prefer to streamer fish if there's not a hatch going on...
  15. I grew-up there, used a 5wt then & still would still take a 5wt now when I go back if I were limited to 1 rod. I also prefer longer rods, unless brush-clogged skinny water will be my focus. Fortunately, I don't limit myself to 1 rod or weight class.
  16. 8'6"#4 and 9'#6
    kmac likes this.
  17. My liking is a 7 1/2 3/4 wt fiberglass for small stream and then the Sage One 9'6" 5wt. I cast the Sage one at the Lynwood show and it is a beast of a rod. It would cast streamers, weighted bugger and nymph rigs with no problem. Even lining it up one size would not cause an issue. Out of all the rods I cast, it gave me the tightest and most consistent loops out of any rod I have cast.

    Now I just have to sell some things to get it!!!

    I am set for the small stuff and as George Cook of Sage said to me " Bill, it likes you ", and yes it did.

  18. All I have to say is that bringing only a five weight is the most common mistake visitors to the Yellowstone area make. I fish my 6 10x as often as my five.
  19. Why do people in general ask about what rod to use when fishing someplace where your not used to. Or what flies to use when also fishing someplace else. Hell I moved here(Montana) from Washington. I use what I used in Washington to fish. I used what flies I used there also. What you used where you live will work no matter where you want to fish.
  20. What if your moving there from alabama? Haha

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