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Kschaefer3April 7th, 2014, 11:43 am
St. Paul, MN

Posts: 376
This thread really got me thinking about rods for fishing dries. I don't use the best rods currently, but I'm typically tossing bigger streamers, so it's not like it matters. I currently have a 5 and 6 wt, so I can do all the trout fishing I need to. I am at the point where I want to start buying quality gear for more specific settings when I buy.

I typically fish dries on the spring creeks of MN and WI, but will fish them on some northern freestones as well. I am thinking a 4 wt, maybe 8'6". I want something with a nice tip for soft presentations and to help protect my tippet, but it'd be nice to be able to haul out longer casts to spooky fish, or just for fun :).

Can anyone share a recommendation or two? I was thinking a mid range rod, in the $300-500 range, but I really just want a rod that will suit my needs best, so any price range is fine.

As always, I appreciate the knowledge you are all willing to share me!
OldredbarnApril 7th, 2014, 11:53 am
Novi, MI

Posts: 2608
http://mysticoutdoors.com/Products/Rods/Reaper.aspx

Here is a link to a Michigan Rod maker. Dennis Klein runs the show up in Portland Michigan.

I don't own a Mystic Rod, but its worth a look. They seem to be growing in dealers each year since they started. Mr Klein came down and gave a talk at the Michigan Fly Fishing Club last week on what to look for in a new rod.

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
Kschaefer3April 7th, 2014, 12:48 pm
St. Paul, MN

Posts: 376
Thanks, Spence! I'll check those out.

I should qualify that I am looking for a rod currently in production. Obviously many on here like the Sage LLs and RPLs.
WbranchApril 10th, 2014, 5:55 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2733
Kyle,

I bought a Sage Flight 9' #4 4 pc about three years ago for $350. I like it well enough to make it one of my two primary rods on my annual Missouri trip.
I also like the Buelah Pro Guide 9' #5 4 pc. That rod cost me $280 about five years ago and comes with an extra tip.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Kschaefer3April 11th, 2014, 11:04 am
St. Paul, MN

Posts: 376
Thanks, Matt! I have actually been looking at some Beulah's. They seem to get really good reviews, and are a reasonable price.
CatskilljonApril 16th, 2014, 11:23 pm
Upstate NY

Posts: 160
Just a little interesting find on another Light Line rod...an 8'1" 5wt. I just got done cleaning it up and looking it over, and assembled it measures 8'2". I know many don't make it a habit of measuring factory built rods, opting instead to take what's written on the shaft as how long it is but I thought this was unusual.

I guess its better than if it measured 8'even! CJ
OldredbarnApril 17th, 2014, 5:06 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2608
John,

That is a bit odd...Maybe it was broken and rebuilt? I had a 5wt Loomis I broke on the S Branch of the Au Sable...It had been built by a friend. When I sent it out to Loomis to get a tip blank matched up to it, and my friend re-built it, it was just a tiny bit longer...Barely fit in the original rod tube. :)

I have an old Sage 8' for 4wt RPL...Next time I'm down in the basement I'm going to measure it! :)

Spence

"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
CatskilljonApril 17th, 2014, 8:29 pm
Upstate NY

Posts: 160
John,

That is a bit odd...Maybe it was broken and rebuilt?


That's what I was thinking, and the reason I was curious to check it in the first place is, the tip section is almost 1/2 inch short. I figured maybe someone broke it right at the tip top and glued a new one on but since its 1" longer than 8' that's not likely.

I just measured the other 8'6"LL and its 3/4 inches longer than 8ft-6 inches.

If I had more factory rods I would check them too! CJ
OldredbarnApril 20th, 2014, 12:10 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2608
John,

I don't know enough about the construction of rods to be able to say what might be the reason for odd sizes.

Kurt. You have any ideas? Paul?

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
CatskilljonFebruary 14th, 2015, 11:58 am
Upstate NY

Posts: 160
Just picked up a companion reel to the 505l, to go on one of the shorter LL's. A nice clean 504L with a Sage suede zipper pouch and original box.

< />

Come on spring! CJ
WbranchFebruary 14th, 2015, 2:20 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2733
Those reels look brand new. Are they old reels that were just taken care of well or are they new reels still being manufactured and sold?

Regarding the rod you have with a 1" longer length - back when the RPL and LL rods were being made they had rods of varying lengths. My LL #3 is 8' 9" and I remember a rod they sold that was 7' 11" so maybe your odd length rod is one of those.

I'm sure if you contacted Sage they could tell you if that odd length was a factory rod.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
CrepuscularFebruary 14th, 2015, 10:32 pm
Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 923
Nice find there CJ! Nice Bumblepuppys too!
CatskilljonFebruary 15th, 2015, 12:58 am
Upstate NY

Posts: 160
Those reels look brand new. Are they old reels that were just taken care of well or are they new reels still being manufactured and sold?


They are from the 80's Matt. Not sure when they discontinued them but its been a while.

CJ
CatskilljonFebruary 15th, 2015, 1:03 am
Upstate NY

Posts: 160
Nice find there CJ! Nice Bumblepuppys too!


Thanks Eric. I have been on a B-puppy tear lately, great fly in the early spring and fall.

First Catskill trout of the 2014 season, caught on a #4 Bumblepuppy in 42* water.

< />





CJ
WbranchFebruary 15th, 2015, 2:43 am
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2733
Pretty classic looking reel. Seriously do we really need fly reels with exotic disc drag materials and low inertia spool-up or whatever it is called?

How often are we hooking such huge fish that require such state of the art technology? I've caught my share of 20" - 23" trout and while they were very powerful and ran all my fly line and lots of backing the Hardy LRH with the click and pawl drag worked just as well as my Lamson Litespeed. When you are using 5X and 6X I want my drag set pretty low to protect the tippet.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Jmd123February 15th, 2015, 9:51 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2595
Matt, I have fought 18" smallmouth and brown trout on a 7 1/2-foot 3-weight - in fact also a 19 1/2" smallie on same rod - and NEVER got the fish on the reel! I fought all to net by hand, keeping that intimate control that you can ONLY do by keeping your hand on the line and really FEELING the fish. A local friend of mine claims that I would need a 28" brown to equal the fight of an 18" smallie...while certainly debatable, although this fellow has shown me enough fish pics to convince me that he knows how hard big fish of various species fight, I must say that the 18" smallies I have caught WAY outfought the 18" brown I took a 2 summers ago, and I really don't know how the 19 1/2-incher didn't break either the leader OR the rod! Yet NONE of those fish required me to use the drag system or even the handle on the reel to bring them to net...just experience in how to handle a fish?

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
EntomanFebruary 16th, 2015, 8:17 am
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Jon -

If you ever expect to land large trout and steelhead (or any species for that matter) on a consistent basis, you'd better learn to use your reel. Get excess line back on the spool as quickly as possible and use it with every fish. That way you'll be ready when the big boy takes your fly.

18" smallie = 28" brown? Your friend is full of horse feathers... :)
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
BoulderWorkFebruary 16th, 2015, 9:14 am
Posts: 29CJ -- amazing fish. You lucky bastard.
WbranchFebruary 16th, 2015, 12:33 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2733
Jon,

I agree with Kurt 100%. While even big smallmouth of 20" - 22" don't run off lots of line they do pull and sound and struggle very strongly. I prefer to put almost all but the smallest fish onto the reel rather than allowing all the line to float around me in the water or possibly snag on something in the boat.

Big trout and even just average steelhead are going to run and you need to be in total control and that means getting all the loose line back onto the reel so you can take advantage of whatever drag system you have on your reel.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Jmd123February 16th, 2015, 8:48 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2595
Kurt and Matt, I will certainly use the drags on my reels when I tie into a fish big enough to need it. I have modern large-arbor disc-drag reels on all of my fly rods for such purposes. I honestly find that I feel I have more control when I have my hand on the line, though. Should I ever be fortunate to hook a steelie or a big brown, I will certainly let him or her run against the drag as it is most likely that the line I am handling will be summarily pulled out of my hand anyway!

As for an 18" smallie being the equal of a 28" brown, well one of these days I'll hopefully tie into one that big and find out for myself. But smallies do fight like hell, certainly much harder in my humble opinion than a brown of the same size. Feel free to disagree with me if you must...

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
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