Looking for fly rod combo...

Thread starter #1
I'm looking to purchase a 3-4wt 6ft fly rod outfit to trout fish north of Helen, GA. Looking for something versatile to target brook trout and rainbows....small water and Chattahoochee in that area. Looking hard at this one from LL Bean https://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/687...7923-2136&attrValue_0=Green&productId=1141859

Anyone have experience with LL Bean equipment?....Not looking to jump in on an Orvis outfit just yet. Any advise on this and what wt + rod length to use for North GA is much appreciated. Thanks!
 
Fly rods are like guns. Everyone has a favorite caliber and setup.

So take any advice accordingly, but I'll say that a 6ft rod is too short. If you're worried about not being able to cast on a small stream, a shorter rod won't make any difference and will actually leave you wanting more length when you try to reach those hard to get spots. The shortest I'll go is 7ft, and sometimes, even on small streams, I wish it was 9.
 
I agree that a 6' rod is too short. A longer rod is easier to fish for me. These are the two rods I use the most.
-3wt 7'6" TFO for small streams, pan fish, specs
-5wt 9' TFO for faster water, hooch trout, bass

Recently I bought a relatively cheap 3wt 8' cabelas rod (three fork) for hiking in case I fell and snapped it. The rod is way better than I expected and I really enjoy using it. Great value in my opinion.
 

jigman29

Senior Member
Its like a bow. Choose one that isn't right and while you will be able to use it you will never reach the full potential. I have two rods. A redington 6 wt 9' rod and a redington 3wt 7.5' I love them both and they both have a place. I would look hard at reddingtons as they are great rods for the money and have a really good warranty. I wouldn't go above a 6wt for trout fishing. I used one exclusively for years and fished for the tiny specks. A 3wt is more enjoyable but both will work. If you need any help just shoot me a message and I will try to help all I can.
 
Yes, 6' is way, way too short, to the point of being useless. For big or small water either one. You will find that you cannot get a drag-free drift with a short rod, and your casting distance is greatly reduced-especially on small creeks where you are doing a lot of roll casting and bow-and-arrow casts and dappling. I don' want anything less than 8', 9 is often better. My go-to small stream rod is a Redington 8' 3/4 weight. My go-to bigger water, streamer, and smallmouth rod is a 9' 7-weight TFO.

It's hard to beat Cabela's for good deals on fly combos. For all-around fishing, an 8 or 9 foot four or five weight is a good compromise.
 

Bream Pole

Senior Member
I disagree with those that I acknowledge are far more experienced than I am. I love a short fly rod. Now that said I am bream fishing and not needing the type of cast NC Hillbilly is describing. My favorite that I have ever owned is my current 5'9" fiberglass Cabela's rod with a good Scientific Anglers fly line, and a cheap Cabela's reel. I had a 6' 2wt TFO that I gave away to an unmet friend on here. My favorite long rod was a TFO 9' that I recall was a 4/5 wt. but maybe 5/6. I gave it to my oldest son for his and my grandsons' use on the Chattahoochee. If you want a longer rod Cabelas has them in the same fiberglass rod series I have plus others. Many are on sale right now. No question I would go with Cabela's before I'd go with LLBean, and I would definitely buy a good line. I like fiberglass but many prefer graphite.

I also like Tenkara rods but that is a whole different story. Sadly my problem right now isn't equipment; its going fishing. Just not doing it. Weather, water condition, other things to do, etc.
 
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There are 2 pretty big disadvantages to a short rod that I've dealt with over the years.

1. Your reach is limited with a short rod. Sometimes there's no casting to be done, you simply want to dangle a fly or "dapple" in a pocket of water with absolutely no line on the water. A short rod means you have to get very close to the pocket you're fishing and the closer you get the greater chance of spooking these wary mountain trout.

2. A short rod severely limits the length of leader you can use. It's very frustrating to have 5' of leader and 2' of tippet on a 6' rod and end up not having any flyline actually in play.
 
There are 2 pretty big disadvantages to a short rod that I've dealt with over the years.

1. Your reach is limited with a short rod. Sometimes there's no casting to be done, you simply want to dangle a fly or "dapple" in a pocket of water with absolutely no line on the water. A short rod means you have to get very close to the pocket you're fishing and the closer you get the greater chance of spooking these wary mountain trout.

2. A short rod severely limits the length of leader you can use. It's very frustrating to have 5' of leader and 2' of tippet on a 6' rod and end up not having any flyline actually in play.
Yep, both of those, plus keeping the line up off the water and keeping the fly from dragging is a big, big, big, big, big thing for me too. It should be for anybody who wants to catch trout. Bream don't care if the fly drags, and aren't usually in swift current, but trout live in current, and they won't even look at a fly that is dragging or out of sync with the current. It will spook the hole if a fly drags through it one time and the fish will go hide under rocks. And it is impossible to keep the line off the water and the belly out of the current with a short rod.

6 feet is too short for me for a spinning rod, much less a fly rod. I bought a 6 1/2 foot Fenwick once when I was a teenager, thought it would be handy on small creeks. I gave it to my cousin after using it once. He gave it to somebody else after using it once. You couldn't hardly catch a fish with it.
 

GLS

Senior Member
I caught a lot of wild trout decades ago with a 6' for 6 wgt. E. Hille glass rod that I made. It had disadvantages, but casting sidearm into a laurel/rhododendron tunnel was not one of them. For a reel, I used half of a DT #6 on a Sci Ang 4 wgt. reel made by Hardy. It was nice little small stream rod for my purposes. I have it around here somewhere, but prefer longer rods now, especially fighting drag keeping line off the water, especially in tailouts. Gil
 

TurkeyH90

Senior Member
Short fly rods

So, to a point I agree with both sides of this argument. I have a 6' 3wt and 7'3" 2 weight. I can use both. I will agree that that the longer rod is more versatile and gives you more line control. That being said I caught a ton of wild trout on the 6' rod and I still use it to this day depending on the situation.
 
I pretty sure I would agree with the long rod people if I were trout fishing. I can visualize their points based on my days of yesteryear trout fishing with ultra light spinning gear mountain streams when I lived in Atlanta. My other favorite rod was the 9' TFO I gave to my son. If I were on the Chattahoochee in my Kayak I would much prefer it. But for what I do down here in the flat lands I like the short rod. Bream are no where near as spooky as trout.
 
New Fly Rod

Well now I've done it. I have a good 6wt fly line on a reel.
After reading the posts I began to miss my 9'TFO. Soooooooo I bought a new TFO I convinced myself I needed for the river and the anticipated Kayak Chattahoochee Float with my son and grandsons. :banginghe I will use the existing reel and line. Also bought a case. Inspired by by NC Hillbilly's comments. I'm pretty impressed with his fishing posts and knowledge in this area as well as his cooking prowess.
 

fishinbub

Senior Member
I'll be the Devil's Advocated here. I've owned dozens of small stream outfits, and my all time favorite for brookie fishing was a 4' 10" 5wt custom cane rod. I could get a fly into areas most folks would walk right by. Think log jams and extremely rhodo choked holes...usually that's the areas where you'll catch the biggest brookie of the day.

That being said, 99% of anglers prefer something over 7'. If you decide to go the longer route, I have an 8' rod that might interest you. If you decide to go with a short rod, I suggest starting with the little yellow Eagle Claw rod for like $40. Once you get below 7', the quality of the rod is largely irrelevant.
 
I'll be the Devil's Advocated here. I've owned dozens of small stream outfits, and my all time favorite for brookie fishing was a 4' 10" 5wt custom cane rod. I could get a fly into areas most folks would walk right by. Think log jams and extremely rhodo choked holes...usually that's the areas where you'll catch the biggest brookie of the day.

That being said, 99% of anglers prefer something over 7'. If you decide to go the longer route, I have an 8' rod that might interest you. If you decide to go with a short rod, I suggest starting with the little yellow Eagle Claw rod for like $40. Once you get below 7', the quality of the rod is largely irrelevant.
Those log jams and rhodo choked holes are exactly why I like a long rod. That's what a lot of creeks I fish are like, and I catch many of my fish out of them. It is much easier to bow and arrow cast or dapple a fly back into places like that with a long rod, to me. Much easier. I could not fish with a four-foot rod, even a spinning or casting rod. I would catch a lot less fish, for sure.

Here are the kinds of creeks I fish with long rods, and spend most of the day putting flies in places like this:
 

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Bream Pole

Senior Member
my tfo i ordered arrived today and was waiting for me when I got home from Augusta tonight after dark. my previous one I gave my son was a Lefty Professonal 9' 6 wt. This one is a cheaper rod, a Lefty Signature II 8'6", 5 wt. Just picking it up and looking at it can tell the difference in quality, but tomorrow when I put a reel on it and cast some I may like it fine. For my needs it will probably work. I didn't want to fork out the money for the professional and too impatient to wait on one to show up on ebay at a "deal" price.
 

Bream Pole

Senior Member
went to the yard today and cast the new TFO Lefty Kreu signature II. the rod is an 8'6" 5 wt. I had a reel with an new Scientific Anglers Frequency Trout 6wt line and put it on this fly rod. I've found that often a wt. up like from 5 to 6 works pretty well. The Frequency line is not the top of the line but I think it is a good line and at $49 I really don't feel or see enough difference to warrant paying up for the Mastery lines. I have the Mastery lines on my other two fly rods.

Any way the rod cast pretty good and I have decided to keep it. I'd have to pay shipping to send it back. I came with free shipping. That said, had I seen the $159 price for the Professional at another site with free shipping I probably would have paid the extra $35. I liked the Professional I gave my son a little better. It is a better rod as you might expect and 4 piece rather than 2 piece.
 
If you’re still looking I have a never used rod in 2wt that I built myself,
 

GAJoe

Senior Member
With your fishin plans being in the Helen area check with the guys at Unicoi Outfitters and see what they recommend on length. They also may have something barely used that will save you some $. I got a like new 8'6" Redington Classic Trout 5wt and a Orvis Battenkill BBS III reel with a GPX line in good shape all for $125.
 
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Tentwing

Senior Member
GAJoe,

That is great deal on the Redington CT rod and to get a reel with it awesome .

First let my say that I am 90% of the time a bamboo guy, but like most folks I started out with graphite. Needless to say I really like a smooth action and those Redington CT's really provide just that.

I took an 8&1/2 foot 4 weight one in on a trade, and It felt nearly identical to my Sage Lite Line 9 foot 4 weight. That Redington CT quickly became my "leave in the truck all the time just in case rod"😉 I picked one in a 5 weight which quickly got taken away by my wife. When it comes to graphite rods I think those CT's are the best bang for your buck rods going.

So as not to high jack the thread let me say to the OP that when belly crawling for blue line Brookies the shortest rod I will use is a 7ft 4inch 4 weight . Two reasons I just like the rod and it is soft enough that I can use a 5 foot leader. It is much better suited for a bream pond though.

Generally I use a 8 1/2 ft or 9 foot rod to blue line , but as others have stated you will develop you own taste in rods for your owe reasons.

Tentwing
 
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