View Full Version : 4 weight rods plus or minus one

12-03-2011, 02:41 PM
Just curious, I read somewhere that if I were to buy a 4weight rod that the rod should be able to handle a 3 weight line or a 5 weight line with no noticable difference? Being a newbie I dont think that I could tell one way or another.:confused: Any thoughts on the subject?? Thanks flyguys.

12-03-2011, 04:34 PM
I usually line my rods with the line weight given for the rod. Sometimes I'll use a heavier line such as a SA GPX line to help load the rod a bit more.

Ultimately you can use whatever size line feels the best to you on your rod. Most of the time though a rod will cast better with a heavier line than it will with a lighter one as the lighter line won't load that rod as well.


12-04-2011, 10:02 AM
What Daniel said!

On my 4wt in particular, I have tried 3wt line and yes, it still threw a fly line just fine, I found the results to be less than I had expected. When going to 5wt line on a 4 wt rod (Winston BIIt), again, it cast and for making short casts, it worked fine, it was less good when trying to cast longer distances.

When all is said and done, I have found it best to just stick with the number printedon the side of the rod.

The most important thing is to get out there and enjoy a day of fishing (and if you're lucky, enjoying some catching to go along with the fishing).


12-04-2011, 01:36 PM
I agree that most sticks will handle lines either way. Unless something has been added Orvis used to be the only rod that was lined for its true weight.

12-04-2011, 08:22 PM
Thanks for the info guys. Looks like I will have to buy multiple outfits to cover all the bases!!:biggrin:

12-04-2011, 09:35 PM
Up close, casts within 20 feet, casts for normal small-stream fishing, a decent rod will cast about any line. I'd be willing to bet my favorite small-stream stick, a Diamondback 7ft 4wt, would cast a 10wt line, or a 0 wt line. But, that doesnt mean it will feel good in casting, or land delicately as not to spook fish, or be comfortable. If you come to a place where you need to cast further, having the wrong line on the rod will be magnified a ton. I've never cast a rod at all distances that done so equally well jumping 2 line weights, up or down. I'd hate to come to a pool where I really needed to stretch a cast 30 ft or so and have my rod just bottom-out on me to the point I couldnt cast accurately at the distance needed. Most major rod manufacturers have spent alot of time, research and money into their line of blanks, and if they mark a rod a particular weight, then I've found it to be mighty close usually. For me, a rod needs to perform with the line weight chosen for it at most normal casting/fishing distances. Jumping 2 line weights up or down has never worked out very well, for me anyhow.
If your rod manufacturer says the rod fits a 4wt line best, thats definitely where I'd start and if it just doesnt suit you, then try uplining one weight. If that still aint enough, then I'd try another rod with a different action. Some folks just dont get along well with a fast rod and/or a slow rod. It's a matter of personal preference of rod actions and casting styles most of the time and not necessarily a line weight problem.
Hope this helps some, and tight lines to you!

12-05-2011, 12:27 PM
I put the recommended line weight on my rods. Two exceptions are my bamboo which I underline to a 6 weight to stiffen the action. The second is my Tigereye. It is for 2/3 weight line- I use a 2 wt. for to stiffen the action. I believe Orvis has half weights now. Or did I just dream it?

12-05-2011, 08:50 PM
Many years ago, just to experiment, I took all my rods out and cast them each with all the line wts. I had. With modified technique it is possible to cast a 4wt with a 9wt line. All my rods would work when grossly overlined. Though I did this I don't think it's a good idea and can't recommend it. Severely overlining can damage a rod. Best idea is to start with the line wt on the rod. If the WF isn't satisfactory try a DT. Overlining by one wt will probably make it load better but it also might shorten your casting distance. It might affect line delicacy also. Usually better to evaluate your fishing requirements and test cast with several lines before deciding. Most rods will have one line weight that they seem to cast the best with.


12-06-2011, 10:12 AM
501 has a good point with WF and DT lines. All of my rods but the 2 wt. have WF on them. The 2 wt. is a DT. If I had lots of money to spend, I would have all my lines as DT. DT is easier to roll cast, IMHO. I had a D wt. level taper (7 wt. now) that I threw away several years ago. Got tired of looking at it- but was in excellent condition. Roll casting was effortless! Wish I had kept it!