View Full Version : what size rod for small mouth?

06-08-2006, 05:47 PM
what is your preferred rod wt for small mouth fishing in tn? my biggest current rod is a 5wt winston and it is fun to land one on it... but i have a hard time casting bigger flies with it ...i am a mediocre caster at best

i used to have an really stiff orvis 8wt but did not cast it well and found it too fatiguing for river fishing

i have used my father's 7wt scott on the new river in va...which is pretty big water. good for casting big flies...but not as much fun to "fish" with...it was a little on the fast side

what size do most people prefer? i like a slower action and will fish primarily on small to medium size rivers. any specific rod recommendations would be most welcome

06-09-2006, 10:04 AM

What type of line are you using, leaders and tippet materials? I currently use a 8'6" 5wt rod as well but medium flex for smallmouth fishing with WF5 line with a 9 foot/3X leader. This size allows me to cast and roll cast under the overhanging tree limbs when wet wading.

06-09-2006, 12:56 PM
I personally use a 10ft 6wt most of the time. But I'm usually on medium to big water. I think you would benefit from a 9ft 6wt in one of the mid-range rods. I think the Orvis Tridents are a good buy but you should cast a few other brands and models to find the one you like.

06-11-2006, 03:44 AM

What type of line are you using, leaders and tippet materials? *I currently use a 8'6" 5wt rod as well but medium flex for smallmouth fishing with WF5 line with a 9 foot/3X leader. *This size allows me to cast and roll cast under the overhanging tree limbs when wet wading.

i use a 5 wt winston JWF, sa gpx wf line. 3x 9 ft leader *(orvis). i tend to flail with anything bigger than a size 10/12 fly...worse if it is weighted

would i be better served with a 6 or 7 wt? or should i take a lesson or 3 *;D

06-11-2006, 02:46 PM
If you are fishing small to medium sized streams then I think a 6wt would be perfect if you need something to throw larger than 10/12 flies. It's all realative to your casting abilities, though. If you like the mid-flex rods then you're probaby more of a relaxed/passive caster. A heavier rod would certainly help you to heave out larger flies easier but you claimed you didn't like to "fish" with your dad's 7wt as much. The best advice I can give you is to go to a fly shop and try out the 6's and 7's and see what you like the best. Personally, I think the Loomis GLX's and the Winston BIIX's are some of the best smallie rods on the market. But the Loomis rods are fast and the BIIX's are mid-fast. There are many other fine choices out there as well. If I'm wading I will either be using a fast 6 or a slow 7 on medium to large rivers. I caught this smallie with a slow 7.

LRO has a fine selection of rods that I would happily use for smallies.


06-12-2006, 08:11 AM

If you are having some problems (we all do, so you're not alone) with your casting when smallmouth fishing, you may want to move to a slow-med 6wt rod. This type of rod is especially usefull when flipping the larger poppers and weighted flies. I personnally prefer the Redington (now Sage) brand of rods for the smallie fishing because of their limited flex. I do not use that brand for trout though because of the flex. I normally am wading the small-medium streams with alot of overhang, which is why I personally prefer the 8'6" rod length. You personally may do well with a 9' 6wt rod. Daniel or Chris at LRO can make some very good recommendations for a rod selection.

Good luck! ><))))>

06-16-2006, 01:29 PM
I fish for smallmouth bass more than anything else. Where I fish (creeks and small rivers) you'll catch anything from a six inch bass to a seven pond rod breaker. I normally take three rods with me, and often switch off at certain times of the day. I'll usually start out using a Scott G series 6 weight rod just to see what's feeding. If it's small fish I like to use another Scott rod I have in three weight, but often bring a four weight instead. Late in the day I like to use either the six weight or a
medium action 7 weight in case I latch onto a large mouth. If your using smaller weights you have to learn to keep them from getting into the current as they'll snap a leader right now. You also want to goto a bigger rod when using big crawdad imitations.
good luck & wade safe

06-16-2006, 03:13 PM
Most of my smallie fishing is in a fairly good size river, and I use a fast action 9' 7wt.
Can throw big deer hair flies, and as the mouth on a smallie is tougher than woodpecker
lips you need some backbone in the rod to set the hook. Watson

07-14-2006, 10:06 PM
DrDan: I think you've already tried a great rod for smallies, that 9' 7wt fast-action Scott. I think that most anything smaller will have trouble throwing the big stuff, like pencil poppers and weighted Zonkers. If that is too taxing a rod for you, then I say just start dropping down size until you find something that is comfortable enough. I've got a Temple Fork Lefty Kreh Professional 9' 6wt rod that I love, for only $140, and with medium-fast action. It'll work pretty good for smallie-type flies, but perhaps not the biggest ones. And it is a pretty forgiving rod as well. Many flyfishermen feel the need to spend more than that, so I'm sure you could also find a good rod for more money. Also, I would consider going shorter, like maybe 8' or 8.5'. To me, the length of a rod has a lot to do with how taxing it is to use.

Also, I would caution against getting too slow a rod. You'll outgrow it too fast. And in my opinion, you really need that fastish action to cast many smallie flies. I say go for something medium-fast, which you'll be able to keep forever, even if only as a backup rod. I think that slow rods often cause beginners to spend a lot more time that was necessary to develop a good rhythm. Some (old) experts claim to be good with slow rods, but I don't know those people. ;) I think the only advantage of a slow rod is comfort when casting. I read of other advantages to slow rods in fishing catalogs, but I really don't believe it.

If you are going to fish small creeks for small fish, then you may be fine sticking with your 5-wt.


RFowler, would you mind sharing where on earth you caught that monster, and what you were using? I'm not asking for your favorite fishing hole, but the river name would be nice... ;D It's only fair after making us all salivate with that picture.