View Full Version : Rod flex?

07-05-2006, 12:09 PM
Just wondering about other's experience with different rods, their flex, and hook set. I have become accustomed to fishing a 3 weight St. Croix Legend Ultra. It is one of the older, pre IPC models, but has become my favorite Smokies rod.

I have noticed that it is hard for me to miss the set with it, yet when fishing slower rods I have to be more mindful of the set and a bit more aggressive. My best guess is that this is due to the rod's flex and with the "LU" being a faster, it helps me in this regard. In other words with the "stiffer" flex, it takes less energy to set the hook which is easily done by simply lifting it's tip on the take.

Of course it feels kind of funny to talk to other folks about fishing a faster rod in such tight stream conditions as are prone to exist in the park. I sure don't need a faster rod for distance when the average cast is in feet rather than yards.

Has anyone else noticed an advantage one way or another with regard to rod flex and setting the hook, or otherwise for that matter? I am starting to wonder if a faster rod might suit novices better because of this? Maybe it's just a by-product or after effect of my old bait casting rod days :).


07-05-2006, 05:52 PM
I can agree with that, Mike. I think they make the set quicker while the slower rods allow for a smoother set on larger fish. A good example would be the Clinch while using smaller tippets for larger fish. A softer rod will protect lighter tippets better. A faster rod may allow you to detect a strike better thus increasing hook-ups in the smokies. The fish in the park are fast. I think the tailwater fish are more deliberate.

07-06-2006, 01:47 PM
I have experanced the oppsite. I fished the Smokey streams using a 3wt finnesse rod, then returned home and fished the tail waters with a 5wt tip flex, broke off several nice rainbows untill I learned to be less agressive with the hook set when using the tip flex. I finaly started using a 4wt mid flex and got better hook sets, but I had to duck alot when I decided to use a heaver wooly bugger ;D.

07-07-2006, 03:41 PM
Howdy Rusty & Vern,

As I was reading Vern's response it occurred to me that Vern's experience seems to confirm this line of thought, but does so from the other direction.

In other words if I understand Vern's post, he is saying that while fishing th park he was using aTFO Finessse which is a slower rod by comparison to the "tip flex" rod used back home. This sounds to me as if Vern either was or became accustomed to a more aggressive set needed for the TFO, but upon attempting to use the faster rod, his set was too aggressive, thus snapped the tippet.

In my case when fishing Metcalf, I found myself not being aggressive enough thus not setting the hook well enough when using a slower rather than faster rod. I have also later found myself ducking to dodge my own fly when later reverting back to a faster rod after having fished the slower one.

I suppose when all is said and done it's a matter of which rod you find easier to use or to be more comfortable to use.


PS: Rusty it's good to see ya posting, I've not been as active of late with so much going on! I continue to hope for the day we get to meet up and wet a line, maybe chase some Brookies :).

07-07-2006, 04:20 PM
The pleasure would be all mine, Mike! I've made a lot of friends with these long rods and you are included on that list. It's been very difficult for me to get away for the past year, especially these last 4 months. I fished this past Sunday and it was the first time since the first week of January that I've been able to wet a line. My plans are to be in East Tennessee next week. Hopefully for a whole week. Funny, I was living in Wears Valley this time last year and didn't give fishing time a second thought. I'm ready for my mother to get well, sell their house, and get back up there!

07-09-2006, 10:13 PM
Mike you are right, I was way to agressive with the tls 5wt tip flex. I can throw a nice tight pretty loop with it, but it does little in protecting the the tippit. I think pefer not break he tippit instead of being able to throw an extra 10'. I have only been fly fishing for about 3yrs, and I am just now figuring out what I pefer. As of right now with the amount of fish I have broken off setting the hook, I am leaning toward the tfo full flex.

appalachian angler
07-20-2006, 01:37 PM
I think you can get away with fishing a faster rod for small fish on dry's. I fish alot of wets and some streamers typically, with the rod tip just in the water, and the line basically downstream. The takes are often very hard and fast, and I surely wouldn't want a stiff rod for those kinds of hooksets. Timming is important, as I believe the swiftness of the hookset trumps raw power put into a hookset. It also helps to have sharp hooks without barbs (or properly pinched down ones) for better penentration!


07-20-2006, 04:11 PM
I agree with the other Vern. I fished a 3wt slow flex for a couple of years in the GSMNP and thought I was about right.One day I broke my 3wt. slow rod and was forced to try something else for a few trips.I tried a 5wt. tip-flex and a 4wt. mid-flex and have been using the 4wt ever since. Like most things there is not one perfect rod for all conditions.The 3wt slow flex was too slow some days and the 5wt tip flex was too fast some days.I found I could cover most conditions better with the mid-flex 4wt.