View Full Version : Fly rods to kill for--made for the Smokies

07-12-2006, 07:34 PM
Fishing GSMNP is at the least difficult and frustrating.Generally you live or die on your ability to roll cast.Small delicate rods seem bestI have owned at least 100 fly rods in the last 30 years.Some were bad,most were ok,but my Winston LT5's are the best I have every used.I own a 3wt 6'9' that seems made specifically for Smokies fishing.It is light,and casts like a dream.I have a 4wt 7'9" that handles good in the park's streams,it is probably best over all.I used it in Wyoming on Pacific Creek,last September,and caught several nice rainbows,one was 19" long.It was great fun.These rods are a pleasure to put together,thay have a sensitive tip that has action unlike any I have found.
They are expensive,but are guaranteed for life.You will come to covet these rods.These rods are made in Montana,in the USA.They are expensive,but I think the cost is in line with the quality of the rod.Winston's Boron rods are some really "fab" fast action rods.I have a 5wt 9',that worked well fishing Abrams Creek.I should add thay are expensive--well over $600.00--making them expensive.I suggest putting your pennies away to own one of these rods.Don't take my word for it--ask Paula--LRO is a dealer for Winston rods--Winston's are made in a tiny factory in Three Bridges Montana--They are at times hard to get,or they used to be hard to get.
There are many good rods out there,some are made in China(The cheaper Winston model((Can't think of its name)) is made in China,it is not a real Winston and feels like a club)others are made in Korea,Japan etc.Please buy American--Please buy from locally owned fly shops like LRO,not because they need the business,but because of credibility,honesty and services.Used to be,a rod to be taken seriously had to be made in the USA.By the way,have felt 2 really nice rods a friend showed the other day'he could not decide which one he wanted so he bought them both. Rod 1 was a Sage 7'4wt,can't rememberwhat it was called,but it was a blondish-green rod,a new model,that was ultra light and felt like a dream.Rod 2--Was a ultralight 3wt 7' Murray Mountain Rod made in Colorado by --sorry can't think of their name.

07-12-2006, 07:40 PM
Scott fly rod co. makes the Murray Mountain Special,they are in Colorado.

07-13-2006, 01:00 PM
I used to be peculiar about rods, owning high end Orvis, Winston, Sott , Powells & bamboo. As i was looking for a 9 weight rod last year, a foreign made rod shamed 2 $600 American made rods, guess which one i bought :o


07-13-2006, 03:33 PM
I want to cast (no pun intended) a vote for my Sage 7'11'' LL 4wt. Sage dropped the Light Line model from their line up a few years ago but I thought it was the perfect GSMNP rod.I have been fishing it for 10 years and it's just as good as the day I got it. The fish can't tell it's old technology.

07-14-2006, 11:52 AM
It may not be as fancy as a Sage or Winston, but my vote for the perfect Smokies rod goes to my 7'9" St. Croix Legend Ultra. It is the older three piece version, but is unbeatable in my estimation. The only exception being if or when it's line becomes tangled in brush and if the tip snaps off as it did on my most recent trip to the park. Of course that isn't the rods fault but it was under warrentee and has already been returned to me after having been repaired!


07-14-2006, 09:21 PM
I view rods the same way that I do any piece of equipment.
No matter how little or how much it cost, its gotta feel and work right .
My go to rod is a Cortland combo that I got on closeout a few years ago.
I never go on a trip without it.
Meanwhile the $600 Loomis along with my other 5 rods gather dust at home.

* * This spring I built a matching set of 4wt rods for the wife and son.
By sheer luck both turned out *excellent .
The balance is perfect and they both perform very well.
Ive got about $350 in the set including a set of Orvis reels.

I just wish they would let me borrow one of them sometime. :'(

07-17-2006, 08:09 AM
To each his own, but I usually don't use anything shorter than my Sage Light Line 8'9" 3 wt. The only time I use a smaller rod would be on a stream as tight as Collins Creek, for instance. Other than that I like to be able to reach WAY OUT. I haven't been able to find a medium action 4 piece 9 foot 3 weight or I would buy it. If Scott would make a 9' 3 wt., 4 piece G or G2 I would buy it in a heartbeat.

07-17-2006, 11:12 AM
You're like me, Chris. I use long rods on all but the tightest of little trickles. I use a 10ft Winston IM6 4wt a lot and love it.

07-17-2006, 11:50 AM
Highstickers! ;D

07-17-2006, 12:32 PM
;) Those old timers aint fools.

07-17-2006, 09:48 PM
A 10ft rod in the mountains!?! Shoot, I often hit the Holston w/ my 8ft 4wt ;D ....uhhh does that make me crazy? Maybe. Well, we're all a little bit crazy, right?;)


07-18-2006, 11:29 AM
You should try one out if you get a chance. Good length for both taiwaters and mountain streams. Seriously.

07-18-2006, 09:03 PM

I have a 9' 3 weight that I built this winter with a kit from H & H. I haven't used it much in the smokies yet, but I had a good day fishing on the Mad River back in my home state of Ohio. The extra length made for some good drifts with a small nymph, while allowing 8-12 brownies and bows to give a good account of themselves. I can see where the extra length will come in handy in the smoky streams since it can be difficult to get a drag free float on those types of streams with a shorter rod.

Have fun!


07-18-2006, 09:59 PM
I actually was looking at a new rod (kinda smallie/trout deal) I might go w/ a 9 but since you mention it I might tack a little extra length to that. I fish some small streams (like "step across drainages ditches") for wild brookies and bows; I might pack a longer rod in next time. . Yeah, Ill give that a try. Good fishin' to ya!


appalachian angler
07-20-2006, 01:24 PM
Generally speaking, I find an 8' 4wt, mediem action, with a good DT line will cover the whole spectrum of smokies fishing. If you want to feel the fish, get ya a bamboo or decent glass rod! The beauty of Bamboo is that they allow alot more of a wrist action in the cast, which helps immensely when under tight canopies.


07-21-2006, 08:41 AM

I have been tempted to use a 10 footer and now, by God, I am going to do just that! I have often been tempted to take my 9 footer and tie on a 7 1/2 foot 5x leader on the tip top and not even take fly line. I am sure that I would be able to reach 90-95% of the areas that I normally fish. As I am sure you are well aware, it's about stealth and fly placement. Fly line makes it to tempting to reach out too far on these mountain streams! :)

08-05-2006, 03:43 PM
im gonna cast my vote for my 7'9 5wt white river fly rod. this is the best thing for me cause i cant spend 600 dollars on a fly rod.(nothing against those who do). i think it handles good. i wouldnt know tho it replaced a rod from t.j. maxx that weighed about 10 pounds. but it caught trout tho a few out west.sry if i offended anybody.
tight lines
the kid

09-26-2006, 12:46 AM
I use several rods in the smokies, all are Scott g's. And I'm keeping them!
8' 3wt for the high country or west prong LR. 8' 4wt for middle (4 piece) or packing in to Hazel for the weekend. 8-8" 5 wt for Little River below Elkmont or maybe for Hazel as well, it has back bone to handle a large fish, if I manage to stick one. If water is high, and I am throwing alot of lead, I want a 6 wt. 8-8", maybe even a 9' - 6wt with sinking line. They're all perfect for the moment........... for me! Glass or bamboo if it makes you feel good, better feel than graphite?!
I'm for buying American in Fly rods and reels, about one a year unless my wife blinks!
Tight lines,

10-09-2006, 01:40 PM
I own several rods from 3wt. up to 8wt. I personally feel the best small to med. size stream fly rod made is the Orvis Superfine 7/11 4wt. It is a slow rod that loads easily for short cast to pocket water but is very accurate out to 40ft. It is made for dry flies but I can high stick as well. A 6"-12" trout feels like a 2 pounder. I only wish I hadn't wasted money on all those foreign made new kid on the block fly rods. This is truly a Smokies fly rod to kill for.

10-13-2006, 05:56 PM
I love superfines--had a 7'4wt that did fine--until I let a friend borrow it-he broke it (car doored it)--Orvis asked what happened =--I told the truth about my friend and the cardoor--They would not fix it cause warranty was in my name--and he broke it--that ended our relationship--bought a winston--

11-03-2006, 03:03 PM
I've got rods from 6'3" to 9'6" and they share two common traits: 1) They are all bamboo. 2) I use every one of them in the GSMNP. ::)

I would have to say that for the most part the 7'6" - 8'0" are the most comfortable to use, unless, as stated above... you get into some really tight quarters. The ability to wrist cast with cane is a definite plus... especially on some of these "blue lines" we fish.


11-09-2006, 11:13 PM
my 2 main smnp rods

4wt winston lt (8'3")
2 wt T&T lps (7'6")