View Full Version : shopping for new rod

02-07-2007, 12:50 PM
Need some help on which rod to purchase for fishing the smokies. When I look at the online shop "WOW" too many choices. I know I want a 4-6 wt, but I am not sure what length is best. I'm fortunate to have great friend and neighbor in John Hammonds who is currently loaning me one of his, but now its time to buy. He told me the folks at Little River Outfitters would be the best place to start my search. The Browning I am borrowing is a 5wt, 8ft, 4 piece. I really like it and would like to find one comparable. Any suggestions for a beginner?

02-07-2007, 01:11 PM
Definitely, make a trip over to LRO and test cast several rods.
A medium to med/fast rod is great for beginners and I think the St. Croix Avids and TFO presentation rods are great for the Smokies and tailwaters. I like to get a rod with a lifetime warranty also.
John H. is a great guy. I haven't seen him since he left the Park service. Get him to take you Smallie fishing on the Pidgeon!
Good luck with the search :)

Gerry Romer
02-07-2007, 01:12 PM
Your friend is right about the folks at LRO! They'll give you the straight story every time. In general terms, for the mountains, shorter and lighter is better. I've dropped down from 5 wt to a 4wt and a 3wt, with the lengths running ftom 7'6" to 8'6". My favorite setup so far has been a 8' TFO 4wt, overlined with a 6wt pocket-water taper. However, Daniel has helped me cope with my current dose of cabin fever by putting together a slightly lighter setup. I haven't fished it yet but I'm really looking forward to trying it out -- I'm sure it's going to become my mountain "Go to" setup. It's an 8' 6" St. Croix Avid 3wt with a Rio 5wt pocket-water line spooled on an Orvis BBS II. Very lightweight and pretty fast. Good for tight mountain streams and relatively inexpensive - so something like it would make an ideal starter setup.

If you're also anticipating a few trips to local tailwaters, I'd beef it up to a 9' 5wt rod. LRO has a number of starter "kits" or setup that would work for you.

I'd also highly recommend that, whatever brand/length/weight/action you end up with, be sure to get it in the 3 or 4 piece travel rod variety. The smaller pack rods make life so much simpler when you have to load all of the other gear that Daniel's gonna sell you ;D


David Knapp
02-07-2007, 01:21 PM
Personlly, I wouldn't go too short... The extra reach can be a tremendous benefit on small streams. The occasional annoyance of a longer rod will be mild in comparison to the benefits. If I had to pick one rod for the mountains, I would probably get an 8' or 8' 6" rod in a 4 weight...

02-07-2007, 01:28 PM
Good advice on previous posts. Kinda like buying a new suit, gotta try it on and see if it fits. I use a 7'10'' 3 wt in the upper mountains and at lower elevations and tailwaters I go to my 8'6'' 5wt.

Agree with a 3 or 4 piece especially if you like to backback,travel or hike in on occasion. See LRO and cast several different kinds and actions. I like buying a new rod as much as I like catching a nice trout!

Good luck and let us know what you decide on.


02-11-2007, 05:37 PM
I have many rods but may current favorite is a TFO 3wt for waters above Metcaf Bottoms and smaller streams elsewhere in the park. Personal preference is important. Go to LRO and try a few.

appalachian angler
02-11-2007, 05:59 PM
I have to agree with Plateau Anglers' advice on getting a rod as long as you can get away with. The extra length really helps with mending...if you fish the Smokies with more than 15' of line on the water you best learn how to mend and manage your line slack on the drifts! Longer rod is easier to roll cast, picks up line easier and is very helpfull when high-stickin' the very prevalent pocket water the Park is famous for.

That said, and the fact that LRO carries Sage rods, I highly reccomend the 486-4 SLT as a fantastic all-around, if I could have only one, trout rod! I was casting a buddies' rod in that exact model the other day (he had my 389-2 Sage SLT) and caught 2 nice fish with it in a few minutes time. He had on a RIO "selective trout WF4F" line on it and this package just BLEW ME AWAY!!! I almost didn't give it back to him ::)
By the way: 486-4 = 4 weight, 8'6" length, 4 pieces

Try this rod, and if the price spooks ya, take a serious look at the ST. Croix "avid" series rods...approx. $200 and American made! Both mentioned rods at LRO, American Made, and each having a "med-fast" action/feel.