View Full Version : 5wt v. 3wt

03-13-2007, 02:50 PM
My post got lost...(I think). In reading up on my June trip to your neck of the woods, I keep coming across recommendations that I use a 3wt. I have a 3wt but my favorite rod is my 9ft 5wt. Is the consideration here that the streams are narrow, etc. Or is there another reason for going with the shorter and smaller rod?

Also, am I to understand that waders are not recommended?

03-13-2007, 03:24 PM
I would bring both rods if you can, that way you will have a back-up if something happens. If the 5 wt. is your favorite, then I would use it. Either one will be fine for the park. Most of the fish that you catch will be small so a 3 wt. would be more "fun". I'm sure other's will chime in on this.

You won't really need waders in June. I love wet wading in the park and do away with the waders as soon as I can.

03-13-2007, 03:29 PM
If you can bring both rods, do so. The 3wt is all you really need for the park waters. "Most" of the fish you will catch are between 6-12", and a small rod is much more fun. 90% of casting is under 30ft and often has overhanging veggitation. Practice casting while kneeling and lots of sidearm casting also. The fish can be spooky, so stealth and good presentation are a must for success. The 3wt will handle stimulators and paras. with ease and dropping a green weenie off of them is standard practice around here. If you are taking a tailwater float trip while here, the 5wt would be useful for throwing buggers or larger streamers. There are plenty of guides to hire out and I'm sure several people on here would be available to meet up and fish with also.

David Knapp
03-13-2007, 03:40 PM
I use a 9 foot 5 wt rod the most. This is just personal preference though, mainly because I prefer a longer rod (my next longest rod is only 8 ft). The extra reach almost always is useful (occasionally it is actually a problem but helps more often than not). If possible, I would bring 2 or even 3 rods on a trip like that. You can experiment and find out which suits you best under the conditions in the park. You can't beat having a backup (or 2 or 3) on a trip either...

I wet wade because waders just get too hot for me... The water temps are very comfortable for wet wading that time of year.

03-13-2007, 04:06 PM
I agree with PA about the extra reach, so if your 3wt is at least 8' long, it will help. I used a 9' 5wt for years in the Park until I was given an 8' 3wt for Christmas. Usually, I don't even take the 5wt anymore. The 3 is much more enjoyable in the warmer months. During the winter, if I'm primarily nymphing doubles, I'll take the 5. The canopy is higher due to lack of leaves and I can sling the extra weight better. As others have said, bring 'em both and experiment. What works for one may not for another. Thanks for asking our opinions and good luck. Be sure to stop in and see the fine folks at LRO.

03-13-2007, 05:54 PM
My favorite rod is on the opposite end of what most of you guys are saying...my favorite rod for the Smokies is my 7' 4wt. It is a full flex rod and just a joy to cast and land fish on. But I would throw whatever you feel comfortable throwing.

03-13-2007, 11:56 PM
June is my favorite time. Greenweenies and wet wadding. Heaven! As far as a rod. I use an 8' 3 or 4wt. I have a 7' 3wt but like the 8' for reaching the pocket waters and lifting my line out of the fast water for a better drift, or just plain mending and being a fairly new ff the roll cast is easier for me with the longer rod.

03-14-2007, 12:23 AM
3wt all the way for dries and small nymphs.

03-14-2007, 03:39 PM
I had the same problem deciding between my 7 1/2 ft 3wt or 9 ft 5wt.I sold the 3wt,kept the 9ft 5wt for tailwaters and larger streams and fish with my 8ft 4wt. mid-flex which I think is perfect for all the different water conditions you may encounter in the GSMNP.I would not worry too much about which rod to use just come on up and have a great time.Oh on the question about the waders,wet wading is the only way to go when it is warm enough.Just remember some good wading boots,the rocks are hard and slick.

03-14-2007, 04:35 PM
This is so much a matter of opinion. On Little River I like the 5wt maybe even the 6 weight. At Tremont or back country backpacking and camping the 4 piece, 4 wt 8'. Or for mostly dries and small nymphs on anything but Little River (East Prong) I am happy to use my 3 wt. If I was out there today I'd decide when I got there, more on whim than anything unless the water is up. High water the bigger rods and heavy nymphs come out.
Bring em all, fish the one you like that day! I'm kind've like Linus on this one, I like to have them all with me. I may regret this if I am ever robbed. I you plan to leave the car all day make sure you put your stuff (left in the car) out of sight. Things unfortunately do dissappear occasionally. Enjoy your vacation, the Smokies are beautiful.


appalachian angler
03-15-2007, 11:03 AM
An 8' 4wt is a great all-around smokies rod. It should cover all the bases with ease except maybe throwing sz 6 weighted giant stonefly nymphs or weighted woolley buggers bigger than sz 8.

If you are going to wet wade, a pair of Chota neoprene wading socks fill in the void in your wading boots...LRO has 'em.

just my 2cts


03-21-2007, 07:57 PM
3 wt, every time watch out for the trees

03-21-2007, 08:23 PM
I've heard comparing what's better in rod lengths and actions for what situations is like comparing wines and fine cigars - guess its all a matter of preference and most of all budget...for me, I decided to split the difference and go 4wt so I can carry the same reel for both mountain rod and low water tailwater - an 8ft for the park and a 9ft for the tails - but often using the 9fter for the larger waters like abrams or lower littler river...I figure for throwing the bigger meat on tailwaters go bigger in rods say 7/8 wt when your getting into generations, grains, and wieghted flies. -but haven't gone out and spent money on that gear just yet...and wet wading in summer is a blast for sure, but you might want a pair of wool socks - one to fill the space in your boot that normally would be neoprene footie, and two, if your get into any upper elevation water, still farily chilly even though you do a bit of rock hopping and not so much wading as it were...
Having said about the rods stuff trying to be all practical - I'd still like to have about 6 to 6'6" 2wt for those specs!