View Full Version : New Fly rod

10-17-2007, 12:46 PM
Hello all,

I wanted to know if anyone could offer some advise about moving to a new fly rod. I currently use a 9 ft 5 weight (Orvis). I do a lot of fishing throughout the Smokies (mainly in Cades Cove near the falls, sometimes Middle Prong, and every so often at some of the streams near back country site #17). I was thinking of moving to a smaller fly rod (maybe a 7 ft 3 weight), as it would seem easier to handle in tight areas where the stream maybe more crowded with tree and bush lining. Anyone got any advice about things I should be aware of in my decision? Thanks.

-Catch your limit the next time you go,


10-17-2007, 04:39 PM
I suggest you go to Tackle and gear forum. the amount of advice the is amazing. I personaly like TFO Finnese 3wt over lined to 4wt 8'. Great rod for the price. I have a orvis tls in a 5wt, but allways ate one of my TFO's to the smokies.

Gerry Romer
10-17-2007, 05:02 PM
I think if you ran a search of the message board for Smokies rods, you'd probably get about a hundred hits. Tons of valuable info in the archives!

Personally, in the mountains, I fish both a TFO 8'6" 4 wt. with an Orvis Mid-arbor overlined with a 6 wt pocket water line and a St. Croix Avid 8" 3 wt with an Orvis BBSII overlined with a 5 wt pocket water. Of the two, the Avid is much nicer in the current skinny, tight streams.


10-17-2007, 05:16 PM
PTF, Gerry is right on about the search. You could go to the forum and read many, many posts about Smokies Rods.

Personally, I have had a 8'6" 5wt Orvis Silver Label Mid Flex for awhile that has been a pain to use in the Park (too long, too stiff). This Summer I switched to a 7'6" 3wt TFO Pro overlined with a 4wt line. It is a dream to cast and can get into (and out of) some tight rhododendron thickets. In addition to better casting, a 6" Brookie feels like a monster!!

David Knapp
10-17-2007, 05:17 PM
I would highly recommend stopping by LRO and talking to Daniel. Tell him what you are wanting out of a new rod and the price range you're looking at. He'll show you some good options and then cast each rod and see which one fits you best...

10-17-2007, 06:00 PM
lhey PA....I'm coming down in Jan and Feb for the intermidiate and advanced tying classes and I believe I'm gonna pic up a 7'6" 3wt Trout Bum with a either a BBII or CFO for the smokies and the two (yes, only two) trout waters we have back here in Ohio....my question is should one luck into a 4-5lb brownie such as the boys are talking about in the Brookville tailwaters....how do you feel that rod would hold up......


David Knapp
10-17-2007, 06:13 PM
Buckeyetrouter, I haven't fished or cast the specific rod you're talking about. Personally I would be hesitant to use that rod specifically for large browns but for the occasional large fish it should be fine. I like a fairly fast rod for large fish. The rod you're talking about is rated as being more flexible than the Superfine I recently tested (8' 4wt, 4-piece). It is definitely possible to land the big guys but might take a little longer than with a slightly faster/or heaver rod. On the flip side, the softer and lighter rod will protect the light tippets often required to fool large fish. That rod and reel will make a SWEET setup. I've landed browns in that size range on my old Superfine (4wt but VERY soft) so don't let that keep you from getting the rod. If you decide you don't like it, just send it to me...:rolleyes: :biggrin:

10-17-2007, 11:02 PM
my question is should one luck into a 4-5lb brownie such as the boys are talking about in the Brookville tailwaters....how do you feel that rod would hold up......

I fish Brookville quite regularly (I live in Northern Kentucky). I normally use a Scott G2 9'5wt there.

I recently picked up a Sage SLT 7'6" 3wt and have fished Brookville a couple times with it. While I have not managed one of the really huge browns, I did hook and land one 15" and one 18" brown with the little 3wt and had no problems.

The 18" was also on a 7X tippet. I have a BBS II reel and the drag is pretty good and yes, that brown took quite a bit of line and the drag was humming.

I do think the longer heavier rod is a better choice for Brookville. There is not really a tree canopy and there's plenty of room overhead and behind you so the short rod is not really needed like it is in the mountains.

I would not hesitate to use my 3wt there again and will most likely be using again this fall (Hopefully this Sunday if things work out right).

Hope this helps.


10-18-2007, 07:20 AM
hey Jeff.....I've not fished Brookville yet, but I did drive by a few weeks ago after a meeting in Indy. I really lilked the way the water looked. We will have to hook up some time so you can show me how that area is fished. What flies work there.....dry or nymph......I have a 5wt and 3wt, should I use the 5wt the first few times?....what types of hatches (I can't find any hatch info on the internet for Brookville)......what access points are public ( I was at the park behind the American Legion)....


10-18-2007, 09:01 AM

I was in the same situation as you this spring. I wanted to start going in the backcountry and wanted a new rod. I was considering a Winston and Orvis Superfine. I talked to Byron several times by e-mail. Given the amount of money these rods cost, I wanted to be sure I selected the best one for me. Bryon suggested I try the TFO Finesse 3wt. He was right! For the money, it is the best rod I have used for fishing in the SMNP. It is easy to roll cast and provides plenty of strength for the areas I fish. I'm not sure how it would work if I lucked into an 18 inch brown. I hope I get to find out some day, but I have other rods to use when fishing for larger fish. I have learned over the years that a fly rod is a very individual thing. We all cast differently, and people have biases. Some are just Sage people, no matter what. Some are crazy about Scott rods. I happen to have a thing for Winston rods. If possible, you really need to cast a few before deciding. Talk to LRO, they are great!

10-18-2007, 11:51 AM
Bob (buckeyetrouter)
my email address is
jeffnles1 at insightbb dot com

drop me a line and we can talk about what's worked for me there.


10-18-2007, 10:03 PM
Pharmtec, In tight fishing situations a soft rod loads up a short line much easier. My soft 7ft 3wt, 15 yr old Diamondback has been a joy to cast. I've got plenty of fast rods, but I like to slow things down in the mountains. Even within the Park, fishing the Little River is different than a high brook trout streams. Spend your money where your passion lies. Put your bucks on the rod you use a lot. Ther are a bunch of $500 saltwater rods that have a handful of casts on them. They stand in the corner waiting for next or is it next year we go to Fla. I fish mainly tailwaters, some warmwater, and some time in the mountains. As I get older, climbing on wet boulders is getting harder. I also like to fish alone more than I should. LRO will take good care of you.

10-19-2007, 09:27 AM
Thanks for the information everyone. I will follow the advice with a combination of searching and testing. I hope that your advice leads me to find a great fly rod.