View Full Version : rod

02-22-2008, 10:03 PM
what length rod is best for the smokies.I already have a 7ft 4wt that I usually bring but its time for a new rod.

02-23-2008, 08:48 AM
I think it's more of what you are comfortable with than anything. Myself, i usually take as long a rod as possible, even on very small streams, just because i like having the extra length to get the fly out there and high stick. I would think that a 9' is the best length, overall, for the smokies. If you don't feel comfortable making that big a jump then go smaller, like 8'6" or even shorter if you like. Just stop by LRO and try some out that way you can feel how several different ones feel.


02-23-2008, 01:04 PM
I agree with Craig. For the life of me, I don't see the facination with the shorter rods. I fish a 9' 3wt or 4wt for 95% of my fishing in the Smokies. The smaller the stream, the easier it is to fish with a longer rod, in my opinion. Now, there are a couple of streams in the Park that are really, really tight, and then I will go down to a 6' 10" Scott 3wt. Other than that, I like the line control I get from a long rod. In fact, if a rod company would make a 10' 3wt or 4wt, medium or slow action, 4 piece rod, I would probably buy one. I would have a very hard time high sticking with a 7 1/2 foot rod and I do a fair amount of nymphing.

02-23-2008, 06:14 PM
If I am in high elevations searching for brookie I use a 7'6'' 2 weight, but the rest of the time I use an 8" 4 weight which has served me well just about everywhere. I do agree, 90% of the time the short rods don't seem to do the job, but it's all in personal preference!

02-23-2008, 06:45 PM
I have 2 9' rods (5wt and a 7wt) and a 7'6" 3wt. The 7wt I use mainly in lakes for bass but between the 5wt and the 3wt, I am about 50/50 on how frequently I use them. The 9' is a little easier to high stick and mend especially in some of the "conflicting" curents, but there's just something fun about that little 7'6" rod.

I think it's a combination of personal taste and what you're in the mood for.

My suggestion is to call LRO and order one of each. You might as well bite the bullet now because you know eventually you're going to own them both. :smile:


Gerry Romer
02-23-2008, 07:22 PM
I agree with Craig, but I would add that, in addition to personal comfort, you also have to consider the type of stream you plan on frequenting and the specific kind of fly fishing you prefer. Some of those blueline streams can get pretty claustrophobic - especially in the summer - and even a 7' rod will seem way too long for highsticking, while most of the lower elevation streams offer plenty of wide open spaces where you'd feel comfortable high sticking a 9'6" or even longer rod. And, if you prefer the precise, delicate presentation of a tiny dry fly to dredging a nymph on the bottom then you'll probably be better off with a shorter, lighter rod.

That's another great thing about the Smokies -- diversity:smile: If I'm spending the day in the mountains, I'll generally take two rods with me: an 8' 3 wt for fishing dries up high, and an 8'6" 4 wt for everything else. That 3 wt. is no good for nymphing or trying to fling dry/dropper rigs but it's very good at placing #20 BWO's right where I want them. My 4 wt. can handle everything else!

I may be wrong, but if you've been fishing a 7' 4 wt rod then I'd guess you prefer delicate presentation of a dry in close quarters. If not, then I'd guess you've been using the wrong rod all this time and you're just about frustrated enough to give up on the sport :biggrin:


David Knapp
02-23-2008, 07:44 PM
Since you've already got a short rod, I'd recommend getting a longer one...8.5' to 9' would be my personal preference for an all around rod. Even though it is more fun to fish them, I don't use my shorter (7.5'-8') rods as often because of the better reach and consequent ease of mending with a 9' rod...to be fair though, I tend to fish the mainstem LR, Abrams, and other larger water.

02-23-2008, 09:08 PM
places like roaring fork where fishing is tight makes a short rod relevent to the small pools and enclosed banks,I use a 4wt 7'6" Babb Cane rod with a perfectionist taper.Otherwise I use a 8ft 5wt David Redington cane rod,medium slow action---fast action rods are just not fun(graphites)--I think the Smokies gives us a chance to use all those technical rods,most are light weights(2-3-4 weights) most are short 6 to 7 ft--I say go for it,overkill seems to be the name of the game nowdays--I watched a guy from New York cast a 5-6ft cane rod on Little River--He layed dry fly's on the water so gentle the water did not seem surprised.The rod to use is the rod you like.

02-24-2008, 01:19 AM
I think I'm going to buy a 8'6 rod now to decide which one to get.I'm kind of new to flyfishing so I didn't get a real expensive rod and reel the first time.But I'm hooked so I'm going to get a good one this go around.What do ya'll suggest?I've got about $500.00 to spend on a new rod and reel.


02-24-2008, 10:23 AM
If I were just getting into fly fishing, I believe I would buy a Temple Forks Outfitters rod. I own two of them that my kids and friends use. Both are 8'6"; one is a 3wt. the other is a 5 wt. My personal tastes run towards Winstons, Sage and Scott. I have also owned many, many bamboo rods. But I am not under any delusions that I will catch more fish with, say, a Winston, than I will a TFO. I just like the looks, feel, etc. of a Winston. As far as a reel goes, I wouldn't spend too much money on one, because, for the most part, it's a line holder. Especially in the Smokies. I personally use Hardy reels, again, for personal reasons. But I am not going to catch any more fish with a Hardy reel than with other reels. Spend your money on some lessons or a guide. Stop by or call Little River Outfitters; they won't steer you wrong.

02-24-2008, 11:01 AM
Southernboy, you've gotten a lot of good advice so far. In my opinion, the best advice is to go by LRO. I'm from east central MS and made my 1st FF expedition to the Smokies in 2004. I usually go up to GSMNP 3-4 times a year and fish both sides of the park. No matter which side of the park I'm on, I always make it a point to go by LRO. You will not find a better group of people in my book. They are always friendly, helpful but not pushy, will answer all your questions, and do their best to put you on fish. It's the kind of place I always leave wishing I had more money to spend.... And no, I'm not related to anyone at LRO. Just giving credit when I think it's due.
I usually fish an 8'6" 5wt. Orvis Henry's Fork rod on all but the smallest streams. I use a 7' 4wt Orvis rod when I hike in to the blue lines.....