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Old 11-29-2007, 10:13 AM
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ttas67 ttas67 is offline
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Location: Knoxville, TN
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8' 4 wt. I actually don't even own one, I usually use an 8' 3wt, but I'd say a 4wt is probably an all around better choice if that's going to be your only rod up there.
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Old 11-29-2007, 10:36 AM
ccmmcc ccmmcc is offline
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Default Longer the better.

For 95% of my fishing I use a Scott G series 9' 4wt. If scott made a 10' 4 wt. G series, I would use it. I like a medium action rod since most of the time I am only casting leader and maybe a couple of feet of fly line and I can load my rod easier with a slow or moderate action. The extra rod length allows me to reach more areas with less line on the water. Trying to high stick with a 6 1/2' rod or even an 8' rod is very frustrating for me.
Chris McCarthy

Many go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.
- Henry David Thoreau
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Old 11-29-2007, 11:05 AM
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PeteCz PeteCz is offline
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Location: Maryville, TN
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Default Telescoping Rods

If I could find one, I'd use one that started out like a 3' 2wt on my backcast and then extended to a 12' 6wt as I was shooting line...that way I would stay out of the rhodies and be able to keep all of my line off the water as I was casting two pools above me on a brookie stream.

Unfortunately, I don't believe that there is a perfect size. Just look at all of the responses to the question. The best thing to do is go to LRO, tell them the kinds of streams that you want to fish and then cast a few different rods. You really need to enjoy the rod you are using and be able to cast it well enough to get to the fish. The size and wt are not as important.

Even in the park there are wide variations in the tackle that would be considered optimum. If you are chasing Brookies on small brushy creeks, with lots of rhododendron, you could go with a really small rod (6' - 7'6") since you are only casting a few feet (inches) of your fly line and you don't want to get hung up in the vegetation. Or you could go with a 12' cane pole and place the flies up in front of you pool or two at a time.

If you are fishing the bigger streams in the park you might want a slightly longer rod (7'6" - 8'6") to help with mending across multiple currents and the vegetation is not as much of an hinderance. If you nymph alot, you might even want a slightly longer rod to get the flies up and down into the current quicker without spooking the fish with too much line in the air.

Above all, get a rod with a very good warranty. If you fish in the park and find yourself fishing in remote areas (or with your brother-in-law) you might end up with a broken rod. Some companies will replace it, no questions asked, others you'll be out of luck. Make sure you don't end up, out-of-luck...
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Old 11-29-2007, 11:07 AM
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donwinn donwinn is offline
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Location: Tullahoma, TN
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Default What rod?


I asked the same question on this board several months ago. I did have one additional specification though. I wanted a rod that would be easily carried into the backcountry. Just as you have, I received some great comments and suggestions. However, I learned that the answer is not a simple one. I think Drew Delashmit, a great guide by the way, had the right idea if you are looking for the most versatile rod. In my case, I really did not plan on fishing with heavy steamers etc. I wanted a rod that would roll cast well in tight places but also allow me to cast well when I could make a cast from the tail to the head of a long pool. I talked to the folks at LRO several times. They were a great help! I finally decided on a TFO 7'9" Finesse 3wt. I love the rod. It is perfect for my needs. However, I would probably have a hard time landing a 20" fish. I would probably have a hard time landing it regardless of the rod I had. Anyway, consider the areas where you will be fishing and the type flies you will be throwing. Good luck!
Don Winningham

I don't live just to fish, but I want to fish just as long as I live.
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Old 11-29-2007, 11:19 AM
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Elk riverrat Elk riverrat is offline
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Location: Kelso, TN on the bank of the Elk River
Posts: 76

I fished the park for years with a 9'0" #4, 2 pc rod, I've tried a 7'9" #2, seems like ever time I took it I thought I was in Wyoming (wind) couldn't get it on eBay quick enough. It is a personal decision, I never felt handicapped with the 9', even 5 or more miles from the trailhead I personally stop at 3 weights.

When I come to the native waters, I think of one thing, wild fish on DRY flies, I live on the Elk River tailwater and get my fill of subsurface stuff at home.
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Old 11-29-2007, 12:42 PM
kylemc kylemc is offline
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Originally Posted by Waterborn View Post
12' cane pole, stick bait, and a jug o' shine.....

When are we going...LOL
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Old 11-29-2007, 12:46 PM
Jack Jack is offline
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Default What Fly Rod

9ft 4pc 3wt. Really love it.
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Old 11-29-2007, 04:56 PM
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jeffnles1 jeffnles1 is offline
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I'm by no means or definition an expert. Heck, by most of the experience of the guys here, I'm a newbie for sure.

With that said, there are two rods I use as my go to. One is a 9' 5wt Scott G2. The other is a Sage SLT 7'6" 3wt.

I really like the short rod up in the Smokies. It's just a dream to cast and to use on the streams.

As for big fish, I landed an 18" brown and a 20+" brown on a local tailwater using this rod. These are stocked and not wild fish, but these ones were, I believe, holdovers as they do not stock them that large on this water.

The little rod held up fine and had absolutely no issues landing a couple pretty decent fish. It was a lot of fun.

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Old 11-29-2007, 10:13 PM
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Vern Vern is offline
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TFO 7'9" Finesse 3wt over lined with 4wt. 4pc packs easy.
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Old 11-30-2007, 12:12 AM
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monktrout monktrout is offline
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If you like a rod that could double as a tailwater midge rod try to find a Sage LL 8'9" 3wt(VPS light is the same rod without the nicer finish), This is a slower action Sage that can handle a weighted nymph and some wind. Might find one on ebay
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