Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Advice/poll for a tailwater rod?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Knoxville
    Posts
    360

    Default Advice/poll for a tailwater rod?

    I mostly fish bluelines in the Smokies and WNC, so I have very little experience on our local tailwaters primarily the Clinch and Holston.

    A friend is getting back back in the game and we have the Smokies covered but not a tailwater rod.

    My thoughts are (in general) a fast action 9’ rod in either 5 or 6 weight, but I’m leaning more to the 6 in order to not only throw dries and dry/droppers, but to be able to chuck streamers as well. Am I in the ballpark?

    What are are you all using on these waters? Any and all advice is welcome.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Knoxville
    Posts
    189

    Default

    I recently bought a 10' 5 wt Orvis Clearwater from LRO. It's a fast rod and may fish more like a 6wt. I think its a great rod for nymph fishing in the tailwaters. Easy on the wallet, too.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Crossville, TN
    Posts
    2,436

    Default

    I think it depends on what you want to do, wade or float. Most of your fishing on the Clinch can be done with a 10' 3 or 4 weight rod. It will lightly deliver those small midge rigs without spooking the fish as much as a heavier line will. Streamer fishing is something different though and will require a 5 or 6 weight if you are wading and a 6-8 weight if you are fishing sinking lines out of a boat. One other thing, fast rods are nice for getting it out there, but don't protect the very fine tippets required on rivers like the Clinch as well as a more moderate rod. A rod with a softer tip and power in the butt section will give you the best of both worlds. A 9-10' 5 or 6 weight rod will will certainly work just fine, but when the water gets super low and the fish are skittish, a lighter line might be helpful.
    "Then He said to them, 'Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.'" Matthew 4:19

    Guided Fly Fishing with David Knapp
    The Trout Zone Blog
    contact: TroutZoneAnglers at gmail dot com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Knoxville
    Posts
    360

    Default

    Thanks for the advice guys!

    i had not even thought about a forgiving tip due to light tippets especially throwing midges, that makes sense.

    As for a forgiving tip, would the Sage Mod 490 be a good rod? For streamers it’s probably too light but for dries I’m thinking it ought to be pretty good.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Norris, TN
    Posts
    2,196

    Default

    Great post David and very informative! As for me; I throw a 7wt/9'-6" rod due to it's extra durability for my casting errors. I recommend David's approach to addressing a tailwater rod need.

    Quote Originally Posted by David Knapp View Post
    I think it depends on what you want to do, wade or float. Most of your fishing on the Clinch can be done with a 10' 3 or 4 weight rod. It will lightly deliver those small midge rigs without spooking the fish as much as a heavier line will. Streamer fishing is something different though and will require a 5 or 6 weight if you are wading and a 6-8 weight if you are fishing sinking lines out of a boat. One other thing, fast rods are nice for getting it out there, but don't protect the very fine tippets required on rivers like the Clinch as well as a more moderate rod. A rod with a softer tip and power in the butt section will give you the best of both worlds. A 9-10' 5 or 6 weight rod will will certainly work just fine, but when the water gets super low and the fish are skittish, a lighter line might be helpful.
    ďEvery human has four endowments- self awareness, conscience, independent will, & creative imagination.
    These give us the ultimate human freedom... The
    power
    to choose, to respond, to change



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    68

    Default

    I like my 10-ft 5wt for fishing dries and small nymphs on big water, such as the Clinch and Holston, because it gets the fly 1 foot farther away from me while giving me 1 more foot of the rod to control the drift of the fly. I recently used the 10-footer while spring creek fishing in Wisconsin to allow me to get farther back from the bank while still having control of the drift of the fly. A few years ago when the Sulphur hatch on the South Holston was spectacular, I used it to cast dries on a 15-foot leader with 3 feet of 6X. Worked like a charm. BTW, a guide on the South Holston recently told me they haven't had a good Sulphur hatch in 2 years. YMMV

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    SE Tennessee
    Posts
    677

    Default

    Lots o choices. I fish with a 9 ft. 5 wt. or 8 ft. 7 wt. bamboo. Lots of people are going to the longer rods with light line for Euro nymphing. I can't justify the extra cost of another rod that, IMHO, will do what I'm doing now.
    John Torchick

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    578

    Default

    A 5 weight will get you through the day. When I feel I need to more finesse. I will lengthen my leader. I usually fish a 14 or 15 foot leader and may extend it to 20 for low flows or if Iím above the weir. Iíll add that longer leaders take some getting used to and practice will help a lot. Hope this helps

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    SE Tennessee
    Posts
    677

    Default

    I have to agree with No Hackle. In addition to a longer leader, I will go to a lighter tippet. Takes a bit of patience and practice to cast a real long leader.
    John Torchick

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •