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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
well fellows... went fly fishing this evening with my brother. 15 minutes in, I hooked a big smallmouth bass on one of my home-tied streamers. (I landed it using just the tip section :p) danged thing turned & ran into some pretty severe rapids, & in a misguided attempt to turn the fish, my 8'6" St. Croix (7-8 wt) Pro-Graphite fly rod exploded 6" back from the joint in the rod. I'm thinking that I actually need a 9' or 10' rod for this, preferably a 9 or 10 weight. the wind can be a bugger too. we sometimes hook stripers or hybrids doing this, so durability figures in, LOL! the smallmouth run up to 4# commonly, with hybrids & stripers going bigger. I aint rich, & in fact am unemployed at the moment. in your opinions, who makes the best rod for the buck that comes close to these specs ?
 

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Get the Cabelas fly fishing catalog, lots of choices at various price points.

And, yes, they do print a fly fishing catalog! I sometimes suspect that if somebody requested a catalog on, say, carp fishing with spears, they'd print him one. ;-)
 

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St. Croix is hard to beat... Snapping a fly-rod is normaly operator error... Casting in the wind: lower your rod-hand down around your navel(or close to it), keep your thumb pointing up, let the rod tip work...
Good luck and tight lines...
 

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X2 on Cabelas. They have a good selection. I never use anything over a 5 or 6 weight for bass, and only use 8 or 9 weight for Redfish on the coast where the wind can really blow. I do use 9 foot rods.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
may have found what I need, a Shakespeare Ugly Stik Big Water fly rod. it comes in either an 8-9 weight @ 9', or a 10 weight @ 9' long. I have still got a 6' Ugly Stik one piece spinning rod that I bought in the seventies after I got out of USAF. I have had to replace a few guides, but am incapable of breaking it, LOL! plus, they are under $70 versus the big bucks that Orvis & others want for their rods. I am casting a feather duster in bad winds normally, & do not need anything delicate. it aint like I am trying to finesse a #22 dry fly into a narrow spot to fool a brown trout... :p thanks for your suggestions.
 

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Pond

I might know a bit about the subject LOL

St. Croix is pretty darn good as is Templefork outfitters out of Texas. Your St. Croix should be under warranty check out their website and see. I wouldn't buy anything with out a a life time warranty.

Matt
 

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Heck, Matt, I bought my first Orvis rod in 1991, I think the warranty runs out in two years! Had it repaired once, ran afoul of the car door. Come to think of it, can't remember what I was driving back then!
 

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Anyone use Orvis?
Yup. Like bows, most fly rods are better than the guys using them ;-)

After a while you'll find some just fit your 'style' better than others. But what works well for you might be a dud to the next guy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Pond

I might know a bit about the subject LOL

St. Croix is pretty darn good as is Templefork outfitters out of Texas. Your St. Croix should be under warranty check out their website and see. I wouldn't buy anything with out a a life time warranty.

Matt
repair on warranty not available, model out of production. cost of warrantied repair (if it HAD been available) is more than the Ugly Stik cost new. I cut it down to 7' 6" & spliced it back together. a mite stiff in the butt now, but hey! so am I, LOL!
 

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Pond, I feel your pain. In the early years I dreamed of owning a St Croix. Couldn't swing it then. Now-a-days, my wife fishes with me most of the time so dedicated fly fishing is out. Now I just use an 8' Bass Pro rod and reel combo with the wt fwd that comes with it. Poppin' bugs for brim.

Hope you get you a new one. Sounds like you had a great time, even if you did in your rod.
GLH
 

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I don't think I'd get a 10wt for mostly smallmouth. Defeat wind with a thinner sinking line but casting a 10 wt all day with fish averaging 4 lbs seems like overkill. I have caught plenty of 20lb stripers on 8 and 9 weights. for your purposes 8 is probably better but if you want to play in the salt more go with a 9.
 

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Fly fishing is my other favorite hobby right now. I am not rich, so I buy relatively inexpensive equipment. I don't know how you feel about rods made overseas (most affordable rods are made there now, even Cabela's and LL Bean), but Okuma makes pretty good rods. The SLV model can be ordered for under $60 buck at Tackle Haven in Benton Harbor, MI. (most places want close to $90 for this rod). I have several (a 5wt, 8wt, and 10wt. and they have been durable and cast well for me. I have caught everything from bluegill to pike in freshwater to mackerals and jacks in saltwater with them. It is a good 4 piece graphite rod and a lot of bang for the buck. Having said all that, my favorite rod is my 7 wt. Temple Fork Outfitter Lefty Kreh Commander rod. It is my go to smallmouth/carp rod. It casts very well, even in a wind, and I have landed carp over 15# in a pretty good river current with this rod.

My personal take on a smallmouth rod is that in a fast flowing river with larger fish, I wouldn't use anything under a 6wt or over a 7wt for smallmouth. Too light a rod and you tire the fish too much and too heavy a rod and you don't get much of a fight. But then again, I am the guy that when the bluegills are running over 9" I switch to a 5wt rod. I tried a 3wt., but I found I lost too many larger fish in the weeds.

As I said I love fly fishing, but with a family to take care of I could not justify a Sage or St.Croix (which are amazing rods by the way). Most of my fishing is done with a fly rod and that includes everything from bluegills to bonefish to steelhead to carp. I have ten rod and reel combinations the cheapest being $45 and the most expensive being $200. The fish can't tell the difference.

Sorry, for the long winded post, but I guess fly fishing with budget equipment is my passion. Good fishing to you!
 
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Go trad get a bamboo fly rod.
I have a William Carter custom bamboo. After casting graphite for so long it's -weird- but fun. Lot heavier in the hand. If the local river ever drops I'll take it out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I don't think I'd get a 10wt for mostly smallmouth. Defeat wind with a thinner sinking line but casting a 10 wt all day with fish averaging 4 lbs seems like overkill. I have caught plenty of 20lb stripers on 8 and 9 weights. for your purposes 8 is probably better but if you want to play in the salt more go with a 9.
ordered an 8-9 weight x 9' Stik last night. the action of the St. Croix 8 weight was what I wanted, but wanted more durability & rod length. pretty sure i'll get that with the Stik. a sinking line aint gonna help, because the fish are slashing gizzard shad running for their lives on the surface. going to go with a 9 or 10 weight forward floating line to help get the feather dusters out there. the smallmouth are averaging 3 to 4 lb, the hybrids & stripers are bigger...:cheers:
 

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I use an Orvis encounter 6wt,,,,,,,,,,,,,it is a lot better than I am a flycaster!
For myself just getting the line out there is a victory.

With the Orvis outfit I seem to get the line out there easier more often and more accurately!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I use an Orvis encounter 6wt,,,,,,,,,,,,,it is a lot better than I am a flycaster!
For myself just getting the line out there is a victory.
I know what you mean, Redbow. I am like Patrick McManus in that respect, my flycasting technique has been compared (unfavorably) to a man fighting off a swarm of bees with a broomstick... :p
 
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