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Thread: 5 or 6 wt for a newbie

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    Default 5 or 6 wt for a newbie

    Hi all

    I'm new to the forum and fly fishing. I've read some interesting comments from some members so please go easy on me.

    I have fished exclusively for Tigers over the last 7 years or so, in Komatipoort, on the Komati river and I'm there 4 to 5 times a year. Always on spinning equipment and a combination of top water, spoons, live bait etc.

    After chasing that big tiger for many years, I finally landed a 7kg last month. :-)

    So now I feel it's time for me to chase that elusive 7kg on fly.

    Many hours reading and surfing the net led me to a casting book which in turn started the itch to practice and before I knew it, I had a 9wt rod and reel.

    So now that's all wonderful and great and I can practice in the park, but a 9 wt sort of leaves me high and dry in JHB i.e like bringing a gun to a knife fight.

    Again after reading the forums and surfing the net, a whole new world has presented itself to me :-) and yes I know I'm addicted already and yet to throw a line in the water!!!! Crazy right!!!

    So what I'm now looking for is something that's not so species specific like the 9 wt I bought. So looking for a good all round rod and reel set up to cater for what I might encounter elsewhere. So based on reading, we looking at trout, yellows, bream, muddies, bass etc. So the 9 is overkill for sure but I read conflicting views on what is the default goto rod, 5 or 6 wt?

    Now I know this is a very personal choice but for Gauteng water what is the preferred weight?

    To make matters worse, not all rods are equal, and a 5wt in a certain brand maybe a 6 or 7 in another. (Correct me if that statement is wrong but I get that impression)?

    Then I would like to support local business and products. So an opinion on a rod and reel would also help i.e. explorer, stealth, Shilton. Not sure about others. ??

    And lastly some advise in hind sight and money being no object. With
    the large list of species this rod list must deal with and the various types of line required (floating, sinking etc). Is it advisable to buy a few spools, a few reels or 2 to 3 full sets.

    I realise this now opens up a myriad of other issues, like why not buy 3 rods, a 4, 5, 6 and rather set each up to specialise on each species or similar group of species etc.
    But on reading more, I realise that will naturally happen over you fly fishing career anyway.

    So just curious, if you had to start from scratch, how you would approach it now. 1 rod per species or 1 great all rounder using line as the differentiator.

    Right I think that's enough questions for one evening.

    Thanks in advance for reading this long story and for any advise it may bring.

    Regards
    Grant

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    Gauteng
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    Default

    Its very subjective and each reply will probably be slightly different. Here's my 2c...

    Ros - If you had to only pick one rod as a good all rounder you cant go wrong with a 9 foot 5 or 6 wt. Possibly leaning slightly towards a 6wt but it depends on the water, conditions, style of fishing, etc. If nymphing a 10 footer is better but a 9 foot will do the job. Many say a 10 footer doesn't cast as well but I use mine for delicate presentations in clear water at Sterkies and Lillydale and it works like a charm. Locally, the Stealth Infinity and Xplorer T50 rods are pretty good value for money although I personally prefer TFO (specific models like the BVK and Jim Teeny) in that price range. Not local though.

    Line - you can catch all species listed on a floating line and then you may choose to go intermediate or sinking later.

    Reel - I prefer one reel with multiple spools. Shilton are excellent even when compared to top global brands so you cant go wrong there for reels.
    Bryan Williams

    “My Biggest worry is that my wife will sell my fishing gear for what I said I paid for it!”

    Check out my albums

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Gauteng
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    Default

    Since you already have a 9wt, I would suggest the following, since this is how I have standardised:

    You should aim for a 3/6/9wt group of rods. Good spread between what each rod is used for.

    The 3wt can come later (suggest an 8 1/2ft or 9ft 3wt for small streams. Can pair this with a Shilton CR2 reel).

    Get a 10ft 6wt. The longer rod is better for stillwater fishing and large river nymphing, where the reach is beneficial. Also you can get a full range of lines, from Floating to Di7 in a 6wt (not in a 5wt). I am very prone to my Stealth Infinity 10ft 6wt - awesome allround rod.
    http://www.flytalk.co.za/forum/showt...highlight=sage

    If you want local - Shilton CR3 is a great reel to pair with this rod.
    http://shiltonreels.com/products/fre...els/cr-series/

    Airflo Super-Dri Elite floating lines are my current choice, with Airflo sinking lines being tops too.
    Gary
    Flytyer - Where great flytying begins

  4. #4
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    Oct 2013
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    Gauteng
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    Tks for your input Bryan and Gary.

    Haven't decided what I'm going to do just yet.
    Still pondering but the cost of this may just sway me one way or the other.

    Thinking more and more of going second hand but I'm struggling to find something I want or that makes sense for what I'm looking for.

    Regards
    Grant

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grant111 View Post
    Tks for your input Bryan and Gary.

    Haven't decided what I'm going to do just yet.
    Still pondering but the cost of this may just sway me one way or the other.

    Thinking more and more of going second hand but I'm struggling to find something I want or that makes sense for what I'm looking for.

    Regards
    Grant
    Hi Grant, firstly welcome to Flytalk.

    I thought that you said earlier that price was not an issue ?

    If that's still the case I can offer you a 1954 Hardy split cane, Polokana 6# rod, with both dry fly and wet fly tips, plus original documentation and bag.

    Seriously though, set your budget, shop around, test cast some rod/line combo's and then make up your mind.
    It's not in the catching, it's in the learning something new.
    view albums at. http://www.flytalk.co.za/forum/album.php?u=659

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    Gauteng
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    Hi Herman

    The "money being no object" comment was to ask the old hands on the forum, that if they had to build their setups from scratch again and not being limited to a budget, how would you now buy your rods and reels. I.e. weights, multiple reels pools, etc.

    Reason for that question is the answer will be different depending on money, so this way you get an optimal set up from the start. This also costs less in the long run, as like I said, I couldn't contain myself and landed up with an expensive rod and reel without really know much about what I really needed, so now it might cost me double as I might have the wrong thing or started off wrong.

    Does that make sense?

    Regards
    Grant

  7. #7
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    Dec 2006
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    Pretoria Gangsters Paradise
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    You need two rods in each weighting ... yes ... as a backup and even if you're fishing the same two rods, it's much less schlepp to setup say one as a floater and one as a sinker (DI5 or better) than what it is to swap reels or even spools.

    Don't buy one reel with spools, it's not THAT significantly cheaper than buying two reels outright ... get two of the same reels with differing lines, or three reels if you have three lines etc, at least then the spools are interchangeable, should something happen to one of your reels, while on a trip.

    Your 9WT isn't "task specific" ... you can use it literally everywhere. Carp, Tigers, Barbel, Light Estuary/Saltwater work ... etc. Suitability for purpose is ofcourse another thing alltogether. Some of the big profile flies (2/0 - 8/0 Hooks) I'm tying now for Tigers you simply can't cast on anything lighter than a 10WT ... well you _can_ but you significantly increase your work factor and your ability to recover from duffed casts.

    If I had to choose to do it all over again, I'd still have 5WTs for most/general use ... 7WT for Bass and Largies, 8WT Tigers, 9WT/10WT/12WT/14WT and heavier for Saltwater applications with a 3WT as a nice "best of all worlds compromise" stream setup ... again it depends on your level of craft and expertise, I spend far too little time on streams chasing small fish to justify having lighter weight rods, even though I'd love to have them.

    EDIT : I should add, I love fast actioned rods with thick butt segments for pulling power, I don't like playing a fish for any kind of extended period of time, I like to hook & hoist, so to speak.
    Last edited by Scythe; 11-11-13 at 12:11 PM.
    "Hierdie drol het baie vlieë" - Ago 2014.

  8. #8
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    Oct 2013
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    Gauteng
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    Default

    Tks. Makes sense.

    I like the 2 rod and reel set up per weight idea. Obviously costs more but it seems like a good long term practical solution.

    And I think I'm now sold on the 5wt as my default rod.

    Now I just need to go do some fishing!!!!!

  9. Default

    Hi Grant,
    I know I am a week late in this conversation and what has already been suggested makes a lot of sense so I won't muddy the waters any more.
    However I would like to invite you to come by the shop and see some good 10' #6 rods as well as join us on the waters on a Sunday and try out a few combos that we fish in the Vaal for Yellows

  10. #10
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    Oct 2013
    Location
    Gauteng
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    Hi Richard.

    Tks for the offer and I think I'll take you up on that, since I'm working up the road from you at the moment.
    You'll remember me from a month ago, strolling around your shop looking very lost. :-) the SAP consultant from ex iServe.

    See you soon.

    Regards
    Grant

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