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senior member (61)senior membersenior member
09/09/2017 08:51AM
I'm wondering if anyone has any recommendations on what length and weight fly rod to get for the BW. I'm planning to get a Cabela's LSi, just not sure what length/weight. I'm relatively new to fly fishing, and I want to buy something that will last me a while.
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Guest Paddler
09/09/2017 10:41AM
7wt is a good compromise for the BW, I've caught pike to bluegills on mine, a weight forward floating line helps to turn over some of those bigger flies. I also like airflo poly leaders if I feel like I want a sinking tip.
senior member (56)senior membersenior member
09/09/2017 01:19PM
I carry two fly rods. A Sage Smallmouth rod which is good for casting topwater flies for bass along the shoreline. Sage calls the rod a Bass II or something like that now but my rod is an earlier version and is just called the Smallmouth. Sage makes a 290 grain line specific to this rod. It is very weight forward and turns over big deer hair divers well and is light enough to make big smallies interesting. I also carry an 8 weight Sage XiII which is good for casting sinking lines but is also a back up in case I break the other rod. For the 8 weight I carry a clear intermediate line which sims slowly and a T14 line which sinks very fast. I use the 8 weight to cast streamers from the shore when there is room for a back cast and catch some walleye that way. It is also good for moving water near inlets. There is usually a bass or pike lurking there hoping to ambush something.

The top water rod gets the most use. Top water Smallmouth are a hoot. I posted a topwater video on this forum in July under the title 30 Days Quetico.
Savage Voyageur
distinguished member(12931)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
09/09/2017 02:33PM
A #7 weight should be good for all your needs. I use a sink tip line for smallies.
Savage Voyageur
distinguished member(12931)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
09/09/2017 02:36PM
Look at the bottom of the main forum page. There is a group here you can join that is all about fly fishing. Enjoy, tight lines.
distinguished member(900)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
09/11/2017 06:39PM
Either a 7 or 8 wt. will meet your needs. Don't be afraid to overline your rod (run an 8 wt line on a 7 wt rod, or a 9wt line on the 8 wt rod) for greater control and help in turning over large or heavy flies. Most rods cast better with a heavier line for shorter casts. There is a bs about overweighting a rod with a heavier line, but unless you can cast the whole line in a fishing situation, the load on the rod with a heavier line will actually be lighter than casting all of a"matching" line. And learn the double haul and slow your casting stroke for big flies--and most important of all, let your backcast straighten out! Timing is absolutely everything--practice at home! For hours! And fish barbless--your ears and the back of your head will thank you! Oh, length--always a 9 footer!
09/12/2017 08:22AM
I took a 5 weight rod the last couple years.

I've had a blast with the smallies, but kind of glad I didn't tie into a decent sized
northern...don't think that rod would have handled it. I'd agree with those above, a 7 or 8 weight rod should be adequate...
senior member (56)senior membersenior member
09/12/2017 11:04AM
Wear a wide brimmed hat and sunglasses and fish barbless. I have hit myself in the back of the head so many times it is not even funny. The hat will save you from pain, injury and embarrassment. Your paddling partner might want one too as you will hit them sooner or later also.
distinguished member (113)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
09/15/2017 11:25AM
Are you dead set on the Cabela's rod? For the same price you could get a Limit Creek, which gives you a better quality and supports an MN company. Their rods have performed favorably to much more expensive, top of the line offerings in tests. They don't make a 7 wt, but do have a 6 and 8 wt. A 6 wt would be fine unless you plan to target 20 lb pike. Then I would go with an 8 wt.

Disclaimer - I've never used one, just had my eye on them for a while now.

Test results:


senior member (61)senior membersenior member
09/15/2017 12:24PM
I'm definitely not set on the Cabela's rod. I'll check out the Limit Creek, and I'm open to any other brand recommendations as well. I'm just learning, so I really don't want to spend $500 on a rod at this point. Thanks for the tips!
distinguished member (113)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
09/15/2017 01:30PM
I've been fly fishing and tying for trout since childhood, but only recently began targeting other larger freshwater fish on the fly. I began by going for some steelhead, then I realized how much fun larger fish were on a fly rod, now I fly fish for bass northern and musky. It's great, and I'll admit some of the most fun my wife and I have fishing is fly fishing for some big bluegills - when a bass takes your bluegill fly you're in for a ride. Every once in a while the bass are hungry and they're hard to avoid, and I'll gloat a bit after I manage to hook and land even a modestly sized bass on my 3 weight brook trout/panfish pole with a 2lb test tippet - that pole makes a big bluegill feel like a trophy fish. I bought a less expensive 4-piece rod/reel combo, the Ross Essence, in 7/8 weight for the BW/Quetico and it's been perfect for my needs. I don't need top-feel (and top $) stuff up there, especially in the higher weights, and at this price ($200-$250 with reel and case) I won't cry the whole trip if I break the rod. The combo rod tube and reel case is also a nice addition, and it lets me keep the reel on and line through the guides when portaging. I'm very happy with it and if I lost it I'd buy the same setup again.
distinguished member (276)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
09/15/2017 01:37PM
Anything between a 6 and 8 would be fine. I tend to favor a 6 wt because it can effectively cast just about all the flies I use, it's easier to cast for long periods of time, and this is lake fishing so you don't have to worry about fighting current in addition to the fish.

Where are you located? I'm in central MN and have a Redington 6wt I'm looking to sell cheap. You'd be welcome to take it for an extended test run if you'd like. Shoot me an email if interested.

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