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BrianBM

11 wt vs. 12 wt. rods

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for the big-fish anglers here, a question. Is there a genuine distinction between 11 and 12 wts, and if so, can you describe it?

 

11 wts. seem to have a limited but specific currency for surf anglers, preferably those with thick wrists and/or very well refined casting technique. 12s do not, at least at my latitude. When I read of them, it's usually as a tarpon rod. They seem - and this is an inference from reading only - to be too light for anything but the smaller tunas, fish of 75 lbs and under. Beginner tuna rods seem to start at 14wts.

 

The conclusion I draw is that modern 11s are fine as rods for tarpon and big jacks. Only a minority of anglers would want to cast one while fishing blind. 12s may be too heavy for anything but sightcasting.

 

Gentlemen?

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Well, I am by no means a big fish angler, yet. However, as of late, my go to surf and jetty rod has been a sage 11wt. I have a Colton Torrent 11/13 on it with a shooting head system.

 

I got to land 5 fish with it the other night in the 18-26" range and while it was no stress on the rod to be sure, I am happy to have the capacity to throw 417 grains of head with the wind around here. I am also assuming that should I get into bigger fish it will come in handy around the rocks.

 

A little off the question but around the topic. By the way, I would put myself in the thick wrist group at the moment, refining the casting as I go smile.gif

 

Oakman

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I'm NOT a big fish angler (in the sense you mean...of course, I always want to catch big fish!).

 

But, one thing to keep in mind, which you probably already know, is that the grain weight that determines line weight differs by more and more from the previous line weight as you go up in line size.

 

In other words, the grains that distinguish a 3 from a 4 weight line will be less than those that distinguish an 11 from a 12 weight line.

 

So, in that sense, the harder question might be "Is there really a difference between a 3 and a 4 weight?"

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Perhaps it is. However, I don't care about 3 and 4 lines. Not this moment, anyway. I am curious about 11and 12 weights, though, and have my own devious reasons for asking.

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Im also in the thick wrist group whish I could target big tarpon all day every day,unfortunately not here in the north east.I my rods in the surf/kayak is a 10/ 11 and 12wt, I like casting the big rods and big flies just feels better to me.Im used to the big fish eat big bait even tho it's not 100% true, but when the fish gods bless me with a 40lbs + fish im ready for it. To answer your ? to me it's not a big difference.

 

My favorite 9" big fish finder.

525

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View PostPerhaps it is. However, I don't care about 3 and 4 lines. Not this moment, anyway. I am curious about 11and 12 weights, though, and have my own devious reasons for asking.

 

 

 

There's a time and place for each, but you'll find far more 10's & 11's in the hands of florida tarpon anglers. I've never hooked a tarpon I couldn't stop with a 10wt, but I use the 11 to give myself a little more control with longer casts. I use the 12wt for reef fishing almost exclusively, and this year it hasn't been much help.

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I use both for tarpon, an 11wt Vector T&T(Tibor Gulstream) and a 12wt Winston 11X (Tibor Pacific). When my old body gets tired I switch to the 11wt and soldier on. The Keys ocean side poons were under 100lbs and no problem on the lighter rod. I had to keep a close eye on the T&T as my guide was salivating after casting it.

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Perhaps there is more difference in rod "rating" among heavy weights than light weight rods. But no question they are wrist busters to blind cast all day.

 

It took one evening when shortened one 12wt 9' to 7'6'' so its casting lever got 18% shorter. It feels more like 10wt 9' now and I can fish comfortably for hours. I did not measure my casts but I believe I am able to cast it longer now. Line loop seems smaller and line speed higher because my wrist does not give when I haul. Haul increase line speed the same despite rod length. It has very good balance too but I could use lighter reel to reduce total weight.

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I like 11 wts. simply because so many are designed so well as very long distance casting rods. Many are great tarpon rods too, because they have a verry strong butt.

 

The loomis crosscurrent 4 pc. 11 is really like a 12 . Casts well too.

Is it an 11 ir a 12? Know what I mean?

 

Many 12's now cast very well and are light, but generally they don't cast as well as the 11's.

 

The 1 piece Loomis Crosscurrent 12 weight feels REAL light, AND has the power.

 

Try em out yourself to really see. I like an 11 or 12 for tarpon. I use a 12 more often for them.

 

Mark

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Mark, I'm sure that a one-piece rod would be an improvement in casting, but for modern airline travel, it's not practical. If you can keep it in your boat or truck, fine, but not if you want to be able to travel with the beast.

 

I have tried and liked both the CC and S4S 11 wts. I like them both. Are the 12 wt versions of these rods discernably different? You'd know better then I would.

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When the albies are running hot on MV my T&T 11 wgt is the rod of choice. Get em in, let em go in good shape and cast again. When the big bluefish move in the 11 is great fun, real tight drag and tug of war fishing at it's best. 12 wgts I've used were on the guide's boat for tarpon but my 11 could do the job easily. Since we do a lot of searching here in the Northeast the heavier rods are really not fun after 4 or 5 hours of fishing. Hunting fish OK but searching the 9 wgt is best for me.

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I'm no expert by any stretch but I read and listen...alot.

In Trey Combs book he states if he had to pick 2 rods for all his bluewater fishing it would be a 10 and a 13.

On my recent trip to Mexico with the hopes of a billfish, I consulted someone I trust and he recommended a 12. I did cast it but never hooked up. Maybe next time. I should add I caught several mahi in the 15 to 25 pound class on a 9 wt. It was a blast.

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Lineas Tenso,

The Vector is a sweet rod. I had an 8'6" #11 T&T Vector and it fished like a #9. I went with the 8'6" at the time for the lower swing weight. The Vectors are real easy to load but still deliver good line speed. They can be casted all day. Too much being made of "lightening-fast" rods these days.

 

Too bad that they only make it up to #9 now as a special order.

Herb

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HL:

 

I also have the T&T Vector in ten wt. This rod is salivating at the opportunity to get bent at Harkers Island next month.

 

2dogs:

I caught my first marlin on fly this June in Cabo Loco. The rod was a RPLXi 8'9" 14 wt. with a Tibor Pacific. The fish was billed after 15 minutes which impressed the Mexican crew (their 1st marlin on fly). That rod is a killer and I wouldn't have wanted to have a smaller gun in that situation even though it was a 60lb fish. The stripey was bronzed up pretty bad and might have died on a smaller stick. I held the marlin by the bill with my pinky finger above the lower jaw, ahead slow, and when the fish tapped my pinky 5 times it was released in good shape. I read recently that when bait & switching for marlin you can expect one fish to hand for every 20 in the spread. This was my 2nd marlin trip, 1st trip didn't get a shot, and the 2nd marlin in the spread. I feel VERY lucky.

 

Hemiway was quoted as saying "never go under gunned."

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