youngun

Stripers on a 6 wt?

Rate this topic

33 posts in this topic

Fishing with a 6 wt is a gas, but like everyone says, it's knowing how to play the fish. Most of the responders have access to LI Sound and the shad/herring run is a kick on a 6wt as well as the schoolers that you can find within easy casting range. There was an article landing strippers on a one/two wt rod a few years ago in a popular fly fishing magazine. Wouldn't do it but it can be done. Sportsmanship means everything.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: fighting fish on lighter (and lighter....and lighter) rods: The ULTIMATE "light" rod IS NO ROD AT ALL!!! Hand lining has a long and distinguished tradition. It is NOT exactly easy, especially with light lines and tippets. As rods get lighter and lighter in proportion to the strength of the fish they are supposed to catch....then progressively more of the fight is spent with the rod angled progressively LESS against the fish....fighting the fish "with the butt". The ultimate end-point of that is just pointing the rod straight at the fish and winching/pulling the fish straight in as in hand lining. You can land a marlin on a 1 wt doing that.

 

Conversely...on a very light rod....if one insists on fighting with the same sharp, nearly 90 degree angle as one would with a heavier rod....THEN one cannot pressure the fish at all and one gets into those long, interminable, not-fair-to-the-fish exhibitions.

 

I was there and did about the ultimate in that for the 2 years that I used a 4' rod exclusively. I landed salmon and steelhead to over 20 pounds and would have taken on anything. But after 2 years and the novelty ware off I eventually had the admit that there was LESS "sporting fight"...and the fights actually lasted LESS LONG than on my more conventional 8-9' rods. I was simply invoking the "handlining", shallow angle fighting position more and more and cranking them in. "Sporting" had nothing to do with it.

 

Now, on a very light tippet, the straight rod angle loses flexibility and "cushion" and the potential for a breakoff due to a sudden surge becomes a real challenge....just as it would hand lining with a light tippet. If that is someone's idea of sporting....then fine. Whatever floats your boat. But a very light (or short) rod matched with 15-20# tippet....and the "cushion of a somewhat stretchy fly lione and mono leader...lots and LOTS of "cushion"still there.

 

I have eventually settled, in my mind, with a comfort level of rod weight/length, a rod angle that uses the whole rod and I feel every nuance of head shake and surge in the rotation torgue on my wrist....and the whole rod flexion partakes in "cushioning" the surges of the fish. There is a "feel" to the fight that just now...after years of exploring all the possibilities....feels "right" to me. If the rod is too light for the fish (it can no longer be too short....since ALL my rods from 3 wt to 12 wt are 9' long) then I get that PULLING BACK ....hand lining feel.....the bulk of the length of the rod is overpowered and straightened....and I don't like it. In my mind the rod is overpowered. I can't fight in my comfort level of angle and cushion.

 

I fight fish hard and land them fast. I do not break fish off and I do not break rods fighting them....tho a lot of people have worried about that watching video of me fighting steelhead on an 8 wt. One CAN...within the limits of tippet strength..do the same thing or even faster with a lighter rod....or hand lining....it is all in how you want to pull. Since we are doing this all for fun....then it's YOUR idea of a "good" fight and "fun".

 

But for me, having been all over both sides of the extremes and played with all the possibilities...for me "sporting" has nothing to do with it.

 

PMP

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/20/2012 at 5:01 PM, The Fisherman said:

 

The answer is yes.

 

I've caught hundreds of stripers on my five weight. They have ranged from 16" dinks to far more substantial fish over 30". I have taken many doubles as well. It is a fun rod to fish with. Fun is important, right?

 

I must respectfully disagree with those who suggest that you will, by rote, endanger a fish by using what most consider to be lighter tackle for stripers. I have seen plenty of people take over five minutes to land a sub-legal bass on a nine weight. It's the indian, not the arrow. When I fish with my five weight, I am using a minimum of 20# for a leader system, usually 30#, and typically, 1/0, 3/0, or 4/0 hooks. I play the fish with the reel and the butt of the rod.

 

Likewise, I can throw flatwings that are 10" and even a little larger. I use a 9 weight WF floating line.

 

I don't like to use this setup if I need to cast into a stiff breeze, or if I'm fishing off a jetty in any kind of surf. I also wish the rod had a fighting butt. But casting and mending with this rod is a joy, and I've never felt like I was in trouble, even with a double-digit pounds fish in current.

 

My best advice is try it. If you love it, Yahtzee! If you don't, find something you do love. Have fun, experiment, and fish the way you want. You are the only person you need to please.

 

Hope that helps.

 

Steve Culton

 

A 32" fish from this spring, taken on the five weight in current. Not quite a cow, but no punk schoolie either. The fly, a Herr Blue, is a nine-feather flatwing about 10" long.

5:13:12HerrBlue.JPG

I've been wanting to get into the two-handed striper game a for a while now, but have been waiting for a good deal on a rod (and a reason to justify another "arrow" in the quiver). Having spent 3.5 years at Syracuse University in ignorance of my proximity to the Salmon River, a trip to DSR in the fall all but ensured that my new years resolution was to get out and chase some steel on the weekends--thus providing the perfect "excuse" to invest in a two-hander. And the stars must be aligning because I recently came across a great deal on a used 10'6 6 weight switch rod. My only reservation: will this be enough rod to do the kind of fishing you and I are so fond of? Flatwings, greased line swings, stripers from shore, and with a little luck...a steelhead! Your tales of fish landed on a single hand 6 weight are encouraging, and I think a 6 weight switch even more make for a more powerful fighting rod. Of course a rod is but only a stick, the effectiveness of which is the responsibility of the angler, but am I right in my thinking? Would such a rod make for a fun foray into two-handed fishing for our beloved salmo and saxatilis

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To clarify: what I'm using is a five weight.

 

I can't tell you if the rod you speak of is "enough rod" for what you want to accomplish. All rods are not created equal, even within a specific weight range. I have a five weight that is a telegraph pole and I have a five weight that is a willow branch. The only way to find out is to fish it. That may or may not be feasible (economic, practical or otherwise) but it's the best answer I can give you.

 

Good luck, and have fun. :-)

 

Steve Culton

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well Steve, at $75 I can't help but give it a shot. If all fails I can take it to the Farmington and swing streamers for hungry browns. Though I have a feeling this 6 weight will work well on the estuaries and tidal outflows that I call home. I'll let you know how it all pans out on the blog. Till then, tight lines!

 

-Sam 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Twenty years or so ago there was an article in Salt Water Sportsman written by a guide in the Tampa Bay area.  It was titled something like "Salty Six Weight", and was all about this guide using a 6 weight that he built to target trout and small reds in his neck of the woods.  I emailed the author and asked him about this, and he said that for sure he only used this in the colder months so as to not stress any of the bigger fish that he may catch.  

 

I was intrigued enough to build myself a "salty six weight" using a Rainshadow blank and a fighting butt.  I really liked the way the rod cast and how light it was to cast for a few hours without bothering a bad shoulder.  One of the first things that I did before I fished this rod though was to tie my leader (always 20 lb at least) to a five pound weight plate and see what kind of pressure I could exert by pulling the plate across the grass.  With the tip of the rod I could barely get the thing to move, and with the top third of the rod straight and a bend in the mid-section of the rod I could move it pretty nicely but it would stop when it hit an uneven section of grass.  Now, when I get the front half or more of the rod straight and applied force using the butt and the reel I could easily move the weight across the grass.  I suggest that you try this with your own rod to become familiar with where the power is applied with your own rod.  It is always fun to see a bend in the rod, but if that bend is not far enough back then you may not be applying the pressure that you think that you are and could be needlessly endangering the fish's chances of survival, especially in warm water.

 

Good luck and have fun, but go to the salt with your rod only after you know where the power lies in your rod.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Skip, that is a different article, but it was very good.  Thanks for posting it.  

 

By the way, I just realized that this thread was originally started years ago but was recently rehashed.  Oh well, it is still a valid discussion. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some great perspectives.  I routinely use a 6 wt for red drum in the marshes of NC, usually in winter when fish are schooled in shallow water and soft presentations, smaller flies are necessary to avoid spooking them.  It has the added advantage of being much lighter on my old shoulder with a lot less physical effort to cast.  No problem at all fighting the fish as Steve mentioned off the butt of the rod while letting the reels drag do the work, and I've never felt that I was over stressing fish with long drawn out fights.  I'd never use the 6 wt in the surf though as the currents are much stronger and you need that extra power from an 8 wt or larger to finish the fight at the lip.  I say absolutely yes for stripers under the right conditions.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited) · Report post

@S.K.S 10'6" 6wt is a great rod for fishing the Great Lake Tributaries.  I would try a 7wt DT line it will spey cast great.

 

I agree with Steve but I want to point out you need to fish areas where you have room to fight fish. You dont need a lot of room but make sure you have 4-5' you can walk backwards saftely to help gain line quickly.  Steve does a great job of pointing out he is using a 20lb or stronger leader that is key to being able to fight fish hard and land quickly.  There are tons of areas that method of fighting fish will work excellently.  I used it a lot salmon fishing you just need to make you have you fightting area planned well before you hook that big fish.  In fact I wouls say the majority of areas one would pursue striped bass will work fine on that rod.  If you plan is estuaries I think that rod will serve you well.

 

 I can say I recommend staying away from inlets with jetties, jetties along beaches, steep rocky areas, and any other area where you are stuck in one spot with heavy current.  I fish those regularly and you will often have no option to gain ground except truly lifting up fish with the upper part of the fly rod.  Also at the very end to get fish up high on surface and make an attempt lipping on treacherous rocks is no place for a light rod.  I snapped my 9wt twice in 2016 trying to land big fish of jetties so now I use a 10 and 12 weight for this type of fishing.

Edited by The Graveyard Shift

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Graveyard Shift,

 

Thanks for the insight! When I think about the places where this rod will be used they all seem to meet your recommendations. Estuaries and tidal outflows will often have soft sloping shores and plenty of room to maneuver. As much as I would love to take this rod down to the rocky structure in Newport, a big-stick (perhaps made of fiberglass) is probably a smarter option. As for steelhead, I'd be happy just to get my first tap! As always, tight lines. 

 

-Sam 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited) · Report post

I've had a shoulder issues the last year or two, got me a 6w switch rod and I love it. It's my go-to for CA surf (perch and striper) and Alaskan coho. It will cast one-handed but the 2-hand game is much better for the shoulder. Takes an 8w line.

 

Mind you--the surf stripers here are small, only 18-26." The cohos run heavier, but I don't have surf to deal with in Alaska.

Edited by Uncle Stu

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited) · Report post

23 hours ago, S.K.S said:

The Graveyard Shift,

 

Thanks for the insight! When I think about the places where this rod will be used they all seem to meet your recommendations. Estuaries and tidal outflows will often have soft sloping shores and plenty of room to maneuver. As much as I would love to take this rod down to the rocky structure in Newport, a big-stick (perhaps made of fiberglass) is probably a smarter option. As for steelhead, I'd be happy just to get my first tap! As always, tight lines. 

 

-Sam 

Totally separate from rod choice a bit if safety advice.  Back in the marsh be very cognizant of mud and make sure you are about to go on solid footing.  To keep myself honest I often only wear knee high rubber boots I can easily escape from if a foot gets stuck. It can be very deceptive and I had a couple bad times in waders on the south side of cape cod.  Now I use "Mudders" for safety when I have to fish areas that have a lot of mud at night that require wading, becasue even when I really know a place well it seems like at night its just to easy to veer off course and get stuck.  Daylight trips I use the boots and I can get a good look before stepping at night I cant do that wells.

Edited by The Graveyard Shift

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to register here in order to participate.

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.