srm413

inexpensive 7wt

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went on a smallmouth bass mission to northern maine last year and brought an echo base 7wt rod ($100) as a "back-up".  I ended up using the rod the whole time as I liked it fine.  any other options I should/could be looking at in higher end used rods?   I had a sage rpl+ 7wt that I sold, but probably shouldn't have.

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i just got a TFO axiom 2 7wt i like.  The grip is kind of small so if you have big hands this rod is no good.

 

Try and find one of the sage smallmouth bass rods used on ebay... they are awesome

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Unless you are throwing really big flies long distances I would add a fast 6wt instead of another 7wt.  I use a 7wt for most of my striper fishing and it will easily land 30" stripers so any smallmouth even in current will not be a problem.  In general I tend to size my fly rods based on the fly and line more then the fish size.

Having said all that, I can't recommend a factory rod in 6wt or 7wt since I build my own rods but there are a lot of used options out there.  TFO's BVK in a 6wt is well thought of.  I've casted an 8wt but nothing smaller.  You should be able to find one for well under $200.  

If you want to spend some money and are willing to take a chance on something unconventional see if you can find a used Sage "Smallmouth" rod.  Sage makes those 7'11" rods in smallmouth, largemouth and Peacock weights.  It's the only rod I've ever casted that made me want a factory rod or at least a $350 blank.  I used it from a boat with guide and was amazed on how accurate and quick it was. Since then I picked up a "crappy" Bass Pro Heat Stage 1 10wt in the same length for $70.  Most of my much more expensive rods spent the summer lonely. Awesome boat rod (I can throw nearly the whole line) and fine for casting less than 50' from land.  If you are throwing heavy sink lines from shore at long distance you probably want a long (9') rod.

 

 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Sage calls them the "Bass II".  They made a "Bass I" as well but I think the general consensus is the second generation is better 

Edited by qecfly

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1 hour ago, qecfly said:

Unless you are throwing really big flies long distances I would add a fast 6wt instead of another 7wt.  I use a 7wt for most of my striper fishing and it will easily land 30" stripers so any smallmouth even in current will not be a problem.  In general I tend to size my fly rods based on the fly and line more then the fish size.

Having said all that, I can't recommend a factory rod in 6wt or 7wt since I build my own rods but there are a lot of used options out there.  TFO's BVK in a 6wt is well thought of.  I've casted an 8wt but nothing smaller.  You should be able to find one for well under $200.  

If you want to spend some money and are willing to take a chance on something unconventional see if you can find a used Sage "Smallmouth" rod.  Sage makes those 7'11" rods in smallmouth, largemouth and Peacock weights.  It's the only rod I've ever casted that made me want a factory rod or at least a $350 blank.  I used it from a boat with guide and was amazed on how accurate and quick it was. Since then I picked up a "crappy" Bass Pro Heat Stage 1 10wt in the same length for $70.  Most of my much more expensive rods spent the summer lonely. Awesome boat rod (I can throw nearly the whole line) and fine for casting less than 50' from land.  If you are throwing heavy sink lines from shore at long distance you probably want a long (9') rod.

 

 

There are several sources available that indicate a 30” striper weighs in at about 14 lbs max. Where as “most” of your striper fishing is with a 7 wt what are you using when targeting big fish, e.g., 30 lbs and up? More importantly, why aren’t you targeting big fish all the time?

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Heyblue34,

  The guys I fish with say that the reason I don't catch bigger fish is because I suck.  Hard to argue with that based on my typical results!  Biggest striper to date was about 30" on a fly rod.  They say that every fisherman goes through three phases in their fishing life.  Stage one: I just want to catch a fish.  Stage two:  I want to catch lots of fish.  Stage Three: I just want to target big fish.  I'm happily stuck in stage two. 

I've caught 100's of stripers over the last several years.  Mostly with my 7wt.  I started out with a 9wt but quickly realized I can throw my 7wt just as far with less fatigue. I also use two handed rods.  Either a 8wt switch (Batson) or a 5/6/7 switch (Robert Meiser blank).  I typically fish in 10' or less of water. 

If I'm spending time targeting bigger fish it is for bluefish not stripers.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

The vast majority of striper-on-the-fly anglers will neither hook nor land a 30-pound striper this year, especially if they are fishing from the shore.

 

Here's a simple straw poll from this site:

 

 

Steve Culton

Edited by The Fisherman

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I have the new Redington Predator 7wgt and the Colton Slipstream x/s 6wgt. Nice and light for all day casting, especially the Colton. The six is ultra lite fun so no circus stunts with big fish. The seven is bay fishing in the spring and any time it's appropriate to fish. The right weight reel makes the outfit so keep that in mind.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

6 hours ago, srm413 said:

went on a smallmouth bass mission to northern maine last year and brought an echo base 7wt rod ($100) as a "back-up".  I ended up using the rod the whole time as I liked it fine.  any other options I should/could be looking at in higher end used rods?   I had a sage rpl+ 7wt that I sold, but probably shouldn't have.

I am betting that your Echo base 7wt rod is a bit heavier & slower than the Sage RPL+ 7wt you sold, and that your regret is a result of the difference in perceived weight/performance between the two.  It might be you now want something a bit faster, lighter, and responsive but in the same weight class of rod you have already (smallmouth rod).  A 6wt or 7wt rod is the target.

 

You also want to look at used rods and "higher end" rods.  I can recommend a few to look for or at least try out if you can (Caveat:  my own personal bias is faster rods that have some backbone and full wells grips):

 

1.  Orvis Recon in 7wt (probably your best bet in a mid priced modern rod, if you can spend a bit more than $250 because it hits all the high points, fast, light, responsive, etc...).

 

For a similarly fast rod that is almost as good, look for a used Redington CPS (might be nearly impossible to find; around $150-200 used), or maybe an Orvis Access 7wt ($175-225, used) or a Powell Tiboron, Tiboron 2, or Tiboron XL (used around $100-150, cheapest is the XL).

 

2.  Temple Fork TiCr or TiCrx 6wt or 7wt (used, both now discontinued).  They are a bit heavier than all of the above mentioned rods but really great for the price (around $150-175 new old stock or used).  They tend to like lines that are a bit heavier than rating.  The 6wt TiCr came in a full wells grip version.  That's a nice older rod for smallies and short bass, IMO.

 

3.  Don't overlook the following rods that while not "high end" have really good performance:  St. Croix Legend Elite (or Ultra), Fenwick Aetos, Redington Predator.  The Echo Ion XL and TFO Pro II are worth a look at the lowest end of the pay scale.

 

YMMV.  There are a ton of older rods that are really sweet in 6 or 7wt.  Try a bunch of them out.

 

 

Edited by Killiefish

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9 hours ago, The Fisherman said:

The vast majority of striper-on-the-fly anglers will neither hook nor land a 30-pound striper this year, especially if they are fishing from the shore.

 

Here's a simple straw poll from this site:

 

 

Steve Culton

That is a highly flawed poll and basing outcomes on it is setting up for failure. 

 

I just added fly fishing to my arsenal for those nights when they are on small bait. Any moon, slack water, structure, and bait are all part of the recipe for big fish.

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Killiefish gave a nice list of rods to check out.  The Echo Ion XL is a good rod, I have one in a 6wt that I use primarily for smallmouth.  Colton makes some nice rods also and I think they're on sale still.  They make the Tradewinds XS in a 7wt I think.  I looked for a Sage Bass last year but couldn't find anything used.  Ross made a similar rod (discontinued now) that sometimes can be found used.  As Qecfly said, the Bass Pro Heat rod is a good, inexpensive, shorter rod. 

 

Just search ebay and the BST forum here and see what comes up.

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I'm not basing outcomes on that poll. I'm speaking from my experience and stand by my statement. Very few anglers specifically target large stripers on the fly from the shore; if I happen to hook a single 30-pound bass in a 365 day period, that, my friend, is a darned good year. :-)

 

Steve Culton

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Colton Tradewinds XS does come in a 7wt, (I have the 7, 8 & 9),  all lighter than the TFOs. XS series is very good & Bob is great to deal with.

 

The Scott Tidal is very very nice as well, though much pricier. I was surprised on how easy it was to cast a long ways. That was a 9wt though. Based on the dopey online reviews I did not think I would cast that well with it.

 

Like Killie said - the TFO TICR in a 6 is also excellent, IMO better than the TICRx  I also had one in an 8 that I loved, but I broke the tip stupidly.... (hint - when you leave a spot & are putting your things in your car, leave the rod/ reel on the driver's side).

 

Good luck...

 

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