abaus3

First Saltwater Rod - 8wt or 9wt?

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As the title suggest, i'm looking to purchase my first saltwater combo. I know 8wt seems to be a good all-around rod for bonefish. Probably target bonefish, but who knows i might want to go for some tarpon, permit, etc. I was somewhat set on an 8wt, but now i am second guessing and thinking 9wt. What do you guys think is best option? Thanks in advance

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It all depends on how are you going to be fishing it and in what kinds of conditions. This topic has been debated here ad nauseam. That being said, I had to make this decision a few weeks back and I decided on both. 8wt with a good floating line, can throw 2/0 flies and poppers all day long in the back, while a 9wt with an intermediate line will be easier in windier conditions and will also let you throw decently big flies. If you are a one rod guy, get the 9.  Just my .02 cents. 

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get an 8wt that is on the stiffer / faster end of the spectrum...so essentially it would be an 8.5 rod and match it with a heavier saltwater fly line like a grandslam taper.  That would be light enough for bonefish and strong for fish up to 25lb or so.

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If you are from Chicago area what is used there for Great Lakes salmon, pike bass?  Get the weight that you will be most versatile.  Today's 8 wts candle handle better than yesterday's 9 wts.

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I would go with a fast 8wt.  You can line it with an 8wt for low wind and smaller flies or throw a 9 or 10wt line on for wind and bigger flies. If you have the money then get an 8wt and 10wt. Either way you will need two spools or two reels which drives up the cost of everything.

8 or 9wt will land anything coming out of the Great Lakes.

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Buy your fly rods sequentially in weight increments of 2.  E.g., an 8wt is a great rod for redfish and bonefish.  Step up to a 10wt for permit, then 12wt for tarpon.  No one rod will do it all.  You will not notice that much difference as a beginner between an 8 and 9wt.  An 8wt is plenty of rod even for redfish up to 20lbs.  

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1 hour ago, Pauleye said:

If you are from Chicago area what is used there for Great Lakes salmon, pike bass?  Get the weight that you will be most versatile.  Today's 8 wts candle handle better than yesterday's 9 wts.

Probably because many of today’s 8 wts are really a 9 or even a 10.

 

mike

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3 hours ago, abaus3 said:

As the title suggest, i'm looking to purchase my first saltwater combo. I know 8wt seems to be a good all-around rod for bonefish. Probably target bonefish, but who knows i might want to go for some tarpon, permit, etc. I was somewhat set on an 8wt, but now i am second guessing and thinking 9wt. What do you guys think is best option? Thanks in advance

When your done asking about the rod , then ask about the fly line of choice  . These guys are great with information. Tight Lines 

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I'll second sauleans advice above....get both. If you can only get one get the 9. Not sure your budget but if you look at Echo "Base" rods you may find you CAN afford 2. Also FYI Tim Rajeff designed these rods to be true to their line ratings, so an 8wt is a true 8, 9wt a true 9, etc. and they are great rods.

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Depends a lot on what rod you’re looking at, many 8wts are made work with overweight lines and are perfectly suited to do what you are intendinding. You will not be happy fishing a 9wt that matches an overweight line (10wt) for bones on an everyday basis. So the way to figure this out is to pick a line that you want to use based on taper and grain weight, then pick a rod that works with it. I vote for a strong 8wt paired with a Wulff Bermuda Triangle line for what you’re going to use it for. 

JC

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If I were you I would think about where I will fish, what I will fish for, the flies I will use, and the conditions I expect to encounter.

 

Also, this is important, some rods have very similar actions all the way through the line while other rods make a noticeable change in the action are the 9 or 10 wt.  Certainly by 11 and 12 wt most rod designers are thinking about characteristics that make a good tarpon stick.  Because of this you might want to try an 8 and 9 wt in each of the rods that you put on a final short list.  You might like the 8 wt in rod X, the 9 wt in rod Y and the 8 wt in rod Z.

 

Additionally, if you can cast, you might want to try a variety of lines on the rods you like, from a short aggressive taper up to a long bellied true to weight line (what makes your 8 or 9 wt an 8 or 9 wt).

 

Guys use lots of different rods for bonefish from 7-9 usually.  I don’t have much experience with them but I’ve used 8/9/10 wt.  Based on everything I’ve read I was certain a 10 wt is too big and would spook any bonefish.  I think I got 4 bonefish up to 5# in the Keys on a 10 wt.  Long leaders, heavy crabs, looking for permit...bonefish didn’t care about the rod wt.  They did care that they could see the fly, right place right time.

 

Another side note, many permit anglers are using a 9 wt these days.  Plenty are throwing AFFTA true to weight lines.  It carries a heavy crab well.  It carries a clouser well (my favorite for stripers).  It carries a 50 ft bonefish taper well in the wind.

 

You can fish 8 wt stuff on a 9 wt but you can’t fish 9 wt stuff on an 8 wt.  My vote is for 9 wt.

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Nowadays buying rod by number first usually leads to heavier setup because often rods require overlining! If testing is possible weighing and buying line first and casting it with different rods quarantees that setup is certain weight class. Its is because rods do not have any rating system what manufacturers use. There is AFFTA line standard but it is not used enough either. Thats why idea of buying 8wt, 10wt and 6wt does not usually happen when rod is bought first. But I think rods and lines just sneak around us anyway and when more experience collects mixing them setups which perform great is easier.

 

Last few years I have been most impressed of Orvis Clearwater rods especially when four Helios rods which were 3.5X more expensive had found their way to my house earlier. Orvis rods are rated very well to AFFTA line standard which is good.

 

Esa

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