Rwb1500

Time For A New 8 Weight

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I've been fishing an Orvis Clearwater 8 weight for a few years now.  It's a great rod, it's been bouncing around in the bottom of my kayak nonstop and takes a licking and keeps on ticking. It is a little slower than I'd prefer, and a little heavier. Looking to upgrade to something faster and preferably a little lighter. It'll mainly be a smallmouth rod, poppers, articulated streamers, down to Clouser Minnows. I have a 6 weight Orvis Recon which I love,  and have considered an 8 weight but I definitely want to explore my options. I'm definitely not opposed to used rods, that's usually my MO. 

 

I know there are a few Sage offerings in my wheelhouse, I'm just not very familiar with their lineup. Would love to hear any and all suggestions. Thanks! 

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My choice for the kayak is either a used 8' Recon or Sage LMB (7'11"). Neither are easy to find but I've fished the Sage and it's a lazer! 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I fish either my 22 year old Sage XP or the used Orvis Helios  I bought last year. Both are great rods and the XP has caught literally tons of smallmouth and stripers to 40lbs.  Both are 9' for an 8. I banged banks, stumps and overhanging trees with the XP for a great smallie day out my SOT , Memorial Day.  Saw a lot of great acrobats. Sage charges a lot for repairing "classics" now, check their site if that's a factor. Good thing is the Clearwater's a good back-up. Both my  8's are a joy, light and powerful, would be a large upgrade from the CW.   I've cast and fished Recons, but consider the Helios to be better. I have  a 6 a 7, too.  All good. Have fun!

Edited by bloosfisher

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Redington Predator 6wt (or 7wt).  Smallmouth rod does not have to be heavier than a 6wt, IMO.  The Predator rods seem plentiful on the big auction site, for some reason.  Might be discontinued soon, I think, so could get a deal.  Retail is $349 for the Predators but can find for ~ $200.

 

For used rods, Sage RPL 7wt, or TFO TiCr 6wt (the one with the full wells grip).  Or the Sage smallmouth rod.  But the latter is really hard to find.

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Sage Payload 7+ as an option if you throw a lot of bass bugs and target largemouth too.  I love the Recon series and that 6 makes a great smallie streamer rod.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Thank you all for your replies. An older Helios or Helios 2 is definitely something I've considered. Looked at the Redington Predator too. Also thumbing through the older Sage rods. 

 

My reasoning behind an 8 instead of a 6 weight is that we're talking about big, big flies. Yes sometimes I'll fish Clouser Minnows and Boogle bugs and your traditional smallmouth fare but I live in smallmouth heaven and routinely target the biggest fish possible. Mike Shultz' Swinging D, big Game Changers, stuff like this;

 

 

 

 

20220602_212757.jpg

 

 

Hence the need for an 8 weight.  If they occasionally bring up a musky,  so be it. 

 

 

I'm also fishing the Susquehanna. It is big, big water. All but a mile wide in places at Harrisburg.  Whether wading or floating or ripping around in a jet boat big water,  big flies and the possibility of big wind makes an 8 weight almost necessary. 

 

All the heavy stuff pays off.  Pulled a 23 inch fish just a few hours ago that must have weighed 5 pounds.  Unfortunately it was spawned out.  A month or two ago it would have been a true monster.  

Edited by Rwb1500

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On 6/2/2022 at 9:47 PM, Rwb1500 said:

Thank you all for your replies. An older Helios or Helios 2 is definitely something I've considered. Looked at the Redington Predator too. Also thumbing through the older Sage rods. 

 

My reasoning behind an 8 instead of a 6 weight is that we're talking about big, big flies. Yes sometimes I'll fish Clouser Minnows and Boogle bugs and your traditional smallmouth fare but I live in smallmouth heaven and routinely target the biggest fish possible. Mike Shultz' Swinging D, big Game Changers, stuff like this;

 

 

 

 

20220602_212757.jpg

 

 

Hence the need for an 8 weight.  If they occasionally bring up a musky,  so be it. 

 

 

I'm also fishing the Susquehanna. It is big, big water. All but a mile wide in places at Harrisburg.  Whether wading or floating or ripping around in a jet boat big water,  big flies and the possibility of big wind makes an 8 weight almost necessary. 

 

All the heavy stuff pays off.  Pulled a 23 inch fish just a few hours ago that must have weighed 5 pounds.  Unfortunately it was spawned out.  A month or two ago it would have been a true monster.  

Nearly same for me, except it's pike and channel  cats to 20lbs. , also in a big river, and big smallies, though last Sat's  20"er has been the biggest so far this year. It took a 3/0 Deceiver wrapped with .030  lead. Congrats on the 23! 

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21 hours ago, 27conch said:

COLTON

I have been eyeing a Tradewinds XS. I have a 10 weight XS and it is an absolute canon.  Light it is not, but that might not matter when they retail for what,  $225?

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12 hours ago, bloosfisher said:

Nearly same for me, except it's pike and channel  cats to 20lbs. , also in a big river, and big smallies, though last Sat's  20"er has been the biggest so far this year. It took a 3/0 Deceiver wrapped with .030  lead. Congrats on the 23! 

Thank you! You get channel cats eating your flies? It's only happened to me once and it was a big crayfish pattern I had just kinda let sit on the bottom for a second. 

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22 hours ago, brett warren said:

Can’t say enough good things about my 8wt 8’4 sector, really amazing rod

I can imagine, although new that would be a bit out of my budget.  

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11 hours ago, Rwb1500 said:

Thank you! You get channel cats eating your flies? It's only happened to me once and it was a big crayfish pattern I had just kinda let sit on the bottom for a second. 

They commonly prey on baitfish, are a  by catch when stripers are after blueback herring.  I caught many livelining bait in a reservoir when I was a young punk. My largest took a Deceiver with lots of grizzly tied to imitate a  small crappie. I have a  Colton 10 wt.  Tradewinds XS, too.  I use it for stripers off rocks and for big poppers at night. I don't know if I'd like it in an 8. 

 

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