How to Choose Rod Weight
Which fly rod weight is best for you?
Brad Miller discusses which rods you should consider in your arsenal to meet various needs and conditions.
- Determine what your fishing species are in order of priority.
- If you are largely fishing small stream trout, panfish, almost exclusively, a #5 weight (or possibly less depending on the size of the fish) is the best all around rod weight if you want only one rod. A #5 is extremely versatile and generally powerfull enough should you venture out West and fish bigger rivers and windy conditions.
- If you occasionally fish for larger species (in addition to the above), such as bass in the 1-3 pound range, then a #6 (six) weight is the best combo rod for a variety of situations.
- If you fish for both small trout/panfish and also fish for large and smallmouth bass, northerns, stripers, bonefish, even small tarpon, steelhead, and coho (silver) salmon and similar, get yourself a good #8 (weight) in addition to the #5. You'll be glad you have two different rods.
- If you're lucky (or dumb enough) to pursue giant tarpon, giant trevally (GTs), big peacocks, small sharks and other saltwater nasties, get a #12 and practice your double hauling until you get blisters.Then remortgage your home to afford the exorbitant prices for these kinds of trips.
For fresh and many saltwater applications, having a #5 and an #8 will handle 90% of your fly fishing needs.
For example, I generally fish for panfish and bass. I use a 4 or 5 weight for pans and occasional small stream trout.
For small river smallmouth fishing from a canoe or kayak for example, I use a #6 weight. I like the Maxxon Aurelius or Maxxon Double XX in a #6. Tip: Make sure your #6 has a Full Wells grip with a fighting butt , like the aforementioned.
For almost all big river smallmouth, Alaskan silvers, steelhead, and Mexico's baby tarpon - I use a good #8, like the Maxxon Salish line of premium fly rods at a great price.You'll be surprised what you can do with a quality #8 weight rod against a whole slew of tackle busting finny critters!