Fly Rods : Determine Fly Rod Weight
Fly Rod Weight
One of the biggest choices,
besides the "action" of a fly rod, that anglers have to
make when fishing around for fly rods is what weight of the rod
they want to get. And by weight, we're not talking about how much
the fly rod itself weighs! Instead, we're talking about what fly
line weight the fly rod is designed to properly cast. While a fly
rod can indeed cast any fly line weight, using a fly rod that is
designed for a fly line weight of 4 with a fly line that actually
weighs 7 will make for a very long and frustrating day on the river.
Thus, it is imperative that the fly rod match the weight of the
fly line you will be using.
Well, that's fine and
dandy, but the problem remains, then, what fly line weight should
an angler use then? The answer to that, happily, is quite simple.
It all depends on what you will be fly fishing for! Once you
that out, the weight of the fly line you will be using will quickly
fall into place - thus making it easy to figure out what weight
fly rod you need to get.
So, let's get started
figuring out how to determine what fly line weight you want to use.
Fly Line Weight Measurement
Fly line is measured
by its weight in grains. Since grains is not a real helpful way
measure things, the fly rod manufacturers have devised a simple
numbering system that define the weight of the fly line. This
system spans a scale from 1-14, with the lightest fly line being
a weight of 1 and the heaviest fly line being a weight of 14.
The reason for all the
differences in line weight is because different line weights are
best suited for particular fishing situations. For example, a heavy
line weight (such as 9 or above) will work much, much better when
casting larger flies than when using a light fly line weight. Similarily,
using a tiny fly, like a midge, on a heavy line will be, well, a
rather unpleasant experience. The weight of the fly line will take
that midge all over the place, and will also make quite the commotion
when the line hits the water - thus scaring away all the fish.
Determining the Right
Fly Line Weight
So, what line weight
is right for you? A summary of recommended line weights for various
fishing by species and conditions is:
Line Weight 1-3: Small trout, panfish,
other small fish. Used when casting small flies on short casts.
Weight 4: Small to medium sized trout and other similarly sized
fish. Used when casting small flies and medium sized flies using
short to medium-short casts.
Weight 5-6: The most versatile of the line weights. This line
weight fishes well for all but the smallest and all but the largest
trout. Also performs adequately for smaller bass (not the lunkers
in some Florida lake). Fishes well when using small, medium and
larger sized flies (not massive streamers, though). Allows for longer
casts yet performs short casts fairly well.
Line Weight 7-8: Designed for very large
trout and large bass as well as some saltwater species. Used for
pitching large streamers and large flies. Longer casts are excellent.
Not the best for short casts. And most definitely not designed for
smaller fish and smaller flies.
Weight 9-14: Large fish territory. Mainly used for saltwater
fishing and fishing for Salmon and Steelhead.
Thus, as you can see, the trick to figuring out what fly rod weight
you want to buy is to figure out what you will be fishing for. Once
you know what you will be fishing for, you then know what fly line
weight to use. And once you know that, it is just a matter of matching
up the fly line weight with the right fly rod - which is very simple.
You see, fly rods use the same numbering systems as fly lines do.
Thus, if you will be using a fly line weight of 5 to fish for trout,
then you want to get a fly rod that has a weight of 5, too. In other
words, the moral of the story is this: The fly rod weight you get
should match - precisely - the fly line weight you get.
And that, really, is
all there is to selecting a fly rod weight.
Next Page : Fly Rod Types
to Fly Rod Buyers Guide