i wouldnt get all stupid buying a super fancy rod for salmon fishing. all you need is a good 9-10 rod (single hander) and a reel with a good drag and a multi-tip system like Rio offers and your set to go. my salmon rod is a Dragonfly 8wt 9foot with a lower end Sage reel (great drag) and a Rio system. gets me into fish lots :thumbup: however i do want to upgrade to a 10foot because i like the added length for casting on a river. NOW if your looking to get a spey setup by all means go fancy :thumbup: :cheers:
the point here is that while an 8or9 wt single hander will do you great you will catch fish that push the envelope on a single hander so who really cares if you snap say a 100$ rod as oppose to an 800$ rod :wallbash:
I would go midrange for a rod i think because then you get great action with a good price and will still get a lifetime warranty. some brands that have good stick for the buck are: Echo, Scott, Redington, Sage, TFO just to name a few :thumbup:
My favourite rods to fish are from Winston, and the 10' 8wt 4pc BIIx would fit your bill perfectly for local salmon fishing in the rivers. My 9' 8wt Boron XTR will lift absolutely everything, including huge springs, without breaking (and yes, it's been tested locally as well as in Alaska). Here's the link: http://www.winstonrods.com/boronIIx.html
My second choice would probably be the G. Loomis GLX Classic in a 10' 7wt or 8wt.
If you are on a budget, there are lots of excellent rods, as mentioned by HOOK, that offer high quality and a lifetime warranty at a reasonable cost. Probably the best thing you can do is to go to a flyshop with helpful staff who will go through all the rods with you and let you try them out on the lot to see which action suits you the best.
I don't have a lot of experience with different brands of rods but I do own a Temple Fork Outfitters (TFO) TICR 9'6" 8 weight and love it. It is less expensive then comparable Sage, St. Croix and other higher end brand names but from what I have researched is equally as good. However the prove is in the pudding and as the other guys mentioned see if you can hook up with a good fly shop and they will take care of you.
Stone mentioned a key point - 4 piece. They're a bit more $$$ but the portability they afford is huge. You'll save a bit of cash with a two piece but they're a bit of a pain to cart around in my opinion (long tubes, awkward fit for many vehicles). The only time I envy those with the two-piece outfits is when they beat me to the shore when we set up as they can be set up slightly faster.
Definitely a fast action 8 wt. and buy the best reel you can afford!! Don;t cheap out on your reel ifyou are going for salmon. A $300+ reel will last a lifetime a $100 reel will last one fish (which you'll probably lose due to a crappy drag).
It probably depends what type of salmon you go after. I would think an 8 wt would generally be good for most, but you might need to go up to a 10 for the big chinooks. Although you probably could pull in a big one with an 8 wt. I've seen people pull in 25" rainbows with a 3 wt. - just takes a while longer; I assume its more or less the same principal.
There have been a number of topics posted on this, and people have provided some excellent advice. My set-up is a Sage RPL+ 8 wt for large salmon (chum/springs) and an XP 796 7 wt for smaller salmon (pinks/coho). The RPL+ is a bit dated now, and is a bit heavy for today's standards. However, it has the backbone to give me a chance with those springs. I definitely prefer a fast action rod for river fishing for salmon as you need the backbone to toss heavy sink tips. My most commonly used tip on the Vedder is probably the 15 ft type 6 150 grain tip by Rio. I also use this on the Squamish for the silver chums that will hopefully arrive this Fall! :thumbup:
My suggestion is to go to a fly shop and try casting different rods and see which ones are right for you...as per Stone's advice.
As for reels, I'd also recommend a good quality disc drag system. Mine are Hardy's that are not available any more. However, I've looked at the Ross, Bauer, Lamson, and the like and they all offer good reels - machined with large arbor design - at a reasonable price. FishFinder has the Orivis Battenkill LA and he loves it. One thing I'd recommend...buy a neoprene reel case and never place your rod/reel on the ground without it! Nothing scratches a beautiful reel faster than rocks, and you don't want sand to get inside the reel while you crank it. This will be especially true if you buy a reel with a black or other coloured finish. I even managed to find some tiny scratches on my back Hardy ultralight and I only put that reel down very carefully without the case for a photo shot! I might sound a bit "up tight" about this - and I probably am...but I love my reels! I know this will be tough - especially if you're new to flyfishing and you land that first chrome bar! My first salmon reel was an Orvis Battenkill 8/9 and it got pretty beat up (lookwise).
I'm a bit of a low-tech/cheap guy when it comes to fly reels for salmon. I fish with a 10 foot #8 Loomis rod I made for under $60 about 15 years ago. I new I liked the rod when I tried it the first time and looked down at my reel to see one little wrap of fly-line over the backing - and I wasn't even hardly working! I have a JW Young 1545 reel with a click-pawl drag that I bought at the same time for $45. I only ever use one of the pawls - just to stop the reel from backlashing. Then I use my hand to palm the reel. I've used the $300+ reels with the fancy drags, and they're nice (especially Islander reels), but I just hate relying on a mechanical drag and I can't bring myself to pay $300 plus for something so shiny and small (ok, my wife's diamond ring doesn't count). I much prefer to "feel" the fish with my hands. I found myself turning the drags way down and just palming the fish anyhow, so I see no reason to buy an expensive reel. Over the years, I've switched the pawls once and replaced each of them once. Oh, and as for lines, I make my own sink tips, and for salmon I use a 10 foot high density (some call them "lead core") chunk of line that I attach to an old floater with a loop-to-loop connection. I've never had troubles with it "hinging" as some have referred to in other topics on this site. I'm not sure why not, as I don't think I did anything special. It works quite well for me.
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