The opposite works for longer rods, slow. Fly rods are generally longer than others and … Not at all. On the other hand, I have friends who spend all their river time just tight lining nymphs. And while this is also one of the most common questions I’ve fielded through the years, it has a complex answer that I’ve never tackled in an article. I think what he says about recovery and accuracy, etc. . And in my experience, you’ll pay a lot to find an extra-long rod that recovers fast enough to be any good. When I blue-line the backcountry, mountain streams, I prefer to fish dry flies. Know your tippet diameter. In both of these situations, it might be helpful to have the rod tip closer to us and have that tip be a little more responsive. If I want to switch over to dries or whatever, it’s easy to remove and wrap up on a foam spool. And my choice for thick cover is a seven-and-a-half or an eight-foot rod. Most of us want a rod that’s as long as possible but still short enough to mitigate the following disadvantages. Fish on! Brant Oswald, Livingston-based guide and writer: First of all, let’s agree that the fate of the world is not resting on the decision between an 8½- and a 9-foot trout rod. Copyright © That’s rod recovery, and it’s the number one difference that I see in high-end rods vs low-end options. Be helpful. Focus . Of course, for many anglers, a long rod is just part of their streamer fishing style. Please share in the comments section below. It’s easier to pick up a dry line for the next cast, because of the extra reach. And, they got the upper hand by means of the leverage of the longer in size of the fishing rod. I am currently in the market for a new rod, and honestly I had no idea which fly rod I should purchase. There’s a lot of great options on the market. Any thoughts about whether the new one is worth it considering that I have the model before that? A lot would be personal preference I guess. How a longer rod gives you better drifts when Euro nymphing. And anything that goes under the water drags even more. Recently, fly fisherman have been trying to catch anything and everything on a fly rod, and are able to do so in most cases, so to say fly fishing is just for trout, is really false these days. Likewise, some power is lost with the extra length. When traveling any distance at all to go fly fishing, it helps to have a fly rod that packs into a small storage tube. Convinced I lost more than one. But if the rod is eight feet, then the fly tracks three feet closer to you. Join the mailing list to receive all Troutbitten articles and updates directly to your inbox. I’ve had friends who bought a long rod and have regretted their decision immediately. Now I’m wondering if I would be better off with the 10′? When I stumbled on The Mono Rig and Why Fly Line Sucks back in 2016, I had a Loomis XLS 9′ 3wt gathering cobwebs back in the corner, and I thought, why not? Long rods can be difficult to cast in tight cover. I still consider myself a novice fly fisherman although I do own more rods than I should. They are forgiving to the beginning fly fisherman and allow for a much easier time in learning the necessary skills when starting out fly casting. Friends. The small movements we make with our rod hand — the slight twists and pushes of the wrist — are amplified through the length of the rod. Many anglers lob these mono rigs. Understand the length, thickness and weight of your leader’s butt section. for some other techniques my rods are now from 8,8′ to 10’2″ 99% of my fly fishing. That’s what matters. I know — you’re deadly accurate with your favorite fly rod. About 9-10 months ago I purchased a TFO lefty kreh signature 2 in 9′ 6wt. I also wanted to note how the additional comments from fellow anglers is a tremendous help in making my choice. If you have any questions about gear, our destinations, shipping, or just want to tell us about yesterday's big catch... Email Us:, NEVER STOP LEARNING - NEVER STOP EXPLORING. Since 2014 and 600 articles deep Troutbitten is a free resource for all anglers Your support is greatly appreciated. But none of these downsides necessarily outweighs the upside of the extra reach gained with a long rod. And it may not be so beneficial when using tactics that employ a lot of mending. Trying to do anything with a standard two piece rod is difficult. They have benefits from both fast action and slow action rods with very few downsides. This article answered many of my questions on what rod is best for my type of fly fishing. Fly rod manufacturers today sell more rods in 9-foot lengths than any other, but that doesn't make it "standard." Like I lost a section or something. I was using an Scrambled egg pattern With a size 16 pheasant tail. Relax, and let the rod do the work. And long rods can be a liability. Right on. Rod - Length For small, tight creeks, a short rod (6- foot) is worth considering. This is my home, and I love it. Keeping line off the water with the extra reach is helpful for drifting nymphs and dries, but it isn’t as important with streamers, because we aren’t concerned with a dead drift (usually). On larger streams I like my 9 ft. 5 weight because of it’s versatility. Is a rod that is longer or shorter than your current 9' going to help you? I just wanted to complement you on the recent article on fly rods. PA fly fishing legend Ed Shenk was a big advocate of fishing shorter rods. in my case surely not. You might be pleasantly surprised! They all catch a lot of fish using different rods in different lengths casting their own go to “confidence” flies. Longer rods allow us to hold more line off the water. I have an 11foot 4 weight. Stand in casting position, and move the rod-hand just one foot through its casting V. Now look up and watch the rod tip. The castability of a rod can be changed with the relationship between it and the taper of the fly line. This rod allows me to fish all different kinds of flies, in all different kinds of scenarios and waters for all different species of fish. I just purchased an Echo Shadow X 10’6″ 3 wt that I haven’t used yet. ** For a list of my favorite fly rods, visit the Recommended Gear page here on Troutbitten. Well, in an opposite way, a shorter fly rod can also have its benefits. Thank you all, for a wonderful and busy 2019 season! I advise against that all the time, for many reasons. So our rod hand movements are amplified with longer rods. After much trial and error, I now use a 10′ 5wt H3F with the mono rig, as well as a 9’6″ 5wt Sage Pulse. Artificial flies are differ It has become my go-to rod for small streams. Advantages of a longer rod when Euro nymphing. My big question is whether the new Hardy is something I should consider since I already have the one before it. Jeez Dom, now you got me thinking. Another benefit of the longer rod for the fisherman in the back of the boat is that it keeps the fly line clear of the oars much better than an 8½-foot rod. Ten foot fast action rods usually have a slightly softer tip, perfect for setting the hooks and fighting big fish on light tippet and small flies. I don’t much like the first generation Cortland competition (10.5 foot 3 weight). benefits That I noticed with my clients when I put a longer fly rod in their hands. In my own decades of angling, average fly rods have gotten lighter and longer. READ: Troutbitten | Tight Line Nymphing — Drift With A Stable Sighter. On my homewater, Valley Creek, I prefer my 7 foot 4 weight. For me, anything longer than ten feet is too limiting for streamers, and I don’t like the way ten-plus feet of a fly rod loads with an attached indy. . Weight forward fly lines with heavy tapered heads tend to sag, making it harder to keep them from lying on the water. They are also very good tools for high-sticking with nymphs. When wading between knee-deep and waist high, the advantages become very evident. Kind of clunky and works better with a 6 weight line. I use a Lamson Liquid 1.5 on the Echo by the way. Balog told of a demonstration that he used to do when putting on seminars at sport shows. Devin Olsen did the math on this a few years ago, possibly more, if the trout are picky enough to reject the fly at distance, Trout Like To Do What Their Friends Are Doing, Distance: Know Your Weights and Measures — Part Two, Troutbitten State of the Union — 2020 Wrap Up, VIDEO | Fly Fishing the Mono Rig: Streamers — Episode 1, Tight Line and Euro Nymphing — The Lift and Lead, Streamer Presentations — The Tight Line Dance, Fifty Fly Fishing Tips: #43 — Two Ways to Recover Slack, Get Short and Effective Drifts with Your Fly, Fly Casting — Five Tips For Better Mending, Lost Trout Are Your Fault — Streamer Fishing Myth v Truth, The Meat Eater Minority — Streamer Fishing Myth v Truth, Fifty Fly Fishing Tips: #21 — Fear No Snag, Streamer Fishing Myth v Truth — Eats and Misses. I’m a father of two young boys, a husband, author, fly fishing guide and a musician. And learn to accurately judge the distance you are casting. This way they can fish comfortably, get the advantages of their design, and still transport the rod everywhere without problems. Ten footers are now quite standard. Thanks. Your email address will not be published. Your points on long (11 plus feet…) rods are just the same ones I have learned a hard way in practice. So let’s fix that. Remember, anything that touches the water drags. The fly fishing industry changes and grows. They are all wonderful rods, and the current Ultralite LL, 9’9″ is my favorite. That’s a tough one to admit or even understand for some people, but it’s true. For example, I use a 9′ 5 weight Sage Mod. Tackle that first . Join Troutbitten and follow along. If it takes a few seconds for the rod tip to stop bouncing and fully recover, then that’s three seconds of wasted drift (possibly more, if the trout are picky enough to reject the fly at distance). Both rods are Orvis Clearwaters – an excellent rod and an outstanding value, in my opinion. I sold it on eBay several years ago for $150. My angles are too wide, and I want quicker, tighter control over the path of my fly through the water. Long rods generally take longer to load on the backcast than their shorter brothers. Due to their long head sections, they don’t deliver flies delicately. For the recon rod I tried out throwing dry flies with it successfully up to 15 or 20 feet; enough distance for me. And whether that’s a fly line or a Mono Rig, keeping material off the water allows for more contact and more control over our flies. Have a 7ft 5wt and a 10ft 5wt. I glad I can have more than one length rod, but I think if I could have only one rod for all round Euro style fishing, I would go with a 10.5 footer. . Devin Olsen did the math on this a few years ago, and it’s still one of my favorite head-scratching facts. . These views address all seasons, all distances and many variations . . . I’m still learning. It was great. These are first person accounts showing the thoughts, strategies and actions around particular situations on the river, putting the reader in the mind of the angler. And my own point of compromise leans toward tight line, Mono Rig, nymphing tactics, because that’s what I spend much of my time doing. Understand that an extra foot of fly rod allows us to reach further than just twelve inches. So consider your goals, understand the pros and cons of a longer rod, and then find your point of compromise. The three of them use 4pc rods and during the weekend two of them came apart while casting. I would add that whether it’s a nine or ten foot rod, they tend to be more versatile than the manufacturers specify. I’ve spent many days tightlining from dawn till dusk with that 10′ #5 and never felt like I needed something longer or lighter, although a 4 would be nice for some of the stuff I fish in the summer. . The 11 footer Harold has probably recovers quite well under tight line nymphing situations, but it likely struggles a bit under heavier setups like suspender rigs or with streamers. Likewise, I’ve met anglers who wish they’d chosen a longer rod. That’s the main point. A longer fly rod gives you more water (under the rod) to fish effectively. Spin Fishing – is really meant to catch a lot of fish. And if you want something extra long in your hands, you have many viable options. You may have joined so late to the community of seven feet fishing rods when some fishing tournament committees already have banned 7-6s or 7-11s and more so an 8-foot huge rod … I don’t think I would see much drop off in recovery and accuracy compared to a 10′ rod in the same make and model, such as an echo shadow x. I love reading people’s thoughts on rods and love nymphing, so this story is especially enjoyable. And there really is no other reason that doesn’t come down to the distance gained by fishing a longer rod. For those of you who read that, it detailed how a fly rod that is longer than (the "standard") 9' can be an advantage. That doesn’t mean to take the speed out. It does make it "average." Now just a five-inch strip with the rod tip up. Thanks Dom. Simply put- there is no standard (or traditional) length. Sorry now off the soap box. Honestly, I feel handicapped with a specialized rod on the river. Shorter rods are more accurate. If I know I’m going to be fishing more streamers with the mono rig on a certain day, I do prefer the slightly shorter, and stiffer Sage for that. I have the 11′ shadow x and the recovery seems good to me. But why? Cast the tip. 2021 Thanks for your feed back. Am I imagining this? Increasing the length of trace outside of the rod tip is essentially the same as lengthening the rod. Stay tuned for that article soon! I fish for wild brown trout in the cool limestone waters of Central Pennsylvania year round. My two long rods are a 10’ 4 wt Loomis NRX+ and the Zephrus Ultralite 9’9” 4 wt. As you say, I have been quite happy with it both for mono rigs and dry fly traditional casting. Especially nice after selling a couple older rods to buy it. If I can plan ahead I hope to set up a couple walk-wade guided trips with you. Good for tight-lining and little else, in my experience. And it’s easier to guide our flies downstream with that extra reach. That’s not always a bad thing. Anyway, I have learned to take the “experts” advice with a grain of salt. But years ago, a rod that long was unwieldy. Now, of course, you will find examples where one company’s eleven-foot three weight loads faster and is more powerful than the next company’s ten-foot three weight. Today I fish a couple 8’ish Sage LL’s and my favorite 3100 ESN. This article is a great learning resource for all anglers. I had a few euro specific 10 and 10.5 footers. Bamboo rods are typically found in the higher price bracket and are reserved for only the most serious of fly fisher. This disadvantage is probably obvious. But for the discussion of accuracy, shorter rods lend you more. . After fishing with you two summers ago, and given my favorite stream is primarily a nymph stream, nymphing is my go-to setup. Definitely an acquired taste. All Points Fly Shop + Outfitter. I found a nice deal on a TFO drift a couple years ago on eBay new for $250. And anything that goes under the water drags even more. I usually use soft hackle wets and the shorter rod lets me put the fly on target. I’ve become accustomed to 10 feet for larger water, and when I dust off a nine-footer it feels abbreviated. Material diameter and material stiffness. Be part of the Troutbitten community of ideas. So if your goal is a dead drift, above or below the surface, the extra reach that a longer rod provides is always welcome. I like power and turnover. Watch Next Video. there’s more rod that has to stop moving. But, from shorter and lighter dry fly/spring creek rods to 11' Czech style nymphing rods, length can vary dramatically. Aside from our preferences for fast or flexy, anglers now have fly rod choices of eleven feet or more. Now try to lead the streamer directly back to you. That’s been done for decades. Fly Rod Design Variables . I choose versatile fly rods because I’m a versatile angler. Purchase here to support Troutbitten. Sure there are days when I carry two rods (an 8’5″ 4wt for dries) but normally just one. Most of the two weights that I handle are built with a stiff enough butt section to handle the largest trout you’re likely to encounter, and the long rods in four and five weights are light enough to cast all day. At the end of our tight line cast, the nymph enters the water, and we gain contact with the fly. Hi. That is SO true. they get too long. Long and light Tenkara rods flex easily, allowing them to … However, just because you can buy a great rod that’s ten-and-a-half or eleven feet long doesn’t mean that you should. Never had that problem with typical nymphs like a prince or stone fly. This article is part of the Walk Along series. And when the energy of those motions reaches the tip, the short, crisp motion we made with our casting hand results in a much larger movement at the tip. Fly rods come in a variety of materials, graphite and fiberglass can be found here, but also bamboo. What are the benefits to using a short or longer rod? The difference is noticeable, and the contrast grows larger in rods over ten feet. And advanced angling starts by being aware of the stats. This year I purchased a 6’6” 3 at bamboo rod. I would really stress that all anglers really put the rod through its paces and experiment with different techniques and styles. By allowing your body to create most of the power, called body casting, the spey rod will finish the casts with considerably less arm effort. So long tippet under water to reach the strike zone. 7ft for small tight streams. Hi Don. As many techniques as there are in fly fishing, there are also variations in gear to help. The soft tips on these rods take forever to recover, and they are whippy, flexy sticks, good only for lobbing and not casting. READ: Troutbitten | Fly Casing the Mono Rig — It’s Casting, Not Lobbing. (This is very similar to the tight-line leader recipe George Daniels recommends, but negates the necessity of buying several spools of various stuff.) Fly rods come in various lengths. anything that touches the water drags. Pause slightly for the fly to drop. If I do plan for underwater presentations in the mountains, I usually choose an eight-and-a-half or nine-foot option, for the extra reach and added ability to keep line off the water. And the easiest place to start is to know your distances. Don’t let Dom put doubts in your head. I have a 10’6” nymphing rod and one point of note is trudging that thing through mountain laurel is a painful process. Dom, as always thanks for the insightful articles. Most of these rods can do everything, UNTIL . Stay tuned for that article soon! The tip flex of the longer rod just wouldn’t allow for a crisp set. All of these rods can perform the necessary functions, but how well do they do it? Fly anglers, however, have been slower to climb on the kayak fishing bandwagon. It’s a personal choice. Instead, the selling point, just a few years ago was versatility. Making adjustments is the key to consistent fly fishing. I have fished dry flies, small dry/dropper and nymphs with a mono line and tenkara fluoro level line with no problems on the 11′ rod. In short, we’re in the golden age of fly rods. Thanks Dom for the advice about sticking with my older Zephrus Ultralite rather than replacing with the new one. Embed Video ... Helios™ 3F 3-Weight 10'6" Fly Rod Recon® 3-Weight 10' 4-Piece Fly Rod Recon® 2-Weight 10' 4-Piece Fly Rod Clearwater® 3-Weight 10' Fly Rod … The slightly longer rod would be very helpful in keeping the fly line and fly a fraction further up from the water surface, especially noticeable when going for distance and aerializing longer line outside the rod tip. Consider your fly size and weight. A fly line with a short head loads a short rod efficiently and allows the angler to deliver big flies short to moderate ­distances quickly. It is in broad principle made like any other fishing rod, but there are some major differences, and an ordinary fishing rod can't be used for fly-fishing. I started experimenting with longer rods after reading some of your material several years back. To answer your question, I would loe the rod you have, and I wouldn’t think about changing. Where to Start: Redington Butter Stick, 7'6" 4 weight - Excellent for smaller streams and tighter quarters! Shortening the rod means less material, lighter weight, and a more responsive blank. I can switch from streamers, to nymphs to dries without any problem and the rod is stiff enough to rightline but the tip is flexible enough I can cast all but the lightest of dries just using my monorig and packing extra punch into the cast. And where the tip goes, so goes the line, leader and fly. This rod is also brutally tough and has been dropped, whacked into trees and thrown to avoid further catastrophe and still is kicking with only scratches for scars. I’ve ruined a few days this way for myself. While I listed just one main advantage of a longer rod (more reach), I’m about to list numerous disadvantages of extra rod length. Slow down and relax, the rod can cast. It’s easier to unbutton snagged nymphs, because of the extra reach. Look forward to each article. Remember, what you lose in a specialized rod is versatility. You notice these differences instantly. And the river. “I would add that whether it’s a nine or ten foot rod, they tend to be more versatile than the manufacturers specify.”. Well yes and no. Reading Water, Stories, Tactics, Walk Along. This means faster lure speed and greater distance. But that’s overstating the point. Before that, I was a die hard 9′ 6wt guy, and had several of them with different actions that I would choose from. Improvements in materials, like high modulus graphite, allow for the building of fly rods that were not possible a few years ago. Tuck. In fact, the "average" fly rod today may be both shorter and longer than a lot of "traditional" rods. You can demonstrate this easily with a visible test. These extra-long rods are now reasonable options for trout fishing. And the longer the rod, the greater is that distance. A dream to cast and an incredible feel when battling fish - the "fighting butt" is an excellent addition. My third use is single hand spey with a DT6F line and some sinking leaders for streamers. Likewise, when fishing streamers, extra-long rods can be a liability. That’s the truth. Angler Types in Profile Big Trout Commentary Dry Fly Fishing Fly Fishing StrategiesGear Reviews Night FishingNymphing Stories Streamers Tactics Troutbitten Fly Box, Gear Review Policy Terms and conditonsPrivacy PolicyAffiliate Link DisclosureAmazon Affiliate Disclaimer, Gear Review Policy Terms and conditons Privacy Policy Affiliate Link Disclosure Amazon Affiliate Disclaimer. I mostly agree with Harold. are true, but I think the differences between a 10 and 10.5 are probably too subtle for most of us to notice, especially within the same model. READ: Troutbitten | Use a Versatile and General  Fly Rod. And anything that goes under the water drags even more. It was specifically made for dry fly fishing, but with the mid-flex action it’s wonderful for throwing streamers with sink tips (it’s had no problem with any of Galloup’s patterns) or nymphing with a suspender. •The longer rod makes casting and mending your line easier than what is possible with a single-hand rod. Most fishers love going for at least a 7-feet rod. But usually, longer roads have longer load times, and they feel less powerful. To minimize the amount of stuff carried, I usually deploy a Cortland euro leader for the tight-lining. Then, as written in the article above, they start to suffer as an all around tool, in my opinion. Fly Casting, Fly Fishing Strategies, Tactics. . The Hardy is far more useful except for in high winds and on lakes (I’m in Wyoming). Look to graphite or bamboo if you want to buy an expensive fly rod. Leverage: For battles with deep-water pelagics and other big fish, short fly rods provide more power and leverage for applying serious pressure during the fight.