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Steelhead/Musky rod

Joe's Kid

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I've been bitten by the flyrod bug.

A few years ago while fishing for panfish with a flyrod, I got into a smallmouth hole on a lake in NW Wisconsin. After catching a dozen or so smallmouth, I was bringing one in and it stopped dead. Having had many fish taken away by Muskies, I knew what had happened. I set the rod down for about 5 minutes and then after pulling in the slack, I hauled back on the rod and enjoyed 20 minutes of mayhem. A 35 inch Musky was landed with a 6 wt. rod, and I was hooked.

I had been using the rod like a canepole, not knowing how to cast with it.

Now, after a few years of flailing away and learning to cast with the flyrod, I want to do the same thing on purpose.

I also want to use the rod for steelhead. Correct me if I'm wrong,but I'm assuming that one rod would do for both fish.

I've looked at quite a few rods and am thinking about buying a 9 wt. rod from Gander Mountain (I can't recall the name on the rod, but it's the GM house brand). If anyone has used their rods, I'd appreciate any feedback regarding their quality.

There's another company I'm considering buying from. Has anyone heard of or used rods from a company called March Brown?


Joe's Kid

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I'm not much of a Muskie fishermen, but I do chase the occasional Pike now and then. I am however really into Steelhead. A good friend of mine chases Muskie all the time with a fly rod so I have some knowledge of the the best ways. For Steelhead a 9wt rod would be somewhat overkill, a long 7 or 8wt would be much better. When I say long I mean 9'6" or even 10 feet long. With Steelhead you aren't casting so much as you are nymphing with lots of weight and indicator. The added length helps with mending, rollcasting and line control. I personaly use a 9'6" Winston for Steelhead and the occasional pike/carp. For Muskie you would be casting very large and wind resistant flies. A 9' 9wt would be a better tool for this. A good theory is that the wt of the rod does not match the size of the fish, but matches the size of the fly.

As far as your rod choices, I really can't offer any advise here, as I'm a firm believer in casting before you buy, and to pay for what you like. I can offer this though. I have been seeing the Winston Ibis in "closeout" prices lately and I just picked one up that was 45% of normal price. They are an exceptional value and now I have 3 of them (I have far too many rods according to to my wife). Just a quick note about these rods: The first one I bought was 3 years ago and was made in the US, the one I bought 2 weeks ago was made in China, but they are the same, same color, same action, same old Winston. I mention this because some people won't buy anything form china, but it was real nice on my pocket book.


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I'll second the 9' 8-9 weight class for the toothy nasties. It's getting to that time of year when people/dealers start unloading their rods. I know Gander Mountain here in Rochester has slashed prices dramatically on St. Croix rods.

Just a little FYI,


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Thanks for the input guys!

I'm happy to report that I've just purchased a 9' 9wt. rod, and with a little practice, and adjusting to the new setup, will be good to go.

Best Fishes,

Joe's Kid

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Have fun with the new rod. You'll have to post a picture of your first northern with it.

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