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Skagit Smallmouth
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Author Topic: Skagit Smallmouth  (Read 3527 times)
scorpion1971
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« on: March 19, 2016, 10:46:32 PM »

I am looking at building a shorter skagit rod for smallmouth. My problem is picking a blank. Not even sure what line weight. I would hate to be under gunned for 18" fish. I am already building the are 9'10" 4wt into a witch rod but it feels like that would be under gunned with larger smallmouth. Not sure if I should build using a 5 or 6wt 9' single hander into a two hander.
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Rick J
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« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2016, 12:31:59 PM »

might look at Anglers Roost - they have a wide variety of blanks and even rods - their IM6 blanks are in the $30 range and are really wonderful rods - I have the 11' 2/3 and the 12' 2/3 and 3/4

Not sure what water type you are fishing but unless strong currents I think any rod weight that will cast your flies should likely handle the fish you are targeting. I have  landed numerous trout in the 18" to 20" class while spring creek fishing on my Scott G 8' 2 wt with no problems

I think I would look at something 10' or 11" in the 3/4 or 4/5  or even 5/6 category and use one of the really short skagits out now - either RIO Trout skagits (11' heads) or the OPST Commando heads - this allow you to strip in all the way to you - the short heavy heads will easily cast poppers and lead eyed clousers

Best,
Rick
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scorpion1971
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« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2016, 12:37:34 PM »

I am looking for a 9' rod. I already have the G Loomis Pro 4x 5wt switch for larger water.
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Rick J
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« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2016, 01:05:38 PM »

I think I would go ahead and try rod you are already converting - I have landed steelhead to 10# on the AR 12' 2/3 wt - casting a Skagit 275 on it and it throws cone heads and handles fish that size with little trouble

If you want a new rod would likely go to a 9' 6 wt  which steps up a bit from your 4 wt
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mmckenzie
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« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2016, 01:24:25 PM »

5 wt single hand blank will handle 18" smallies just fine. If you're not convinced, bump to a 6. I just built a 9' micro spey on an American Tackle Matrix 6 weight 9' blank. It's kind of a short thunder stick. Still haven't picked a line for it yet - I've only had chance to get out and fish a couple times this year, and haven't been on water big enough for a 9' rod yet. Should get out in a couple weeks. My plan is for a Commando in the 200ish grain range, but I'm going to try my 200 grain Skagit Max Short line first since i already have that line. For scientific purposes, I'm going to see how it handles a Switch Chucker #6 (probably way too heavy for this rod, but hey, it's just an experiment right?)

I built this rod with the idea of hunting smallmouth and largemouth on some local waters where anything over 9' is too long of a rod - almost vertical banks, brush right up to the edge, etc. -  and for swinging for coastal cutthroat on the larger coastal rivers when I don't want to use my 12' 2/3 spey or my 11' 6 weight switch rod or any of my single handers.

My last couple trout-ings (trout outings) I have been playing with my new 4 weight Cabela's Prime glass single hander, and doing single hand spey casting. I found with a WF4 floater and poly leaders I can chuck some meat with that outfit - #6 bead head buggers, #6 zonkers, and heavy double nymph rigs, so going up to a 6 weight graphite stick I should be able to jack my heavier #2 crawfish flies and really meaty streamers with no problems. As said before, if you can cast the big flies with the rod - the rod will handle the fish you're after just fine. You're fishing for smallmouth so it's not like you're going to be using dainty 4 or 5X tippet - fight the fish with the full flex of the rod and you'll get the beasties in no probs even on a 4 weight.

Just remember if you're building up from a blank - the fatter lines like the commando and rio skagit heads need bigger guides than single hand lines. I almost made the mistake of going with a tip top that was too narrow to feed the running line connection through on this build - that would've been bad.
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