Nate with a fistful of 10’ rods in the shop yesterday
THERE is no substitute for have the right tool for the job when required.
Now my natural inclination is toward 9’ and shorter sticks. But then again I also like Worcestershire sauce on my eggs, stick shifts, Vegemite and I wrap my thread clockwise when tying. I don’t expect y’all have to be the same.
But right now 10’ rods are definitely the right choice to fish the bigger water on the White and Norfork. I’ve been running a 10’ 5wt Sage One, which like a lot of the top-end ten-footers, are now lighter both physically and in terms of swing weight than 9’ rods of not that long ago. But equally there are some very good long rods priced from $200 in the shop, that will get it done.
The major benefit of jumping to a longer rod is in line control, being able to mend a longer length of line more easily, and to swing more line on a hook set. Some aficionados also simply prefer the feel of the longer sticks when casting. And right now on the high flows, line control and hook setting, especially with the long leaders are major issues.
On the con side, is more weight, and more casting effort over the course of the day. I also find personally I’m not as accurate with the longer rods, less of a issue with our nymph fishing, but why I prefer 9 footers for hitting the banks with streamers and hoppers.
I’ve also seen a lot of hooked pulled out of trout with the 10’ rods, particularly 5wts and 6wts, where it seems easier to overpower the hook, but this might be simply a lack of familiarity, driving operator error _ solution: fish the rod more.
But to my tastes at least when you step up from 9 foot rods for heavy nymphing stick with the same rod size: i.e. if you fished a 5wt daily stick with a 10’ 5 wt for high water. Going to the longer length is going to give you a lot more grunt from the mid-section down through the butt, and going up a rod size as well can be overkill and give you a heavier rod than you need or perhaps desire. Basically there’s not a lot of difference, if any, between a 10’ 5wt and a 9’ 5wt at the tip, but a whole bunch at the butt.
I’ve had customers fishing a Sage One 10’ 5wt and its proven popular with good casters and those less so, but it’s a powerful tool. Nate digs the 10’ 6wt but for highwater here I’d lean to the 4 or 5wt unless I was planning an Alaskan trip.
I have similar feeling towards the 10’ H2s, that the pick of the litter is the 4wt and 5wt. There is also the 10’ 3wt in the H2 series, a great wading rod you can put the wood to that trophy brown or handle some wind. The TFO BVK 3wt and Sage ESN are extremely light in the tip, for the short-casting Euro-styles and best kept as low water specialists.
Orvis’s Recon and the other BVKs are a great option if you don’t want to commit to big money for the premium rods. The BVKs have been our best-selling rod for the past few years, offering incredible performance for the money. The Recon is gaining some momentum as well on performance at a budget.
Stop by the shop and checkout the range, put then through their paces and see what works best for you. High water might become a lot more fun.
TEMPLE FORK OUTFITTERS
BVK: 10’ 4wt, $274.95, 10’ 5wt $274.95, 10’ 6wt $299.95
BVK Conversion Kit: 8’ 3wt & 10’ Butt section: $374.90
Professional Series II: 10’ 5 wt $199.95