I often get asked by clients, “What rod should I bring out?” Or they don’t ask, and show up with a 3-wt or 4-wt. For those who may not know what this means, rods are rated on a scale from 1 through 15. A “one-weight” would be used for no wind condition and smaller fish. Some like to use a one-weight for bigger fish saying the challenge is greater. In my opinion, it just over-stresses the fish. On the other end, a “15-weight” would generally be used, say, for a Marlin.

The perfect rod out here in Montana is a 5-wt through a 7-wt. A 6-wt is probably the best all-around rod if you only bring one. A 5-wt is great if the wind is light and throwing smaller dries and nymphs. A 7-wt is perfect for streamer fishing for bigger trout. The “six” is a great compromise.

As far as reels and lines, they should be matched to the rods, with a 100yds minimum of backing. Often reels are set up with 200yds of backing, which is fine, because it creates a larger surface to bring in line. But we rarely get into our backing.

The lines we typically use are weight-forward floating. The exception would be an intermediate or sink-tip for streamer fishing. A full sink-line would only be use in lake fishing.

Till next time,
Doug Jones
Clear Creek Outfitters