Sunday, November 6, 2011

Fast, Medium, Slow Action Fly Rods Which do You Choose???

I can remember back when I first started fly fishing. I wasn’t concerned with rod action, fly presentation, casting distance or the lightness of the rod. It didn’t make any difference how the popper touched down on the water or the speed at which the rod propelled the popper to its target. Notice I said popper not fly here, because back then I only fish poppers in warm water areas. All I wanted to do was get the bug to a point on the water and hopefully land a fish, in other words I was not interested in the mechanics of the sport. Well after getting into trout fishing four years ago I have learned that all the above factors play a big part in being successful on the water, especially trout fishing. I think for me the most important factor when it comes to fly fishing is the rod action. The most common rod action and the most used is the medium action rod. This type fly rod can be purchase at your local Wal-Mart or any other discount outlet. If you are looking for diversity such as fast action, medium fast action or a slower action rod you will have to go to your local fly shop or purchase on line at your bigger fly rod outlets across the U.S. All these action rods have their places on the water. I know for me I use my fast action rod for heavier nymphs or bigger poppers. I use my medium action rod for med size flies or nymphs. I don’t own a slower action rod, because I really haven’t found a need for it as of yet. I guess in time I may need to look at this type rod if I keep landing those stocker trout below the dam. Temple Fork has a great definition for the action of the fly rod on their website.

The action of a rod is determined by where it bends with a given amount of weight. Fast action rods bend nearer the tip area and medium action rods bend down nearer the middle of the rod. Slower action rods bend all the way down into the butt section and look parabolic when bent with that same given amount of weight. All you really need to know is that faster action rods are stiff in the butt and flexible in the tip, because you will use a great range of weight when you cast varying distances or when using larger/heavier flies.
I am curious as to how you let the action of the fly rod determine the way you fly fish?

13 comments:

Jeff Ryan TheFreshwaterFly.com said...

Hey Bill... I like medium/fast rod. I love to feel the rod load. The faster action rods just don't give me the same sensation.

Shoreman said...

Here I spent all that money on my two medium action rods and I could have gotten one at Walmart for real cheap. Just kidding.

Mark

Bill Trussell said...

Jeff
The med/fast rod is excellent for bigger fish, but yet has a little fineese for smaller fish. thanks for the comment

Bill Trussell said...

Mark
Believe it or not Wal-Mart has the 5/6 wt. Cortland fly rod with the reel for 40.00 bucks. The rod is 9 ft. and has some weight to it along with the big arbor reel. So I guess what I am saying is if you are fishing all day with this combo, you need to be in good shape as far as your shoulder and arm is concerned. thanks for the commnet.

Ty said...

Hey Bill,

I like fast, tip flex rods for the big rod weights, say size 8 and up. Really helps toss big flies around, especially if wind is a factor.

With the middle weights, 4 thru 7, I like the medium/fast action. Still like the crisp casting feel I get with the mid-to-tip flex rods.

3 weight and below, I like slower action, full flex rods. I just prefer a rod that loads easily with very little line out of the tip in those small rod situations.

Bill Trussell said...

Ty
I am with you on the fast action rods, that type rod helps get the big bugs out further and faster by using a bass bug line, which loads quickly and really propels a big popper and heavy nymph pattern even in wind. Thanks for the comment

Sanders said...

I gravitate towards the slower to medium action rods...just something about the laziness helps to slow me down. Reminds me I'm really not in that big of a hurry...

disclosure: I do own a could of fast action rods as well. But don't use them nearly as much.

Trout MaGee said...

Another great question. Since I usually fish small streams and tight quarters I prefer a slow to medium action rod. I fish a 7' St. Croix Avid and it seems to do great with both tiny dry flies and some decent size bead heads. All around great pole. Tight Lines

Bill Trussell said...

Trout
Tight quarters on the water demand a shorter fly rod. I fish a 7 1/2 ft. Temple Fork below the dam at Smith. I like you find it works best for me because most of the time I am in tight areas. thanks for the comment

Bill Trussell said...

Sanders
I too have a 5 wt. and use it more than any other fly rod I have. thanks for the comment

Bigerrfish said...

I relate it alot to the tippet size. The lighter the line the lighter the rod and the softer the tip...
Its not about how cool it feels when a fish is on, its all about if It can pop my tippet or not.

Fast rods break line.

Bill Trussell said...

Josh
Great response, an example of what you are talking about is one of my fly fishing buddies using the same tippet he uses on his 4 wt. on his 6 wt. rod. He is convinced the fish will be attracted more to the fly using the lighter tippet as opposed to using the standard tippet to match his fast action 6 wt. rod. No convincing this guy---by the way he has lost a bunch of fish on break offs. Thanks for the comment.

Alexander Coder said...

This was a good suggestion that you put up here...dude…..hope that it benefits all the ones who land up here. 

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