Rod length & action in spider fishing

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Hankinsfly
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Rod length & action in spider fishing

Post by Hankinsfly » Sun Oct 07, 2018 9:25 am

Morning, all. My mind has not left spider-land since last night. Watching the video posted on dead-drifting spiders has magnified it. In that video, the fisherman uses a 10’ rod. Anyone care to share your rod choices for spider fishing? Do you prefer a short 7.5 - 8’ rod, bamboo perhaps? Or do you fish longer rods in the 10’ range? Do you think there is any difference in action and length of rod preferred when swinging as opposed to dead drift? I have been trying all sorts of lengths and actions, and have yet to try a slow action (will change that in a few days). I have found that I don’t like super fast action graphites for fishing on the swing- and this is where is think a slow action rod would be beneficial. I have had good success with both 8’ all the way to 10’ rods. Not sure yet how the longer rod benefits the presentation and hookset. I think sometimes a lot of hookset percentages on the swing depends on the fish’s mood. Sometimes they nail it and sometimes it’s just a slight pressure felt on the line and rod tip. What are your thoughts?
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Re: Rod length & action in spider fishing

Post by letumgo » Sun Oct 07, 2018 10:04 am

Most of my soft hackle/spider fishing is done with a 9 ft 5 wt rod. I've wanted to try/buy a 10 ft 3 wt rod, with the purpose of improving presentation (lighter line) and better line control during the drift (longer rod helps hold line off the water and makes mending easier).

Over the past several seasons, I've switched over to a 13 ft tenkara rod (ultra light line and long rod) for spider fishing. I switch back and forth over the season, but have found that the tenkara rod has become my preferred tool for very light flies and delicate presentation. The main disadvantage has been distance. The tenkara rod has limited reach, compared with a normal single hand fly rod. This forces you to fish close up, compared with the distance you can fish with a single hand rod. This can be good and bad. Fishing close-up makes you more careful stalking and wading a more important component of fishing, so as not to spook the fish. I feel that fishing with a tenkara rod has help make me be more careful in the way I approach fish holding water. It has also made me better about keeping line off the water and focusing on maintaining a drag free drift.

When I switch back to a single hand rod, I miss the reach of the tenkara rod during the drift, and find it harder to keep line off the water. However, there are times when I definitely miss making longer casts when fishing the tenkara rod.

That is why I want a 10 ft/3 wt. It seems like the best of both worlds.
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Tom Smithwick
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Re: Rod length & action in spider fishing

Post by Tom Smithwick » Mon Oct 08, 2018 8:10 am

My preference for swinging flies is generally bamboo in the 8 foot range, 3, 4, and 5 weight, depending on the fly size. In general, I like the way bamboo, being a softer material, protects light tippets, particularly when the fish strikes. The 8 foot length keeps the weight within reason, but still provides enough length for effective mending. I prefer medium to slightly slow action with a responsive tip.
I don't like to expose bamboo to airline travel, so in that instance, I would carry a graphite travel rod for trout.
The exception to that is tenkara, which I have found highly effective. Ray pretty well covered the topic above. The downside, as noted is range. There are people in Japan who do use longer lines on bigger water. It works, but to land a fish you have to develop the skill of grasping the line and hand lining the fish up to the net. I don't have that skill. I almost got into the 20/20 club with a tenkara rod. (20" fish on a size 20 or less fly). I was fishing a slightly longer than normal line, hooked what looked like a 20"+ rainbow on a #20 red hackle, and was able to play the fish until ready for the net. I managed to get the line in my hand and gently pull it up to the net. The fish had one last head flip left, banged his jaw on the net, which broke the tippet and the fish departed.
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Re: Rod length & action in spider fishing

Post by narcodog » Mon Oct 08, 2018 9:01 am

Like Tom stated Ray hit the Tenkara on the head. I have been using a Tenkara since Tenkara USA introduced them. I have four Tenkara rods which all have different actions and spiders work just great with them. Saying that I fish bamboo 95% of the time and I use an 8ft 5wt, If I had a 4wt I might use that.
In the spring I picked up 9ft6in 3/4 weight Marryat mostly out of curiosity, to see what the hoopla is all this light line rods. The action I bought is recommended for soft hackles. I fished it out west quite a bit using both spiders and dry's. I found that the rods cast a 3wt very well put it took longer to land a fish, more so than a Tenkara.

In the past I had a 10ft 4wt Courtland that was purchased in GB before the long rod craze hit the U.S. I could not cast but it swung a spider well, I traded that rod off.
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chase creek
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Re: Rod length & action in spider fishing

Post by chase creek » Mon Oct 08, 2018 9:49 am

I guess I would be considered a "Hacker"(to borrow from the Golfers) at this, as far as tying/fishing soft hackles.
I normaly use a 9' 5 wt, and a 71/2' 3 wt ( for small, brushy streams, I do have a 51/2' 3 wt but don't use it much ).I do like a longer rod genrally. :)
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tie2fish
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Re: Rod length & action in spider fishing

Post by tie2fish » Mon Oct 08, 2018 10:54 am

For Tups and bloas I use a 9 ft 5wt fast action graphite rod with a WF5F line on an 5/6 Orivs Battenkill reel and a 9ft 5x tapered nylon leader ending in 6x tippet.

For P&O, P&Y, and P&G, I use an 8 ft 7wt medium action fiberglass rod with a WF7F line on an Abu-Garcia automatic reel and a 9ft 4x tapered leader ending in 5x tippet.

For spiders with snipe or woodcock hackle, I use a custom-built-by-Janssen 9ft 5 wt fast action bamboo rod with a WF5F line on a different Orvis 5/6 Battenkill reel and a 9ft 5X tapered leader ending in 6x Trout Hunter tippet.

For everything else I use a 7 ft 4 wt fast tip bamboo rod with a WF4F line on a 3/4 Orvis Battenkill reel and a 12 ft hand tied Maxima leader ending in 6x Trout Hunter tippet.

And that's all I've got ... :twisted: :lol: :twisted: :lol: :twisted: :lol:
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redietz
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Re: Rod length & action in spider fishing

Post by redietz » Mon Oct 08, 2018 2:14 pm

I've got to admit, I fish whatever rod I feel like on a given day (or is most suitable for whatever stream I'm fishing) rather than tailoring it to spiders. Even though most of my fishing is in fact with soft hackle wets, I'll often fish dries or streamers on the same day, so I don't want to get too specialized. That said, if I know I'm going to be fishing nothing but spiders upstream, I've got a couple of 10' Grey's Streamflex rods (a 3 and a 4 weight) that are ideally suited to that task.
Bob
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Re: Rod length & action in spider fishing

Post by Theroe » Tue Oct 09, 2018 5:59 am

of all my rods I use:

9' 5wt Impact wrapped by Ivan Willard for me, with a Hardy Marquis disc 7 or 8.
9' 5wt H&I grass with a Sci Anglers System 7 - this replaced (sort of) my Payne which belonged to LaBranche which was stolen, along with a slew of other things from me.
7' 5wt South bend boron(bought at the Little Store in Roscoe circa 1979 with a Hardy fly weight.
Soft and wet - the only way....
Hankinsfly
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Re: Rod length & action in spider fishing

Post by Hankinsfly » Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:02 am

redietz wrote:
Mon Oct 08, 2018 2:14 pm
I've got to admit, I fish whatever rod I feel like on a given day (or is most suitable for whatever stream I'm fishing) rather than tailoring it to spiders. Even though most of my fishing is in fact with soft hackle wets, I'll often fish dries or streamers on the same day, so I don't want to get too specialized. That said, if I know I'm going to be fishing nothing but spiders upstream, I've got a couple of 10' Grey's Streamflex rods (a 3 and a 4 weight) that are ideally suited to that task.
Bob- so tell me your thinking behind the 10’ rod. Do you feel this aids in mending, or the ability to “high-stick” and keep line off the water? And you mention upstream spiders. Do you concentrate on this method, or do you ever “swing” spiders and wets? I am just interested in people’s experiences with fishing wets. I more often than not “swing” them, but only the right kind of water- usually a soft current. It’s just very effective, I like feel the take, and insects do not only drift lifelsss in the current, but some do propel across a current. I see lots of people swing wets trough too fast a current. This makes sense to me for a streamer, but not something intended to look “buggy.”! I also fish a 10’ Hardy Marksman 2 at times, and I am still identifying exactly how the longer rod aids in fishing wets. I understand the efficiency in mending and line control aspect. Any other benefit?
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redietz
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Re: Rod length & action in spider fishing

Post by redietz » Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:33 am

Hankinsfly wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:02 am

so tell me your thinking behind the 10’ rod. Do you feel this aids in mending, or the ability to “high-stick” and keep line off the water? And you mention upstream spiders. Do you concentrate on this method, or do you ever “swing” spiders and wets?
...
I understand the efficiency in mending and line control aspect. Any other benefit?
Upstream spider fishing a short line, usually at most than twice the length of the rod -- to keep line off the water and to detect takes. A longer rod simply means a longer drift.

I fish spiders up, down and across. Which one often just depends on how I access the stream as much as anything else, but I do like to fish caddis and stonefly hatches down and mayfly spinner falls up.

EDIT: One other special case where a 10 footer (or a tenkara rod) comes in handy is fishing back eddies on the far bank than are protected by a log in front of the them. There are times I'll be fishing with a 7 1/2 foot cane, encounter such places, and get frustrated enough by not being able to reach fish rising in them that I come back the next day with a 10 footer. I'll always fish a spider in those cases, since there's a good chance I'm going to lose a fly and I'd rather lose a Partridge and Orange (or similar) that took me a minute to tie than a dry that took five or ten minutes.
Bob
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