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#117129 - 06/11/09 01:17 PM Lightest Flyfishing Gear
TomK Offline
member

Registered: 01/07/02
Posts: 467
Loc: Virginia, USA
I took my old 4-section flyrod and Berkeley 510 reel (both bought in 1977!) along on a backpacking trip in the Sierras a couple of years ago and had a blast. Would like to do it again, but with a less weight and more convenience. A shorter rod with fewer sections would be better, and of course a reel lighter than 7.5 oz with line would be welcome.

Suggestions from you master lightweight flyfishers?

Thanks!

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#117210 - 06/12/09 09:27 PM Re: Lightest Flyfishing Gear [Re: TomK]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
TomK
You can spend any amount on a rod and reel. I would take my 8foot 4 weight 2 piece or 8.5 foot 4 piece 5 wt. Both are Sage. My Orvis presentation reel is as fine as they get, but a Daiwa (that costs 1/1oth as much) doesn't weigh much more and a fly reel for backpacking is just a spool that holds your line, the brake mechanism is immaterial, and thats what makes a fine fly reel - a fine brake and smooth machine work.

Since the rod case weighs more than the rod, and since a cheap rod needs no case - you don't need to spend much on a new rod, and consider the total weight of the setup before you decide to change any pieces. Then decide what your budget is and go for it.

Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#117264 - 06/15/09 12:03 AM Re: Lightest Flyfishing Gear [Re: Jimshaw]
TomK Offline
member

Registered: 01/07/02
Posts: 467
Loc: Virginia, USA
Thanks Jim. Well, I was hoping there were some magic beans out there but I guess not. I already eliminated the case, just keeping the rod pieces in a silnylong sheath. To promote faster hiking to fishing transition, I like the 2-piece, even if it is longer. Do they make 2-piece 7 footers? I would be fishing small streams, and don't really need the power of a longer rod.

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#117314 - 06/15/09 11:56 PM Re: Lightest Flyfishing Gear [Re: TomK]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
TomK
Do they make 2-piece 7 footers? I would be fishing small streams, and don't really need the power of a longer rod."
________________________________________________________
Tom
The short rods might be called nymphing rods and small water is where they are used, often with just a leader, as in - who needs a reel? I mean for light weight - don't take a reel, just a bit of line since you handle the line with your hand anyway when fishing. When I was a kid we fished with cane poles and a bobber - and did I say that I caught more fish on my cane pole than with all of my fly gear put together?

First consider what weight rod you want. I might be inclined to go really light, like a 2 or 3 weight 7 footer 2 piece. In small water you get small fish, and a 6" trout on a 5wt isn't a lot of fun, but a 4wt is better. I've never fished a 2 weight, I think I borrowed a 3wt one time. Have you considered making your own rod? If you do, get a quality blank and a fine reel seat and use a rod turner to do the glueing. I made my 4 wt and it came out well.

Yeh you don't need any power in the rod for nymphing. Oh yes, the best fishing I ever had while backpacking. I had a piece of monofiliment, a couple hooks, a few lead split shot and a half full bottle of salmon eggs. I tied the line to a branch about 3 feet long as a rod. Then I floated salmon eggs in the current of a tiny stream and ate 10 small trout for dinner. I let the turtle go.

Don't think you need a fancy outfit to fish while backpacking.
Jim crazy

_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#117381 - 06/18/09 06:28 AM Re: Lightest Flyfishing Gear [Re: TomK]
MrZeroPing Offline
member

Registered: 04/28/07
Posts: 17
Loc: Ibaraki Ken, Japan
I actually just picked up a new rod and fly gear yesterday. What I bought was really neat and I was thinking of making a post about it, all on its own. Here is it.

It is a Shimano Keihou Tenkara. Tenkara is a Japanese style of fishing. Basically it is Japanese fly fishing. What is so unique about it, and got me really attracted to it for ultralight fishing, is that it only uses a pole and no reel. The line is a fixed length with a fly on the end. The rod I bought yesterday weighs 61 grams (2.2oz) and it telescopes out to 3.2 meters (10ft). The line is about 4 meters (13ft) long. I'm going on a fishing trip this weekend with my buddies up in the mountains. We are trying to get trout (iwana) and cherry salmon (yamame). I'm really excited to be going. They do make tenkara rods that telescope out to 4 meters, but the streams we usually fish at are small, so we can get by with short 3.2 meter rods.

So if the rivers/streams you are going to be fishing aren't very big, I would maybe suggest looking in "tenkara" as a viable way of fly fishing. I'll write a report about when I get back this weekend. I've only been lure fishing so this will be my first foray into "fly fishing." It seems pretty easy and it looks really slick as far as ultralight goes.

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#117387 - 06/18/09 12:14 PM Re: Lightest Flyfishing Gear [Re: MrZeroPing]
TomK Offline
member

Registered: 01/07/02
Posts: 467
Loc: Virginia, USA
I'll check out tenkara. Definitely looking forward to your report!

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#117402 - 06/18/09 08:38 PM Re: Lightest Flyfishing Gear [Re: MrZeroPing]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Zero,
Do you know what a cane pole is? Its the tradition Bayou fishing rig of poor people in America. It consists of a piece of bamboo about 14 feet long with a piece of monofiliment tied to the end such that the hook may be hooked into the bottom of the pole. You use a bobber and a worm.
Excellent system. So you have a light telescoping cane pole.
Good luck, tell us how it works.
Jim crazy
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#117403 - 06/18/09 10:00 PM Re: Lightest Flyfishing Gear [Re: Jimshaw]
TomK Offline
member

Registered: 01/07/02
Posts: 467
Loc: Virginia, USA
Except that it is actually casting a heavier piece of line with a zero-weight fly on the end, so it looks more like fly fishing without the reel--and of course without the possibility of casting the line farther than about a pole's length more than the end of the pole. But since fly fishing is what I'm interested in--more than just catching fish--it looks great.

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#117434 - 06/20/09 11:19 PM Re: Lightest Flyfishing Gear [Re: TomK]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
My reel weighs 3.5 oz. half full of line. It is an ancient very simple reel. I do not consider the weight something I will agonize over! I could also lighten it an ounce by taking off some line. I may not cast a super long distance, but I do drop the fly in the water and let it float quite a distance. Handling the line without a reel seems like a chore. And I have been in places where I stuck my line and had to cut it off. It is nice to have extra. Take the reel and 3.5 ounces less food and catch more fish!

All my gear weighs 8.9 ounces: 3.5-reel, 5.0-rod, 0.4 files and leader, 1.0 homemade foam carrying case. My rod certainly is not the lightest made. I only carry one film cannister of flies. I do not use a net. I carry the fish on a stick.

The frying pan I carry to cook them in weighs more than all my fishing gear!

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#117440 - 06/21/09 01:30 AM Re: Lightest Flyfishing Gear [Re: wandering_daisy]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Dasiy
Wait a minute there sister - that frying pan IS part of your fishing gear isn't it? Confess... Have you tried the ti skillet? All of these things work better with practice. Hmm I am looking at the photo of the frying fish and I am wondering about the weight of the grease and flour?

Yeh I'd prefer to take my little reel, and a beautiful rod too.
Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#117443 - 06/21/09 08:06 AM Re: Lightest Flyfishing Gear [Re: Jimshaw]
chaz Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/07
Posts: 1149
Loc: Tennessee
Yeah Jim your right. The case weight is more than the rod. I saw a post here a year or so ago about using a plastic tube for a holder. It's a flouresent light cover you can get at Home depot etc. You can cut it to the length you need. It comes with plastic ends. I put a piece of foam in one of em and glued it to the bottom. I did the same with the top and glued a small piece of mason line so I wouldn't loose the cap. I straped it to my pack and after catching it on a few overhanging limbs. It saved my rod from getting destroyed.
_________________________
Enjoy your next trip...

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#117444 - 06/21/09 08:10 AM Re: Lightest Flyfishing Gear [Re: Jimshaw]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3569
Loc: Texas
Jim, down here we call those 'crappie' poles. I've got a stable of the things bought mostly at garage sales. Mine are all telescoping fiberglass. They make fine antenna wire supports as well as jigging poles. grin
What nice about them is the lack of need for hardware. With piece of split shot on a long shank hook, crimped over the hook shank and a 2" piece of red yarn, and you can dip the brush and trees from a 15' radius. Great for kayaking but they are too heavy and clunky for hiking. I carry a little carbon 7 section Berkley for hiking that weights almost nothing.
_________________________
paul, texas KD5IVP

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#117449 - 06/21/09 11:29 AM Re: Lightest Flyfishing Gear [Re: Jimshaw]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
I HAVE a ti frying pan! I have tried every method I could think of and ended up buying a bigger and heavier pan for serious fishing trips. I usually fish in the Wind Rivers where you can have fires and the thicker pan just works better. I cut rations to 1 pound per person per day because we usually can catch tons of fish any time we need to. The ti pot is too small to fry fish for two or more people, especially when the fish are 15-inch or bigger. Life's tough when all you get are large fish! When I do a fishing trip in the Winds, I go with other people so we share the weight of one good frying pan (and they help me do things like tying on my fly - hard for old eyes like mine - wow, a whole new discussion for the over-the-hill forum). I now need a magnifying glass to thread the needle when sewing.

In the Sierra, where I usually go solo, and when fishing is secondary, I usually catch very little because I simply am not that good of a fisherman, I take the ti pot or just put up with boiled fish.

Hey, grease IS a part of my regular rations all the time. I do not like breaded fish, so do not take flour. OK, I admit, I take a wee bit more grease when fishing.

By the way, my light fly reel is a Berkley 554, whatever that is! I am not a gear head. My ex-husband, who is an expert fisherman, gave me the reel 30 years ago. I am not sure they even make it anymore. With the new light materials, you should be able to find something even lighter. I suspect the line ends of weighing more than the empty reel so cutting back on the length of line really helps.

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#120990 - 09/15/09 10:36 PM Re: Lightest Flyfishing Gear [Re: MrZeroPing]
300winmag Offline
member

Registered: 02/28/06
Posts: 1342
Loc: Nevada, USA
Too bad Tenkara rods don't come W/ line guides for UL spin fishing. I'd buy one in a NY second.

Eric
_________________________
"There are no comfortable backpacks. Some are just less uncomfortable than others."

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#121017 - 09/16/09 01:27 PM Re: Lightest Flyfishing Gear [Re: 300winmag]
Bushman Offline
member

Registered: 07/01/09
Posts: 122
Loc: California
I have been fishing and backpacking for a good part of my life. Lucky for me I live in California, so i can fish the sierras in the summer and the delta in the winter. I to have used a "cane" pole. Really anything will do. I think those Tenkara are cool but I believe its a wast of money. Just use your fly pole with out your reel, thats basically what your buying. Garage sales are great or for a well priced rode try TFO.
Back to the "cane" fishing. In the sierras we (my grandpa and I) would just find any old tree limb or branch. I use the float line then a 3-5 foot leader line, any fly will do. I tend to just take caddies and a winged dry fly along with a wet fly, like a stone fly. Now if you are on the small steam where i fish you can get away with this. Larger rivers will probably be a little tougher. Anyway thats my two cents.

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#121778 - 10/02/09 12:44 PM Re: Lightest Flyfishing Gear [Re: Bushman]
hatidua Offline
member

Registered: 09/28/09
Posts: 27
Loc: Colorado
Fishing is typically the underlying reason for my backpacking trips these days so I tend to take whatever might be needed to catch fish where I'm headed. While most of the locations involve small streams that are often not as wide as the rod is long, there are occasions when these little streams feed into high mountain lakes and the fish are just a bit too far from shore to access with the Japanese system of leader-only line arrangements (often made of horse hair with a short mono tippet on the end).

I typically take a 7' 3pc 3wt graphite rod, simple fly reel, box of flies, spool of tippet, tube of floatant, and a hemostat for hook removal. While I'm not about to compete with any of the top weight shavers here, the entire setup weighs less than one of my saltwater fly reels.

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#121787 - 10/02/09 08:24 PM Re: Lightest Flyfishing Gear [Re: hatidua]
Bushman Offline
member

Registered: 07/01/09
Posts: 122
Loc: California
I think those Japanese fishing rods are a joke.... my reel+rode set up is less than 2 pounds...if anyone that much of a gram weeny you should find a new hobby.

If your looking for a more challenging way to fish thats cool...

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#121790 - 10/02/09 09:52 PM Re: Lightest Flyfishing Gear [Re: Bushman]
hatidua Offline
member

Registered: 09/28/09
Posts: 27
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By Bushman
I think those Japanese fishing rods are a joke.... my reel+rode set up is less than 2 pounds...if anyone that much of a gram weeny you should find a new hobby.

If your looking for a more challenging way to fish thats cool...


Well, I was trying to be a tad more diplomatic but you cut through the fluff!

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#121807 - 10/03/09 12:01 PM Re: Lightest Flyfishing Gear [Re: hatidua]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Originally Posted By hatidua
Originally Posted By Bushman
I think those Japanese fishing rods are a joke.... my reel+rode set up is less than 2 pounds...if anyone that much of a gram weeny you should find a new hobby.

If your looking for a more challenging way to fish thats cool...


Well, I was trying to be a tad more diplomatic but you cut through the fluff!


Actually I disagree. 2 pounds is basically 1/10th of my packweight. Add a few of those "extras" and suddenly I'm carrying a lot more.

It's not to say that 2 pounds is good or bad - depends on how much utility you get for that weight - it's not strictly a weight thing, it's a cost benefit thing.

And it *will* depend on what kind of flyfishing you are actually doing. If I'm trying to throw weighted wooly buggers halfway across the Bow river for football sized rainbows, or do long distance casting on an open lake, I need a *heck* of a lot more rod than I need for some bank dip nymphing and short dry fly casting in small waters.

So are you being a "gram weenie" by worrying about 2 pounds of rod? it depends on what you're doing. *most* of my backcountry fishing 2 pounds of rig would be excessive. Some not so.

Do remember you're on a lightweight backpacking forum. Most of us who have done this for a while are "gram weenies" - most of us who stick with it are "gram weenies" not for that as our sole purpose and end, but we are "gram weenies" for our own comfort, and I think you'll find that the experienced gram weenies get more weight savings by ensuring what they take is *appropriate* for what they want to do and not *excessive*, rather than just *lighter*

_________________________
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
Browse my pictures


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#121845 - 10/04/09 01:34 AM Re: Lightest Flyfishing Gear [Re: phat]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6372
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I, too, feel that 2 lbs. is a big addition to what I carry on my old bones and joints. The Tenkara outfit appeals to me because this is the way I fished when I was a kid (substitute willow pole for the Tenkara pole).

In addition to the problems of age, every pound of pack weight that I save lets me stay out without resupply another day.

I'm hoping that a Tenkara pole will show up in my Christmas stocking this year. I didn't have much luck asking for lightweight gear last year, but this year, I plan to send the email out to my grown children once a month, twice in November and again in early December. Let's see what happens.


Edited by OregonMouse (10/04/09 01:38 AM)
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#121884 - 10/04/09 10:32 PM Re: Lightest Flyfishing Gear [Re: wandering_daisy]
Swimswithtrout Offline
member

Registered: 10/03/09
Posts: 48
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By wandering_daisy
I have tried every method I could think of and ended up buying a bigger and heavier pan for serious fishing trips. I usually fish in the Wind Rivers .... I cut rations to 1 pound per person per day because we usually can catch tons of fish any time we need to. The ti pot is too small to fry fish for two or more people, especially when the fish are 15-inch or bigger. Life's tough when all you get are large fish! When I do a fishing trip in the Winds, I go with other people so we share the weight of one good frying pan


That's how I manage my weight on my 16-30 day trips to the Wind's or Beartooths. If you can stand to eat trout, 3 out of 5 nights, than the weight savings of not having to carry that many meals more than makes up for the weight of the pan. The fishing gear always goes with us,anyway, whether catch and release or catch and eat.

I always hike with my wife, so there is some load sharing. On my 26 day trip to the Beartooth's, 2 years ago, our total food weight for 2 was 37.5#, that's 0.72 #/person/day of food and it was overkill. Our total combined weight of fishing gear weighed another 5.25# and my ancient Al pan is ~ 12 oz

If you are used to eating 1 1/2 -2 lbs a day of dried food, that equaled a total food weight savings of 34.5 -60.5#, for 2, just by carrying a small frying pan and fishing gear.

This doesn't apply to 2-3 day trips, as the roll over point is about 4 days out, carrying fishing gear and a frying pan. After that, it's money in the bank and a nice back up food source if things go sour and you get delayed.
_________________________
Want to see the Wind's ?

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#121893 - 10/04/09 11:37 PM Re: Lightest Flyfishing Gear [Re: Swimswithtrout]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada

Heh. You're gonna fit right in here Swimswithtrout..

_________________________
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
Browse my pictures


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#121896 - 10/04/09 11:54 PM Re: Lightest Flyfishing Gear [Re: phat]
Bushman Offline
member

Registered: 07/01/09
Posts: 122
Loc: California
lol yeah...seems redundant to talk about gram weenys here...cause most in the forums are grin

Yes, different gear for different purposes. Though...to ditch the reel all together..seems a little much. Maybe something like ditching cookwear and your stove...

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#121950 - 10/05/09 09:38 PM Re: Lightest Flyfishing Gear [Re: Bushman]
hatidua Offline
member

Registered: 09/28/09
Posts: 27
Loc: Colorado
I didn't mean to imply that I agree with 2 pounds being acceptable for the rod/reel/flies alone but I do find that I take enough fishing stuff along to cover most eventualities for a given destination - which in fly fishing terms is very light, no matter which way you slice it. I highly doubt that most freshwater fly fishing sorts could find a rod/reel/fly box/hemostat/leader spool/split-shot canister setup that would add up to even a half pound, much less two pounds. Graphite is hardly heavy material and modern fly rods are very very light weight, albeit not always cheap.

To some extent, if a person is going to hamstring themselves so into a corner with limited fishing gear that they limit their chances of success, it might be more rewarding to simply sit on the side of the stream and watch the fish slurp bugs off the surface than to realize that the appropriate rod/flies/etc. were omitted due to weight/space concerns.

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#122082 - 10/08/09 09:41 PM Re: Lightest Flyfishing Gear [Re: hatidua]
Good Day! Offline
newbie

Registered: 09/19/09
Posts: 11
Loc: Bay Area
I recently tried Tenkara style fishing on a three day hike. I had no success as I was fishing large lakes. I didn't expect to catch anything, I just wanted to try it out.
I used this http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/links/link.jsp?id=0031278115800a&type=product&cmCat=SEARCH_all&returnPage=search-results1.jsp&Ntk=Products&QueryText=panfish+pole&sort=all&Go.y=0&_D%3AhasJS=+&N=0&Nty=1&hasJS=true&_DARGS=%2Fcabelas%2Fen%2Fcommon%2Fsearch%2Fsearch-box.jsp.form23&Go.x=0&_dyncharset=ISO-8859-1 in the 14 foot model.
The tip was to fragile so I shortened it one length. I used some old fly line I had lying around and about a 5 foot 5x tippet. Worked great if you only want to cast around 24ish feet. I'm for sure taking this Whenever I visit places that a very short cast will get you fish.
I'm left wondering how to extend the cast without hauling a real around. Perhaps a regular fly pole tip and a couple clamp on guides?

GD

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