Written by: Tom Rosenbauer
The 9-weight has sufficient spine to battle massive stripers making an attempt to make use of the present of a heavy rip.
Palms-down the preferred saltwater or big-game rod within the Orvis line-up is a 9-foot, Eight-weight. However I truthfully suppose many anglers are under-gunning themselves. I’ve simply returned from an intensive collection of filming classes for subsequent 12 months’s “Orvis Information to Fly Fishing” TV present, the place we chased smallmouth bass, bonefish, allow, small tarpon, and striped bass. Most days, I used a 9-foot 9-weight Helios 3D rod, and I’ve simply fallen in love with that mannequin. It offers me the additional distance I want, extra energy towards hostile winds, and a better time throwing flies that weigh virtually as a lot as an ultralight jig.
Take smallmouth bass, for instance. They’re arduous fighters, true, however it’s largely restricted to aerial shows and close-range tug-of-wars. You possibly can battle these guys simply on a 5-weight. However 95 p.c of the time, you aren’t combating fish, you’re making an attempt to get your fly into a spot the place a bass will eat it. It’s no enjoyable if you happen to can’t ship the fly to a great-looking spot. The simplest smallmouth flies for me have at all times been both wind-resistant poppers of flies with dense, heavily-weighted eyes like crayfish and Clouser Minnows. Getting these flies 40 or 50 ft away into the wind is simpler with a 9-weight than it’s with an Eight-weight.
Even for smallmouth bass, Tom likes the 9-weight as a result of it helps get massive, wind-resistant flies to the goal.
However isn’t a 9-weight too heavy to benefit from the battle of a smallmouth bass? I don’t suppose so—with the progressive motion of the H3 rods, even a 14-inch smallmouth will bend the rod at the least to the center once you put strain on them. That offers you loads of enjoyable and tactile suggestions, whereas providing the reserve energy it’s good to shove greater flies into the wind.
I actually appreciated the 9-weight on striped bass in Rhode Island and on Cape Cod this 12 months. Beside per week filming there, I additionally spent my trip on Cape Cod, and I had a spot I might stroll to early within the morning the place I might fish for bigger “schoolies,” as much as about 28 inches lengthy. They had been holding in a comparatively robust present, and at excessive tide they had been virtually at my ft. However when the tide dropped, the fish moved out, and I needed to make 60- and 70-foot casts, generally into the wind, to achieve them. I might do it simply with the 9-weight, however one morning, because the fish weren’t large, I took the Eight-weight. Yeah, the rod was marginally lighter and bent a bit extra when enjoying the fish, however I needed to push my casts past what felt like enjoyable, and generally they didn’t fairly attain the mark. In consequence, my arm was extra drained after 5 hours of fishing that if I had used the 9-weight.
For surf-casting, the 9-weight offers you that additional little bit of distance.
Granted, the H3 rods are tremendous correct and develop the excessive
line velocity that helps you make longer casts. They put the fly precisely the place you
need it—besides if the mass of the fly line is simply not sufficient to drive a heavy
fly right into a stiff wind. Then, regardless of how correct your rod, it gained’t push the
fly and chief to the top of your forged. You want that additional mass.
Sooner or later, I used to be fortunate sufficient to be invited on a visit offshore to some rips the place we fished for greater stripers. Right here, the 9-weight threw the massive squid patterns and Gurglers in addition to my casting potential allowed, and I might put them proper the place I wished them. The additional reserve energy within the 9-weight let me play the fish faster, particularly when a much bigger fish used the rip currents to turbocharge their already robust runs. I don’t find out about you, however when the fishing is scorching the very last thing I wish to do is play a fish—I wish to get my fly again in there for the subsequent strike.
Tom places his favourite 9-weight to the check off Cape Cod.