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 Post subject: 7wt Rod advice/opinions
PostPosted: July 23rd, 2019, 3:52 pm 
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FFIMer

Joined: May 3rd, 2010, 6:29 pm
Posts: 6
Location: Western Maine
Looking for advice and opinions on the purchase of a 7wt Rod. Currently I own several 4 and 5 weight rods which I use for trout and salmon. Lately I have been doing a little freshwater bass fishing from my float tube and find that I really enjoy it - however I do not enjoy trying to cast many of the larger flies (Dahlberg divers, poppers, deer hair bugs etc) that I would like to use. After a ton of research I have determined that I would like to purchase a mid range (under $500) 7wt. I have settled on the 7wt because I really want it to serve as a “multi purpose” rod. Primarily bass but also, big articulated streamers, and occasionally light saltwater (stripers in marshes etc), maybe even pike on rare occasions. I feel like a 6wt (at least with me casting it) wouldn’t be up to the task of casting big bulky flies and that an 8wt would detract too much from the fun of fighting the average Maine smallmouth or largemouth bass. I want the rod to handle big bulky flies and cast equally well with floating and 200-250 grain sink tips. Additionally I consider myself no better than an intermediate caster as most of my 20 some odd years of fly fishing has been mostly light rods and short to medium distance casts. I have several bad casting habits which I am working hard to correct. I’m looking for a rod that is strong AND forgiving, preferably light in hand as well. I literally gave myself tendinitis after two days of bass fishing with my 5 weights. I could try a super aggressive line, and:or smaller flies but I don’t want to - I want a new rod that will cast very large flies a good distance provided I do my part but still be fun fighting smaller fish. I am interested in the following rods priced low to high all 9’ 7 weights -

TFO BVK $280 I like how this rod looks (not that it matters) and how light it feels in hand unfortunately no one seems to have one that I can actually test cast. Concerned it may be too stiff/lacking the “feel” that I like

Sage Foundation $325 Most of my current rods are Sage my favorite being my 5wt Z Axis (yes it’s been awhile since I’ve purchased a higher end rod) however I have handled (but not cast) the 7wt Foundation and it felt heavy, clunky, and certainly wasn’t much to look at either (not that looks REALLY matter) Unfortunately this is another rod that some stores carry but not that I can test cast

Orvis Recon $460 Have not seen this in person but read many favorable reviews. Sounds like it could be very good as an “all around rod” for not huge money. Again no one seems to have a 7wt that I can test cast.

Scott Flex or Scott Tidal $475 and $495. Both of these are available to cast at a couple of shops. Some time ago when considering a dedicated striper outfit I test cast an 8wt Meridian and fell in love with it (though not the price) I’ve been interested in Scott rods ever since. They seem like VERY nice rods. Casting the Meridian felt effortless and made me feel like a much better caster than I actually am. I realize that the Meridian is the top of the line model and that the Flex and Tidal may not be as impressive but I suspect that they are probably excellent for the price range I am considering. They also seem like good tools to get a taste of Maine striper fishing before I eventually buy that 8wt Meridian (which I absolutely intend to do)

So does anyone have experience with any of these rods and what advice or opinions can you share with me? I doubt that I will buy ANY rod that I can’t cast first other than possibly the BVK which isn’t all that expensive. Based on my initial impression of the Foundation I would have to cast beautifully for me to purchase it. I really wish a shop had a 7wt recon that I could try but maybe that’s unnecessary? Perhaps after casting the Scott Rods I will fall in love with one and solve my problem. At any rate I would very much like to hear what others think - please keep in mind I’m pretty set on a 7wt rather than a 6 or 8. For what it’s worth I plan to use this rod frequently as there is a TON of good bass water near me and I can go bass fishing pretty much anytime - multiple times weekly if I so choose.


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PostPosted: July 23rd, 2019, 6:01 pm 
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FFIMer

Joined: November 13th, 2012, 9:32 am
Posts: 31
maineflifisher wrote:
Looking for advice and opinions on the purchase of a 7wt Rod. Currently I own several 4 and 5 weight rods which I use for trout and salmon. Lately I have been doing a little freshwater bass fishing from my float tube and find that I really enjoy it - however I do not enjoy trying to cast many of the larger flies (Dahlberg divers, poppers, deer hair bugs etc) that I would like to use. After a ton of research I have determined that I would like to purchase a mid range (under $500) 7wt. I have settled on the 7wt because I really want it to serve as a “multi purpose” rod. Primarily bass but also, big articulated streamers, and occasionally light saltwater (stripers in marshes etc), maybe even pike on rare occasions. I feel like a 6wt (at least with me casting it) wouldn’t be up to the task of casting big bulky flies and that an 8wt would detract too much from the fun of fighting the average Maine smallmouth or largemouth bass. I want the rod to handle big bulky flies and cast equally well with floating and 200-250 grain sink tips. Additionally I consider myself no better than an intermediate caster as most of my 20 some odd years of fly fishing has been mostly light rods and short to medium distance casts. I have several bad casting habits which I am working hard to correct. I’m looking for a rod that is strong AND forgiving, preferably light in hand as well. I literally gave myself tendinitis after two days of bass fishing with my 5 weights. I could try a super aggressive line, and:or smaller flies but I don’t want to - I want a new rod that will cast very large flies a good distance provided I do my part but still be fun fighting smaller fish. I am interested in the following rods priced low to high all 9’ 7 weights -

TFO BVK $280 I like how this rod looks (not that it matters) and how light it feels in hand unfortunately no one seems to have one that I can actually test cast. Concerned it may be too stiff/lacking the “feel” that I like

Sage Foundation $325 Most of my current rods are Sage my favorite being my 5wt Z Axis (yes it’s been awhile since I’ve purchased a higher end rod) however I have handled (but not cast) the 7wt Foundation and it felt heavy, clunky, and certainly wasn’t much to look at either (not that looks REALLY matter) Unfortunately this is another rod that some stores carry but not that I can test cast

Orvis Recon $460 Have not seen this in person but read many favorable reviews. Sounds like it could be very good as an “all around rod” for not huge money. Again no one seems to have a 7wt that I can test cast.

Scott Flex or Scott Tidal $475 and $495. Both of these are available to cast at a couple of shops. Some time ago when considering a dedicated striper outfit I test cast an 8wt Meridian and fell in love with it (though not the price) I’ve been interested in Scott rods ever since. They seem like VERY nice rods. Casting the Meridian felt effortless and made me feel like a much better caster than I actually am. I realize that the Meridian is the top of the line model and that the Flex and Tidal may not be as impressive but I suspect that they are probably excellent for the price range I am considering. They also seem like good tools to get a taste of Maine striper fishing before I eventually buy that 8wt Meridian (which I absolutely intend to do)

So does anyone have experience with any of these rods and what advice or opinions can you share with me? I doubt that I will buy ANY rod that I can’t cast first other than possibly the BVK which isn’t all that expensive. Based on my initial impression of the Foundation I would have to cast beautifully for me to purchase it. I really wish a shop had a 7wt recon that I could try but maybe that’s unnecessary? Perhaps after casting the Scott Rods I will fall in love with one and solve my problem. At any rate I would very much like to hear what others think - please keep in mind I’m pretty set on a 7wt rather than a 6 or 8. For what it’s worth I plan to use this rod frequently as there is a TON of good bass water near me and I can go bass fishing pretty much anytime - multiple times weekly if I so choose.

You might also consider a (bamboo) Granger 9660 (any grade). It's 9'6" for 7wgt with a nice medium/slow action perfect for pushing big flies. The longer rods command a lesser price, so you might be able to do quite well pricewise.


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PostPosted: July 23rd, 2019, 7:54 pm 
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FFIMer

Joined: July 21st, 2011, 9:30 pm
Posts: 901
Location: Brunswick
I don't have much to add other then I have fished a 9' 8wt TFO BVK... it was like casting a broomstick. The stiffest rod I've ever cast. It will throw line a mile, but if you're looking for enjoyment playing smallies I would think of another rod.

On the other hand, I have also fished a TFO Clouser 9' 8wt, and that is a fabulous rod for the price point.

Hope this helps,
Peter

_________________
"A good game fish is too valuable to be caught only once"
Lee Wulff


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PostPosted: July 25th, 2019, 6:22 am 
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FFIM-aholic

Joined: December 2nd, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 1272
Location: Fairfield, ME
I see your location is Western Maine. Head over to the Rangeley Region Sport Shop and ask them to order a 7-wt, Recon for you. If you don't like it don't buy it. They can send it back rather than put it into their inventory. Yeah, there's some freight cost for them getting it here and returning it if you don't buy it but it's a sale for them and a good rod for you if you buy it.

When we ran our fly shop we often ordered rods or other items for people to try. Sometimes customers who didn't buy an item split the freight costs with me other times they didn't. I always appreciated the people who offered to help with the freight if they didn't purchase an item but I didn't require or expect them to help with the freight. It's a cost of doing business and a way to get product into the customer's hands.

You'll like a 7-weight. I carry a two-rod case with a 5-weight in one tube and a 7-weight in the other. When the wind comes up or I need to get down deep or when casting bigger flies I use the 7-weight. Together the rods cover my freshwater rod requirements nicely.


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PostPosted: July 25th, 2019, 7:58 am 
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FFIM-aholic

Joined: October 15th, 2003, 12:00 am
Posts: 1427
Location: Bangor
Recon is a great rod. You might also look for some older orvis models as well- I have a 7 wt HLS that is my streamer/smallie rod- love it.


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PostPosted: July 25th, 2019, 10:13 am 
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FFIM-aholic

Joined: August 28th, 2002, 12:00 am
Posts: 1424
Location: Wells, ME
I own the Recon and LOVE that rod! Great lighter weight salt rod or throwing big fresh water flies. Can't recommend it enough!


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PostPosted: July 27th, 2019, 5:48 pm 
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FFIMer

Joined: May 3rd, 2010, 6:29 pm
Posts: 6
Location: Western Maine
Thank you all for your advice! I ended up going with the BVK which seems to cast very nicely for me and seemed like great value for the money. Eventually I will still be purchasing the Meridian 8wt but for now I think this rod will serve me well for its intended purpose. Also got a great deal on a Lamson Litespeed 3 because they are changing the finish - picked up the reel for more than 50% off. As a matter of fact I bought two because the entire reel only cost $40 more than a spare spool! When I get the Meridian I’ll be going with a Hatch or a Nautilus however for what I’m doing now I think the Lamson will do fine. I have Lamsons for all my trout rods and like them a lot. I’m aware of the BVK reputation for breakage but at $25 and around one week turnaround the warranty is pretty fantastic. That being said a Meridian is still in my near future...


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