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Post 22 Feb 2019, 19:32 • #1 
Sport
Joined: 01/18/18
Posts: 81
Location: Arlington, VA
Interested in tapping into the wealth of experience here for adding a heavier rod.

Already have a 5wt that works well with 6wt line but want to fish larger flies and larger water for more than trout but not focusing on salt water. Have been looking at 7wts and 8wts.
Which would be more versatile - a 7wt rod that can throw an 8wt line or an 8wt that works with a 7wt line? Do you find a significant difference between 7 and 8 wt rods? I have the impression that an 8wt crosses into a diffent category of rod. Thoughts / suggestions?

Thanx


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Post 22 Feb 2019, 19:52 • #2 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 09/18/09
Posts: 4833
Location: Washington DC Region
7wt was a standard vintage weight for glass. There are nice 7'6" through 8'6" rods.

I like my FF85 as a 7/8/9. I've been using it for Shad and Steelhead. So the bigger question is do you want a short rod or a longer rod.

I would say an 8wt is a different beast. I can see casting dries with a 7wt, but not with an 8wt. If you are casting anything size 8 or under, you are over-gunned with an 8wt and it isn't fun, but when you start casting larger streamers or size 2 poppers, an 8 or 9wt seem to be perfect. If you find yourself struggling to get the fly out there and doing a lot of false casting just to get some line out, it is a sign to move up in line weight.


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Post 22 Feb 2019, 20:08 • #3 
Global Moderator
Joined: 04/20/07
Posts: 7802
Location: US-ME
This is another time I get to say that nowadays-it wasn't always the case--the 7 weight is the most underutilized line weight in freshwater fly-fishing, the 16 gauge--hits like a 12, handles like a 20--of fly line weights: casts like an 8, fishes like a 6. Even if you wind up with an 8 weight, I'd try a 7 first. That can be done for minimum cost because there are so many good all-around fiberglass 7 weights from the fiberglass era, many under $50 or even $25 used, and many more for less than $100 . It is hard to find a bad one, many are very good, and other posts may describe some great ones. Some contemporary models add to the selection.

The eight is a good choice aswell--many available in expensive classic 'glass--if your fishing will emphasize the larger/heavier/bulkier fly/popper size range as Carlz described.


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Post 22 Feb 2019, 20:24 • #4 
Master Guide
Joined: 08/03/14
Posts: 761
Location: central AR
Fenwick FF807 or FF 837 (FL-7). I have both, I prefer the 807 but the FL-7 is a rod that others speak highly of.


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Post 22 Feb 2019, 20:28 • #5 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 04/06/15
Posts: 1254
Location: Central Oregon
The Fenwick FF807 can be one of the great bargains of the fly fishing world. For a real live 8 wt., the Fenglass is pretty darn nice.


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Post 22 Feb 2019, 20:31 • #6 
Master Guide
Joined: 01/05/14
Posts: 648
Location: US-AL
Barclay 777! Lots of power, light weight, and light swing wt being only 7'7"


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Post 22 Feb 2019, 20:33 • #7 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 06/23/05
Posts: 4336
Location: US-MT
When I was a kid I had an 8wt, used it for everything, tiny creeks tiny trout, bluegill, bass, steelhead...

I would get an 8wt, or a 7wt that can throw an 8wt (like a ff807) Eight weight can deal with a bigger popper with less effort. Nothing more annoying that trying to cast a big fly/popper with too light of a line.

Why not get a few of each though? :)


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Post 22 Feb 2019, 23:52 • #8 
Guide
Joined: 02/03/19
Posts: 108
Location: San Antonio, TX
It obviously depends on what you want to spend. I'm a big fan of relatively short 7/8 weight rods for throwing poppers to bass from a kayak or float tube where a 9 ft rod would be tough to manage. The sweet spot for me seems to be rods from 7'6" to 8'. The 7'6" CGR 7/8 works well for me, and capably handles a WF-7 or a WF-8. I usually fish mine with an Aircel Bass taper. It's also pretty easy to find a vintage 7/8 weight in good condition for $30-40 or so. I recently picked up a near mint Shakespeare Wonderod FY A-510 7'9" rated for an HCH line for little money. I haven't fished this rod yet, but lawn casting it handled a DT6, WF-7 and a WF-8 well. I think it's going to be my go-to bass rod this spring and summer.


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Post 22 Feb 2019, 23:55 • #9 
Sport
Joined: 10/06/07
Posts: 36
Location: US-DE
Have to agree on the FF 807.Its just a nice rod to cast and can handle larger flies and poppers.They come up for sale often and for decent prices.


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Post 23 Feb 2019, 00:14 • #10 
Guide
Joined: 02/27/12
Posts: 106
Location: US-AR
Livingston Western Glass 8’9” 7wt!! A great rod that is very versatile!


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Post 23 Feb 2019, 08:02 • #11 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 07/22/11
Posts: 1627
Location: US-TX
I guess my questions are:

What fly are you thinking about?

Will the rod be the only rod you will take on the trip?

How often will you be using the rod based on fly/fish sought?


I, like many of us, have asked the same or similar question. I use one of my rods 95% of the time. I use another rod when I go salt water fishing which is not often. I usually take both rods with me when I go salt water fishing because it is usually a further trip. I usually do not like my tools to overlap in purpose too much...

Another way to look at it. Should I take a pocket knife and a 4-5" fixed blade knife or one of the above and a hatchet?


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Post 23 Feb 2019, 08:03 • #12 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 05/09/06
Posts: 2424
Location: US
The general school of thought when building up a fly fishing rod inventory is two sizes up. So if you have a five then add a seven. Or as many here would probably tell you get both a seven and an eight :) . You don't mention you preference as to rods whether you seek newer glass or vintage but that might help to know if you prefer one over the other. In the vintage category if I were shopping for a seven weight it would be a Berkley Curt Gowdy 8ft 7wt. By far my favorite seven weight. When you get into the eight weight category you can pick up vintage glass pretty reasonably and try a couple to decide.


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Post 23 Feb 2019, 08:09 • #13 
Piscator
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 16510
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
Most 8' venerable glass rods were 7-wt, and Phillipson is a great choice.
One I added last year and adore is 1960 Harnell 652, 8' 7-wt.


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Post 23 Feb 2019, 09:37 • #14 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 02/27/16
Posts: 1588
Location: US-IL
I throw some pretty bog stuff with an 8.I like them at no more than 8 feet.Wonderods and heddon are in abundance in this niche and like stated can be had fairly cheap.Both ate excellent roll casters.I can roll cast a bog cork bass popper at least 40 feet with my heddon 8'8wt and I am not a very good caster.I have the 7wt curt howdy and it is a great rod for weighted carp bugs and jig flies but loses its mojo with big topwater stuff.If u can find a garcia conolon bass bug rod they can also really drive a big fly forward.


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Post 23 Feb 2019, 09:58 • #15 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 09/18/09
Posts: 4833
Location: Washington DC Region
looking back on you post. I fish the non-tidal potomac between Harpers Ferry and Little Falls with anywhere between a 6 and 9wt. I have been moving up in weight over time because I keep wanting to throw bigger flies. For 8 and 9 wt I use 9' Graphite. Below White's ferry, the river is big and I end up making 50-60ft casts and stripping them in, so 9' makes sense and the extra line weight allows me to shoot more line into each stroke, keeping the fly in the water longer.

For the river closer to Harper's Ferry, the Shenandoah, and Monocacy, a 6 or 6wt is nicer. Again, these are wide open waterways, but not quite as big. There is no advantage to a short rod. I usually fish 8' glass or 8'6" to 9' graphite rods in 6 wt usually though 7wt would be good too. For pond's and 4MR, I fish 8' 6wt vintage glass a lot. FR2000, Phillipson MF80, and Fenwick FL96-6. These are great for size 8-10 poppers and small streamers.

Is a 2pc rod in your future, or only 3-4pc rods? It makes a big difference on what you can choose from.
There are far fewer good, modern glass 7/8wt's than 3/4wt's. Especially over 8ft. There are some good glass rods out there in these sizes, but just not as many.


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Post 23 Feb 2019, 10:36 • #16 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 11/06/17
Posts: 1702
Location: South of Joplin
Quote:
Do you find a significant difference between 7 and 8 wt rods?


I don't. If they are of similar action, weight and length. The line weights difference is ~25 grains (about half a penny) at the normal 30-40' cast.
But I will pick the 8 over the 7 most of the time.
They are both good any time, any where, utility tools, and can use flies as small as you can tie up to big enough for bass or light salt water use. I see a significant difference between 8' and 8.5' in how they tire me out, the longer lever strains the body more.


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Post 24 Feb 2019, 14:38 • #17 
Guide
Joined: 02/02/16
Posts: 122
Location: Georgia
Surprised no one has recommended the Steffen 7/8 yet. Excellent with 250-300 grain full sink and sink tip lines to comfortably toss 5-7” articulated streamers, and it’s also fantastic with a floating WF 8wt line for big bass poppers. The taper is versatile enough to fish a variety of lines in the 7-8 range, so it’s a great do-it-all heavy rod for multiple species.

I haven’t actually weighed the rod, but the 8.5’ 7/8 feels light in hand and swing weight, which is a feature I especially appreciate when fishing anything heavier than a 6wt.


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Post 24 Feb 2019, 16:29 • #18 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 06/21/06
Posts: 2449
Location: Orygun
El Duderino wrote:
Surprised no one has recommended the Steffen 7/8 yet. Excellent with 250-300 grain full sink and sink tip lines to comfortably toss 5-7” articulated streamers, and it’s also fantastic with a floating WF 8wt line for big bass poppers. The taper is versatile enough to fish a variety of lines in the 7-8 range, so it’s a great do-it-all heavy rod for multiple species.

I haven’t actually weighed the rod, but the 8.5’ 7/8 feels light in hand and swing weight, which is a feature I especially appreciate when fishing anything heavier than a 6wt.


^^^^that

fyi, my 8'6" 7/8 build by Mark himself weighs in at 4.5oz. Honestly, I've never put much stock in physical weight...IMO, it's all about weight distribution and how heavy it "feels" (i.e. swing weight). And yeah, this is one of my rods that you'll have to pry out of my cold, dead hands...


Cheers!


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Post 24 Feb 2019, 22:07 • #19 
Sport
Joined: 01/18/18
Posts: 81
Location: Arlington, VA
Thanks folks, Appreciate all the thoughts - they help me get clearer...

Pretty sure I prefer a 3 or 4 section rod so that rules out many vintage rods.
And while I'll bring a couple rods on a trip, I take only 1 to the water (and don't want to start carrying multiple rods on the water) so a 7/8 would probably be more useful for me.

For current or recent 7 wts, thoughts / experience using a 8 line on the 7? Of the rods mentioned, I know Chris' 777 works well with an 8. Any experience with the Livingston 7 or the new Fenwick 7 with 8 wt lines?

I need to do some experimenting ...


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Post 24 Feb 2019, 22:25 • #20 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 11/06/17
Posts: 1702
Location: South of Joplin
In glass, I have not found up-lining to be beneficial, I consider the 7/8 rating as 7wt for flyline and 8wt for a shooting set up. I'd rather use a 7wt line on an 8-9 rod than go in the other direction. The heavier line will work fine up close but not so much at distance.


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Post 24 Feb 2019, 23:46 • #21 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 06/21/06
Posts: 2449
Location: Orygun
good idea to try out different things. Only you can decide what works for you, no one else as everyone has their own personal preferences when it comes to this.


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Post 25 Feb 2019, 07:23 • #22 
Guide
Joined: 07/13/17
Posts: 316
Location: US-NC
I use my 777 all spring and summer last year on everything from ponds, creeks, lakes and oceans. Fun to use, easy to cast and tons of power. I use the SA Titan line and LOVE it.

The Barclay 868 is also extremely easy to cast and fun. I've used a 7/8/9 lines on it but prefer the 8/9. I do like the four piece design for travel over the three for the 777.

Also look at the Echo BAG Quickshot ( NOT the long one ).

-Dave


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Post 25 Feb 2019, 13:52 • #23 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 12/27/14
Posts: 1373
Location: ON, Canada
El Duderino wrote:
Surprised no one has recommended the Steffen 7/8 yet. Excellent with 250-300 grain full sink and sink tip lines to comfortably toss 5-7” articulated streamers, and it’s also fantastic with a floating WF 8wt line for big bass poppers. The taper is versatile enough to fish a variety of lines in the 7-8 range, so it’s a great do-it-all heavy rod for multiple species.

I haven’t actually weighed the rod, but the 8.5’ 7/8 feels light in hand and swing weight, which is a feature I especially appreciate when fishing anything heavier than a 6wt.


I feel like this is a rod with a small cult following. I love mine. It’s really a shame that Mark couldn’t justify keeping it in the line up - it’s so good.


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Post 02 Mar 2019, 16:15 • #24 
Guide
Joined: 04/17/12
Posts: 114
Location: Blacksburg, VA
I will 3rd the Steffen 8'6" 7/8 wt. I love mine as well - Mark told me I got the last one made. It's an excellent choice if you come across one second hand.


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Post 02 Mar 2019, 16:47 • #25 
Master Guide
Joined: 10/07/11
Posts: 678
Location: SE MA
I own several of the 7 weight rods mentioned, and while these are all great rods, the 7 weight that I choose most often has not even been mentioned, the Fenwick FG 837. This is an awesome rod that hits all the boxes you describe.


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