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Seven Weight Gathering
Post 15 Mar 2020, 17:23 • #1 
Master Guide
Joined: 09/29/09
Posts: 763
Location: US-MI
Ice out conditions at the local golf course pond allowed for casting on open water. We put together a collection of seven weight rods for comparison casting. Great fun to get outside with three fiberglass and three vintage graphite rods.









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Post 15 Mar 2020, 19:24 • #2 
Master Guide
Joined: 08/03/14
Posts: 761
Location: central AR
Cool, what were your thoughts on the rods? I’ve only owned one graphite 7 wgt, but now have several glass rods that are sevens.


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Post 16 Mar 2020, 06:13 • #3 
Master Guide
Joined: 09/29/09
Posts: 763
Location: US-MI
They all had strong points. The three Winston vintage graphite 7 weights were most similar to one another yet each was from a different time of production. Two were 8 1/2' and the pre-IM6 rod is 9' in length. Liked the grip on the 9' rod shown on the far right the best of all of the rods present. Incredible condition on the pre-IM6 rod for its age. Both 8 1/2' rods felt more like six weights to all of the other rods shown and had that trout rod feel. Note the nickel-silver reel seat on one and the vintage aluminum on the other. With obvious reason the two 8 1/2' 2/1 Winston IM6 7 weight rods were almost identical as each was built on a Loomis blank era.

Winston Fiberglass rod is 8' 9" three section vintage factory build. Really a fine rod which I have used in the past for bass fishing on two occasions. By weight it felt the heaviest of the bunch but is a true 7 weight and cast just fine. Had fished this rod in the past with a more aggressive taper fly line. This rod works well with this line as well as the lines mentioned below.

The McFarland Perpetual rod was built a couple of years ago so it would be the most modern rod of the bunch. It is in a rare green color and my friend enjoys it quite well. I have cast this rod on a couple of occasions and think the taper is a hit for normal trout distances and beyond. This is a 3/1 rod which I like for travel and action. In the past have also enjoyed the hybrid and all graphite seven weight rods he has produced. Next time will need to expand the field of test rods when larger gatherings are possible.

The Tom Morgan Unity rod was built by Graywolf for a friend. This was the only non-factory rod on hand but still very nice as expected from this builder. I have a multiple section version and with regret had left it behind. This 2/1 rod shined with a Rio Gold 7 weight line and surprised me the most of all of the rods as this taper felt different to my memory than with this line. Had not tried the Rio Gold on this rod previously and was thinking it may be the best line tried to date on this taper. To me the TMR Unity rod feels a bit different than the original Winston fiberglass rod on which it is based. This is no knock on the late and great Mr. Morgan or the firm who rolls the TMR blanks. Both the TMR and the original are worthy rods and fine fishing tools. The Morgan rod was most similar to the McFarland rod yet each had its own feel.

The fly line we tried on each of the rods shown was a Wulff Triangle Taper in 7 weight. While perhaps not the perfect line for certain individual fly rods, we have found this taper works quite well on most 7 weight fly rods so it is a base for our test casting.

Anyone have a favorite 7 weight rod recommendation?


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Post 16 Mar 2020, 06:48 • #4 
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Joined: 11/28/11
Posts: 307
Location: US-MI
A Scientific.Angler System 7 might be interesting.


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Post 16 Mar 2020, 07:06 • #5 
Guide
Joined: 02/27/12
Posts: 106
Location: US-AR
Try the Livingston Rod Western Glass 8'9" 7wt. Its a a fantastic 7wt. I primarily have used it for bass and streamer fishing for trout, but it is quite capable of throwing large dry/dropper.

Mike


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Post 16 Mar 2020, 08:40 • #6 
Master Guide
Joined: 09/29/09
Posts: 763
Location: US-MI
Pmagas, Big fan of the System 7. Should have added that rod to the mix. Great rod for night fishing for trout and for smallmouth bass. Next gathering of 7 weights it will be in the mix for sure.

Mike, Have not had the pleasure of casting the Livingston rod you mentioned. Would really like to give it a try. Modern glass tapers have shown great improvements at longer lengths.


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Post 16 Mar 2020, 08:55 • #7 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 09/03/07
Posts: 1986
Location: Marble Falls, Texas
Interesting group of rods. If I were to add a vintage example it would be the 8.5 Sceptre. In my option best tested while fishing as the sensitivity to takes is very good for a 7 weight.


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Post 16 Mar 2020, 09:19 • #8 
Global Moderator
Joined: 04/20/07
Posts: 7802
Location: US-ME
The Sceptre for sure.

A point/query about the 7-weight. It is a wheelhouse weight for fiberglass. In 8-foot length, it would probably be easier to name a few unusually poor ones. Many will be darned good, with distinction more by fittings/hardware than the blanks themselves.

Your group obviously had experience with some special 7 weights, but I often wonder when I read an account of a 'glass 7 weight if the line weight itself is relatively new to the user, as opposed to the rod but with experience using or handling many 'glass rods of the type.

It used to be you could walk in any store from a discount house, country general store, to a tackle shop and check out three or four different 'glass seven weights, 7 1/2 to 8 1/2 feet in several brands. Any one of them would be fine for the weekend, and several would do for a year or two or a life time, for that matter. You might choose based on preferred length or level of hardware/décor rather than brand. Or one or two might have a special feel--noticeable IF accustomed to this great line weight.

In other words, part 1: discovering the 7 weight, just about any 7 weight 'glass rod. Part 2: finding the "best" ones, like some of the Fisher and cousins 7 weights. Part 3: Finding a favorite. Looks like you are well into part 3, but just part 1 is a great start.

It's just a good line weight for fiberglass, and for a lot of fly fishing, much underutilized today.

An Orvis and/or Phillipson fan will remember more exactly. The Orvis all-arounder in 'glass, I'm pretty sure, was a 7 weight, and pretty sure it was on a Phillipson blank.


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Post 16 Mar 2020, 11:02 • #9 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 04/06/15
Posts: 1254
Location: Central Oregon
whrlpool wrote:
It used to be you could walk in any store from a discount house, country general store, to a tackle shop and check out three or four different 'glass seven weights, 7 1/2 to 8 1/2 feet in several brands. .


I walked into a Denver sporting goods store in 1980 to buy my first fly rod. Left with a Wright and McGill Eagle Claw Water Seal 8 1/2' 7wt, a Medalist 1495. and Cortland peach. Never used it much, and when I got more into fly fishing later, the 5 wt ruled. As I changed over to glass however, the wisdom of the '80s became clear....nice rods, with the feel and touch of a modern 5wt, but will cast a line which can actually carry a bigger fly.


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Post 16 Mar 2020, 17:17 • #10 
Master Guide
Joined: 08/03/14
Posts: 761
Location: central AR
Berkley Parametric 8’ 7 wgt is my favorite, followed closely by Fenwick
FFR 807. I have an Orvis fullflex yellow rod marked as an 8 wgt, that I feel is a 7 wgt. I need to dig it out again and use it more.


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Post 16 Mar 2020, 17:25 • #11 
Global Moderator
Joined: 04/20/07
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Location: US-ME
That is a neat sharp recollection of the 1980 Denco. Even by that time, as graphite rods were developed and becoming the preference, glass 7 weights were fewer as fiberglass itself faded from the market. In the '60s and early '70s, even more would have been there to check out--or nearby at Sears, Montgomery Ward, or a hardware store on the way out of town towards a river or lake.


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Post 17 Mar 2020, 22:32 • #12 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 12/27/14
Posts: 1373
Location: ON, Canada
Vintage: FF807. I really regret selling mine.
Modern: Steffen 8’6” 7/8 is a great 7wt. Also a great 8wt. It’s just all around great.


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Post 18 Mar 2020, 01:37 • #13 
Master Guide
Joined: 05/20/12
Posts: 834
Location: Eugene, OR
Browning Silaflex 322980 was an eye-opener for me. Also another vote here for the Berkley PG40 8-footer.
The Garcia Americana “Gunnison” is reminiscent of both, in its way. Almost as quick and light in hand as the Browning; not as pleasantly hefty and maybe not as smooth as the Berkeley, but close. A darned sweet sleeper if you can find one with good ferrule fit and guide alignment.


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Post 18 Mar 2020, 10:57 • #14 
Sport
Joined: 11/12/14
Posts: 38
Location: US-MN

Sorry if you’ve seen this photo but got this one on a system 7. So it’s my favorite.


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Post 18 Mar 2020, 18:04 • #15 
Master Guide
Joined: 09/29/09
Posts: 763
Location: US-MI
Wetteland, Rocking steelhead on any rod. The System 7 is a favorite of mine as well but have not caught a trout that large with it. Shown below is a System 7 custom build by McKellip Brothers on a Great Lakes smallmouth.



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Post 19 Mar 2020, 07:13 • #16 
Sport
Joined: 11/12/14
Posts: 38
Location: US-MN
Grouse
Nice bend in that system 7. Cool action shot.


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Post 19 Mar 2020, 18:35 • #17 
Guide
Joined: 04/03/19
Posts: 205
Location: CO


Can’t wait to try out my System 7 on some lakers this spring or casting streamers to angry browns this fall. However, the reel is a bit light. I find it pairs better with my Animas S. What reels do you guys pair it with?


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Post 19 Mar 2020, 19:05 • #18 
Master Guide
Joined: 09/29/09
Posts: 763
Location: US-MI
The reels used the most with the System 7 are fishing reels in my mix that hold a seven weight line well. Hardy St. George 3 3/8, J. W. Young Beaudex, Ross SM3 and a Hardy Marquis 7. Many other fine options available. Marquis 7 is really a better six weight reel than a seven but it functions well and is probably the lightest weight reel of those noted above.


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Post 19 Mar 2020, 19:14 • #19 
Guide
Joined: 04/03/19
Posts: 205
Location: CO
Thanks for the advice! The Marquis/System 7 is what I have on it now, and I fully agree that it belongs on a six more than a seven.


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Post 19 Mar 2020, 19:28 • #20 
Master Guide
Joined: 01/21/12
Posts: 366
Location: US-NY
I'm probably in the minority here in that I like graphite better in 7 wt. I have a brown scott glass 8.5 5 piece 7 weight. I also have a scott arc 1007, sage sp 790, and original loomis glx 9' 7wt 4 piece.

I hardly fish the scott. I use the arc 1007 with sink tips. I use the glx with an sa hover line, and I use the sp with floating line. All 3 are solid rods, if I could only use one it would be the glx. 2nd would be the arc.

When I use a 7 weight I'm almost always either throwing streamers to the bank from a boat or swinging flies for great lakes run rainbows. I have a bad habit of making long casts. A typical cast for me would be 60-70' with those rods sometimes longer rarely shorter. I know I dont need to cast that far but I feel like I cover more water and once in a while I'll catch something.


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Post 19 Mar 2020, 21:45 • #21 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 07/11/14
Posts: 1222
Location: US-CO
a nice set of 7wts.. a friend has one of the older Winston graphites as a streamer rod, 6wt, a fine rod.

Here's my vintage graphite 7wt, 9' Fenwick HMG from the 80s, with the biggest freshwater fish I ever caught..

Image

This fish inspired me to switch to glass for all my big-carp fishing, as the graphite just felt too frail ;-)
So now have a quiverfull of Fenwick 7wts, and a couple of Browning Silaflex.

Big yellow FF108-7,



But my favorite 7wt is still the FF96-7 blank I built up as my first fly rod, this is the same blank as is built into the FF807.


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Post 27 Mar 2020, 15:04 • #22 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 03/30/09
Posts: 1339
Location: Hamilton,Ontario,Canada
doug in co-I don't know,but I think I would want a 10 wt. or bigger for that first carp.The second one is nothing to sneeze at either.


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Post 27 Mar 2020, 15:47 • #23 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 09/18/09
Posts: 4833
Location: Washington DC Region
I would throw in a cortland (FR2000 or similar) 8'6" 6/7wt. or the 8'. Both are great rods, and the diamondback 8667 (or similar REC based graphite 8667).

It is great that you had a chance to get out.


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Post 28 Mar 2020, 09:18 • #24 
Master Guide
Joined: 02/19/12
Posts: 856
Location: Beantown
very cool!

I love the Hardy Jet 8'6" 7 weight I just rebuilt, and also love the Morgan (mine's a 4 piece). The Steffen mentioned above is also great, although I find for me it casts better with an 8 weight line than a 7. But that's just me.


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Post 29 Mar 2020, 13:24 • #25 
Guide
Joined: 04/17/12
Posts: 114
Location: Blacksburg, VA
I'd throw this graphite into the mix: Scott G907B. Actually mine is the 2 tip version G907BT with 6 wt and 7 wt tips. I also have the Steffen mentioned above and use both 7 & 8 lines with it. Both are outstanding rods.


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