Carrying a Bigger Stick

The right light-weight rod makes all the difference when presenting small offerings.

Big storms immediately preceded my most recent trout trip, and enough rain fell that I expected the stream to be swollen and off-colored. That would mean casting bigger than normal jigs and Road Runners and possibly spoons or plugs, so in addition to my standard 5.5-foot ultralight trout rod, I packed a 6-9 medium light, fast-action “smallmouth rod.”

Sure enough, the creek was rocking, so I grabbed the bigger combo—a Fenwick Elite Tech rod and Abu Garcia Revo PRM20 reel, which was spooled with 6-pound mono – and tied on a flashabou-laced 1/8-ounce hair jig.

As the stream settled that afternoon and especially the following morning, I began downsizing my offerings. I’d gotten comfortable with the bigger rod, though, and actually forgot about the ultralight.

A couple of days later we visited another stream, this one low and super clear, so soon after arriving, I switched to a 1/64-ounce hair jig. I anticipated needing to return to the car to grab the ultralight, but to my surprise I could cast the tiny jig plenty far with what seemed like too big a rod.

As I fished I realized the added length helped me control the drift, and I liked having a little more rod for taking out slack when I set the hook and persuasive power for fighting fish in the current. It also worked nicely for casting when I added a fly on a dropper behind my jig.

As much as I fish streams for trout and have played with different rods, the notion seems odd to me. However, I think I’ve discovered a new favorite rod for throwing micro-sized jigs in streams.

Check out my blog to keep up with fishing travels.


North American Fisherman Top Stories