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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey there!

New to the forum, and relatively new to flyfishing (2 1/2yrs). I recently got married this fall, so didn't get a lot of fishing in and I plan on being ready to hit it hard in 2020. I'm looking for some helpful advice on rod set up, specifically for streamers, for Michigan Rivers (Southern & Northern West Michigan primarily). I currently have a 5wt set up (described below) and plan on getting a similar set up for a 7wt, so I would like some advice there as well.

5wt - 9' Echo Base w/Waterworks-Lamson Remix 5+
This set up will be my go to for trout fishing, but I purchased the three pack and want to have a streamer set up ready when I'm out fishing dries/nymphs.
  • From what I've read, about a 200 grain weight line would be good for this set up.
    • I'm wondering what lines do you guys prefer?
    • What grain weight would you suggest? I'm thinking sink 3 given most of the spots I wade fish aren't overly deep.
    • What sink rate would be best for most average situations in this part of MI?
    • Should I overweight the line and get a 6wt line over a 5wt?
7wt - 9' Echo Base w/Waterworks-Lamson Remix/Liquid 7+
This rod will primarily be a streamer rod, though I also plan to use it to nymph for steelhead in the.
  • What I've heard is 250 grain is the sweet spot for a 7wt.
    • What lines do you guys prefer?
    • What grain weight would you suggest?
    • What sink rate would be best for most average situations in this part of MI?
    • Should I overweight the line and get a 6wt line over a 5wt?
I appreciate any advice and thank you in advance!

Cheers

 

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Hey there!

New to the forum, and relatively new to flyfishing (2 1/2yrs). I recently got married this fall, so didn't get a lot of fishing in and I plan on being ready to hit it hard in 2020. I'm looking for some helpful advice on rod set up, specifically for streamers, for Michigan Rivers (Southern & Northern West Michigan primarily). I currently have a 5wt set up (described below) and plan on getting a similar set up for a 7wt, so I would like some advice there as well.

5wt - 9' Echo Base w/Waterworks-Lamson Remix 5+
This set up will be my go to for trout fishing, but I purchased the three pack and want to have a streamer set up ready when I'm out fishing dries/nymphs.
  • From what I've read, about a 200 grain weight line would be good for this set up.
    • I'm wondering what lines do you guys prefer?
    • What grain weight would you suggest? I'm thinking sink 3 given most of the spots I wade fish aren't overly deep.
    • What sink rate would be best for most average situations in this part of MI?
    • Should I overweight the line and get a 6wt line over a 5wt?
7wt - 9' Echo Base w/Waterworks-Lamson Remix/Liquid 7+
This rod will primarily be a streamer rod, though I also plan to use it to nymph for steelhead in the.
  • What I've heard is 250 grain is the sweet spot for a 7wt.
    • What lines do you guys prefer?
    • What grain weight would you suggest?
    • What sink rate would be best for most average situations in this part of MI?
    • Should I overweight the line and get a 6wt line over a 5wt?
I appreciate any advice and thank you in advance!

Cheers
Get ahold of Schultz or Nomad
 

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Not sure when the one near Detroit is but I think it’s around this time of year
I’m fishing titan long smooth for poppers and intermediate 3/5 sonar sinking. SA customer service is second to none. Not to mention a Michigan based company. Covers all the bases except a full sink- next on the list. I have the lamson as well. Tight lines.
 

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Setups are really dependent on the rivers and flies that you are fishing. Setups, and grain weight of the line depend on the river size, current pace, and size of flies.

For a 5/6wt, you'll want to go with a 200 grain, (SA Cold 25 in a 200 grain is what I use), fly size (again depending on the action of the rod) you'll max out with being able to throw something around the size of a Boogie Man or a Circus Peanut. This setup is a good setup for a river along the size of Ausable, the Holy Water down to Wakely, or the Upper Manistee, and anything smaller than those.

For the 7wt, a 250 grain is great (I use Airflo's Gallop 250 long line), a 7wt is a good setup, but to be honest you may want to consider picking up an 8wt. A 7wt is a good setup for the Ausable Wakely down to Parmalee. Fly wise you can throw anything that the 5/6 wt can throw, but you'll max out at being able throw something like Schmidt's Junk yard dog, a barely legal, or double deceiver in the 5-6in range. But some of the bigger neutrally buoyant flies will struggle to get down in the strike zone in certain rivers.

The reason why I suggest you may want to look into an 8wt is it gives you a little more versatility in what you can throw, as well as it allows you to up the grain weight for the sink tip that you throw (I throw my 250, 300, and the 330 shovelhead with my 8wt depending on the flows of the river). An 8wt can give you the ability to throw big double deceivers, ditch pigs, 3 hook sex dungeons, etc... For rivers like the Big Man, the Muskegon, and the PM I start with my 300 grain, and usually fish it all day.

Here are some general things I'd recommend when streamer rod shopping. Buy the fastest action rod you can for streamer fishing. You cannot buy a rod that is too fast. Slower action rods make throwing streamers bigger than 2-3in a struggle. Leader setup, go with Maxima green, 20Lb butt section down to 10-12lb. I typically go with 3-4Ft total for setup, then a 6 footer when the water is cooling down or the fish are finicky, and you need a little more action on the fly (the longer the leader the more action you can give the fly, but a long leader isn't needed too often). If you haven't purchased the ECHO base, I'd hold off and get something that is a faster action. Some recommendations would be: Orvis Recon (currently on sale at Mad River Outfitters for $255, and a great rod. I own one and love it), TFO Axiom (best customer service in the business), ECHO Boost Salt, or if you're looking to spend some money the Sage Igniter is the best rod I've used for streamer fishing, possibly the best on the market. I'd head into one of the local fly shops, cast a few rods, and go from there. Nomad Anglers, and Great Lakes Fly are good shops in your area. If you're in southeast Michigan Schultz Outfitters will have anything you need.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Setups are really dependent on the rivers and flies that you are fishing. Setups, and grain weight of the line depend on the river size, current pace, and size of flies.

For a 5/6wt, you'll want to go with a 200 grain, (SA Cold 25 in a 200 grain is what I use), fly size (again depending on the action of the rod) you'll max out with being able to throw something around the size of a Boogie Man or a Circus Peanut. This setup is a good setup for a river along the size of Ausable, the Holy Water down to Wakely, or the Upper Manistee, and anything smaller than those.

For the 7wt, a 250 grain is great (I use Airflo's Gallop 250 long line), a 7wt is a good setup, but to be honest you may want to consider picking up an 8wt. A 7wt is a good setup for the Ausable Wakely down to Parmalee. Fly wise you can throw anything that the 5/6 wt can throw, but you'll max out at being able throw something like Schmidt's Junk yard dog, a barely legal, or double deceiver in the 5-6in range. But some of the bigger neutrally buoyant flies will struggle to get down in the strike zone in certain rivers.

The reason why I suggest you may want to look into an 8wt is it gives you a little more versatility in what you can throw, as well as it allows you to up the grain weight for the sink tip that you throw (I throw my 250, 300, and the 330 shovelhead with my 8wt depending on the flows of the river). An 8wt can give you the ability to throw big double deceivers, ditch pigs, 3 hook sex dungeons, etc... For rivers like the Big Man, the Muskegon, and the PM I start with my 300 grain, and usually fish it all day.

Here are some general things I'd recommend when streamer rod shopping. Buy the fastest action rod you can for streamer fishing. You cannot buy a rod that is too fast. Slower action rods make throwing streamers bigger than 2-3in a struggle. Leader setup, go with Maxima green, 20Lb butt section down to 10-12lb. I typically go with 3-4Ft total for setup, then a 6 footer when the water is cooling down or the fish are finicky, and you need a little more action on the fly (the longer the leader the more action you can give the fly, but a long leader isn't needed too often). If you haven't purchased the ECHO base, I'd hold off and get something that is a faster action. Some recommendations would be: Orvis Recon (currently on sale at Mad River Outfitters for $255, and a great rod. I own one and love it), TFO Axiom (best customer service in the business), ECHO Boost Salt, or if you're looking to spend some money the Sage Igniter is the best rod I've used for streamer fishing, possibly the best on the market. I'd head into one of the local fly shops, cast a few rods, and go from there. Nomad Anglers, and Great Lakes Fly are good shops in your area. If you're in southeast Michigan Schultz Outfitters will have anything you need.
Thanks BeanOFish! Really appreciate the input! Picked up a titan 30 foot cold sink 150g at the fly show (couldn’t pass up the deal) which the guys from nomad suggested for my 5wt. As for the 7-8wt advice I really appreciate the help, I’ll definitely check out the rods you suggested. And make a line choice based on what I pick up. That will probably get pushed until close to spring.
 

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I have a Cabelas LSI 10' 7wt 2 piece rod with a 7/8 Redington Behemoth reel. I bought the new Kelly Galloup Shovelhead sinking line 280grns. Tried to do over head casting with it but line seems too heavy. Always hit myself in the back of the head on the forward cast. Seems like this line would be better on a switch rod or maybe better on an 8wt or 9wt rod. Do like Grinnell said and visit Schultz where you can try before you buy.
 

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JD, those shovel head lines are heavy. I heard a podcast or read something when they first came out, and Gallop basically said that you'll have no problem throwing the shovelhead with a 7wt for the 280 and an 8wt for the 330 (I've found that this couldn't be further from the truth). The design of the head is to place much of the weight for the line is in the front. It's a double weight forward. So these lines do a great job on getting the flies down, and role cast very easily. But, here's the thing with them, they do not cast like a standard sink tip or express tip. In my experience with the 280 and the 330 you do need to go up a rod weight to throw them. My buddy owns the 280 and we throw it on an 8wt (tried throwing it on a Bank Robber 7wt, and it was a lot of work), and for the 330 I throw it on an 8wt occasionally a 9wt, but the 8wt that I use is super fast (Sage Igniter), as throwing it on most 8wts makes it seem like you're throwing a medium action dry fly rod. They're great lines, and do a great job in places like Hodenpyle, Mio, and the flies only section of the PM. As those sections of rivers are typically fast, and have some small deep buckets and shelves, as well as deep pools that the fly needs to get down in a hurry to.
 

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Yeah- try before you buy indeed. Mike Schultz and his crew will give you that opportunity. They have really been instrumental in taking the snobbery out of fly fishing and are dedicated stewards of the watersheds. Aside from that- really nice folks. They push innovation and creativity. They breath life back into rivers and fisheries and communities that have been left for dead. My two cents. Tight lines brother
 

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Th
JD, those shovel head lines are heavy. I heard a podcast or read something when they first came out, and Gallop basically said that you'll have no problem throwing the shovelhead with a 7wt for the 280 and an 8wt for the 330 (I've found that this couldn't be further from the truth). The design of the head is to place much of the weight for the line is in the front. It's a double weight forward. So these lines do a great job on getting the flies down, and role cast very easily. But, here's the thing with them, they do not cast like a standard sink tip or express tip. In my experience with the 280 and the 330 you do need to go up a rod weight to throw them. My buddy owns the 280 and we throw it on an 8wt (tried throwing it on a Bank Robber 7wt, and it was a lot of work), and for the 330 I throw it on an 8wt occasionally a 9wt, but the 8wt that I use is super fast (Sage Igniter), as throwing it on most 8wts makes it seem like you're throwing a medium action dry fly rod. They're great lines, and do a great job in places like Hodenpyle, Mio, and the flies only section of the PM. As those sections of rivers are typically fast, and have some small deep buckets and shelves, as well as deep pools that the fly needs to get down in a hurry to.
Thanks for the heads up...I'll do more roll casting with the 7wt and then see how it works on a Switch Rod. I have an 11ft 6wt,an 11' 7wt and an 11-6 7wt and finally an 11' 8wt Switch Rod. All Switch Rods are made by Cabelas. Had to buy all models because they were on sale at the time. Thanks again.
 

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Yeah- try before you buy indeed. Mike Schultz and his crew will give you that opportunity. They have really been instrumental in taking the snobbery out of fly fishing and are dedicated stewards of the watersheds. Aside from that- really nice folks. They push innovation and creativity. They breath life back into rivers and fisheries and communities that have been left for dead. My two cents. Tight lines brother
I made the mistake of not trying before buying. I bought 4 Switch Rods from Cabelas and ordered the line by mail based on the rods line/grn rating. Paid anywhere from $90 to $120 for the lines. Couldn't cast worth crap with the lines and wasn't able to return them. Finally took my rod(s) and reel to Schultz and had them match the rod with the proper weight/grn line. Been happy ever since.
 

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What I've heard is 250 grain is the sweet spot for a 7wt.
  • What lines do you guys prefer?
  • What grain weight would you suggest?
  • What sink rate would be best for most average situations in this part of MI?
My personal opinion is that while full integrated sinking lines are the way to go when fishing streamers from a boat, they are tough to manage while wading. When fishing streamers wading I recommend something that won't sink fast throughout so much of the line, such as a sink tip, intermediate line, single handed spey or even a floating line with sink tips. Which of those types of set ups are good for you are sort of personal preference, as IMO they all work for streamers and avoid the line management issues presented while wading and using full sinking lines. I've been loving using my Rio Single Handed Spey line on my 6wt when wade fishing streamers, basically just snap T and roll casts and it works great, and believe it or not can perform overhand casts ok too. I also have the SA Full Intermediate line, and it actually performs those roll and spey casts pretty darn well too, but excels more for overhand casts, which is something to look at if you want a more conventional taper rather than spey and think you'll throw overhand casts more than snaps and roll casts. I think many people in Michigan find that we are roll casting and doing some forms of spey casts in our rivers more than over hand casts, due to size and our dense shrubbery.

For grain weight on the full sinking lines, I have a 150gr Orvis Depth Charge on my 6wt streamer rod and Kelly's Airflo Streamer Max 300gr sinking line on my 8wt streamer rod, and both of those work great on those set ups. Grain weight sinking lines are kind of like golf clubs though, one size may work generally for a given rod weight but having a few options really allows you to adjust and have the optimum set up for a given stretch. You'll do fine with one size, but to perfect the situation many guys have multiple lines. That's one thing I like about the modeler setups for Skagit or conventional sink tips / poly leaders.

Should I overweight the line and get a 6wt line over a 5wt?
Short answer is that over lining one size won't make much of a difference good or bad, except that it will load the rod better and take away a bit of distance. I like over lining for shorter distances and faster rods. Some of the new lines are actually anywhere from 1/2 (e.g., SA Infinity) to 1.5 (e.g., SA Anadro) line weights over lined anyways. Doing this is a good way to get easier / more forgiving casting out of a faster action rod. I would not put them on a moderate or slower action rod. For faster action streamer type rods it's a good move, and also makes fishing indy rigs and roll casting easier if your also doing that.
 
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