fly rods and reels

Timmy Hoffarth

Founding Member
Founding Member
Apr 20, 2015
Does anyone know good companies for heavier weight rod n reel combos?

What size weight and brands do you use?


Founding Member
Founding Member
Apr 24, 2015
Moorhead, MN
If you're looking for 8-9wt tackle, St.Croix Legends are stiff (fast in fishing speak) enough to buck prairie winds. Their Imperial series are considerably less expensive but tend to be fairly stiff as well. Temple Fork rods can be anything from fast to moderate to slow (soft) depending on the series. I have Legend Elite rods in 5 and 9 wt. My wife has both a Temple Fork 9soft) and an Imperial (fast) in 5wt. My 7wt is a 35 year old Browning. My pan fish rod is an Imperial 3wt which has landed 2# largemouth with no trouble. By-the-way, I prefer 9 ft. long rods.
Although the 8wt comparison test is a few years old, look at 8wt rod comparison. Take time to read the whole article, you'll learn about the subtle differences that separate good rods from those that seem to do all the work for you. The article is long, have a big mug of coffee with you.

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Reels: There are some very expensive reels of superb quality, and many of excellent quality that are actually affordable to the middle class. Mine are now out of production but still work very well. Most are old STH, a company that was bought by Cortland.
Look for a disc drag and affordable spare spools. For example, Cabela's has a store brand reel that looks a lot like a Lamson brand reel they also sell. I'd check it out in their specialty fly fishing catalog or website section. Large arbor reels take in more line/handle turn but cost more and are bulkier. The only real disadvantage to small arbor reels is the tendency for the line to take a coiled set (not a problem in warm weather). Freshwater fish don't require a frame machined from a single piece of bar stock aluminum. When Orvis discontinued one of their barstock models, I bought one for my pan fish rod. It's parts fit like a watch. I love it, but wouldn't pay full price for a new model.

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