Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Great Day for Smallies and T&T Rod Review

   I've been hearing some good Smallie fishing reports so I played hookie today and went fishing. I decided to hit up a small stream up in Warren county that I hadn't fished since I started at D&H 11 years ago. Back then I had a worn out messenger bag for my random flies, was borrowing wading boots, fishing some 1996-era Redington rod, and had virtually no idea what I was doing.  Things have changed a bit since then.

   Turned out to one of the best local Smallmouth fishing days I've ever had.

     We've been having good luck and hearing good reports so I wasn't totally surprised by the day, but it was great. Within the first few casts I was into fish. I caught several fish in the 10-15 inch range and two that are definitely the best Smallies I've ever caught around here.  The creek was pretty easy wading and very nice.  There were Wood ducks all over.  The cloud cover kept it from being too hot.

    I stuck with pretty basic flies and just used my #6 floating line.  Pretty simple. I also was trying out a new T&T Spire #6. T&T loaned this rod along with a few other to try out a bit ago. When we get these rods to try I often get to cast them quite a bit, but don't always really get to fight fish on them and really get a feel for the rod.  Today I did. 
   The Spire replaces the old Horizon II, which is a great rod in its' own right, but I would venture to say this is a better rod.  T&T's have always been a bit heavy in the hand and while I'm not real sensitive to that, it was nice to fish with a lighter rod today.  This rod competes with many of the other rods on the market now. Also like a lot of other "fast action" rods on the market today, I don't think it would hurt to use a Rio Outbound or SA Titan taper or jump a line size for a different action. I was using a #6 Rio Grand. It did fine once I had some line out, but short casts were a bit awkward. 
        Even though I wouldn't have been over-gunned at all with a #7 or #8 today, this rod did fine.  I had it bent pretty good on a few of the fish when they got in the current. It had enough backbone to throw the flies I was using anywhere I wanted, set the hook and fight the fish that take these flies. Overall, a pretty nice rod to have on a day like today.  For those of us using it for warm water, a fighting butt version would be really nice.
  I stuck with pretty basic flies today. A Murdich's Wiggler in tan and a Chartruese and Yellow Clouser with large eyes. Both flies are on  1/0 or 2/0 hooks.

After fishing for a few hours I thought of a few takeaways:

    No matter how you cut it Smallmouth fishing is a casting game. I caught fish today anywhere from 10-35 feet away. Casting takes practice and good technique. No two ways about it. Luckily, practicing is a ton of fun. A competent caster can make almost any rod do what he wants, a poor caster won't do much better with a $1600 setup than he will with a $200 dollar setup. A competent caster should be able to place a fly -reasonably accurately on both the forward cast and the backcast, throw a cross-body cast, use a double haul efficiently, roll cast when needed, and cast with obstacles either in front, behind or both. The best way I know to get to this point is to start with good instruction and then go fishing. 

Important Gear
    Use good polarized glasses. When you fish, look into the water not at the surface. Watch your line, watch your fly, look for flashes, color changes, structure. Good glasses make a better fisherman than $800 rods do.

If you want to talk Smallies, stop by the shop or give us a call.


Delamere & Hopkins
2708 Erie Avenue
Cincinnati, OH  45208

Mon-Thurs  10-8
Fri-Sat  10-6
Sun  11-5 

No comments:

Post a Comment