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I'm looking for some suggestions, I would like to build a 9' 4 or 5 wt. 3 piece medium action rod to take to Montana this summer. In the Hexrod archive I found several 9' 6 & 7 wt and one 3 wt but no 4 or 5 wt. and no luck in the Rodmakers Archive. Does anyone know of a good taper for a 9' 3 piece 4 or 5 wt?  (Al Spicer)

    I used to own a Leonard 9' 0", #4 line rod.  It was an early Leonard with close intermediates its full length.  A collector told me it was a Tournament model.  The rod had a slow full flexing action and would easily cast a #4 line anywhere from 20' to 60' with ease.  (Ted Knott)

    At the risk of incurring The Wrath of Curry, the reason you can't find a light line 9 foot taper is that there aren't very many. The problem is that it takes so much cane to support the length and still produce the medium to fast actions which most people prefer, that the weight of a 3-4 weight is not all that much different than a 6-7 weight.  It's a little like sleeving an elephant gun to shoot 22 LR,  and hauling the thing around to pop squirrels.

    There are two basic solutions:

    1.  Read Reed's page,  become convinced that slow is the way to go, and build a rod accordingly. I suspect that the 9 foot 3 weight you found is the taper to a rod that I traded to Reed some time ago. It's very nice, but only if you agree with Reed.

    2. Hollow build.  Use Hexrod to convert a successful 5-6 weight taper and have at it.  (Tom Smithwick)

      This 9' 3 wt taper is one of my favorites.  I built it with a swelled butt and love to use it to fish soft hackles on the Manistee.  It is rather slow and I can relight my cigar during the back cast.  (Dennis Bertram)

        Is this the Rod that you had at Grand Gathering?   If so, I liked it a lot. I also have a 9' Divine which 4 wt that is a bit quicker.  Olaf Borge liked that one. Al, you might like that one.  (Doug Easton)

    Thanks to everyone that responded to my question about a 9'-0" 4 wt. Got lots of good suggestions and information. Looks like I'll be building  A.J.'s 9'-0" 4 wt. and a one of the 8'- 6" 5 or 6 wt. to take on my trip.   (Al Spicer)


What is the best 7'0" 2 piece rod for a 4 or 5 weight?  (Bret Reiter)

    That's a how long is a piece of string question.  I'd say either Driggs or Payne 98 depending on what action you want.  (Tony Young)

      Or the Dickerson 7012.  (John Channer)

    There's dozens of 7 ft 4 wt and 5 wt rods that you could make. If you told me what type action you prefer I'd have a better idea as to the rod I'd suggest. Because one guy herald's a rod to be the best thing to ever come down the pike doesn't mean the next guy would like that rod whatsoever. What are you going to use the rod for? Is it an all around rod, a streamer rod, or a dry fly rod. No one rod will do everything to perfection and they're all a compromise in one way or another. You may be happy with a 4 wt for small dries and little nymphs but you know that it won't cast a big hex fly like a 5 wt line would. A lazy caster may love a parabolic rod but the aggressive caster who likes to use a lot of line speed would probably hate a para. The bottom line is, what compromise best fits your needs.  (Jim Bureau)

    If you can use 7'2" I would say Driggs River!  (Danny Twang)

    Did you get a chance to cast my 98 repro at the SRG?  It can be a rocket if you want it to, but also works pretty nice in close, at least for me.  (Mark Wendt)

    You might consider having a look at Frank Neunemann’s web site where he gives tapers for some modified Garrisons with commentary on what he was aiming for. (Gary Marshall)

    Driggs would be a good bet, but one that doesn't seem to get allot of attention here is the Leonard 38 ACM, nice medium-fast pleasant action. I kind of liked it and it has a "different" action than allot of the rods we normally build. Depends on what you want I guess.  (Shawn Pineo)


I have a request for a rod for a 13 year old for his first fly rod.  His father asked that I make something in the 7' to 7-1/2' range in a #4 or #5.  I am thinking of making a "Sir D".  Any other suggestions?  (Hal Manas)

    You would have to have the Sir D in there as a big contender, I think; also consider the Payne 98 and the Driggs River Special.

    I have just got the first Garrison taper I have ever made to the "put-it-together-and waggle-it" stage.  It is the 206, and it may well be worth a bit of thought.  Much better than I thought it would be, in fact.

    My personal choice?

    The Payne, I'm afraid. I must be a masochist - I just like Payne!  (Peter McKean)

    I think the Sir D is a good choice. Heddon Folsom is another outstanding rod in that range, this is what I selected for my Grandchildren.  (Steve Trauthwein)

    The PHY Driggs is a great all around rod in that range. The Garrison 209 is another that is a great rod, and it will be more versatile being a longer five weight. If the customer is set on a short rod, the Heddon Folsom taper in the archives is a super 7' 4 wt.   (Bob Maulucci)

      I'd find it hard to go past the Driggs. I've sold quite a few of them to people who came around to my place wanting a "fast" rod. After trying a few out, they just about all want the Driggs (though some still want to be reassured that it's a "fast" taper).

      I think it would be a great learning rod for a kid - you can feel the rod load, and it casts so easily. I took one to a BBQ the other day, and had novices casting a nice line after a very short period. A couple of them even put down their beer from their other hand.   (Nick Taransky)

        The Dickerson 7012 is also a fine choice.  I let a fishing buddy cast mine, keep in mind that he is a graphite owner and thinks cane is too heavy. He loved it and was very surprised of its weight and close in loading as well as throwing a line when needed.  (Mike Hoffman)

    I have a suggestion for you. I teach casting classes some and would suggest you go with a rod longer than seven feet. It seems to me that short rods are usually harder to learn on.  That said I would suggest the grand experiment rod taper that was introduced by John Long. The rod is a western style 5wt, 7'6" and I have made a ton of them. Everyone likes the rod. The rod has good control and every new caster I fish with picks that rod and wants one.  (Timothy Troester)

    The Driggs....period.  Might as well start them out right.  (Gary Williams)


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