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Rod Selection - 6/7 Weight Rods

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It seems like every year, especially on the heavily fished streams around here,  the better fish spend less time feeding at "normal" depths.  I need a fly rod for those days when the trout have to be scraped off the bottom.  Something that will work with a 6 or maybe even 7 wt sinking line and/or handle a Clouser or Copper Bomb or worse. If you don't need a rod like this, count your blessings.

What kind of tapers work well for this?  Am I better off with a fast taper or a parabolic or a straight taper like a Garrison? I guess I'm more concerned with lifting the fly & line than with delicate or long casting.  (Frank Stetzer, Hexrod, Taper Archive, Rodmakers Archive)

    I fish heavily weighted leech patterns much of the time in Missouri.  They are usually fished on a short line.  In my opinion, a rod that is heavy in the tip with a flexible butt works good because you don't really need the weight of the line to load the rod.  I use a Para-15 with the wet tip quite a bit, although there may be better tapers.  (Bill Lamberson)

    Maybe a Dickerson Guide or Guide Special?  (Tony Young)

    How about a Garrison 215?  (Don Schneider)

    I made a Ray Gould "RR84" 8' - WF7 that I use for beach fishing here in the NW. The taper has a swelled butt & very light tip. Once you get the timing down, it can punch out a #4 Clouser or a heavily weighted sculpin pattern. Best of all, it can handle reasonably large salmon (5-8 LB.) but is light enough in the tip so a 12" cutthroat puts a decent bend in the rod. It's not the smoothest or longest casting rod, but it's really fun to fish.  (Tom Bowden)


Looking for recommendations for a good 6 or 7 weight taper to use on the White in October. Something powerful enough to get a heavy wooly bugger or shad fly into one of the deep holes where the big browns hide. In my former fly fishing life, before bamboo, I used a 9 ft. 7 wt Sage RPL for fishing the holes and am open to suggestions on which rod would be the best to build. Now of course you will have to take into consideration that I plan on catching nothing smaller than 30 pound browns.  (Gary Jones)

    Two very different tapers, both 8' 6/7 wt, mine both prefer WF 7. Wayne Cattanach's "The Force" and the Dickerson 8015.

    I like them both.  (Steve Weiss)

      My tests with the Dickerson 8015 taper have showed it to be an eight weight rod rather than a six/seven.  (Harry Boyd)

        Sorry,  I was referencing the 8015 Guide Special rather than the 8015.  My mistake.  (Harry Boyd)

          In 'the lovely reed's appendix, there are a number of tapers from various designers.  I recently completed the 8015 'guide special'.  It is said to be a 7 wt.  Since, I didn't have a 7 wt fly line to test, I have a scientific angle 6/7  reel strung up with 6 wt line, I decided what the heck.

          The line might be a touch too light but that rod is a cannon with a 6 wt. I'm pretty excited to load it up with a 7 wt line, though. I can't believe it would be an 8, however.  The rod mics pretty darn close to the specs.

          I don't have the book in front of me but maybe the 'guide special' is a touch lighter (a line weight or 2) than the regular 8015.  (Patrick Mullen)


I am putting the finishing touches on my first rod and would like to start another.  The rod I would like to build would be one that would roll cast well with weighted nymphs and streamers and be able to land a 5 # and up steelhead.  I have not been able cast a lot of bamboo rods and never one like this.  I would like it to be a least 8 feet and a 6 or 7 wt. Leaning more towards 7.   I know rod DNA has a lot of tapers and I am learning how to read the graphs but there is nothing like casting a rod to know how it works in a given situation.  I am wondering if any of you have built and cast a rod like this.  I am open for any suggestions.

So far I have two a Young Para 16 a Dickerson 8015 or 8615.  Has anyone cast these?  Also the Orvis Battenkill 8’ 7wt caught my eye on Rod DNA but the graph seem quite a bit different.

One last question.  I also do quite a bit of bass fishing with poppers and hair bugs would  this rod also be good for this?  (Rick Barbato)

    I'd also vote for the PHY boat rod taper, the one in the Hexrod archives (just Google Hexrod).

    I built one, and really like it as 7wt (it's rated a 6). It's a relatively quick 8 footer, and doesn't feel as "tip heavy" as the paras do.

    I spey cast with single handed rods constantly when I fish, and this rod handles all the casts (single and double spey, snap-T, and snake roll) well.  (Chris Obuchowski)

    Dickerson 8014 should get the job done. (Pete Van Schaack)

      I'll second that. That 8014 taper seems to come up over and over - and over.    I actually found out that's the rod I handled at the show that I really liked!!!  As soon as I picked it up and gave it the slightest flick I said to myself, "Yeah, that's the way a bamboo rod ought to feel."   Beautiful rod!  (John Silveira)


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