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I'm looking for a tried and true taper to fish from a float tube.  I have found my 8-4 5wt has difficulty bringing large fish to net - when I lean right to slide a large trout (20+") into the net the rod just continues to bend left - so I either get a longer handle net or build a rod with more backbone.  (Of course I could fight the fish to the point of death, but that really isn't a valid choice.)  Since I would prefer a better rod for this type if fishing are there any "good" taper suggestions?  (Tom Key)

    I use  Young's Driggs  taper for that very thing.  (Timothy Troester)

      Thanks Tim.  I guess you don't find the 7'2" length too short for casting from a tube - or have you modified it?   (Tom Key)

        Nope, the alternative is the problem you described. You can also cast sidearmed if you are having difficulty with your backcast touching the water. 30' to 40' feet should be no problem at all, more if need be.  (Timothy Troester)

    Ya know, 20"+ Trout tend to do that to a rod.  {:>)

    A few years ago during Christmas/New Years break I was fishing the Upper Sac in NorCal and caught two 20"+ fish in half an hour of fishing. Very nice healthy Lake run fish coming upriver on the high water.  I was  using the  Garrison 212e taper that I had made. That's an honest 6 wt and I had the same trouble. It's very nice to have that trouble though so I'm not complaining a bit. I'd get the fish in close enough to net and try to pull the fish up to the surface so I could slide it into the net.  I'd lift up and the rod would just bend more.  The fish would take off across river again. I'd work him back near to me and try to lift him or her up to the surface and the rod would just bend more.  BTW I was using 4x on a #12 nymph so I wasn't really forcing it too much.  Same thing would happen. I finally just had to go down with the net and get 'em. A few minutes later, after I'd recovered some composure, it was the same story.  This was wading too, not in a float tube. I do fish from a float tube a lot so I do have experience at it. I've got some 6 and 7 wt  8 1/2 footers I've made for large bluegill Bass and Pike.   I've found that fishing an 8 1/2 ft 7 wt gets to be be a chore after 5 hours or so.  So this summer I'm going to try a Dickerson 8014 Guide taper. That's an 8 foot 7 wt. I have never fished this taper but I am finishing one for this summer's fishing for good bass and pike up in Michigan so I'll know how it works before too long. 

    I think a lot of this depends on what tippet and fly you are fishing. That's the determining factor.  If yer pulling streamers and can get away with heavy tippet and big hooks then maybe a taper like the Dickerson 8014 Guide.   That should have all the backbone you need for large trout.

    If you need to fish little Midge size flies on 6x or 7x then obviously a 7 wt is not the optimum rod.  (Larry Swearingen)

      I use a float tube exclusively on the Manistee in Michigan and fish with a 8’ 5 wt (Catts 8052 taper) and haven’t had a problem with large fish.  Last year I landed and netted a 24.5” brown with it.  Give it a try, you’ll like it!  (Don Bugg)

    I have used the Leonard 50DF from a float tube consistently and happily.  (Steve Dugmore)


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