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I would like to make a fly rod for pike fishing. As I understand, this must be a quite sturdy rod, capable of casting the very large pike streamers. I was thinking of the Wolverine creek rod, maybe one # lighter. Any suggestions?  (Geert Poorteman)

    I spent 20 hours last weekend throwing big, ugly pike flies with the Gillum 8'6" Salmon rod from the Jack Howell’s book.  It worked wonderfully with both an 8 and 9 wt line --- but I did make it about .003-.004 oversize along the entire length-- and I'd make a 5" extension butt for it next time.

    Another thing to think about is the fact that if you are pike fishing from a boat, you might be fine with a short (7-8') rod of radical line weight (9/10 wt).  Hans-Jurgen Schlecht makes such rods and I understand that they are wonderful for the way that many people fish for pike (out of a boat.)  I think this also might be trying to keep the swung weight down on so heavy a rod, if longer.  (Joe West)

      I was thinking the same thing.  A beefed-up Dickerson 8015 GS might be a good starting point.

      Now, let me say this:  Rod size will somewhat depend on what size pike you expect to encounter, and, to a larger extent, what size/type flies you intend to use.  Suitable pike streamers can be constructed that can be cast decently with 7 wt. gear.  Think along the lines of the epoxy-reinforced saltwater flies, with all synthetic materials.  Anything with a palmered rabbit strip body is probably better off on a 9 wt., as once wet, they are heavy.

      If you're trophy hunting, you're probably better off with a 9/10 wt. I've done a lot of pike fishing with 7 wt. rods, and suitable streamers, but I seldom connect with anything bigger than 26-28".  I wouldn't like to think of hooking up with a 40" monster on a 7 wt., though.

      An 8'6" 8/9 wt. would be about the most versatile pike rod, IMHO.  A 9' might be slightly better, if you can handle the weight or can hollow build.  I've got a 9' Paul Young Texas General on the "to do" list for my heavy pike rod.  I fish from shore probably 99% of the time, so the long rod wins out.  From a boat, I would look at something shorter.  As I said above, I would consider the 8015 GS, beefed up to a 9 or 10 wt. to be a good starting point.  (Todd Enders)

      I fished for pike on a two week river canoe trip to the Canadian Barrens last summer.  I used an 8' #8 (a Chris Obuchowski taper) and one of my own widened-hex tapers developed from a Dickerson 8014.  We fished mostly from the bank.  We caught many fish, most from 28-34", a few up to 40".  We caught most of the fish on 5" Clousers, but I think we could have done much better on larger flies.  I had a couple 7" articulated leeches,  big fish attacked them viciously, but broke or cut them at the joint.  We found fish of 15" inside fish that we ate. 

      I think there are two issues, casting and fighting fish.  Of the two rods I used, the #8 cast the large flies much more easily than the smaller rod, but it has a finer butt and was not as well suited for fighting the fish.  When I go back, I will take an 8 1/2' #8 with a heavy butt and some bigger flies.

      We also caught a number of lake trout and many grayling.  Northerns regularly attacked our graying.  One interesting experience that we had occurred while I was fighting a moderate sized northern, 32-33"; a large lake trout came slashing after it.  I would guess the laker to have been at least 30 pounds.    (Bill Lamberson)

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