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Thread: 2wt line on a 3wt rod?

  1. #1
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    Default 2wt line on a 3wt rod?

    Hi all.

    I have a 2wt rod rigged with 2WF line. The rod is 6 1/2 ft long. I like the light rod, but the short length presents challenges on wider streams. For bigger water, I recently bought an 8 1/2 ft 3wt rod, but no reel. If I use the reel rigged with the 2WF line on the 3wt rod, what considerations am I going to have to take into account?

    I think if I loaded a light rod with heavier line, the rod would nominally become more sluggish. But I don't really understand what would happen if I go the other way (lighter line on a heavier rod).

    Thanks for any hints you have.

  2. #2

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    Take it out to the yard and give it a try. It probably will be a little harder to get the rod to load and work for you. You might notice that more with a shorter line. There aren't many guys who like to underline rods, but it really depends on the rod and your casting style. Give it a try.

  3. #3
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    Casting with 30 ft of 2wt line outside the rod tip will be roughly about the same load as having 25 ft of 3wt line out.

    The 3 wt rod lined with a 2wt line will likely feel under loaded at close range and you may feel like you need to work harder. You may not notice the difference as much as you get more line out.

  4. #4
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    I think there's a chance you would like it just fine, and agree with the advice to take it out and give it a try. Underlining will generally make a rod feel a little "faster", where overlining it will make the rod feel a little "slower". My 3 weight happens to be the slowest rod I own, almost too much so, even at short distances. Although I've never tried it, I've often thought a 2 wt. line might actually feel better on that particular rod, but that may or may not be the case with yours.

  5. #5
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    Thanks all for the input. The rod is a TFO Pro II. I really haven't polished my skill to be able to distinguish between fast/medium/slow action rods. I would consider myself a fly fisherman who is transitioning from beginner to intermediate level in terms of skill. The idea about the back yard is a good one..I have done that before and demonstrated to the neighbors that I'm certifable. I'm also the only one around here who will stand in a river when it's 18 degrees and claim I'm having a great time!

    I'll try the reel out and see how it feels. I may put my 4wt reel on it as well. Then I'll make the decision whether or not to head back and pick up a reel and line set up specifically for it.

  6. #6
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    Ray-

    Unless you want to, don't go out and buy a whole new reel if you decide you need a 3 wt. line. Just buy an extra spool for either that 2 wt. or 4 wt reel that you have already, load it with backing and the new line, and swap it out for the existing spool when you're planning on fishing the 3 wt. rod. I do that a lot, as do many I'm sure. I have more rods than I do reels, the reason being that reels are typically rated for a range of line weights and it can be easy and much more cost effective to just utilize extra spools for multiple rods in the same range.

  7. #7
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    John,

    That's a good idea. I've seen extra spools in the catalogs. It's a Loomis reel, so maybe the chances of finding one are good.

  8. #8
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    White Bear Lake MN
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    From: Evolution Of Modern Fly Line
    http://www.flyanglersonline.com/features/readerscast/rc150.php

    ?The AFTMA Fly Line Standards - based on the grain weight of the first 30 feet of line regardless of material density or taper configuration - may not be a perfect system but it has stood the test of time and have been followed religiously by all of the worlds fly line manufacturers for more than 40 years.

    Today, any angler with the need to select a line to balance with a 6-weight fly rod can by a #6 line - regardless of the brand, whether level, double of weight-forward taper, floating, sinking or sink-tip - and feel secure in the knowledge the line he has selected will match the rod. This was a real breakthrough and many consider the establishment of the AFTMA Fly Line Standards one of the most important factors in the sport of fly fishing during modern history.
    A major development in the evolution of the modern?

    The fly rod weight is determined by the rod builder, and they can use their own ideas of what the wt line to use for their fly rods....there is a difference

    Last edited by Steven McGarthwaite; 08-18-2013 at 03:12 PM.
    "Everyone you meet in life, give you happiness! Some by their arrival, others by their departure!" ~Parnelli

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steven McGarthwaite View Post

    Today, any angler with the need to select a line to balance with a 6-weight fly rod can by a #6 line - regardless of the brand, whether level, double of weight-forward taper, floating, sinking or sink-tip - and feel secure in the knowledge the line he has selected will match the rod.
    Provided he wants to cast exactly thirty feet, and likes the action of the rod that manufacturer thought their customer would like.

    Not all line manufacturers religiously follow the AFTMA spec. Rio Grand, for example, which used to be a "half weight" line (their 5 weight was in the gap between the 5 and 6 weight specs, for example) is now a full line weight heavier. (A 5 weight is at the lower end of the 6 weight spec.) There's a reason for that. It's because people who can't get their head around the idea that they're allowed to use a different line weight than what it says on the rod, can now buy a line that makes an ultra fast rod cast the way they want it to. And the easiest way for a rod manufacturer to make a rod "faster" is to rate it one line size smaller than most people are comfortable casting. (Fortunately, most makers seemed to have backed off this tendency recently.)

    And even if that's what you want -- a ultra fast rod that casts a country mile when you need it to -- if you find yourself fishing on a small stream where the average cast is 10 or so, you'll find it may not load very well at that range. And conversely, if you've got a rod that load nicely up close and personal, you may find it doesn't carry 40 feet of line very well on a false cast before shooting, but it might if you go a line lighter.

    The manufacturer's recommendation is just that -- a recommendation. It's a good starting point, but it's not carved in stone.

    Addendum -- I'm not slamming manufacturers here. They're responding to real market demands. As an example, when TFO first came out with the Axiom series, they made a 6 weight and an 8 weight, but no 7 weight. Apparently, Lefty Kreh had advised them that there was not need -- the six weight would a seven weight line easily. (It does -- I've got one and use it with a 7 weight). From a technology standpoint, he was correct. From a marketing point, not so much. People demanded a rod that said 7 on it. TFO now makes one in a seven weight. (I think they also had a gap between 8 and 10 weights, now filled.) I can't blame the makers for giving the people what they want, even if what they want isn't necessarily the best choice.
    Last edited by redietz; 08-19-2013 at 07:02 AM.
    Bob

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