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Discussion Starter #1
So my buddy and I are going on a five day hike into the flat tops this summer. He's big into high mountain lakes and streams. I'm just getting started into the high mountain stuff and need to get a small stream rod. Was thinking a 3 wt. can't break the bank so gotta keep the rod under $300. Any good suggestions?

Thanks!

Tom
 

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Surprisingly, Cabela's Stowaway rods are great little rods for backpacking. They have them in 5 and 7 piece rods in a wide range of weights. I have a 3 weight five piece and love it as it casts quite well. Price was or perhaps still is just around $100.
 

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Redington Butter Stick
 

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Sold on a 3 wt. ? I like my 4 piece 4wt, 9 footer TFO, TiCr serries for everything up there. Good reach over willows/dabbing, delicate for all dries, but firm when it gets gusty. I'll also use an over-sized line/weight fordward extra spool which is less bulky to carry, if I need to "power thru". However, been leav'n my 4wt. at home more and more and going with my exact same 6wt. instead.

Seems there is always bigger fish further out then you think.



greatdividefishing.com
 

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You're getting a bunch of suggestions, but maybe you need to be a little clearer about what you like (and expect) from this rod. On high mountain streams and lakes, you need to worry about wind. Brush will be an issue in some areas, but not others (many streams will be running through meadows and alpine areas). Still, you probably don't want to go 9' because if you do run into a brushy stream, it won't work at all; a 7' rod is great for brushy areas but probably handicaps you more than you'd want everywhere else. Hence 8' or 8.5'.

Personally, I own a T&T 7' 3 wt for small eastern streams (very brushy), and a TFO BVK 8 ft. 4 pc 3 wt which I use out west in the high mountains and would certainly recommend. The rod is a cannon (good for wind), but very responsive. Extra bonus is you can buy a kit to convert it to a 5 pc. 10' 3 wt. which is a great euro-nymphing rod. However, if you are looking for a slow-action dry fly rod, that's not what this is (several of the earlier suggestions are in that direction). Still, given the likelihood of running into wind at altitude, I don't think that's optimal.
 

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way to much is made of this. Its mostly personal preference and fishing style

For high lakes, I prefer a 5wt. For Brushy streams I prefer a slow action 3 wt that roll casts well.

For wide open streams and smaller fish, I fish a 000wt.

All in, you can accomplish everything with the one 5wt.

For the 300$ range, the TFO is the best for the money IMO
 

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The TFO Finesse was mentioned above. I have the 8'9" 5wt, great rod for dries, light nymph rigs, and small streamers, has a great moderate/slow action...
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Wow...you guys have given me a lot to think about and figure out. Been a long day at work. Let me read through this a couple of times, digest it, and get back to you this weekend when I'm in better shape to make a coherent and intelligent response.

Thanks!

Tom
 

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If you want a small mountain stream rod, you want the 7 1/2 foot 5 wt (whatever wt really). The versatility is endless. I have both a 5 wt 7 1/2 ft TFO finesse and 5 wt 9 ft TFO BVK, I just swap my reel (saves money).

I find myself using the 7 1/2 foot even on some bigger rivers because I am only fishing 20-30 ft away all day and the ability to shoot the line in tight spaces feels more efficient when casting one dry fly.

It is really all preference. I would even say a 9 ft rod on small streams is also good for Czech nymphing or fishing more than one fly and getting around brush that hangs over the water.
 

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You should be thoroughly paralyzed with indecision by now. Good luck.

Seriously, it is indeed a matter of personal preference. The diversity of opinion among the very experienced members here is a strong testament to that.
 

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Split the difference. Get an 8' 4wt, and fish everywhere.
 
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