Recommend a 3wt for Bluegill

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Luke_M310
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Recommend a 3wt for Bluegill

Post by Luke_M310 » Mon Feb 08, 2021 4:30 pm

Per the title...

Started lake fishing last year, and I’m all set as far as bass setups.

I started catching a lot of bluegill along the banks, and I really enjoyed it. But the lightest rod/line I have is a 5wt - I’d like to move to a 3wt dedicated to bluegill, these fish are not big by any stretch. Was wondering if anyone had recommendations on a 3wt that they’ve enjoyed or had success with, particularly for dries or dry dropper setups.

As far as criteria, I don’t have a whole lot. It seems like most 3wt rods are designed with small streams in mind, and as such, are on the shorter side in length (ie 7’6”-ish). As long as that length will work for me while casting 25’ or so from a boat, that’s fine with me. All of my other rods are a more “traditional” 9’, so that’s what I’m used to.

I typically throw ants/hopper patterns (size 10-14) or small poppers for these fish, and will sometimes hang a nymph below the surface fly. Since I won’t be throwing multiple weighted flies/split shot/etc. on this rod, I’d say that i would put more of a premium on accuracy (rather than power), but at the same time, if it can’t throw anything bigger than a size 14 or so, it’s not gonna work for me.

As far as price, I don’t have a budget in mind. I will spend top dollar if it’s justified, but i have to believe there’s something in the “middle class” (or cheaper) that will suit my needs.

And before anyone tells me that I need to hold/cast the rods myself, yes, I agree. And I plan on doing that. This is more of a conversation starter to see if there are any popular options that should jump to the top of my preliminary list.

If I’ve left anything out, or anyone needs more info, just let know. Thanks in advance.

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BiggerThomas
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Re: Recommend a 3wt for Bluegill

Post by BiggerThomas » Mon Feb 08, 2021 5:52 pm

Luke_M310 wrote:
Mon Feb 08, 2021 4:30 pm
Per the title...

Started lake fishing last year, and I’m all set as far as bass setups.

I started catching a lot of bluegill along the banks, and I really enjoyed it. But the lightest rod/line I have is a 5wt - I’d like to move to a 3wt dedicated to bluegill, these fish are not big by any stretch. Was wondering if anyone had recommendations on a 3wt that they’ve enjoyed or had success with, particularly for dries or dry dropper setups.

As far as criteria, I don’t have a whole lot. It seems like most 3wt rods are designed with small streams in mind, and as such, are on the shorter side in length (ie 7’6”-ish). As long as that length will work for me while casting 25’ or so from a boat, that’s fine with me. All of my other rods are a more “traditional” 9’, so that’s what I’m used to.

I typically throw ants/hopper patterns (size 10-14) or small poppers for these fish, and will sometimes hang a nymph below the surface fly. Since I won’t be throwing multiple weighted flies/split shot/etc. on this rod, I’d say that i would put more of a premium on accuracy (rather than power), but at the same time, if it can’t throw anything bigger than a size 14 or so, it’s not gonna work for me.

As far as price, I don’t have a budget in mind. I will spend top dollar if it’s justified, but i have to believe there’s something in the “middle class” (or cheaper) that will suit my needs.

And before anyone tells me that I need to hold/cast the rods myself, yes, I agree. And I plan on doing that. This is more of a conversation starter to see if there are any popular options that should jump to the top of my preliminary list.

If I’ve left anything out, or anyone needs more info, just let know. Thanks in advance.

I've enjoyed fishing my 7' 9" St. Croix Avid 3 weight for about 13 years now. It's a great rod for panfish, esp. smaller ones, and also serves as a good rod for small wild trout streams. Nice action & it casts well.
Every Night & every Morn
Some to Misery are Born
Every Morn and every Night
Some are Born to sweet delight
Some are Born to sweet delight
Some are Born to Endless Night
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Rusty Spinner
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Re: Recommend a 3wt for Bluegill

Post by Rusty Spinner » Tue Feb 09, 2021 9:20 am

Luke, once again, my apologies for dumping your first thread instead of moving it to this forum as I had intended. :oops:

Don't worry about rod length so much with a lighter weight fly rod like a 3 weight. An 8 footer or even shorter like 7'6" is just fine for terrestrials and small poppers that will catch panfish all day. Shorten your leader on larger flies like poppers so that they "turn over" on your cast. I watch too many fly rodders try to toss too long a leader with large, bulky flies. And no need to break the bank with a high end $800+ Winston fly rod either. There are lots and lots of great mid priced options out there. I grew up on a freshwater lake in northern NJ catching tons of sunfish and largemouth bass on the fly. Back then I only owned one 5 weight, and that was great for much of what I was doing. If I were targeting only sunnies, a three weight would be ample. But when I'm after largemouth, I prefer a 7 weight so I can effectively cast long distances with big deer hair poppers or sinking baitfish patterns.

When it's time to decide on a rod manufacturer, I always try to stay away from the newer companies which seem to pop up one year and are gone the next. We have a ton of those startups as of late, and breaking a rod with a lifetime guarantee only works out if that company remains in business.
"A sinking fly is closer to Hell" - Unknown

Johnw
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Re: Recommend a 3wt for Bluegill

Post by Johnw » Tue Feb 09, 2021 9:43 am

I can definitely second the St Croix Avid. Excellent quality and reasonably priced in my opinion. I’ve had a 6 foot 3 weight for 10+ years and love it, probably too short for your needs but longer should be perfect.

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cappy
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Re: Recommend a 3wt for Bluegill

Post by cappy » Tue Feb 09, 2021 11:20 am

I use one of my Tenkara rods when targeting panfish.

For a fly rod consider fiberglass. On the expensive end look at the Redington Butterstick, less expensive look at the Aventik rods on eBay.

Also consider the Eagle Claw Featherweight 3/4.

Luke_M310
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Re: Recommend a 3wt for Bluegill

Post by Luke_M310 » Tue Feb 09, 2021 11:35 am

Thanks for the responses so far.

I know next to nothing about fiberglass, but the Redington Butter Stick II did seem like something that would interest me for this particular need. The price tag on that is pretty appealing also (again, not knowing much about the fiberglass market and what is high end vs. low end). Echo River Glass looks to be the same price.

Some other non-glass rods that seem to be in a similar range include the Orvis Clearwater, Redington Vice, Echo Boost. I like that $250-$300 range - will certainly go for more if it's warranted, but I'll probably hard cap it around $500.

I do have 5wt, 6wt, and 8wt rods that I use to throw various heavier terrestrials, poppers, streamers, etc., so this rod will only be for targeting bluegill.

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Rusty Spinner
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Re: Recommend a 3wt for Bluegill

Post by Rusty Spinner » Tue Feb 09, 2021 12:26 pm

Luke_M310 wrote:
Tue Feb 09, 2021 11:35 am
Thanks for the responses so far.

I know next to nothing about fiberglass, but the Redington Butter Stick II did seem like something that would interest me for this particular need. The price tag on that is pretty appealing also (again, not knowing much about the fiberglass market and what is high end vs. low end). Echo River Glass looks to be the same price.

Some other non-glass rods that seem to be in a similar range include the Orvis Clearwater, Redington Vice, Echo Boost. I like that $250-$300 range - will certainly go for more if it's warranted, but I'll probably hard cap it around $500.

I do have 5wt, 6wt, and 8wt rods that I use to throw various heavier terrestrials, poppers, streamers, etc., so this rod will only be for targeting bluegill.
Not sure if you are on Facebook, but my buddy Bart has the best panfish on the fly site I know of: https://www.facebook.com/panfishonthefly
"A sinking fly is closer to Hell" - Unknown

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cappy
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Re: Recommend a 3wt for Bluegill

Post by cappy » Tue Feb 09, 2021 12:50 pm

Luke_M310 wrote:
Tue Feb 09, 2021 11:35 am
Thanks for the responses so far.

I know next to nothing about fiberglass, but the Redington Butter Stick II did seem like something that would interest me for this particular need. The price tag on that is pretty appealing also (again, not knowing much about the fiberglass market and what is high end vs. low end). Echo River Glass looks to be the same price.

Some other non-glass rods that seem to be in a similar range include the Orvis Clearwater, Redington Vice, Echo Boost. I like that $250-$300 range - will certainly go for more if it's warranted, but I'll probably hard cap it around $500.

I do have 5wt, 6wt, and 8wt rods that I use to throw various heavier terrestrials, poppers, streamers, etc., so this rod will only be for targeting bluegill.
You can spend $1K on a custom fiberglass rod if you wanted to. If your inclined to spend hundreds on a panfish rod take a look at Chris Barclay's site - http://cbarclayflyrods.com/

martalus
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Re: Recommend a 3wt for Bluegill

Post by martalus » Wed Feb 10, 2021 12:22 pm

I would argue that if you want to spend several hundred to a thousand on a rod to catch panfish, then you are more interested in having 'nice gear' than purely catching fish. Certainly that is your prerogative to have nice gear, but the sunnies won't mind if you use an $89 3 weight from Cabelas.

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BiggerThomas
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Re: Recommend a 3wt for Bluegill

Post by BiggerThomas » Thu Feb 11, 2021 2:25 pm

martalus wrote:
Wed Feb 10, 2021 12:22 pm
I would argue that if you want to spend several hundred to a thousand on a rod to catch panfish, then you are more interested in having 'nice gear' than purely catching fish. Certainly that is your prerogative to have nice gear, but the sunnies won't mind if you use an $89 3 weight from Cabelas.
Philosophers have never solved "The Problem of Other Minds" and with all respect, I doubt GST will. Just let the guy do what he wants.
Every Night & every Morn
Some to Misery are Born
Every Morn and every Night
Some are Born to sweet delight
Some are Born to sweet delight
Some are Born to Endless Night
___________________________
--William Blake, "Auguries of Innocence"

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Pete
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Re: Recommend a 3wt for Bluegill

Post by Pete » Thu Feb 11, 2021 3:20 pm

Personally, although I'm uncomfortable fishing a six foot (or shorter) fly rod, I've never felt at a disadvantage with a seven foot rod.
YMMV

Luke_M310
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Re: Recommend a 3wt for Bluegill

Post by Luke_M310 » Thu Feb 11, 2021 4:46 pm

More I read up on different options, more I'm leaning toward fiberglass, especially since this rod is only going to have one purpose, so I don't mind it being a bit of a novelty. Hopefully I'll be able to try some out before buying, though, since I've never casted glass and I'm sure it's a lot different from what I'm used to.

Vance
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Re: Recommend a 3wt for Bluegill

Post by Vance » Fri Feb 12, 2021 9:45 am

Hi, As for sunfish they do not care if you are 30 feet away or 6 feet away from them. They probably do not care if you are using a six foot rod or a nine foot rod. And I am sure that they do not care if the rod costs $20.00 or $200.00. Go to eBay to see what they have in a 3 weight or even a 4 weight. I have bought three rods on eBay and am satisfied with all of them. Bill the mailman

martalus
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Re: Recommend a 3wt for Bluegill

Post by martalus » Fri Feb 12, 2021 2:44 pm

Vance wrote:
Fri Feb 12, 2021 9:45 am
Hi, As for sunfish they do not care if you are 30 feet away or 6 feet away from them. They probably do not care if you are using a six foot rod or a nine foot rod. And I am sure that they do not care if the rod costs $20.00 or $200.00. Go to eBay to see what they have in a 3 weight or even a 4 weight. I have bought three rods on eBay and am satisfied with all of them. Bill the mailman
you must be cut from the same cloth as me!

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lightenup
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Re: Recommend a 3wt for Bluegill

Post by lightenup » Sat Feb 13, 2021 12:19 pm

Orvis makes a kid's fly rod. I bet it would be loads of fun with blue gills, although, they are snooty fish and would prefer you use a nice bamboo rod :D

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