I have found myself enjoying small stream fishing more this year. Whether its a stream full of wild brook trout that top out at eight inches, or a small spring creek that might have a 24 inch rainbow lurking under its banks, I love them all. Over the past couple years I have spent a lot of time fishing different types of small stream rods, most of which were 3wts. In this post I am going to give you a brief review of six different rods that I have fished.
1. Scott G2 883-4
Its been a while since I fished this rod, but I can still remember how much fun it was to fish. A perfect small stream dry fly rod. I would say that its only fault is that its not a very good nymphing rod. It is a very soft rod, that will lay a dry fly down anywhere you direct it.
2. Scott A4 803-4
Most of our client rods are A4s, and I have not had a single person speak poorly about them. A couple of my buddies bought this rod specifically for small stream situations, and love them. It is a little on the fast side, so you can nymph and toss streamers well with it. But its a 3wt, so by nature it will still present a dry fly with precision.
3. Winston BIIIX 863-4
This one is new to me, but talking to a couple of the guys at the shop, I can say its a great small to medium stream rod. It has a nice backbone to be accurate at distance, with great line pick up. Steve from Bryn Mawr loves his, and said to me the other day "its a perfect rod for PA Spring Creeks". I would have to agree.
4.Winston BIIILS 803-4
This rod has a lot of the same pros and cons of the G2, it is very slow, but a beautiful rod for small brook trout streams. It can be a little weak in the wind, or with multiple flies on the line. A great dry fly rod, or very small unweighted streamer rod. So if you prefer hiking into the backwoods and tossing royal wulffs or stimulators, this is the rod for you!
5. Orvis Helios 2 842-4
Where to begin, this has to me my personal favorite. Yes it is a 2wt, but its a powerful 2wt, and can handle just about anything you throw at it. It will toss streamers, dry dropper rigs, and even straight double nymph rigs with an indicator. You can toss this rod a mile, and with a thicker butt section it adds a bit of leverage to fighting those bigger small stream fish. It is also a great PA Trico rod.
The Recon is the newest rod added to the Orvis line this past year. It is the stiffer brother to the super fine. This rod is perfect for small stream fishing with streamers and heavier nymph rigs. It will present a dry fly with ease, but is better for bigger bugs or windy days.