I was going to wait until it was closer to spring to post this, but as with most fish-related things, my brain tends to get stuck on a subject and won’t stop thinking about it.
Anyway, I’d like to get myself a devoted Redhorse rod for the Great Lakes spring run this year. I think I know the approximate specs I’m looking for in the rod, but wanted to run it by those of you that have more years of experience with these fish than I do.
I’ll be fishing creeks anywhere from 10-40 feet across and water anywhere from 2-6 feet deep. This is almost entirely sight fishing, and very rarely do I have to fish these streams blind. My rig last year was a 12# fluoro leader with a size 2 octopus circle hook and one or two of those jumbo tin splitshot to stay sitting on the bottom. I used my 8’6” med-heavy jigging rod and it was perfect for big Silvers, but too heavy for most of the other fish.
There’s White Suckers as well as Silver, Golden, Black, and Shorthead Redhorse in these streams over the course of the run. The smallest fish I’ve seen/caught are Whites and Goldens around 14-15” long, and most of the Redhorse & Whites are anywhere from the mid teens to low twenties in length. There’s also the occasional jumbo White or Shorthead in the mid twenties. If I was just fishing for these species, I’d definitely go for a light power rod. However, for a few weeks during the overall run, there’s Silvers present more massive than I’ve ever seen elsewhere. Average length for these guys is low-mid twenties, and upper twenties fish aren’t rare at all. Dunfee and I each caught one around the ten pound mark last year, and we’ve each seen fish in the 12-15+ pound range.
So, I definitely don’t want to go too heavy for the Whites and smaller Redhorse that constitute the majority of the fish present, but I don’t want to be underpowered for those huge Silvers and the occasional mega-White or Shorthead. That said, I’d rather go a bit too light for the large fish and just have to play them out, than too heavy for the small-average size fish and yank them to the net in seconds.
I’m thinking a 9’ graphite rod, either med-light or medium power, and fast or mod-fast action (don’t want the action to be too soft since I’m always using circle hooks). Line-wise, I’ll probably go with straight 8 or 10 pound mono, depending on the rod. (Dunfee and I both used 12 pound mono and fluoro last year, so these fish aren’t too line shy). Thoughts, suggestions, advice?
A few of the specific rods I’ve been looking at include the G. Loomis E6X Steelhead Drift, Daiwa Acculite, Okuma SST, Ugly Stik Elite Salmon/Steelhead, Shimano Convergence Salmon/Steelhead, and Lamiglas X-11. Most of them are either 6-12# or 8-12# rated rods. Anyone ever used any of them, or have suggestions for other ones?
Thanks in advance for the help, everyone. And sorry for the novel of information I left above haha.