Destination angling is where we hang our hat here at Deneki Outdoors, we are incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to operate in two very different fisheries in the Northern Hemisphere. With such a large variety of species to target, it’s important to have rods that will hold up to the task and perform under pressure.
A great traveling pair and popular with many destination anglers is to have 8 and 10 weight rods in their quiver. Combined, they can handle a multitude of species ranging in size and weight.
At both of our Alaskan lodges (Rapids Camp & Alaska West) we use 8 weight rods to primarily fish for chum, sockeye, and silver salmon. And if you haven’t fished for large trophy rainbow trout or char in Bristol Bay, 8 weight rods are a go-to set up. There will be instances where an 8 weight will feel over gunned but just give it some time and another cast, that fish of a lifetime will be flexing your rod to the cork before you know it. You can certainly opt for lighter rods but 8’s cast well in heavy winds and handle sink tips nicely.
Stepping it up to 10 weight rods, Alaskan King salmon are typically the appropriate species. True, much of the time we’re fishing spey rods for Kings but there are situations when there’s simply no substitution for a single-hander. Early season sometimes bring high water from a heavy snowfall year and gravel bars end up under the surface. No worries though, just stay in the boat and swing or strip the main channel and sloughs.
Moving on to warmer waters and again, if you had to pick two rods to travel with, an 8 and a 10 are a great choice. In the Bahamas, 8 weights rods are the most common for chasing bonefish. Some anglers do prefer a 9 weight when the winds are strong but the majority of rods we see are 8’s. They’re pretty much the norm and have the ability to handle single and double-digit fish.
When planning for a trip to our Andros South Lodge, anglers will often ask, should I bring a 10 weight? And the answer is always, yes! There are so many saltwater species out there and on a rural Island such as South Andros, you just don’t know what you’re going to encounter. We always tell our guests, bring that 10 weight and have it strung up in the boat. We typically have lots of shots at big barracuda, an occasional permit sighting and if you join us later in the season, there is a migrator run of tarpon over on the Westside. And so you might ask, how can I be prepared to encounter all of those different species with only one rod? Here’s an article we wrote several to help you in those situations, the ‘quick change’.
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