Odds 'n' Sods of Information and Opinion

Every fly fisher should own a spinning rod

No really! I haven't used spinning gear for 25 years and thought I never would. When I joined Loomis, I also joined Shimano and I began feeling guilty that I really hadn't paid enough attention to the conventional tackle side of the business. So this summer I decided to change that.

In past years on our Cape Cod trip, we've had days where conditions were crappy and though we could technically fly fish, we weren't going to catch anything plus the experience would be unpleasant. So this year I decided to bring a surf stick with me, Shimano's medium power 10' 6"
Tiralejo surf rod and Ultegra 5500 CI4 surf reel. With this tackle, I wouldn't be at the mercy of wind and waves. Little did I know that I would really enjoy the fishing and that I ended up using it even when conditions were OK for fly fishing.

Now I have five spinning rods and reels covering bass, steelhead and the surf. The tackle has made such huge strides since I last used spinning gear, that I was surprised by the smoothness and sophistication of it all. Fishing unweighted soft plastics has a lot of the feel of fishing a fly, so much so that I even swing them. I may have a spinning rod in my hands, but I still think and present like a fly fisher.

Today is a perfect example of why spinning gear can be such a benefit to us. The wind is up with gusts over 50 km/h and not too many people would be out there with a fly rod, though a few of us crazies have been known to do it. Same thing when the river is up and dirty after a rain storm. Having spinning gear extends my fishing days into those with less than great conditions. I could sit at home or I could go fish with a spinning rod. Seems like a no-brainer to me.

Here's a nice Grand River 15" smallie caught on a
Jackall Glossy Shad soft plastic. The reel in the picture is a 2500 sized Stradic CI4+ mounted on a 7' 6" Compre jig and worm rod. My rod has EVA handles vs. the cork shown in the link. I now have this reel mounted on a Zodias medium light 7' rod using 10 lb. Super 8 Slick PowerPro as that's a better choice for unweighted plastics. The Compre has since been set up with a 4000 sized Symetre reel and 15 lb. PowerPro as a better alternative for fishing weighted plastics.

I'll be publishing more about my steelheading adventures with spinning gear as the season progresses.

smallie and stradic


This nice 17" Grand River smallie came on the same Silver Shad as the one above, landed on the 7' Zodias and Stradic CI4+ 2500. I'm like a kid in a candy store with this combo. The Zodias rod is so light and sensitive that it casts an unweighted plastic very far and takes an excellent bend with a one pounder on the end.

smallie 17