When preparing for a trip to Alaska, we receive a lot of questions from our guests about gear. Not surprisingly, one of the most common questions we receive is, “what size rod should I bring?” Great question!
We fish for a whole bunch of different species at Kulik Lodge including rainbow trout, lake trout, Arctic char, grayling, five species of Pacific salmon, and even pike. Although each species might warrant different size rods, if we had to pick just one fly rod to ‘do it all,’ it would be a 7 weight.
Being located in the middle of one of the most diverse and productive rainbow trout fisheries on the planet, many of our first time guests assume a 5 or 6 weight rod would be the tool of choice. After all, a 5 or 6 weight rod is most commonly used when targeting trout in the lower 48. However, while a 5 or 6 weight rod can be used in Alaska, we find the extra backbone of a 7 weight to do a better job at turning over heavy and/or wind-resistant flies (something we use a lot of at Kulik) without compromising presentation when tossing lighter flies like dry flies and fry patterns (something also commonly used at Kulik). Plus, with a potential to tie into trout up to ten pounds of more, as well as the very real possibility of hooking into a rogue salmon, a little extra butt section can be a huge help.
Many of our guests also use 7 weights when targeting some salmon species (sockeye, chums, pink, and silver salmon) and pike as well. Although larger rods in the 8 or 9 weight range can make easier work of casting heavy flies/rigs and fighting larger species, a 7 weight is able to get the job done in most circumstances.
So, if you’re planning a trip to Alaska, consider adding a 7 weight to your quiver. We don’t leave home without it!
Don’t want to spend your hard earned on a new rod? That’s okay too, we’re able to outfit all of our guests with rods, reels, waders, you name it!