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I am looking to pick up a 4 wt. for the possibility of fishing trout and maybe having some fun with reds and sheepies in the winter. If I was flats only with it....I'd go with a 9'. The trout that I would be possibly working would be Franklin, NC....Rabun County, GA, Connecticut....and Sedona, Arizona. A 4 wt. will be fin but I was wondering what length would be best for those situations.....I am thinking 8'6" because of the smaller streams.....but at the same time....it will get used on the flats more than with trout. I need opinions....thanks!
 

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i use a 7'6" 4wt for trout and bass fishing. i find the short length helps a lot on the small streams i fish in pennsylvania and i can still get a good 40' cast with the rod with a small streamer. the shorter rod won't make to much of a difference and as long as the flies you use for red fishing aren't to big or heavy then you should be able to get a good 40-50' as long as your casting is good. also you may want to consider using a one size larger line for the rod when red fishing because that will help you get some extra distance/
 

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Brandon, FL
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I grew up on streams like that. I use a 7' or 7'6" but here is where I would give you a different course.

Since these situations are part time and not an everyday occurance, get a rod for these situations only. A decent rod can be had for $100 or less.

Get a reel for it and use the reel for your everyday use and transfer when needed.

If those streams are anything like where I fish then the 4 will not be enough. I can be fishing all day, catching 10-12 inchers and then the hatch starts and the 20"+ come out and all you do is tie on new tippets.
 

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When I lived in the Carolinas and fished around Asheville a lot I would use a 9' 4 weight. It's actually a little bit counter intuitive but on the really tight streams the long rod allows you to roll cast and manage your line a lot better. There isn't any room for a back-cast. On many SE streams you will be doing a lot on dink and flip fishing where you literally have a couple feet of line and your leader beyond the tip-top and your just lifting and dropping your fly in pockets and cuts around rocks and branches. .

As far as using a 4wt. on the flats I don't really think the line is heavy enough to carry any size fly for that type of fishing. It probably won't be able to throw anything bigger than a panfish popper. It's really easy to overpower a 4 weight with even small streamers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My redfish and sheepshead flies that I will be throwing are very small....probably more like bonefish flies. When trout fishing, I hope to mostly throw drys.
 

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I responded to the thread on the other forum as well, i love my reddingtin CT treated me well the last year and a half many trout, ladys, small jacks, sheeps will come soon, also gar bass and panfish gar also served well in PA many smallmouth bass and it even handled a 34"carp
 

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Apples to Oranges...

I agree 95% with BadKnotGuy. I’ve fished Davidson River, NC a few times (wish I could make it an annual trip). I like a 9' medium action rod as opposed to the fast action rod you need for throwing bonefish flies. A fast action rod on a small stream will drive you insane because you will go through a lot of flies, and a medium action rod on the flats will really mess with your saltwater casting.

For small stream trout fishing, I like the longer rod because you can keep the tip up higher for nymphing/mending/roll casting/etc. You need the medium action because you will be using very light tippet, 6x or lighter, and need the extra bend to adsorb shock. Some of the flies we use up there are size 20 or smaller.
 

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I suggest you cast both. I have a 9' 4wt that has a lot more a$$ than a 8'6" 5wt from the same company in the same series. Personally I'd go with the 9' just because you know you will be pushing the envelope in SW with both flies and wind.

Swamp
 

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Light, Strong, Cheap. Pick Two.
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Haha, seems there are an infinate number of opinions. Here's mine. All the appalacian trout fishing I do is via backpacking. I like to hike into streams because most people are too lazy to do so. My rod of choice for these smaller limited access streams is a 7' 4pc 5wt medium action rod.   You dont have to get much line out at all (10-15ft)in these smaller streams.  Especially when fishing dry flies.  You only want to be casting 15' or so with them.  Once your line starts pulling the fly in the current the fish wont hit it. The smalier rod is a huge advantage because it packs in with my tent poles and I dont have to worry about it.

However if your going to be fishing from a drift boat or wading on bigger water like the Hiawassee, 9' would be the way to go to be able to make longer casts and keep thefly line up and out of the water.
 

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I am looking to pick up a 4 wt. for the possibility of fishing trout and maybe having some fun with reds and sheepies in the winter. If I was flats only with it....I'd go with a 9'. The trout that I would be possibly working would be Franklin, NC....Rabun County, GA, Connecticut....and Sedona, Arizona. A 4 wt. will be fin but I was wondering what length would be best for those situations.....I am thinking 8'6" because of the smaller streams.....but at the same time....it will get used on the flats more than with trout. I need opinions....thanks!
I fish pretty exclusively with a four wt that is 7’6 in western NC. I think it’s just a little easier moving around with a smaller rod. I’m also fishing fiberglass however
 

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I might be reading this wrong, but are you suggesting using a 4 wt in the salt for redfish. If I’m understanding this correctly, you will be way under gunned. You need two totally opposite rod for what your asking. I’m reading everyone’s response and think they are giving only a response for the trout side. As for redfish I use a 6 wt on calm days and on a little windy day I’m reaching for 8 wt maybe 9 wt. Reds hear in Charleston will put a hurt on a 4 wt and will put a hurt on the reds. If I’m interpreting the OP’s question wrong I’m sorry. As for where I fish in NC mountains a 4 wt will be good. 9 wt for most spots. A little shorter on smaller streams. Longer for me. I’d rather have it for the reach.
 

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I fish a 9’ 4wt for trout and use it occasionally in the fall/winter in the salt when the winds are low and I’m not in any open water, hard to stop them if they have the whole bay🤷‍♂️.

I don’t know the water you would be fishing but I don’t think 6” would make a very big difference if you’re fishing smaller stuff.
 

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I don’t think one rod will suffice for the fishing you plan to use it for. SW streams are small and tight. You either use a short, slow action rod to make an overhand cast or as mentioned use a longer rod for tight lining/roll cast. My go to SW rod is a 3wt 7’6” Orvis Superfine Carbon for dries/nymphs backed up with an 5wt 8’6” BVK for open water and heavier nymphs/light streamers. A 4wt might be able to toss a #6 or #8 charlie, add any wind to the equation and it will be a disaster. Maybe just pick up a cheap Cabela’s glass or a classic trout and use it just for trout/pond work.
 

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I was in a similar situation a little while back. I had been using my 6 weight more than often than my other rods and wanted something lighter to crossover for trout/panfish. Given, the rod is getting more use here in Florida than trout streams, I went with a 9 footer. The rod had been a blast so far! Casting poppers, small clousers and other baitfish patterns (size 6 and 8) are definitely in the cards!
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Not a lot of difference between a 8'6 and 9' rod, I have 4wts that are 8'8", and 7'6". I like the smaller rods for North Carolina, the longer rod is great for bigger streams out west. I don't use either for saltwater, in my opinion they are just to light to land most saltwater fish quickly. I use a 6wt for light saltwater action.
 

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I can’t recommend the Hardy Zephrus 8’6” #4 enough. Casts a dry fly like a dream, but has enough beans to crossover to small streamers and dry-dropper rigs. Primarily fish in NC but this one was from my last trip to Montana.
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I don’t know if there’s a rod out there that exists that would do what you are talking about well. All of the small stream creeking in those locations would probably be optimized with a shorter 4wt, such as an 8’4 Scott Gs, which is an incredible small stream 4wt. But there’s not an 8’4-8’6 4wt in existence that I’m aware of that would cast even say a size 8 Gotcha or any flats styled fly with that much efficiency. Maybe if you over lined to a 5wt you could have more success. But the difference between most “stream oriented” short 4wts and the 9ft 4wts can be surprising.
 

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8'6" or 9' 4 wt Centric might work. There isn't a huge difference between the 8'6" and the 9', the shorter having a slightly lighter swing weight.
 

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8'6" or 9' 4 wt Centric might work. There isn't a huge difference between the 8'6" and the 9', the shorter having a slightly lighter swing weight.
That’s right. I’ve heard the 8’6 4wt Centric can really dial in some flat loops. I have casted the 9ft 4wt Centric and it was incredible.
 
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