The Loop Newspaper - Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

By Craig R. Stockton
Owner of Treasures eConsignment 

Sierra trout time

One Man's Passion


Here we are again, its spring and the Sierra Trout season is in full swing. DFG did their trout plants last fall giving the latest arrivals the full fall and winter to adapt and grow. If you haven’t made the trip yet and you like to fish without crowds, now through early June is the time to make plans and book a campsite or one of the local hotels or motels. I know a lot of you are regular readers and have been following this series for some time but I thought a review might be in order, or for the newbie this might help with some lingering questions.

If you are a trout fisherperson most likely you have the equipment you need and have used for many years. However, like any hobby, newer and greater gear has become available and it might be time to take a step back and rethink the “old gear” and plan for its retirement. I am always looking at what the new rod and reel companies are marketing, and every year the quality and availability gets better.Lures are “new and improved” and line is thinner and softer. I have been a died-in-the-wool kind of guy when it comes to my rods and reels. I happen to prefer G. Loomis rods and Shimano reels for most of my fishing. I have however been using a great series of trout rods from Phoenix Rod Co. Their Elixir Series of rods are light, have great power to action ratios and are not over priced for the performance you get.

I happen to love longer action rods in the 7’ to 8’ length. If you want to cast small lures long distance and really enjoy fighting fish, these rods are awesome. They are light weight, very sensitive and well made. These longer rods are of course lake rods and not stream rods where overhanging tree and brush have to be contended with. Good news is that Phoenix makes these rods in shorter models for whatever topography you are dealing with. As for reels there are a number of manufactures out there that make good to great reels. I have been partial to Shimano for 30 years and will most likely remain so. But, I have just used, out of necessity, a reel I thought I would never use, Okuma. To my surprise the reel was smooth, handled fish well, drags were adequate for the fish I was catching, and none of the usual problems that can plague the less expensive reels. Three days of work in the salt water and no problems to report, with a reasonable price tag of $30.00.

The line you choose for spinning reels is one of the most important choices you can make. No matter how good the rod and reel are, if the line is not suitable for the size spool and conditions you are fishing in, it can spell DISASTER! Soft line for small spools is an absolute necessity. Larger diameter line on small spools in cold water and air will make the line that much worse, allowing it to jump off the spool and rats nest on you very quickly. No line, no fishing, it’s that simple. Buy the best quality line for your reels - it always pays off. Braided lines are very popular these days and for good reason, they are thinner, softer and cast further than monofilament and fluorocarbon.

I use braided lines on any of my reels for the above reasons plus the sensitivity it has is amazing. You can make longer casts and feel the bite out as far as you can cast. Most folks who use braided line tie on a mono or fluorocarbon leader, and you’re good to go. As for lures, you may have a personal favorite you use, year after year. Bear in mind that after a few seasons you might consider replacing or sharpening the hooks. Sharp hooks are the connection between your success with the fish. You’ve heard that age old story of “the one that got away”. If they aren’t sharp you might as well be using rubber hooks.

Till next time, tight lines!


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