Rods & Lines

The most flexible rod for alls sorts of fishing is a 9ft to 9,6ft for a 5wt line. It works well in windy conditions, but a proper 5wt line is also suitable for a careful dry fly presentation. 

The by far most versatile line is a DT floating line, a little bit out of fashion, but when fishing at Skålestrømmen you will quickly learn that presentation is 95% of the job. 2% is fly choice, the rest is luck ;-). 

So try to get a good, meaning true to the AFTMA standards 5 weight line. The AFTMA standard describes for the weight of the line, exactly as the wording 5 weight line suggests.

Weight forward lines nowadays are more than often not sticking to the AFTMA standard. Selling a heavier line often comes buttered and snake-oiled with marketing terminology of some marketing wizard at the xxxxxx company just trying to fool you into believing that overloading rod actually helps it’s performance. I won’t name any, but- sadly – it is all of the big names. 

This is a lot of BS of course. It might feel easier to cast for a novice, but distance is not everything, specially when paying the price with loss of control and poor mending.

You can read about the AFTMA Standard here –

Fly presentation is the operative word in fly fishing, specifically when trying to imitate natural food items like floating insects or free drifting nymphs. A 9m heavy belly on a falsely labeled 5wt line doe not help you very much catching fish. 

Yes, It might be easily chucked a bit further than you were able to do before, but try to manipulate the drift of your lure with a by drastic change of mass / diameter disconnected front part of your line. You can just chuck it out and then watch and hope. 

That is why I advise getting hold of a DT line. They tend to be labelled correctly and you never loose that ever so important contact to your fly and ability to control it’s drift. 

Rods – well, you’d be amazed how much easier even a lower priced rod is to fish with the aforementioned DT line, but the finite happiness and biiiig smile on your face is achieved by a really well designed and manufactured rod with a matching line.

My personal setup is a 5wt P% made by Stickman rods of Hungary, my backup is a 4wt Sexyloops HT4 designed and manufactured by Paul Arden of For the 5wt I have 3 lines – all made by Barrio FlyLines – a Mallard 5wt DT, a 5wt sink tip and a 5wt intermediate sinking line. That setup gives me a lot of options, including fishing the salt.

For still days and tricky fish I use a Stickman P3, 9,6ft for a 3wt line strung with a Barrio 3wt DT floating line. The lighter, also meaning “softer” rod helps to keep those hard & smart fighting Skålestrømmen trout in the hook. 

I knot my own leaders as well for more control, so I achieve to extend the aforementioned control when fishing all the way to the fly.