Q: What rod weight do you recommend for the Davidson, New and French Broad Rivers if one were to want a heavier trout and light bass rod?
A: I should begin this answer by saying Trout and Bass are very different fish, and when trying to cover both species with a single rod it is impossible to cover all aspects of both fish. When you do this you can adequately cover the Bass but it becomes a more specialized rod for trout. For example, Davidson River fish can be very particular when it comes to fly and tippet size. A good bass rod, for slinging large poppers, and soft plastics, does not play well with fine tippets. It does however make a great streamer rod. That being said, my choice for a rod for all three would definitely be a medium/fast to a fast action rod. This helps throw bigger flies, and also increases the hook penetration on the hook set. I would also stay with a longer rod in the 8.5′ to 9′ range. This along with the faster action allows you to cast easier into wind that sometimes pops up on the more open Bass water. It can also allow for more action on the retrieve and allow you to avoid numerous currents when fishing bigger water. The weight range can be where the biggest difference between trout and bass can occur. My choice would be a rod in the 6-8 weight category. For Bass I would not venture below this. Smallmouth are notoriously the hardest fighting freshwater fish there is, and I have seen rods taken home in splinters. The A3 by Scott in 9′ 6wt would be one of my rods of choice. The guides on this rod are even set up to deal with salt water if you so decide. They are cannons, and can cast wonderfully into the wind. Feel free to stop in one of our shops to test cast one of our rods to see which multi-species rod is right for you!!