Winston Alpha+ 9' 7 Weight 790
7th Heaven - This is a beautiful and incredibly versatile 7 weight, with lots of power and incredible touch short range. This is our favorite local pond hopping rod when looking for big bass, carp, and the other variety of species swimming in these waters.
Winston has designed and built a number of fantastic 7 weights over the years, and this one is special. It is very powerful and quick to load up, easing fatigue when throwing streamers all day. The impressive versatility of this rod is evident on the light end with touch and feel similar to a smooth 6 weight. This rod can cast a large variety of line designs and styles thanks to its wonderful taper. See below for recommendations.
-First, what line you put on this rod is going to dictate what it can do. That’s true with every rod, however not many rods will be throwing baby rainbow trout imitations for breakfast and PMD emergers for lunch. This is a rod where having a couple different floating lines available is a good idea for completely different pursuits.
-On the sink tip/sinking line spectrum, it likes a line lighter than anticipated depending on the range desired. No more than 250 grains for a sink tip 24' tip. We love the Rio Premier 24' 200 grain.
-Like the larger Alpha+ rods, it is very light and nimble. For a reel, do not be scared to pick out a large arbor, 6 weight sized reel to make this combo as dreamy as possible, especially as a trout stick. If you are looking for it to cross over into salt/warmwater with meatier lines, more capacity is needed depending on reel model.
-Rio Elite Predator Floating WF7F - For doing any bass work or streamer work in the shallows or on the surface, this is a great fit. This is the where the Alpha+ separates itself from the Bllx series. Typically, with aggressive tapers, the Bllx wouldn’t be very happy and would need to be lined down accordingly. The Alpha+ has no issue here.
-Rio 24’ 200-250 - Each grain weight here fishes very well, with the 200 being a bit more dainty. The 250 loads the rod instantly, and is a great choice with bulkier flies and windy conditions.
-Rio Flats Pro WF7F - All things flats and inshore fishing line that shines on the Alpha and throws the darts needed with typical flats flies.
-Rio Elite Predator FLT/HVR/INT 7WT - This is a really solid line for this rod, but I would suggest not getting into the sinking versions beyond the INT tip unless you are specifically looking for an aggressive presentation and have used sink tips extensively in the past. Which thus would fit you into the 8 weight Alpha+ category most likely.
-Rio Jungle Taper WF7F and sink options - HOT WEATHER line, and absolutely beautiful taper for the Alpha. Summer bass line in the south and warmer climates with an ideal taper for long and short range presentations with big streamers.
-Dry Fly Line Rio Perception 7 Weight - This is one of the most useful tapers available making it a great match as trout line for the Alpha+7. It can even handle some streamer fishing, but is a perfect fit when used for dry fly and nymph fishing.