Though I’ve had the highly anticipated Searcher 105 (10 foot 5 weight) Light Steelhead rod for 3 weeks, I finally was able to do a thorough test and fish it last weekend on the Lower Yuba River. Compared to its younger siblings in the 3 and 4 weight ranges, the 105 is a much beefier rod that really surprised me by its performance. The 105’s design was intended to be a Euro nymphing rod for large trout/steelhead, but in reality, it is a very versatile and efficient tool for big water like the Yuba.
Dry Flies: When I first held the 105 Searcher and flexed it, I had a feeling that it would be a decent dry fly rod. Well, I was kind of right, but I did not realize it would surpass my expectations for such. I attached a Sage Spectrum LT 5/6 reel spooled up with a RIO Perception 5wt. weight forward floating line and fished the Skwala hatch making near to far presentations. Wow! I was impressed to say the least. For far off targets, it could shoot out line with a high level of accuracy in the 50 to 70 foot range. The coolest aspect of the 105 Searcher when fishing dry flies is the fact that the softer tip protects light tippets during the hook set, and while fighting fish. That’s a real bonus.
Indicator Nymphing: Because the 105 Searcher excels with a heavier rig, it is the perfect boat rod when fishing multi fly indicator rigs with added split shot on big rivers like the Lower Yuba, or the Lower Sacramento. It is able to mend large amounts of line effortlessly, and water loaded casts are a breeze to present. The more I fished the 105, the more I realized that it truly is in a class of its own and very unique compared to the rest of the Searcher line.
Streamers: I did not get a chance to chuck big heavy streamers with the 105 Searcher, nor did I get to test it with sink tips, or full sinking lines. Though, I have a feeling it would be good for such. The 105 is just plain strong, and with the hardy back bone it employs, it could well be a very effective streamer rod, especially out of a boat. I’m also betting it would make a really good stillwater rod as well. I’ll keep testing it for these latter techniques and venues in the near future.
My overall opinion of the 105 Searcher is good to great. It can do it all for large fish/steelhead, and because of its lightweight, you’ll be able to fish it all day without much fatigue. It fights large fish very well allowing the user to have complete control of the situation, while reeling in the prized catch quickly. If you fish the big tailwaters or the coastal rivers of the west coast, you might want to have this rod in your arsenal. $240, comes with an extra tip and a case.
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