Q: I have an older 7-weight rod that I use to fish for spot-tail and trout with Clousers. I would really like to start using poppers with this rod, but I'm having problems loading the rod with these types of flies. Should I try using a larger line weight? What do you think about using an intermediate line instead of a floating line?
James Island, South Carolina
A: Without seeing you cast your rod, it's difficult to analyze your problem. You should use a floating line, since an intermediate line would tend to sink a popper. A 7-weight line is a little light for casting poppers designed for salt water. If you continue using the 7-weight rod, you might have better luck if you start throwing a 9-weight line.