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Moderator: Paul Arden
I live in the Midwest in the U.S and most people here fish for Salmon and Steelhead running out of the Great Lakes with single hand rods. The rivers are a lot smaller than your average Atlantic Salmon river. Most fly shops sell 7 or 8 weights for Steelhead and Coho and maybe an 8, 9 or 10 for Kings. My go to the last couple years has been a 6 weight Sage VXP and I have caught a good number of fish over 10 lbs with it without much problem. Like Lasse said a shorter rod will make it easier to fight and land the fish. I think too soft of a rod might make it hard to put pressure on fish if you really need to turn them. Hook size and design also plays a role. Depending on the river in Ireland you can use double hooks which will reduce the chance of the fish throwing the hook.
Landed a 5kg chinook last week on a 6 weight whilst fishing from a kayak. It took a while, and the fish towed me a long way, but I don’t think it would have been any easier with a heavier rod (and landing a big fish from a kayak is harder with a stiffer rod). Most of the time I played the fish with the rod nearly horizontal anyway, maximum pressure, bending in the butt section like you would do for a tarpon. The limiting factor is not breaking the leader, and that is not dependent on the size of the rod.