Perfect Setup - Big River Steelhead

Jeff Putman

Here is my perfect setup for fishing steelhead on Idaho rivers like the Salmon where the typical casting and fishing distance is 40-80 feet and fish average 8-10 lbs. This outfit handles long 15’ mono leaders with surface waking flies as well as fishing large, heavy tubes down deep with a mow tip.

ROD // MOD 6130

I really enjoy the deep flex and quick recovery of the two-handed MOD series. This rod loads deep and recovers quick and crisp unleashing plenty of energy to fish everything I throw at it. Fighting fish is by far my favorite. I can easily turn larger fish with a low side angle lift making for a quick fight and release.


The drag is smooth and reliable even during those cold freezing early mornings. I can trust that the immediate startup drag tension will handle a lighting quick steelhead grab and long hard runs. The physical weight of this outfit is well balanced and the color coordination with the MOD rocks!

LINE // RIO Scandi Body 6/7 with .032 ConnectCore Running Line

Throws my steelhead flies with finesse even 4” leeches with a medium mow tip attached to the body. Spey Versa Leaders are simple to and allow me to fish traditional hair wings at any depth. This line is super versatile and will handle changing conditions. 

This is my perfect outfit when fishing Idaho’s steelhead country.