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Thread: Spey Rod suggestions

  1. #1
    Member LItoAK's Avatar
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    Default Spey Rod suggestions

    I am interested in getting into Spey casting. It looks like a lot of fun and the space you save (behind you) seems like it could get me into more places to fish. My only concern is the price on the setup. Is there anyone who has purchased a setup for under $500? If so let me know what brand. I have looked on TFO's web site and they sell 2 handed rods for around $300 or $400. Also can I use a regular fly rod reel with a spey rod, or do I need to purchase a special reel?

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    I use an OKuma Integraty 11/12 weight as my spey reel on my 7 wt switcher, the trick is to have a reel big enough to handle the amount of thick line you will need. Use a shooting head system for your lines to save money. Its worth it in the end when you are throwing 70 foot casts effortlessly... Good luck
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    Check out Temple Fork. Can't beat the warranty, and the quality is simply amazing. And yeah, I'm comparing them with the Sages I also own.

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    Look at Echo and Beulah rods as well. In regards to the reel, you need to have a big enough reel to carry a 150-200 yards of backing and depending on what style of line you are going to use you will have to figure around another 120'. My recommendation would be to go with a skagit setup, this is a short heavy head line that requires a shorter casting stroke, good for little back room on the d loop, and will cast heavy flies and sink tips well.

    There is a lot to learn about spey rods and casting, there is much more to them than a single hander. Once you get it dialed in and get your timing and casting strokes dialed in, there is nothing more beautiful to watch and cast than a spey....period. Big long casts and a nice deep swing will produce a lot of big takes, and there is nothing better than a big tug from a big trout!!
    "The Tug is the Drug"

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    Default Spey Rods

    I just read about some new spey rods for 2010 in this:

    http://www.midcurrent.com/articles/g...rods_2010.aspx

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    I've been using spey rods for the last 30 years, and all talk of casting aside, their biggest advantage is for mending line. You'll simply catch a whole lot more fish with more control of the line between you and the fly once the line hits the water. Shorter rods simply won't mend as well. Switch rods are somewhere in between, but speys are king for mending.

    I just checked and Temple Fork is getting $350 for their Deer Creek speys, and I'll throw them right alongside all the others I own that cost twice as much or more. Just dandy, dandy rods for casting AND for fishing.

    Here's an interesting tidbit for you:

    Gary Loomis sold his company a number of years ago, and someone else has been making Loomis rods ever since, with no new models or technology to speak of since the sale.

    Guess who Temple Fork recently hired as their chief rod designer?

    Gary Loomis!

    The good old days are here again wearing a new hat.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by LItoAK View Post
    I am interested in getting into Spey casting. It looks like a lot of fun and the space you save (behind you) seems like it could get me into more places to fish. My only concern is the price on the setup. Is there anyone who has purchased a setup for under $500? If so let me know what brand. I have looked on TFO's web site and they sell 2 handed rods for around $300 or $400. Also can I use a regular fly rod reel with a spey rod, or do I need to purchase a special reel?
    I suggest you get a used rod; spey-casting is not a piece of cake and alot of people get frustrated with doing it right, and real-world conditions of flow and wind, give it up and trade in their rods; those that are able to do it well trade-up their rods - to the better spey brands (Meiser and Burkheimer). All the shops around me have ~6 or so trade-in speys or switches for sale at good prices; and you can give it a whirl. The reels (as well as the lines) are different, usually larger size large arbor, and/or heavier, sometimes with optional counterweight inserts to balance the extra length and weight of the rod (as in the case of the Galvan torque).

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    I have one week of spey time so I'm far from an authority but I'll offer my take. Find somebody who has spey gear and spey talent and pick their brain. Go fishing with them. You'll be lost without some basic hands-on instruction. Plus you'll get some idea of what you can do with it as well as what you may not prefer to do with it. It was a lot of fun learning to lay a fly right under a cut bank way over yonder and be able to mend a considerable length of line. After about 30-45 minutes of doing it your arms will ache from the new motion, the leverage of the rod, and the total weight. It isn't unbearable but you'll notice it. As far as gear goes? I'd be lost trying to figure out what I'd want to start with. The guys I was with had bags of lines, heads, and leaders. Their gear was way beyond what I take for one-hander fishing. To estimate their investment in gear would be a total guess but I assure you that their lines alone blew through the $500 mark without slowing down. Spey looks like a financial commitment to me. I enjoyed it but my normal fishing doesn't require it. I need more hands-on time before I can rationalize pulling the trigger. It sure was fun, though. It'll improve your roll casting with your one-hander, too.

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    Member Nukalpiaq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LItoAK View Post
    I am interested in getting into Spey casting. It looks like a lot of fun and the space you save (behind you) seems like it could get me into more places to fish. My only concern is the price on the setup. Is there anyone who has purchased a setup for under $500? If so let me know what brand. I have looked on TFO's web site and they sell 2 handed rods for around $300 or $400. Also can I use a regular fly rod reel with a spey rod, or do I need to purchase a special reel?
    Just wondering what your target species would be since there are different rod weights, lengths and so forth depending on your preferred species.
    As for basic instruction, if you don't have someone to teach you here are a few titles to some videos out on the market. I found them to be very informative. There may be more titles available.

    The Essence of Spey Casting by Mel Kreiger
    Jim Vincent's Basic Spey & Two Handed Fly Rod Casting
    The Art & Science of Spey Casting Part One by Mike Maxwell
    Spey Masterclass with Derek Brown
    International Spey Casting A Scott Nelson Video Production

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    I've been using spey rods for the last 30 years, and all talk of casting aside, their biggest advantage is for mending line. You'll simply catch a whole lot more fish with more control of the line between you and the fly once the line hits the water. Shorter rods simply won't mend as well. Switch rods are somewhere in between, but speys are king for mending.

    I just checked and Temple Fork is getting $350 for their Deer Creek speys, and I'll throw them right alongside all the others I own that cost twice as much or more. Just dandy, dandy rods for casting AND for fishing.

    Here's an interesting tidbit for you:

    Gary Loomis sold his company a number of years ago, and someone else has been making Loomis rods ever since, with no new models or technology to speak of since the sale.

    Guess who Temple Fork recently hired as their chief rod designer?

    Gary Loomis!

    The good old days are here again wearing a new hat.
    Gary Loomis has formed a new company called North Fork and he will be selling graphite fly rod blanks soon.

    http://northforkcomposites.com/nfc_catalogv1.04.pdf

  11. #11

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    Good that he's back in the swing. I'm betting his sale of the company included a non-competition clause, and that's expired now.

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    Member LItoAK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nukalpiaq View Post
    Just wondering what your target species would be since there are different rod weights, lengths and so forth depending on your preferred species.
    As for basic instruction, if you don't have someone to teach you here are a few titles to some videos out on the market. I found them to be very informative. There may be more titles available.

    The Essence of Spey Casting by Mel Kreiger
    Jim Vincent's Basic Spey & Two Handed Fly Rod Casting
    The Art & Science of Spey Casting Part One by Mike Maxwell
    Spey Masterclass with Derek Brown
    International Spey Casting A Scott Nelson Video Production

    I will be mostly going for Rainbows and dollies. I was thinking a 7 weight so I could use it in larger rivers (Kenai) and maybe take it down to the Anchor river for steelhead.

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    7 wt would also be able to handle the occasional salmon, so you are good to go. If you have some time check out this website; http//www.speypages.com I think it is a pretty cool website. Good luck.

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    Anybody fishing a switch rod? It might be a compromise that works for me.

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    I've fished with two handed to me by Bill Meiser and used them under his eye. I've also used other brands. Dandy for casting with the recommended overweight lines, but most of those lines are built more for casting than mending (very weight forward). They'll add distance to your one-handed casting while not doing as well as speys for either two handed or mending, especially with such abrupt line tapers. If you've got a clean backcast using a one-handed rod, you'll really benefit from the extra line weight and rod length for one handed casting. If you're a soso caster with a one-handed rod, you're going to be a soso caster with a switch rod. A little extra distance, but darn, don't they look cool!

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    Thanks for the reply. You're clearly more schooled on lines than me. Would there be other lines that would make the switch rod better at 2-hand fishing, and with a change of reel/spool and line convert it back to a 1-hander? With my limited spey experience the one detail I remember most is the line diameter. I wondered what switch rods used and assumed the "switch" would require multiple lines and that may dictate multiple reels if the 2-hander line is big like spey line.

  17. #17

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    I'm fond of the more traditional "spey" lines along the lines of the Rio Power Spey with a head of 65 feet or so, or actually longer to really suit me for mending. Rio's Skagit and Skagit Short lines with their 27 and 20 foot heads are more typical for long behind-the-head casts with switch rods, but about useless for true spey casting and especially for line mending.

    Watching Bob, he's got two things going for him no matter whether he's using a conventional rod, a switch rod, or a spey rod. He's got immaculate control of his back casts in behind-the-head casting, plus he's got a beautiful spey cast with the longer heads.

    Don't let anyone fool you. Spey casting is no harder to learn than good conventional casting. If you don't want the extra expense and hassle of spey or switch rods, learn to really control your back cast with conventional lines and rods and you can rival the distance of a spey cast. But it takes a good spey cast to match a good conventional behind-the-head cast. Spey casting is great for situations with limited room behind you, basically stretching what you can do with a roll cast because it is essentially a roll cast with extra loading. And you won't do it with lines having short heads.

    If you want the "feel" of a switch rod and a bunch of extra casting distance, look into the Rio Outbound or especially the Outbound Short for your existing rod. At $70 or so, it's not a bad price for admission. Notice the similarities in profile with the Skagit Short. It's essentially a shooting head with an integrated running line, and it lets you chunkahunka line with almost any rod. But as with the two Skagit lines, you might as well try to mend monofilament with a spinning rod as with the Outbound or Outbound Short.

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    Thanks for the help. I have much to learn.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Pid View Post
    Thanks for the reply. You're clearly more schooled on lines than me. Would there be other lines that would make the switch rod better at 2-hand fishing, and with a change of reel/spool and line convert it back to a 1-hander? With my limited spey experience the one detail I remember most is the line diameter. I wondered what switch rods used and assumed the "switch" would require multiple lines and that may dictate multiple reels if the 2-hander line is big like spey line.
    It's possible to line a switch rod for both single and double hand casting with just one reel and spool. I fish a Beulah 7/8 switch and do just that. I use Western Filament Tuff Line XP 30 pound, which is very small diameter and allows for a smaller reel. It is Spectra, but I've never had a problem with it! I then attach Miracle Braid or similar shooting line, and finally the shooting head, usually their Elixir or Rio's AFS. For single hand, I have a couple 9 weight lines (Rio Gold and Outbound) and cut the running line off and use just the head with Gudebrod braided mono loop to loop connectors. I carry all my extra heads, cheaters and pieces of T-8 and T-11 in various lengths in a Rio line wallet for quick changing and save the expense of a second reel and the added weight.

    I would add switch rods for most people are not the best to learn spey casting. Your timing has to be better and their uses can be limited. I think a 12.5' to 13.5' Skagit or Scandi rod would be the place to start. I prefer lines with the head only. That way I can change over from Skagit to Scandi and don't need the extra reel or spool like mentioned above.

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