Spey casting with a full vest ...


Mark Steudel
So today was my second day casting a spey rod and while the basic cast isn't even close to natural, I found that a full vest that I normally wear when using a single handed rod, really got in the way. I ended up taking my vest off and throwing it on shore, while I fished. What do other spey casters wear, and have you found similiar experiences?


PS Landed one chum today and ldr'd a few others on the snoq.


Creating memories one cast at a time
Hi Mark,

I had similar issues with my vest and recently picked up a "sling pack". Orvis makes one, and another one that the good folks that Kaufmanns recommend is the William Joseph Satchel.
anti vest

I have those new simms waders that offer a couple of pouches. with two pockets there is no need for a vest .... one fly box, nippers, and a hook file, some tippet and a couple of leaders and the multi tip system ... that's it. I've gone to wader with a quick reach necklace and that's it. Makes the rainjacket alot more comfortable.

when boating added a dry bag clipped onto the pontoon with lunch and a little more gear and good to go

Some of the newer waders might be worth a investment over a jacket. I may even try to downsize my trout fishing to no vest; now how to cram 150 flies in one box :)



Mark Steudel
Seems like I need less gear, instead of ALL the stuff I bring when I go trout fishing .... maybe I haven't accumlated enough gear yet.
Keep your vest! You are used to having certain items in your old vest. Not bringing it will insure that you forget your license, lead, file, gum, pliers, or knife.
You will find that extending your arms will help you get a much better feel for spey casting. Get that upper hand all the way to the top of your forward grip. The lower hand is your "pull hand," keep it above your waist.
Gotta get used to swinging a big stick!

I basically agree with willieboat. I've found that both a vest and a large chest pouch can be used, although they try to grab at my hands occasionally; especially the pouch. With a vest, I've moved some thick little boxes from my bottom outside pockets to the upper pockets. I cast with a considerable amount of freeform arm and hand movement anyway, not the precise, repetitive Scandinavian, or underhand, style.

Perhaps the perfect body-luggage for spey fishing has yet to be invented. How about something closer to a bird hunter's vest, that moves the pockets to the sides and back, with some kind of easy-rotating suspension system?


Active Member
First of all for steelhead you only need ONE box of flies, a few leaders, tippet material, nippers and pliers. Okay, so I often carry 3 boxes, and some of them are 9" by 6" :rofl: But the fact remains you only need one.

Alot of folks hold the bottom of the spey rod butt cap cupped in the palm of their bottom hand to keep things away from themselves a little more, and to keep the end cap from getting caught on anything as they cast.

Just wait for February when you've got on two sweaters, a big coat, and a loaded vest. Might as well quite now and give me your gear :thumb:


Mark Steudel
Thanks for all the ideas ... I think I just need to leave all my other fly boxes at home. That would seriously decrease the amount of stuff in my way ...


Banned or Parked
Eventually you'll reach a point where you own enough fly boxes that you can't possibly carry them all with you all the time. From then on, you'll bring only what you need and your neck and shoulders will thank you.
Spey Cast

It seems to me that in either spey or single handed if you cast from your hips, you hardly need to move your arms at all. Easiest way to do that is just turn your body to watch your backcast. Basically, I think that's the idea behind a classic spey although you can get really confused with "underhand" "overhand" inside out and whatever else this weeks flavor is to fix flaws. That sais, I use a fanny pack and never had any trouble except catching the occaisional fly in the back of the head.

Steve Buckner

Mother Nature's Son
I like to carry one box of flies and one spool of tippet. I also carry a wallet that contains the various heads in case I need to change up. I hate using a vest and have become very minimalist in my fishing for steelhead and throwing a spey rod. I find that the butt of the rod gets in the way as I make the casts and makes it uncomfortable. If a pack is needed, I would suggest a small fanny pack or side pack.
On another Spey problem

I have been having a problem using sinking leaders and flys with a shot on them. I can't seem to get the whole mess out of the water long enough to make a decent cast. Since I'm in a DB most of the time I have to draw the line back up stream and then attempt to cast back up stream (double Spey I think) before the 4 feet of type 6 and 6 feet of tippet sink with fly and shot thus making an impossble haul of the anchor. I've been using an uncut Windcutter 7/8/9 on a ST Croix 14' 9 wt. Any one got any ideas on cuting the line, using less sinktip or maybe a helium balloon? :beathead: