Spey Rod advive

Dear spey fisherpersons,

I have never fished with a spey rod but am interested in starting. I would like some general advice. If a person new to spey casting who was going to fish the Skagit/Sauk/Sky/like rivers and they had to choose between a 13' 8/9 wt. or a 15' 10/11 weight of the same make, which he could not cast beforehand, which would be a better choise.

I phrased it this way because I am looking at building the rod on a Rainshadow RX8 blank and these are my choices. If you don't think either of these sizes in this make are good choice for a beginner, please let me know.

Any and all advice greatly appreciated.

Jim F.

I don't even know how to include those smiley faces in my message. I guess I should figure that out before I take on spey casting.

Steve Buckner

Mother Nature's Son
A 13' 7/8 would probably be a better choice. A 15' 10/11 would be overkill for most steelhead IMHO. A 10/11 might be good choice for a rod in your arsenal, but it wouldn't be my first choice. If it's possible, I would go with a slightly longer rod (14' -15') if you can afford it and/or find a manufacturer you're interested in. Longer rods will cast line easier, and make mending easier.

It is stated here frequently, but you'd really do yourself a favor to go to Aaron's shop and/or his casting clinics. After you have attended a class or two or three, you may have a better idea of what it is you're looking for and the pros/cons of rod length, weight, and flex. If you build a rod that ultimately isn't one you'll use, it will probably cost you more money in the long run.

Bob Triggs

Stop Killing Wild Steelhead!
I second the vote for Aaron Reimer's River Run Anglers in Carnation. He holds open spey days on saturdays; try all the rods and lines you want, lots of comraderie and help all-around. A nice bunch of people and some really gifted teachers and casters.


Creating memories one cast at a time

After you try out some rods Aaron's you may find a rod that exactly matches your liking. But you want to build a rod and that's very cool.

I have nothing but praise for the Batson brother's Rainshadow blanks, but test driving finished rods at Aaron's will open up additional options for you as well. Rumor has it that CND blanks can be acquired, and CND makes an awesome set of high-performance spey rods. Also, Aaron has a number of finished Bob Meiser Spey & Switch rods. Through Aaron, Bob can set you up with a blank, or even a RTW (ready to wrap) rod that has some of the handle work done for you when it arrives. Again, lots of options for the Spey Rod builder now.