Blue collar spey

#1
It is always interesting to me the number of high profile rods that fail to live up to the advertising and hyperbole, and how many wonderful sticks seem to fall through the cracks. I like to refer to a lot of them as "blue collar" rods since they tend to be lower price point rods, or labeled as "entry level" (whatever that means.)

Far and away the most seriously underrated rod I've come across is my St. Croix Imperial 9140. A friend gave me this rod about a year ago claiming he had no use for something this long and heavy, and he didn't feel it was worth his time to try and sell. When I took a few lines down to the river to try on it I was absolutely blown away. Not only at it's power and performance, but by how smooth and easy it was. This rod is fairly fast and very powerful, with a reasonably heavy tip progressing into a stiff butt section. Despite being a powerhouse, it is extremely user friendly and will accommodate a wide range of line types and casting styles. I've been fishing it with a 10/11 Delta Spey, and it's proved to be an unparallelled combination for drilling holes in the wind with bigger flies. It is reasonably light in the hand and comfortable to fish all day. It has also handled the biggest fish the Clearwater has to offer with ease. About the only thing I don't like is the overly short bottom grip which feels very odd to me. Scandi and Skagit casters however will likely feel right at home. If you're looking for an affordable cannon, don't overlook these rods on the used market. They are hard to beat.

So how many folks out there have a great performing stick or two that has been underrated or over looked by the spey casting community at large?
 

Salmo_g

Well-Known Member
#2
The most overlooked value-priced rod that I have seen and used is the Forecast 11' 6" 6/7 sort of mini-Spey at that length. You can buy the kit for around $100, but you have to build it yourself. It's a great performing, fast action Spey rod, and it's a joy to use. I have several more expensive rods, but the Forecast is my go-to small stream Spey rod.

Sg
 

Panhandle

Active Member
#3
I think the real deal here is how any given rod can be a dog in one guy's hand and a gem in anothers. It Really doesn't have anything to do with how much it costs and how good it should be, but rather its what works best in my hands. Sometimes what rocks in my hand is a $1000.00 rod, sometimes it's a $500.00 rod, and sometimes it's a 250.00 rod. This is why I have rods all across the price range from many different manufacturers. Ive casted that rod and I don't like it, not because it's a bad rod but rather because it doesnt suit me.
 
G

golfman65

Guest
#5
Blue collar or hidden gems...

I've met too many guys on here who think a rods price should reflect how they can cast it...Like buying a Ferrari and bitching because it sucks in bumper to bumper traffic..."My shiny red car suck..it no fit my style..that cheap green ford keep right up with me in traffic...it boutique car"....

So spending less might mean you have less expectations and more money to spend on lines that might actually fit the rod...Damn imagine that...High end or low end...no rod works without the proper line..but it sure feels better to spend less and find one that does I'd bet...

Sometimes though, like the ferrarri...when you get it out of that bumper to bumper traffic..you'll appreciate what it can really do...Does that make sense?
 

yuhina

Tropical member
#6
Despite being a powerhouse, it is extremely user friendly and will accommodate a wide range of line types and casting styles.

So how many folks out there have a great performing stick or two that has been underrated or over looked by the spey casting community at large?
well, In general I agree with your statement that there are many rods are user friendly and easy to cast.

But please keep in mind, there are more than those elements I will be asking in a high end rod IF I am buying one. In addition, high end rod could go very SPECIALIZED which is not going to please EVERYONE. that is the main reason it is call specialized niche, regardless they are in general has higher grade of component.

For instance, TCX 7126, some people love it, some people absolutely hate it... but if you are looking into this kind of light quick and crispy niche, this is the quick fiber your best money can get. You might say: who cares?! That's right, this is the fiber only for people who "cares"!

I think Adam (Panhandle) has a good point. I can't agree with him more, my rods collection across high to low end, only depends if they have the right ELEMENTS I am looking for. Mark
I think the real deal here is how any given rod can be a dog in one guy's hand and a gem in anothers. It Really doesn't have anything to do with how much it costs and how good it should be, but rather its what works best in my hands. Sometimes what rocks in my hand is a $1000.00 rod, sometimes it's a $500.00 rod, and sometimes it's a 250.00 rod. This is why I have rods all across the price range from many different manufacturers. Ive casted that rod and I don't like it, not because it's a bad rod but rather because it doesnt suit me.
BTW, TFO Deer Creek 5/6 12'6 is a absolutely joy stick to cast... $349.95 what a deal! Great work Mr. Mike Kinney!
 
#8
Agree; if your vibes match a medium speed spey rod, the DH 7130 is a huge bargain, useable in all seasons, with most fly sizes (with a suitable line, of course).

Idaho Steel: Yes, the St. Croix does have a too-thick, too short lower grip. Can't help the too-short aspect, but I filed and sanded down the lower grip of mine, which was my first spey rod.
 
#14
I have the same St Croix rod. I fished it for a long time and caught many fish with it but I don't use it much any more. Like has been stated by other folks here each rod will match or not match the feel you look for in a rod. Price is not the determining factor. There are so many more choices today than when I started, it is mind boggling. A feel and price point for all.