Lost & Confused in Ohio Regarding Spey Gear.....HELP!!!

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by jandq, Jul 2, 2006.

  1. Hello everyone, I am new to the site. The more I read and learn about spey gear the more I get confused. I live in Ohio and would like to spey fish, but I really don't have anyone to ask questions to because there is no one I know that does it. I don't know what rod or line to get. Help! Currently I use a single rod with floating line and a long leader (about 12') and catch fish all day long with split shot added to leader. I plan on using spey type flies in sized 7 - all the way up to 1.5. Here is the big problem, Ohio has some larger rivers but nothing like you guys have out here or even Michigan. Much of my work is close in I have caught fish 10ft from me to 60ft anywhere in between is the norm. If anyone is familiar with Ohio I fish the Grand, Chagrin, Conny, and the Rocky. In Pa I fish Elk & Walnut. The floating line with the long leader works well because it gets to the bottom quick. Our rivers are such that They on average are not deep. We mostly have 2-3ft water with a deeper hole of maybe 4ft to 7ft. Some holes are of course much deeper by like bridges.If one chooses to use sink tips teeneys mini tips are recommended around here because they have a 5ft head (nice and short). So do I need a 13ft or 14ft? Skagit? Dredger? Secondly, what line would you recommend to use since I will never cast 150 ft like you guys do because our rivers aren't that big. Do I need a long belly or short belly?Or should I scrap the whole idea of spey fishing and just stick to my 10ft Single handed for set up because our rivers aren't as large as yours? I don't even know with this water depth if I should be using a floating, sink tip, sunk spey line etc I don't know the advantages of each one where the water is generally shallow and I have to get deep into a small pool quickly. Thanks for any advice I can get from you guys.
  2. Your situation is a challenging one, both for you and for someone like me who's never been in Ohio. Spey fishing/casting is a fascinating and dynamically developing sub-category of fly fishing, and I've had a ball with it for the last ten years. But I live among famous Pacific NW steelhead/salmon rivers, and rub shoulders with true experts, both onstream and at frequent regional gatherings. Without such a strong social network, you're in the position of a Jamacian with an interest in competitive bobsledding.

    If your rivers are slow-moving and relatively shallow, as you describe, I believe a practical approach for you would be to get a switch rod and put it to work. If you don't know, a switch rod is a semi-spey rod, usually 10-12 feet long, with a handle setup that allows it to be used either single- or two-handed. Unlike pure spey rods, they can often be fished with conventional or, probably better, longer-belly weight-forward lines. Both pure floating and changeable-tip lines are available, and probably would cover your rivers from top to bottom quite well. A year or two with a switch rod should let you make an informed decision as to whether to invest in a longer, pure spey rod. (Personally, when fishing streams where the average casts are no more than about fifty feet, I usually go back to my single-hand rods.)

    You didn't mention the Spey Pages, but that wonderful website provides daily contact with spey devotees of all levels of expertise, who are uniformly generous with their advice. The Archives contain just about everything that is known or speculated about in the modern era of spey fishing.:thumb:
  3. True, :beathead: , try the switch rods as Nooksack speaks, for Ohio a 6/7 wgt 12 foot spey rod as I use on the narrower Michigan rivers may be another alternative for you. Mid spey floating lines with some T-14 for sink tips is what I use 90% of the time.


  4. If i were you and really wanted to get a spey rod i would get a rod that was a 12-13 ft 6-7wt with a windcutter line. There is no point in getting a skagit line because you won't be dredging. What is nice about a windcutter is you could buy T14 by the foot which sinks at a rate of 8-9 inches per sec. I think it is .50$ a ft over here. Anyways you could buy T14 and make it to any length you want and attach it to the windcutter. This would provide you with tips for your spey. I've talked to guys that made T14 tips for there windcutter from 5-20ft long. The windcutter line is also supposed to be the best line to learn how to cast. The spey would also be great for nymphing aspects to because the line control you have and the ability to carry out a perfect drag free float.
  5. First, there is nothing stopping you from making spey casts with your single hand rod. That being said if you do get a two hander why not use the same type of rigging you are now. Most guys casting two handers with floating lines use a leader as long as the rod.

    The previous answers are pretty good. A lot of GL guys are using 13' rods. They run in price from $250.00 to $900.00+. The WC length line will work just fine for want you want to do. If you can afford a VersiTip that would be a plus but if you can't just get a floater. You can easily chop/loop it later if you'd like to use tips.

    If you Google "Upper Midwest Fly Fishing" you will find quite a few GL spey guys.
  6. I have been fishing elk walnut and the other erie tribs my entire life. 90 % of the time all using a big arse spey is going to do is spook the hell outta those monster bows browns and salmon in those rivers. A 4-5 weight with a long leader and a floating line is all you need. you only need to cast 15 feet.
  7. Hi Jandq
    I live in Northern IN and fish with a couple of spey rods:
    13' 8wt older Scott Alpha
    Sage 12'6" 8wt
    Loomis GLS 14' 8/9

    I would echo the advice given about your line choice. I actually have a floating WC "floating" around (OK that was stupid...) if you need a line. Let me know and I can let it go really easy for you.

    I would go with a 13' rod as mentioned above in a 7wt for a good all around set up. My rods are probably a little heavy for steelhead. I also am looking at one of the switch rods that have been talked about. I would not worry about using a long rod in small water, think outside the box and run with it.

    Let me know about the line and we can get something figured out.

    Fish on!!!!
  8. A 13 foot rod is about 5 feet shorter that the average width of those creeks. :)
  9. I wanted to thank everyone for all of the helpful advice! I now have something to go on.

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