Much Interest in Super Light Trout/Steelhead Two-Handers?

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by jhorton, Feb 13, 2006.

  1. jhorton New Member

    Posts: 20
    Cape Cod
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Is there any interest out there amongst you two-handers for a truly lightweight two-handed rod for trout and light steelhead? I am specifically talking about rods designed around the AFTMA standard rather than the spey standards.

    The current crop of trout speys built to the spey standard are throwing a line which in weight and thickness compares more to a WF8 line and they really seem like overkill to me for trout fishing.

    Any comments or ideas out there?


    Jay Horton
    Advisory Staff
    Temple Forks Fly Rods
  2. Ron Crawford ===

    Posts: 210
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I used to own a 6 wt spey outfit, but I sold it because:

    It was too light weight of a set up for winter steelhead
    In the summer I found I preferred the single hander for smaller steelhead - easier to land fish
    It seemed like overkill is low water situations. Usually when the water is low it leaves enough room for a backcast and you can do some of the two handed casts with a single hander, so why lug around that huge thing.

    To me: I don't see a need for an ultra light spey - in any situation where that rod would be appropriate I would grab a single hander.
  3. wolverine Member

    Posts: 576
    Everett, WA
    Ratings: +4 / 0
    Jay, I would be interested in a 2 hand "switch" rod rather than a full spey. I've tried a 6 wt spey on trout and found it to be overkill on all but the largest rivers. I spend a lot of time beach casting for silver salmon in salt water and a rod that could overhead throw a wf 6/7 or a small head would be terrific. A small 2 hander would would sure save the elbows and shoulders for those of us who cast and strip all day.
  4. Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

    Posts: 7,136
    Not sure
    Ratings: +1,226 / 0
    I bartered a year ago for a CND Tracker 12'2". A novice spey caster, I figured it might have a place in my trout rod stable. However, I'm sufficently ignorant about spey casting that all I can do effectively is to overhead cast it where it indeed feels like an 8wt.

    While it might be appropriate for big bruisers in Kamchatka, Alaska, or even the basin lakes, it's certainly overkill for the 10-15" fish that are the staple of my trout fishing. But if you can figure out how to build a 10 or 11 foot 3 or 4wt, I'd be interested.

  5. Sloan Craven Active Member

    Posts: 2,464
    NoSho, ma
    Ratings: +30 / 0
    I'd be interested in something two-handed to throw the line on larger rivers but still accurate and sensitive enough for trout. I have caught trout on my big spey rod, but didn't know they were there tilll I pulled it in. Something that can throw a long belly 5 wt. I have seen a few specially made lightweight 2 handers out there. But the price is between $750-$1000.
    I would also think that a product like this would go over HUGE for people with shoulder or elbow problems-- Longer casting days with fewer aches and pains. I've met a few older guys that can cast only for a few hours every couple of days or so because of arthritis or rotator cuff problems..
    This would be a limited market. But you would have all of it.
  6. bigtj Member

    Posts: 280
    Victoria, BC
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I'm not a proponent of true double-handed rods for trout, i.e. the 5 and 6-wt 12' rods that are currently avaialble. They are clunky and in order to make them long enough, add the hardware and handle etc. they get too heavy and bulky. You lose a lot of sensitivity as well. It seems like a craze is going for them but personally I'd say the max length should be 11' and they should still be light enough to cast single handed. You can still do all the spey casts single-handed, get plenty of distance from roll casting or water-hauling, and the rods retain enough sensitivity you can feel what is going on.

    One possibility to save weight would be to put a small fore grip on the rod similar to saltwater rods, and keep the aft-grip short too, about 3 inches long max. Would also cut down production costs.

    The rods I am talking about have been around in different forms for years (Sage has made an 11'6-wt for the European market for at least a decade) but the market is limited because there seems to be a mental block on longer rods (i.e. too slow). The other complication is that it's a substantial investment in time to learn how to cast a double-hander. However, once the possibilities for these rods are developed, and they become popularized, they may have a niche to fill that could catch on strongly, especially out west.

  7. Sloan Craven Active Member

    Posts: 2,464
    NoSho, ma
    Ratings: +30 / 0
    I agree with John in the fact that simply a smaller traditional Spey rod isn't going to cut it. The thing needs to have all the balance and sensitivity of a trout rod, but allow one to cast it two-handed. It would really have to be a new design, so after you cast it two handed you can still fish it one handed, without having to tuck it under your arm when stripping line etc..
    Man it would be a heck of a thing to see.....
  8. FLGator Member

    Posts: 646
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    I think it would be a hit for niche applications. Specifically for swinging soft hackles etc. Personally, I have tried to spey fish for trout on a regular basis. For swinging it is awesome. However, for covering a day on the river a trout specific spey rod would not be my "go to" rod.

    A TFO "switch" rod would be golden...

  9. Ringlee Doesn't care how you fish Moderator

    Posts: 1,858
    Somewhere you don't know about, WA
    Ratings: +52 / 1
    I have tried to fish SRC's with two handed rods and It is overkill. Take what BigTJ and Ht75. I think that a rod like that would be awesome. Stripping a 2 handed rod fro SRC's is a pain. A longer 10 to 11 foot 2 hander that is light would be ideal.
  10. jhorton New Member

    Posts: 20
    Cape Cod
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Great input everyone, exactly what I was looking for, please keep it coming!

    What's an, " SRC?"
  11. Hal Eckert Member

    Posts: 615
    West GLs
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Very interested in a light trout spey as others have stated. 11-12 foot in a 4/5 wgt.

  12. Ringlee Doesn't care how you fish Moderator

    Posts: 1,858
    Somewhere you don't know about, WA
    Ratings: +52 / 1
    A SRC is a Sea Run Cutthroat trout. They live in shallow water when they move out to saltwater. To about 20 feet deep. Fishing from shore or a small boat is the prefered method of fishing for them. I find my self doing alot of spey casts with a single hand 9'6" 6 weight. Which works for me but If a company came out with a "light two hander" I would be interested.
  13. Sloan Craven Active Member

    Posts: 2,464
    NoSho, ma
    Ratings: +30 / 0
    The ferrules would also need to be stronger than your normal one handed rod and the guides should be slicker for Spey style casting. And if we're going all out here, I'd like to see a large arbor reel designed for this rod, rather than a conventional reel. Something a little smaller than the TFR 310.
    And maybe some racing stripes... that'd be pretty sharp:thumb:

    And if you want to send me one to test, I suppose my arm could be twisted.
  14. inland Active Member

    Posts: 600
    Ratings: +50 / 0
    I have been using a discontinued Winston LT1207 for a few years now on the big rivers for swinging type presentations. It's a sweet rod with a DT6 for spey type casts. Winston built this rod with a standard trout grip for the upper cork allowing single hand use. Works OK but it's more efficient to use both hands. PERFECTLY suited for the quarry at hand. I think Winston missed the boat on this rod by marketing it as a steelhead rod for a 6/7/8wt spey line. And, unfortunately, it's less than good at those grain weights. Outright bad.

    Pretty skeptical to there being any real interest at this time. Angler methods will have to change back 50 years to take advantage of the double hander. Otherwise the youth sticks are the better tool for the average angler and how they are going to use them.

  15. flybill Purveyor of fine hackle, wine & cigars!

    I built an 11' 6" on a Rainshadow Forcast blank and absolutely love it! I see it as more of a summer steelhead rod and a big river trout rod (i.e. - Missouri River). I have a couple of lines for it, a Hardy Mach 1 (8/9) and a custom shooting head line. Both lines were recommended by others who have built this rod and tinker with lines a lot more than I!

    I've also cast a few of the Bob Meiser rods (11' 7", 11' 4", and 5wt 10' 6", I think) that are great. I believe that I've also tried a light weight Sage, but can't remember which one.

    It's necessary to slow down your cast with these smaller spey's, but they work great and can be cast with an overhead cast easily as well! I did make the mistake of single handing the 11' 7" on the Yakima and just tired myself out while casting from the boat I was in.

    Basically, I think these lighter weight rods are just another tool to use depending on conditions. For smaller creeks, especially where there is a lot of brush to bushwack through, I wouldn't consider a spey rod at all.

    It really comes down to the fact that I really enjoy spey casting and do find that I'm not as tired casting my spey rods as I can get with my single handers.


    PS - Don't know how to answer your question about the different standards, but am curious to hear other's opinions about it...
  16. FlyShopKristin Going Online

    Posts: 569
    Monroe, Wa, USA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I agree!!
  17. doublespey Steelhead-a-holic

    Posts: 598
    Bothell, WA
    Ratings: +22 / 0
    Plenty of Interest

    You just need to look at the popularity of the Meiser trouter series, Forecast/Rainshadow, Sage, T&T, and CND rods. They're building more and more of these light spey rods every year!

    I have three that are large trout/ultralight steelhead twohanded rods that I fish for searun cutts, dollys, pink salmon, and small hatchery summer steelies.

    I'd also fish in on the Yakima with streamers or soft hackles, on the Deschutes (in Oregon -if I ever get down there to fish trout) skating stimulators, or on some northern rivers for big rainbows that like large surface offerings.

    As several have said, if you're fishing small brushy rivers like the Deschutes (near Olympia), a two handed rod is probably not the best tool.

    Then again, I enjoy swinging reverse spiders and muddlers for the big searuns on the Cowlitz and would love a nice light AFTMA 5-6wt 11-12' rod for this. I could use a single hander, but prefer the feel of a lightweight spey rod for line control at distance and the sheer fun of speycasting. If you built one like that, I know at least 5-6 anglers who would line up to buy one

    I've been using the CND SpeyTracker lately, and it's been a blast landing Dollys to 24" and quite a few searuns from 12 - 18". Hooked one summer steelhead but lost him. Not the rod's fault - the fish just ran right at me and threw the hook. :beathead:

    The market is growing - I was fishing a light two-hander off the beach last year (poppers for cutties). 3 other anglers stopped and asked me what I was using and about the cast I was using (reverse snake). Quick pickup and return to the water with no backhanding or other single-hand gymnastics to compensate for the right-to-left wind we were experiencing.

    It's an individual's own choice in this "grey" area - you don't need a two-handed rod to fish for any of these species. You don't need one to fish for salmon and steelhead either. But some of us simply enjoy working the line with a two handed rod and still find it enjoyable to catch these smaller salmonids if the rod is light enough.

    my .02,

  18. luckybalbowa Member

    Posts: 325
    Kamas, Utah
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I have a lighter spey rod. it's a 7-8wt. A bit overkill for trout, but it's not going to stop me from trying it out on the (Utah's) Green river.

    Ill let you know all about my experience. Wish I had that sage 5wt spey. It would probably be a lot better suited.