Spey rods

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by Tom Johnston, Sep 14, 2009.

  1. Tom Johnston

    Tom Johnston Been around a while

    So I have been looking back into the two handed world(again:D). Had a short stint with a 8wt switcher(Fetha Styx) with a Beulah Elixer switch line. Should have taken some lessons before giving up on it but oh well! I have been doing alot of reading and research(about steelheading and two handed rods) and was wondering what is your go to rod? I just got done reading through this previous thread and Meiser rods seems to come up but lets face it I cant afford a Meiser or any other high end rod right now. Probly not good for my marriage to be buying a thousand dollar setup as my first setup. What is your favorite line to fish on that rod(I know it depends on time of season and what fish is being targeted but your go to line that you enjoy the most), and what reel do you match up to that rod. Is reel weight all that important, does the reel need to be heavier as the rod gets longer? I know there is practically a million different variations when matching up rod to line to reel. I am looking for a rod that I can throw big flies, little flies to winter/summer steelhead locally. And possibly fish the rod on the beach for salmon and possibly searuns. I have been looking at the TFO Deer Creek series and alot of people are impressed with this line(what would you expect from Meiser and Kinney). Seems Airflo the makers of the best single handed line makes many good spey lines. Reels?? There are so many, what and where to start! I am thinking of a Skagit compact line but what the hell do I know???? I see there are Delta style lines, Scandi style lines, and Skagit style of lines.
  2. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

    Having never cast a two hander ever before, not really even in practice, I took my TFO Deer Creek 8/9 13'6" rod to the Hoh. Leland suggested a Rio AFS 10/11 (I got it in the summer so he thought this would do nicely for a newbie). I did not fish summer flows at all with it but did use it on the Hoh in March. Flows were pretty low and but I was tossing some heavy tips and chickens. Right out of the chute I was casting into fishable seams, nothing pretty, but decent enough. For the price how can you beat one of the TFO's? I don't know. This setup likely was not optimal for heavy tips and flies but that is what I had and I used it and never had any issues with fly delivery, turnover or anything else. I fished that rod for two full days and half of another in my three days on the river.
  3. FLGator

    FLGator Member

    Kind of overwhelming isn't it!?

    Thankfully you can make it easy on yourself by trusting an accomplished SPEY shop to listen to your needs and set you up with a balanced outfit in your price range. The Red Shed earns my money every single time.

    There are so many combinations and factors that will affect your decision it's tough to recommend anything specific. Any chance you could attend the Clearwater Clave on September 26th? Lots to be learned and lots of hands on with different combinations all for free. If not how about River Run Angler's Day on the River program every Saturday? Same thing. Lots of rods and lines with some great instruction all for you guessed it...free.
  4. Tom Johnston

    Tom Johnston Been around a while

    I would love to attend the Clearwater Clave but I cannot due to work. Would be killer to attend that clave pick out a spey setup and head down river and fish it! I was thinking about that clinic that is put on every Saturday buttttt is it for newbies??? Will they spend time showing you how to cast and what setup best suites me? That amount of time you would think cost money! Some good hearted people out there dedicated to the spey world huh?
  5. mike kinney

    mike kinney Member

    Hi Tom either Aaron on saturday or myself on sunday is a good way to get started. And yes we spend time with beginners showing you the basics. Because the clinics are free it is not private instruction but it usually is not going to sinkin in one time out any way. Plan on spending 3 or for saturdays or sundays before you even think about buying a rod or taking lessons. I do have a couple of full sets of TFO deer creeks and lines to match. MK
  6. LD

    LD Active Member

    Take him up on the offer!!!
  7. Tom Johnston

    Tom Johnston Been around a while

    Oh I am going to. Just need to free up some Saturday's and Sunday's! The clinic is held in Monroe right?
  8. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member


    Do you know the first thing about steelhead fishing? Seems you were posting last year as a total newb. First and foremost, don't waste a single dime buying gear when you're totally clueless. Read Mike's post. Attend several of either or both of the Saturday (Snoqualmie R @ Tolt) or Sunday (Sky @ Ben Howard) Spey sessions before you even think of buying a Spey rod.

    If you have never caught a steelhead, just maybe what you need is not a Spey rod. Maybe what you need is to learn how to fly cast and learn how to fish for steelhead in terms of wading, reading water, and fly presentation. Or you can spend thousands of dollars on gear and still not know what the hell you are doing. What is it you want? Answer that and then we can offer more constructive suggestions.

  9. Ian Broadie

    Ian Broadie Flyfishing is so "Metal"


    Salmo has valid points even if his choice of words is terse...... I'll come at you from the "go to" rod choice because I have three "go to" rods at the moment depending on my mood. All three are 7 wt's and all three get fished about equally, my goto rods in no particular order are:

    TFO Deer Creek 13 7/8
    CND Soltice 13' 4" 6/7/8
    Echo 2 Scando 12' 4"

    All three perform essentially the same function but each feels very different when they are being cast due to action, taper and all that jive. So if I was to just straight up answer your question I would start writing some kind of dissertation on rod taper, action, lines, casts, water levels, clarity, weather, and a host of other kaka poo.

    My "Go to" suggestion would be to visit Mike or Aaron, you can't go wrong either way and you'll just get different perspectives on the same thing from two different jedi masters :D, so learn before you buy cus going cheap isn't the answer to getting in to the whole two handed deal and neither is buying the most expensive setup you can afford.

  10. Tom Johnston

    Tom Johnston Been around a while

    Yes I am still a newb at it. I have done alot of research in the last year(nothing comared to actually doing it). Rented dvd's on steelhead asked alot of questions and read some books. I am not going to go out and buy a spey setup without knowing about it and how well it will work for me! Thats why I am on here asking about spey rods, and will be taking up the offer to the weekend clinic. I also want a spey rod to fish off the beaches. Nothing like getting my ass kicked by the wind with a single hander all day and not catching a dang thing. I can hold my own on a single hander just fine.
  11. Ian Broadie

    Ian Broadie Flyfishing is so "Metal"

    It's a blast being able to stay out in the driving rain and wind when nearly everyone else has bailed from our local beaches.

  12. Bert Kinghorn

    Bert Kinghorn Formerly "nextcast"

    The Saturday clinic (with Aaron) is in Fall City by the bridge. The Sunday clinic (with Mike) is near Monroe, at the Ben Howard boat ramp.
  13. Tom Johnston

    Tom Johnston Been around a while

    Thanks Bert for the locations.
  14. SpeySpaz

    SpeySpaz still an authority on nothing

    Tommy, there's lots of good and inexpensive options out there. You don't have to buy a Meiser.
    The difference between bottom end-and top-end rods, to a beginner, is barely noticeable...really. Once you learn to cast and feel the love, that's when the unquenchable thirst takes hold and bank accounts, marriages, and leave balances begin collapsing:rofl:

    get out while you still can, bro...

    seriously now, just take Mike's advice.
    My advice--save money. learn to cast, and cast as many rods as you can get your hands on. Have fun. Do it your own way.
  15. Tom Johnston

    Tom Johnston Been around a while

    Thanks for all the helpful info on the clinics and how a NEWB should approch the spey world. But the real question in this thread was only really answered by one person! What is your goto setup? Reason I ask is what is your fav rod/line/reel combo you enjoy the most to cast. Of all my single handed setups my favorite is a Reddington 9'6" 6wt saltwater rod lined with Airflo extreme distance wt line. I am not asking this question just so I can go out and buy a duplicate setup. Just curious and passing time till I find that right setup for me!:thumb:
  16. Brian Thomas

    Brian Thomas Active Member

    Tom , if your favorite sh rod is a fast action rod , then you`ll probably do best with a fast action spey . Most people would`nt recommend doing this , as your timing becomes a little more critical , the faster the rod you`re using . But I believe that the action you prefer in sh rods translates well to spey (if this makes any sense) . Every rod manufacturer will have at least a couple of sticks that could be considered fast .

    For my own fishing , I would`nt want to give up my 12.6 7/8 Loomis Stinger . I line this with either an Airflow 7/8 Delta or a Rio AFS head . OR my 9143 Burkie . I use either a CND 9/10 GPS , or a Rio 7/8 Grandspey or a 8/9 XLT on this rod . And the last rod I don`t ever want to give up would be my CND 16'1" Solstice . I use the same lines as on the Burkie . For reels , I use a Hardy Salmon #1 on the Stinger , and either a Salmon #2 or a Sage 3600d on both the Burkie and CND .

    You`ll note that the rods get slower as the length of these 3 rods increase . I have other rods , some very good , but for the steelhead fishing I do , these three rods will cover it all .

    BTW , a guy over on speypages has a smokin` deal on a brand new CND Black series rod , with line .
  17. speyday

    speyday Rod tubes in the overhead compartment

    OH CRAP.........here come all the experts giving advice to someone theyve never seen in action.

    If youre new, i wouldn't recommend trying to cast any rods at any claves!!!!! RUN AWAY FAST
    (About 90% of the people at these things are just as bewildered as you, and will offer you advise till the cows come home........bleeeechhhhkkk.)

    You don't know how to cast!!!!!.....how could you possibly be ready to decide what the finer points of each rig deliver for you? Its like a guy who's never had alchohol before going to a wine tasting in napa.

    I have a strong recommendation that instead of spending $______on a rig, you spend 200 and invest in the most important piece of spey gear that will last a lifetime............YOU.

    **** Go and take a casting lesson with a certified instructor ******

    Tell him you know nothing.
    He will set you up that day for free.......with the kind of rig that new casters do well with.
    THEN, you tell him where you'll be fishing and for what.
    He can write down at least 3 different completely dialed-in rigs that you could get. At various price points,too, im sure.

    Certified instruction..........before you develop bad habits.........will be a MUCH better investment than the equipment. Don't fall for the sexy allure of gear.........you will wind up buying rigs, selling them for a loss, and never getting the proper foundation.

    You will bypass all the trial and error, bad advise, improper rigs for your style, and shave 3-4 years of heartache off your learning curve.

    (how do I know this? well lemme tell ya................................)
  18. Brian Thomas

    Brian Thomas Active Member

    Speyday , nobody`s telling him what to get . Tom asked what people`s goto outfits were . He got some answers .

    Yet you`re willing to give advice ...:confused:
  19. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

    Speyday, I've got some spey gear and don't know crap. (Willingly admitted)
    Tom asked and has been given advice that has directed him to seek out Mike or Aaron at one of the casting clinics. They did not tell him to go find someone to show him the ropes at a gathering. I can assure you with confidence, when I schedule myself to go to either one or both of the Saturday and Sunday events on the water with Mike and/or Aaron that the right steps will be taken for my own spey instruction. Tom already admitted that he was going to do that. If he goes out and buys gear, and maybe he will, he must know that there is some risk involved.

    So, what is your go to outfit?
  20. Ian Broadie

    Ian Broadie Flyfishing is so "Metal"

    After reading some other posts I will just succinctly answer Tom's question:

    My main go to rod would be my TFO Deer 13' 7/8, it is in my opinion a great jack of all trades rod, it will throw skagit, skando, short belly, and long belly lines well. There are many rods out there that will do each task individual task better but few that will do all of them as well.

    Cheers :beer2: and welcome to the darkside