TFO Spey rods - anyone try or own them?

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by Denny, Feb 28, 2006.

  1. Denny Active Member

    Posts: 4,043
    Seattle, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +45 / 0
    I have never tried spey fly fishing, and before I spend big $$ on a set up, I'd first like to see if it's for me.

    The TFO rods are very affordable, and if the spey rods are like the TFO one handers, their probably a great bargain. However, because I don't know anything about spey fishing and what does or doesn't make a rod good, I wanted to see if there are any opinions or perspectives out there on the TFO product. And, if possible, any recommendations if one stick might be prefereable over another.

    What rod would you get for summer steelhead? And, what rod for winter steelhead and salmon?

  2. Ringlee Doesn't care how you fish Moderator

    Posts: 1,860
    Somewhere you don't know about, WA
    Ratings: +53 / 1
    I have casted the 8126 and I liked it. Was casting a 789 Windcutter on it in Alaska.
    Check out the Spey Forum. There has been alot of talk about the TFO 2 handed rods.
  3. MauiJim ka lawai'a

    Posts: 273
    Issaquah, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I have limited spey experience, but I fished a traditional-action Sage VPS 9140 (9wt) and a faster-action TFO 6126 (6wt) side-by-side... they're very different, which wasn't surprising, but I really liked the faster action of the TFO with a Skagit-type line system (short belly).

    I saw that 6wt handle some serious chum (12-15lbs) really well, so I know it's plenty of rod... the thing which almost discourages me from spey fishing is that you need an 18lb native steelhead to have a good fight on those 14' 9wt rods. The 12'6" 6 wt seems much more versatile, you'd be able to fish smaller water as well as the big rivers like the Skagit, and as my friend Donte found, if you hook a nice char as bycatch while steelheading it's still a decent fight with on the 6 wt spey (see my Skagit report,, for a shot of the rod in action). If you do hook a big steelhead, though, it would probably be too much fish for the rod, so fishing the Skagit or OP rivers right now with big flies with a 6wt spey probably isn't advisable.

    I'd think the 6wt TFO spey would be an awesome summer steelhead rod, great for grease-lining or dry flies (while still able to throw tips with a Skagit line system), and good for early winter steelheading/salmon fishing (when smaller hatchery steelhead are around). You could even throw it overhead-style from the beach for pinks and coho when they're out beyone single-hand casting range. I'll be picking up one for this summer/fall for sure...

    **edit: Mods-- feel free to move this to the Spey section...
  4. Sloan Craven Active Member

    Posts: 2,464
    NoSho, ma
    Ratings: +30 / 0
    I tried a TFO 2 handed a couple of times and it casted nicely. A lot easier for my novice self to use than my own set up.
    I know that Poppy at the Red Shed recommends them and has an all inclusive package deal that he has sold a lot of. He pretty much runs a Spey shop as opposed to a regular fly shop that may carry a few spey rods tucked away in the back somewhere, so he might be good to get in contact with as far as what makes a TFO better or worse than another brand. His website is
    And his handle on this site is Red Shed.
    I'd be interested in learning what you discover, I've been contemplating a TFO two hander for a little while now, as their 4wt Pro series is my favorite rod.
  5. bconrad Member

    Posts: 320
    S Rivers
    Ratings: +11 / 0
    I've got the 14' 9 weight, and have been happy with it. I've been using it for a couple of years now with no problems. One of the changes I'll likely make is going to a lighter, longer belly line than the 9/10/11 Windcutter I have on it now. This line was nice for learning, but it really slows the recovery down. Still no problems throwing type 8 tips and 4 inch Intruders, though.

    If you fish the Skagit or Sauk, I'd be happy to let you try it out. I'll be up there at least several more weekends before the end of the season.
  6. alaskahole dancing engineering flyfisherman

    Posts: 30
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I'm a new spey flinger and have the 12'6" 6-weight. Went to meth and landed two steel first time out with the rod. It doesn't seems to cast heavy flies easily, but then again it's a six weight. It cast a dry or a lightly weighted steamer awesome (or awesome for me). I love TFO, just bought the 8'6" 14-17 bluewater for sails and marlin in August. :thumb:
  7. Davy Active Member

    Posts: 2,021
    SIlverton, OR
    Ratings: +16 / 0
    Hey Richard, I won't get into a long thing here about them, but I really like mine , theres enough posted allready, but if you are headed north to fish the Skgit or Sauk rivers anytime soon you are welcome to borrow and try my 14' 9/10, especially on the weekends. Their reels are pretty darn decent as well.

  8. Charles Sullivan dreaming through the come down

    Posts: 2,284
    bellingham wa
    Ratings: +539 / 0
    Am I right in believing that you can't buy a blank?
    Theo for President,
  9. Ron Eagle Elk Active Member

    Posts: 1,737
    Yelm, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +110 / 0
    You'll have to add my name to those who like the TFO two handers. I have the 12'6" 6wgt and my wife and I both have the 14' 9 wgt. Great rods. I've used the 6 wgt for summer steel and SRC, and the 9 wgts for salmon and winter fish.

    For a 6 wgt my wife has the Elkhorn 12'6" two hander and loves it. Last winter my wife did bring in a nice Skagit River winter run on her 6wgt though. Plenty of backbone, plus a good SRC feels like a whale on a 12'6" rod.
    Just food for thought.

  10. ChrisW AKA Beadhead

    Posts: 493
    Seattle, WA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    What line do you cast with your 6wt 12'6? I too have been thinking about adding this rod to my quiver.

    I have a CND 13' 8/9 with which I am casting the WC 7/8/9 and I am thinking if I went to lighter rod, I might like something that would cast a 5/6/7 in order to make for a significantly lighter option for me.

    Maybe the TFO is more rod than I am looking for?

    I am thinking swinging streamers for trout, fall SRC fishing in rivers and lite summer SH'ing if I am lucky. An added bonus would be the ability to overhead cast a WF 7wt line in the salt.

    Am I asking for too much in one rod?

  11. Joshua A. Sklaroff Guest

    Posts: 0
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I have the 14' 9wt. and throw an Orvis change a tip line (which is made by Rio). I love the thing. The finish is great and the casting seems to be working for me, though I am a beginner with the two-handed rods as well. Before I bought it, all of the people I asked info from told me to get it. I am very pleased. Be careful fighting the big ones though...tippet broke on the rocks and 120' of fat line...SMACK right in the kisser. It leaves a mark. I know, i've seen me do it!
  12. Red Shed "junkyard spey"

    Posts: 517
    Peck, ID
    Ratings: +7 / 0
    ChrisW, Which 13'8/9 CND do you have? If it is the Expert I found a 6/7 Delta to be quite nice. The 6/7 Delta also rocks with the 12'6"-6wt TFO.

    Richard I have found the TFO rods to be a very good purchase. You should stop by your local dealer for a test drive on the water. If that is not possible I have all 4 TFO two handers as demos, any of which I will send you to try out on your water. There is no obligation except the return postage. I can furnish appropiate lines if needed as well.

    As to which size, that is a subject that has many opinions. For my money if you can only have one the 14'-9wt is the best choice.

    If you can someone with some experience with a two hander it would be helpful to you. Have fun!
  13. Ron Eagle Elk Active Member

    Posts: 1,737
    Yelm, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +110 / 0
    Chris W, RedShed hit it on the head. The 6wgt TFO rocks with the 6/7 Delta. Very nice casting set up.

    Thanks, Mike. Hope to see you this fall.

    Ron Eagle Elk
  14. FLGator Member

    Posts: 646
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    The TFO 12' 6" 6 wt is the summer stick of the TFO line. Although, I also use mine in the winter with a Skagit 450 and tips to type VIII with outstanding results. So, if you want a rod on the lighter end of the spectrum for all day comfort I think you'll be very happy with this rod.


    P.S. The Red Shed Fly Shop can't be beat for fair prices and awesome service. Drop Mike a line and have him send you a TFO with a couple of lines for a test drive. No strings attached!
  15. Denny Active Member

    Posts: 4,043
    Seattle, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +45 / 0
    Thanks for all of the great replies, folks! It looks like, as with my one handers, that I'll probably end up getting a quiver full of spey rods for different purposes and lines!
  16. fredaevans Active Member

    Posts: 3,115
    White City, Oregon, USA.
    Ratings: +118 / 0
    Mike! Very good to see you here on the board.:thumb:

    Mike knows his stuff and a good man to drop your dimes with. The TFO rods are a very good value, very good casting rods and an even better "price point." Good proof that you don't have to spend a lot of money to get into the "2-hander game."
  17. Brent Comer Member

    Posts: 209
    Duvall, Washington, USA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I got one of these babies from Red Shed. Poppy will take care of you. I cast a Delta Spey 9/10 cut and looped for tips (by Aaron RRA). I think it's a great rod for the price. :thumb:
  18. ChrisW AKA Beadhead

    Posts: 493
    Seattle, WA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Actually it is the custom series. I recently switched from an 8/9/10 WC to the 7/8/9 WC, and I think I am happy w/ the results. 6/7 Delta on an 8/9? Wow, either CND is over-rating or Airflo is under-rating.

    I think he was reffering to the CND. But if this is true, then the TFO 6126 would not be too much of a change from the CND 13' 8/9?


    I have cast a Sage 6120 and I liked the feel as a lighter rod companion the CND. The sage is out of my range though... 7 bill$.

  19. Red Shed "junkyard spey"

    Posts: 517
    Peck, ID
    Ratings: +7 / 0
    I believe I said I was referring to the CND 13' Expert. The CND 1308 Custom is another animal and has a lot more power. A great rod!

    I don't believe either of the above are correct. Some people just like a lighter load. I can tell you the numbers on the blank are only a starting point when matching lines on two handers.

    The CND Expert 1308 and the TFO 12'6"-6wt will both cast the same lines quite nicely.
  20. narwhal Member

    Posts: 84
    Anchorage, AK
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    What about the TFO rods in between teh 14' 9wt and the 12'6" 6wt? Isn't there a couple of 8wts? They woul dprobably work well for smaller steelies wwhere the 9wt is a bit big.