Which Spey Outfit for a Beginner?

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by Mike Swanson, Oct 21, 2008.

  1. Posted this on the Spey Clave, surprised that I have not received may hits. Frankly expected more... pontification on virtues and merits of the various products on the market.

    I would appreciate any advise and opinons... I was bitten by the bug last AUG while on a road trip home. I will be back in the the USA this SEP, plan to go home to fish for Steelhead. Will stop by the Red Shed to buy my new Spey Outfit first. Best case I can make the Spey Clave in late SEP.

    I welcome all recommendations/comments/opinions (even violent) for a startup rig... looked at a couple links sent to me... the Burkheimer is doable, but the Olson Reel was a bit much, and a 6 month wait... Does look good though, very classic lines... I found the Saracione, on the Red Shed site, I really like its looks. Any other brands comperable?

    High end:
    - Burkheimer Rod - 8134-4, 13'4" - 8, 8oz
    - 8139-3, 13'9" - 8, 7.75 oz
    - 8142-4, 14'2' - 8, 8 oz **
    - Saracione Reel - 3 3/4" - 7/8
    - 4" - 8/9 **
    - Spey Line - Would go with a RIO (keep money in Idaho, always used SA in the past) - $149.95 with versitip
    - Not real familiar here, what is the difference from a windcutter, powerspey, and Skagit line?

    ** - would be my dream/classic rig... looking for versatility and quality as well as the classic appearance. If I stay on the higher end, ** this package, is it versatile enough to cover different waters and fish, ie Salmon, or should I go with a different length reel combination? Even with the N Idaho water close to home... I can see a trip or two to the coast and possibly points north before I get too old.

    Want to stay with American manufacturers and I am willing to pay for the quality (and a level of durability needed for a beginner) that I can give to a grandchild in my later years... just like a good firearm.

    Based on what I mentioned above and if my wife votes... where would you start for a beginning/learning rig, with the option to go to higher end later (would prefer to spend the money up front for quality)... Have not reserached a "beginner's lower end"... Scott Rod, Lamson, or Ross Reel? Always can give/sell my first rig to my son after he graduates from college (could not get him to do UofI, opted for some flatland school in Kansas).

    Saving my spare change over the next year while enjoying an all expense paid Middle East vacation. I currently own several one handed rods from ORVIS (3&8), Scott (5), and Powell (10) and have reels from ORVIS (Battenkill), J Ryall (5) Ross (Canyon 4&5). Happy with the makers of all the rigs I already have. If anybody has strong opinions would like to read them... have seen some posts already on Scott Spey rods.

    Thanks for your time and indulgence.

    Looking forward to your comments and opinions (even the violent ones).

  2. maybe the guys on the Speypages looked at your "starter outfit" and got jealous.
    you're talking about a top-end outfit!
  3. If you can afford Burkheimer than by all means get it!

    I would get a nice wide Hardy to go with it as well since you probably can afford that.

    And than an Airflo Scadi line and a bunch of tips and you are golden.

    Oh and if you have the money to spare, a really really nice pair of wading boots, and some warm socks and heavy fleece pants because comfort is what will keep you out there fishing.

    And blow some money on some casting classes.

    You should do alright :)
  4. iagree
    other options could include nice loud Speyco reels, AFS head systems

    nonnegotiables include Jason's suggestions about wading gear- I think big money is best spent on that first, because the high-dollar tackle preferences will be arrived at after you've become comfortable with tackle and technique. Even if I were a multigazillionaire I'd start with a good reel, a middlin' rod and balanced line setup, find my preferences, and then spend the big bucks once dialed in a bit.
    my 0.223
  5. Great rod from one of the best rod designers in the business.

    That said, I'd recommend the RIO Windcutter 8/9/10 Vesitip since you want to go with a RIO line. The reasons I recommend the Windcutter 8/9/10 are: 1) you are new to spey casting; therefore, going up one line size from the rod's recommended line weight will help you feel the rod load and unload, thus helping you develop good technique; 2) the short-belly Windcutter's 55' long belly is long enough to make all the classic and modern spey cast without being too long, which even a 65' belly proves to be to a new specaster; 3) the Windcutter's short-belly makes the line more forgiving of anchor placement errors (a common occurrance for new spey casters) and will allow you to make fishable casts much more easily than a longer belly line; and 4) I don't recommend the Skagit lines for new spey casters (eventhough many disagree with this) because they are so forgiving of anchor placement errors it makes it much more difficult to learn proper anchor placement, which is one of the key's to good spey casting.

    I also recommend you get some spey casting instruction because it will keep you from developing bad casting habits. Poppy at the Red Shed just down the road a few miles from you in Peck, ID would be able to help you with this. I'd also be surprised if there aren't folks in Moscow, Pullman who are spey casters that could help you learn.
  6. If you got the money, get some lessons and learn about your cast. Then go to visit Mike at the Red Shed and let him help you choose your rod. There is no ideal beginner set up or ideal rod. Everyone has a different casting stroke and this is amplified in spey casting.
    If a burkie throws out line for you, get it. However, if I had all the money in the world I might not choose that rod, even though I have several burkie single handers and think only top rods come from him, because I have a different type of casting stroke.
  7. Invest in a burkheimer when you are already a strong caster, otherwise you risk damaging a wonderful rod. It will be a few years of solid practice before you are able to even get the high end performance out of a really expensive rod. I would nudge you towards a sage VT2. They have a really good warranty policy, they're affordable and pretty versatile. I would also skip the sarcione reel and get a tioga, ross, or something more reasonable. Reels are the silliest pieces of status symbol we own as anglers and frankly they're really overrated for the most part. Sure a classic hardy, or a handbuilt bogdan or sarcione has its romantic appeal but is it really worth 700 dollars more? Think about how many times you could go fishing for that 700 bucks you save. I bought a giant 1598 pflueger medalist for my VT2 and I handed a really nice wild fish on the Clearwater on it the other week, it worked just fine.

  8. It's a great set-up, but I would give fishing w/ 2 handed rods a whirl before dropping that much money. There are lots of guys who find out it takes some instruction and practice to lessen the learning curve, but they aren't willing to the time. Make sure you love it, and then buy that outfit. Unlike Will, I take great pleasure in my equipment, including my reels. Could I get by w/ a Pflueger? In most cases the answer is yes. Do I want to? Nope. I don't own any reel that real high end, but I picked up a Hardy Salmon II and it gives me great pleasure to hear it sing.
  9. Sage vt2, teton tioga reel...Even though teton is in transition... Both these are damn good for the money ( I have this setup) , and will be good trade bait if you upgrade later. The Redshed has a couple used tetons in the experienced tackle section on his websight-

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