Why spey?

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by OhioOutdoorsman, Nov 21, 2006.

  1. I see only single handers in the Ohio steelhead tribs that I fish. The rivers are usually <100ft wide but have some deep runs that could use a sinking line, but no one ever does. I know nothing about spey/skagit casting and was wondering if this could be of use here.

    One advantage I do see is that of warding off other fisherman from my hole. I hate busting my butt to get on the river at 6:30 am only to have some guys crowd my hole a half and hour later. I usually ward them off with a couple of agressive false casts when they crowd me without asking permission, but I think a 15' rod with 100ft of line would be much more intimidating. :beathead:

    Thanks in advance......
  2. I spey because I am a fly fishing addict. I got my first flyrod when I was 6 ,and by the time I was 16, having seen some spey rods, I needed one. It was something new and that is about it.

    I personally don't think that all the advantages supplied about speys hold any water but I do love them and they do have their time and place. The speed and accuracy with which I can fish a single hander I think beats a spey hands down and these are usually the situations I find myself in, even on big rivers. But when the water is cold and area coverage is the priority a spey can't be beat, and I'll bet that is how your steelhead streams are. So it is probably worth it to you. Another good reason to get into spey fishing is that the cheapest good rod is now no longer 650$ which it was 10 years ago when I got mine. The TFOs seem pretty darn good from what I hear.

    Now here is the one TRUE advatage to spey in my opinion, once you learn a few spey casts using water as an "anchor" to load your rod, all your fishing with single handed rods will change forever. I pretty much use the spey casts all the time with all my rods (3wt - 10wt). You wouldn't believe how handy they are. Your fly fishing will get MUCH better as far as covering water is concerned.

    Spey rodding also appeals to those of us into the history of our sport because it is an "olde tyme" method, mostly......
  3. Well I do use a partial roll retrieve, catch my fly on the water to load it at the end of a drift, and fling it forward repeatedly now with no stripping...........I discovered/taught this myself. I don't see anyone else doing this, but it allows me to get 2-3x more casts in per unit time. I've been calling this a roll cast, but its really not......is this a spey/skagit technique? Looks kind of simular to spey casting in some videos I've seen.
  4. Ohio,
    I'm not sure spey rods would offer an advantage if its as crowded as it sounds. I dont really know anything about midwest sporting ethic, but out here people work down through runs (not sure how people with indicators/centerpin rigs do it). Another thing though, is that if the river truly is 100 feet wide, you might be able to reach holding lies alot guys who are fishing one handers cannot.

    In Dec Hogans recent book, "A passion for Steelhead", he talks about his experience fishing a spey rod in New York. Baisically he said he observed everyone fishing the heads of runs really hard and pretty much leaving the gut and tailout alone. He noted that this was probably due to the fact that they were all fishing glo bugs.

    I would also post this quesiton on spey pages, but if the river isnt too crowded and the water is conducive to swinging a fly, theres nothing better than fishing a spey rod. Probably a 7/8 rod would be perfect for those Great Lakes fish. Also, I know for a fact there are spey claves around the Upper Midwest, and there are certianly some bigger rivers that fit a spey rod nicely in places like Michigan and Ontario, although you might not want to go to Michigan for a while after the buckeyes knocked off Michigan for the 3rd straight year.

    Finally, Spey casting is the technique, Skagit casting is just a type of casting with a certain line system/set of preferred casts, which is en Vouge on the West Coast right now. You dont have to cast Skagit style to fish a spey rod although those short belly lines do help throwing sink tips.

    Hope this helps.

  5. I would not go over a 12-13 foot spey rod for those size rivers. In Michigan thats what most are using now, for really big rivers 14 foot max.

    Look at the CND rods, find a local fly shop which maybe can help.

    Have fun and good luck.


  6. Its really not that crowded, save the week before/after easter. I was half kidding. You are right about most people sticking to the heads of pools. I build my own rods and was thinking I could start with a 12 1/2 ft 6/7 wt or 13 ft 7/8 wt RX7 blank I could get for cheap.
  7. I've fished my spey rod on some GL tribs and it was great. There is some great swing water that is way underutilized, most people nymph pool heads and slots. I was amazed last year when I was visiting family for the holidays how much good swing water was unoccupied and how many fish the "guts" and tailouts held even though there was a fair amount of pressure on the rivers I fished. I would pick up the 12'6" 6/7 and a skagit or windcutter line.... get some bunny leeches and marabous and go to work.

  8. I agree grey. I've spent the last day thinking of all the holes and parts of holes that everyone passes up because the fish are too deep, the water is too high, the bank is too steep, or the brush is too high for one handers. I see zero two handed rodders save one carp fisherman I saw two years back.

    Here's a few thoughts I have. The Ohio steelies are smaller.....30" is considered an exceptional fish and 22"-26" fish are typical. The rivers do narrow down to 20-25' wide in places....I think a shorter rod in a 6 to 7 wt would be perfect.

    I'm looking to do this on the cheap. I could get a 11' 6" 6/7 wt rod RX6 rod blanks and build a decent spey for under $150. I was also thinking of getting a 10' 6 or 7wt st.croix legend ultra and making a custom screw in rear spey handle for a 10' 6" rod. (This would be a switch rod not spey I guess). This could also be screwed out and used as a one hander for a float trip, which I also covet presently.

    What do you think?

    Could I get by with with my cabelas LSR 7-8 wt reel loaded with 6 wt line? What do you all think of a Rio windcutter with a versitip? I'm drooling thinking about all the sinking tip possibilities......

    Is spey mainly a nymph thing or do you use streamers/buggers and dries with droppers too?
  9. I dont know anything about the over mentioned rod blanks. I do know that you'd be hard pressed to find blanks for under 150 dollars. Also, a spey rod is going to feel way out gunned in a 20-25' wide river channel. Wind cutter is a good line although I dont really know anything about switch rods.

    Spey rods are used to perform a down and across swing presentation, so out here mostly people swing steelhead flies with them. If you want to fish a dryfly on a spey you skate or riffle hitch it. People do nymph with them, but then its just a long rod for roll casting.
  10. Ohio,

    A very sweet inexpensive Spey rod for small water and fish the size you describe can be had as a DIY kit for less than $150. I built an 11.5' 6/7 Rainshadow/Forecast blank last winter. It would be my main rod if I didn't have so many all ready. I did it as a project to see if a good Spey rod could be done for cheap. The answer is yes. It is more of a 7/8 wt rod tho, in my estimation, maybe a light 8.

    I guess when the river narrows down to 20', you don't need any rod, but it will serve you well at the wider spots you want to fish. Spey fishing is mostly wet fly swing, but you can nymph it also. A fellow I know did well last season with a multi-tip line leaving the tip off, just tie a leader there to a weighted fly or unweighted one and split shot. Strike indicator depends on your preference for one. Use a sink tip for wet fly swing, a floating tip, or no tip for nymphing.

    I don't know if your reel has enough capacity. Your 6 wt line is the wrong one, I'm pretty certain.


    Salmo g.
  11. All right, I've decided to build a Forecast 11'6 6/7 wt.

    What Rio would you reccomend....the mid-spey or the windcutter? What wt windcutter 5/6, 6/7/8, or 7/8/9? I want to get the versitip......

    Seems like the windcutter would be easier to learn on and offer the most versitility.....

    Would this rod also be usable as a single hander for upstream nymphing? (This is more skagit, right?) Would this require a different line? If so what?
  12. I cast this rod about a year ago with a 6/7 SA Short Head Spey and it rocked. Should be good with a 6-7-8 Windcutter. Casting midspey-length lines would be a lot of unnecessary work (IMHO) with a spey rod under 12'.

    Another option would be the Rio Skagit 450 grain line. That will probably be my primary line with that rod.

    Great rod - I still have the components and will build mine later this winter.

    Tight Lines!


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