Spey in the Salt Question?

Just curious if anyone has any suggestions for using a light weight spey in the salt. I just finished building my 6/7 spey and planned on using it for rivers but I thought about some of the rips and current I have fished that were at least as strong as some rivers. Does anyone have any suggestions prior to my attempts that will help decrease the learning curve for Spey in the Salt.


Active Member
overhead casting with shooting heads off the beach on the east coast is a pretty common practice with long rods. i wouldn't call it spey casting, however.


Active Member
Speycasting with speylines and speyrods in the saltwater is horribly inefficient.

Overhead casting with shooting heads and fast two-handed rods is an almost perfect way to target coho off our beaches.

This is not meant to be a lesson in semantics but one of using the correct tools for the job.

CND makes a two handed rod for overhead casting into the surf. Its not designed for Spey casting, if you want to try one of those. (I wouldn't want to use a Spey rod in the surf if you didn't build it with guides etc. for that). Ron at All About The Fly seems to know a lot about two handed rods for the surf and Rod building. I would give him a shout. All About the FLy is advertised all over this site and his wife is FlyshopKristen on this site.


Doesn't care how you fish Moderator
I have messed around with my Sage 6126 in the Salt with a 450 Skagit spey on it. It will throw a long ways over hand but I find it akward to strip with a larger rod. Even with a short head, you still have a few false casts to shoot enough line for a real cast. I use a 2 hander in the salt only when I need to. I fish out of my duroboat most of the time and dont need a 2 hander.


Active Member
Ringlee...you mean a 450 grain on a 6 weight spey? What rod do you use? ....I'm probably wrong but that seems pretty heavy for a 6 weight....
I spent a lot of time last summer doing the 2 hander in the salt thing. I caught a lot of pinks and cohos this way. After that experience I decided that it wasn't all that great.

Yes you can cast a bit farther, but once you have a fish on, that big rod takes all the fun out of the play. Especially if you hook a cutthroat or resident coho - you don't need that strong of a rod and it is kind of a pain to bring the fish to hand and release it without beaching it because the rod is so long. I prefer to release fish quickly and I think the long rod actually hinders your ability to do that. You end up having to beach to poor things.


I am trying to improve my distance casting abilities for future trips down south for bonefish and tarpon and I felt like the two hander was a crutch for distance casting. I have since decided to go back to the single hander and work on my casting skills to get the same distance as would be possible with a two hander.

Just my 2 cents ....



Doesn't care how you fish Moderator
I use the Sage 61263. It is 12'6" "6" weight Sage spey rod. I use the Skagit spey 450 grain on it. It is a really good match for the rod and my casting style. Plus you can throw it overhand.
I have a 12' 6/7 wt Med. Fast spey rod which was designed to cast shooting heads Scandiavian under-handed style. It also casts nicely overhead. I've messed around with all kinds of different heads, head lengths, wts, etc. If you have a rod of similar length and action, look into the Rio Outbound lines. I use the 10 wt line at 425 grains for my spey action, and, though a tad heavy for it, overhead action. The 9wt line is actually better for overhead, but totally sucked for spey, and since I can really only justify buying one of those lines, I went with the heavier one.

Another option is to use interchangeable shooting heads, where you can switch the length and wt (and density) depending on conditions. Look into brands like Scierra and Guidlelines, as well as maybe Rio's scando heads, though they may be too heavy. Finally, you might be able to find the right Windcutter set-up, using the belly and the tip, with the middle section removed for overhead, and put the middle section back for spey.

As you can see, there are maybe too many options. Part of the fun--and the addiction--of two-handers is messing around with all this stuff!

Good luck, and have fun!