Spey Reels

I've finally caught the spey rod bug. My question is, with the length & size of spey lines, what reels do you like to use?
Please give me both your pros and cons based on what you have used.


Active Member
What reels? BIG! A reel rated at 12wt and 300 yds is not big enough for many of the lines out there. 12wt and 400 to 450 yds of 30 is a better choice. Typically a 4 to 4.5 inch standard arbor reel will serve you well. Available for $70 to $800 bucks depending on the depth of your pocket. I know of a place to get new Bauer M7s which have been discontinued for about $390 if you are interested.
Philster is right. A longer-belly spey line in the larger sizes, plus appropriate backing, can fill up a small tire rim.
I commend to you the very good but discontinued Redington AS 13/14 reels, which are being snatched up by spey and saltwater anglers who understand the line problem and recognize a bargain. Someone is currently offering them on eBay at Sell-it-now prices: $70. Get several, while you can. Once gone, I believe they'll appreciate like Colt Pattersons.
The AS is a standard hub, with greater capacity than the AL large arbor models.


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Capacity is the primary concern. As mentioned above, the diameter of a 9- or 10-weight spey line which may be 120 feet in length takes up quite a bit of space. For many years I had my 9/10-weight fitted out with an old S-A System 2 1011 which I recently replaced with a Cortland 200 Magnum. My 10/11-weight wears a Hardy Marquis Salmon 2. All of these reels have far more than enough capacity for line and an adequate amount of backing.


Active Member
>My 10/11-weight wears a Hardy
>Marquis Salmon 2. All of these reels have far more
>than enough capacity for line and an adequate amount of

Ever load a 8/9 Grandspey on that Marquis #2:eek I love the marquis in fact I'm looking for a #3. Fishing my #2 on my 7 weight spey with a 6/7 Mastery XLT spey.


Active Member
It's overkill for most of these fish, but I prefer my Tibors and Islanders. For a less spendy reel the Lamson velocity is pretty good. I also have a pair of old Ross Saltwaters that are perfect; you can get them on ebay sometimes.

Yes, I'd be interested in looking at the M7. You can email me at [email protected]
In my original post, I should have noted that I'm looking for a reel for a Sage 9140-4 VPS. My wife bought it for me for my birthday. I haven't used it yet. Any thoughts on this rod?

East Fork

I have a Loomis 11-12-13 I bought on e-bay for a Baja trip. The seller claimed it was new and it came with a warranty card. I got the reel for about the retail cost of the spool - around $210 plus freight.

I called Loomis before bidding and they told me this model reel has been bulletproof. After Baja, I put my spey line on it and it has been great. The reel looks good and balances with a Sage 14' 9 weight rod. The reel may over-engineered for fresh water but I'd rather have it that way then the opposite.
I'm in this very market as we speak. I got a Redington
Gd 9/10 and I'm sending it back. For some strange reason, I don't like it. I would like a Hardy Marquis 3 or bigger but I don't know where to get one cheap. I have an old address about a guy in England who might send me one with a big discount because somehow we don't have to pay the taxes. WOOOOHOOO!
I kind of want a Tioga 11/12 since I own a 6wt. and I like it very much.
I'm patrolling e-bay and I bite every now and again. What irks me is that I seem to find something I like one day and the next I can't find it. And, NO, Einstein, it has not been sold.
And tips here?
Use PM if you've got something hot. But remember, I may write like a fool but I'm at least average in intelligence. So don't try to fork me.
Bob, the Yes, I can count to more than ten. (sometimes)


Active Member
Nice rod. With any of the spey rods, the trick is finding the line that works for you and the rod. A place like River Run Anglers in Carnation, where you can try every line on the planet should be your first stop if you are close. The Flyfishing Shoppe in Welches oregon, and a few other places also have lots of lines to try. The M7 is a great investment. It will work if you move up to a bigger rod, and it will work if you get into big saltwater. You won't be disapointed!

Bob Triggs

Stop Killing Wild Steelhead!
I have used both the Pacific and the Everglades Tibor reels and the Ross Big Game Reels. I like the Tibors because they are built like tanks and they won't fail as soon as many others. Their big Bluewater Model is really as good as it gets; tremendous capacity and a nice heft if you like the sense of a counterbalance on your rod.

Ross Reels are easier to work with, lighter, and spool changes are almost immediate with no loss of security as the spool latch is integral to the spool. You drop that Tibor screw and your screwed! I think the Ross is much lighter and the counterbalance thing is mostly psychological.

If you are using a traditional double-taper spey line, then you will find that most of the spool is used up by the line and you have very little backing then. The Triangle Taper Speylines, by Royal Wulff, are very good for not taking up too much space.And the long taper is great for spey casting.

I have been using a Rio Versi-Tip Windcutter, with the newer "Upgrade" head and like it very much. It does not use up too much spool space and the versatility is really great.

I saw a very bright young man named John McMillan presenting a slide show one time a few years ago- he was using an old wooden mooching reel and a floating line all year-round for steelhead. So you don't need to go nuts with this. Keep it simple and practical. The reel you buy should be able to hold your line and better than a hundred yards of backing, and at least 200 yards for steelheading. It ought to have a simple but sufficient drag, a disc drag of some kind. The reel should be solidly built with a good warranty, including repairs. (One good thing about Ross Reels is that they will repair or replace the reel within 24 hours of receiving it from the customer!)

One thing I look for in a reel is a little heft, some mass. I want the thing to be able to take a few bumps in it's life. I don't baby my stuff. I am not thrilled with the way reels are ported and milled out to almost nothing- too susceptible to dirt and debris. But closed reels have their problems too; trapped dirt and icing up to name but two.

Pretty is as pretty does. Don't buy cheap.


Active Member
>I'm patrolling e-bay and I bite every now and again.
>What irks me is that I seem to find something I like
>one day and the next I can't find it. And, NO,
>Einstein, it has not been sold.
>And tips here?

Well Bob, the only tip I have is that I opened a "My Ebay" account, and under favorites you can save a few searches like "Marquis Salmon" or "tioga 11-12" and this seems to work for me in giving me consistent results.

As to buying from england, yeah you don't have to pay the VAT which is figured into the prices on most websites, and shipping a reel should only run about 10 pounds or $15-$17 Amurikan. Only problem is the Hardy JLH Salmon only holds a double taper 10 and 200 yds 30#, but the price is so tempting at about $110:hmmm


Active Member
No, I haven't gotten caught up in the avalanche of new spey lines that have been coming out in the last few years. I've been sticking with either a 90- or 120-foot double taper floater that I lopped 15 feet off of to allow looping on various sinking heads.


Active Member
I still throw a 9wt DT, cut at the taper and looped to a 7 wt DT front taper on my 9140 sage. But I have to tell you, the grandspey, of the appropriate size is a real eye opener if you're at all good with a DT... Your U shaped loops, even if they are tight, will turn into V shaped loops, and be even tighter!


Active Member
What is that strange reason...I'm curious because I have an 7/8 GD Silver and it's a beauty but something about it. I have had it for a year almost and have never fished it. I think it looks pretty but really don't admire the machining. I prefer my Tioga 8 or Battenkill LA on my XP over the GD.
For my spey outfit I recently went with the Velocity 4 over Tioga 12.........I really have very little justification for this move other than my favorite reel I own is a Velocity 2...this compared to the others I own....Redington GD, Ross Gunnison, Orvis Battenkill LA, Tioga, Fin Nor....... the Gun is a good reel just not LA or very prettiiee.