Intro spey set-up


Active Member
I did look on archives and wasn't able to find anything specificlly. I'm going to go to the dark side and pick up a two hander for the Clearwater, G-ronde, and other inland NW steelhead. I was thinking 14ft 10wt., is this the best comprehensive set up? I'm cosidering a Reddington red fly or TFO. As far as a reel goes I'm clueless, how important is balance? As far as line, I was looking at a windcutter/mid spey. Being that this is my first set up, I don't want to drop an arm and a leg- just somthing to get the hang of it, then I'll step it up. Any info is greatly appreciated.

Matt Burke

Active Member
14' 9 wt is your best all around general purpose rod. Forget the mid spey, stick with either the windcutter or SA short head. Don't worry about sink tips until after you get the hang of a floating line. Look on ebay and bid. There are always reddingtons popping up everyday. That alone is an indicator of what kind of rod it is. If people are trying to get rid of them, go figure. Go cheap, but there are always good deals on good quality rods. Keep in mind, there are thousands of people that give up on Spey casting and they all end up on ebay.
I've been doing some research as well and the general consensus is that a 14' 9/10 wt with mid spey line is a good all around rod. I'm sure other spey gurus on this site will be more informative. Check out this site it's very informative also check out they have great package deals. Personally I'm leaning toward the CND 14' Expert with a Rio Midspey but won't know till I give it a test drive.



Active Member
I've got a TFO 14' 9 weight with the Rio Windcutter 9/10/11. I've been very happy with the set up, although my casting skills aren't stellar. A friend of mine has one of the Heritage 15' 10 weights, and the TFO is considerably lighter. However, for around $250, I don't think you'd go wrong with either one.

Big K1

Large Member
For a first rod I would go with a 14' 8-9 weight. A little long and stout for
Ronde fish and a little short for the Clearwater in my opinion but a happy
medium. As far as lines go there are plenty to choose from nowadays.
For strictly dry line fishing I would choose the Snowbee 1D(shorthead 52')
or the 2D(midlength 62'). For tips it is still hard to beat a windcutter.
Airflo long delta is nice with tips if you prefer a longer head.
The running line sucks in my opinion though. To big.
For reels I prefer Hardy's but there are plenty of good reels out there.
Contact Aaron at River Run Anglers he can help you.

Old Man

Just an Old Man
Hey if you are new at this thing,I recommend you go to Aarons free classes every saturday morning at McDonalds park at the confulance(sp) of the Tolt and Snoqualmie river. There are numerous guide"s there giving out free lessons on the art of spey casting. Classes start at around 0900 and last untill about 1200. He has many different rods to try out and the same for the reels and lines. :thumb:

Or you should check in with River Run Anglers,a sponsor of this site. :thumb:



Active Member
Thanks, keep in mind I live in N. Idaho, not exactly a spey mecca. No one around here offers spey classes. I hope to absorb alot at the Clearwater spey clave later on this month. Thanks for the feedback everyone!

Old Man

Just an Old Man
I feel your pain. But this is always something for the masses on this side of the hump that want to try this thing out. Lots ask this same question and fail to do the search thingy. It would help if it was used.



Hallelujah, I'm a Bum!!!
I agree that a 14ft 8/9 is probably the best first spey rod because it fish all rivers at least decently well. The TFO is a fine choice and a very good rod for $250. If you can find one the Winston Ibis 14ft 8/9 is a great rod and as it is now discontinued there are some good deals to be had. The Cortland rod is also a fine rod for the price point it is in and casts very nicely.

However, I disagree with using anything other than a Windcutter or Skagit style line for a beginner. These lines have very short front taper profiles for 27 to 47 ft. which allows the beginner to cast well enough to fish successfully without having a good D loop, good set up of the anchor, etc. Don't get me wrong, it will not make you a good spey caster, but it will allow you to catch fish early on in the learning curve. As my friend Mark Bachmann, founder of the Sandy Spey Clave, says "...there isn't anything wrong with easy". Also, you need to know that the rod wt. listing and the line wt. listing don't mean anything in spey. It is the amount of grains of weight the rod likes ourside of the rod during the cast that matters. Unfortunately, the only way to really dial this in and nail it is to actually cast the rods and lines you are interested in until you find the one that "sings" for you.

The reel needs to balance the rod so that when you are holding the rod during the fishing of the cast the rod does not feel tip heavy. Otherwise, your forarm will soon be very tired and sore. The reel wt. doesn't have any practical effect during the actual casting. Both the TFO and the new Cortland spey reels are very nice serviceable reels at a very attractive price.

If you can attend the Idaho Spey Clave coming up in Oct. I believe you will be able to cast a whole bunch of combinations. This and the fact that you can get some instruction would make going a real benefit.

I have no affiliation with any of the products or outfits mentioned above. They are simply products and people that I have delt with in my own spey fishing.



Fishing with the kids
I am also a beginer to spey rod. I purchased a loop black line 12'4" and love it. It throws sink tips and floating line very well. I would also reccomend purchasing or borrowing a copy of "Introduction to Spey Casting with John and Amy Hazel", as it helped me a lot.

Just my thoughts.
skwala said:
Thanks, keep in mind I live in N. Idaho, not exactly a spey mecca. No one around here offers spey classes. I hope to absorb alot at the Clearwater spey clave later on this month. Thanks for the feedback everyone!
Skwala, I believe you'll be able to get a good idea about what kind of rig suits you at the Clearwater spey clave. You'll have a chance to try out a bunch of different oufits.
I agree with Brent. iagree Definitely go to the clave and try out different rods before you buy one. You'd hate to get saddled up with a rod, line and reel combo that you find out later doesn't suit you once you've learned how to cast. You'll learn a lot at the Clearwater Clave though. Wish I could go. bawling:

Have fun,


I agree with everybody else. A 14ft 9wt is probably the best all around rod. And if you want to buy just one rod to cover the Clearwater and the Ronde, this would be it. However, since I prefer the Ronde over the Clearwater, and I'm relatively new with the 2-hander, I'd suggest a 13ft 7wt rod and a Wincutter 6/7. I think a shorter/lighter rod with a short head line is easier to learn on.

In fact, If you want to meet up sometime you're welcome to cast either of my spey rods. I'll even try to show you what little I know. :confused: