spey rod question?

If I get a spey rod 7/8 can I use a large arbor 9/10 reel or do I need a special reel? Also what would be the most all around spey weight for winter steelies. I would assume 7/8, but I am not sure.

As far as the reel goes, I have an Okuma Integrity 10/11 on my 7wt Spey. Which works fine for my needs. I have an Airflo Delta Spey long 6/7 and an Airflo Multi Tip Delta Spey Long 7/8. My only complaing... Capicity. I'm sure I'll upgrade later but the reel meets my needs for now.

As for the best all around winter rod? I pretty much stick to Summer runs, but I'd say 14' 8/9 weight. :thumb:

Steve Buckner

Mother Nature's Son
The rod/reel combination that you choose should be dependent upon the line that you choose, the line capacity of the reel, and the balance of the reel/line/rod. Because of the length of spey lines, and long belly lines in particular, they eat up reel in a hurry. You don't want to have your reel rubbing on the line because there isn't enough room on the spool for your line.

Just like with your single handed rod, your double-handed rod should be balanced. To test for balance, (with your line/reel attached), balance the rod accross your index finger near the upper most part of the top grip, where your top hand would normally go. If the rod is balanced there, you're in pretty good shape. If not, you may either need to add more weight in the reel/line combination or take weight away from there.

I use a Bauer MX5 for my 7141. For lines, I used the SA XLT 7/8 for my dry line and use the Rio Mid-spey 7/8. This system balances nicely. For my 9141, I use the Bauer MX6. I use the Rio Mid-spey 8/9, again this is a nice balance. For my 9150, I use the Bauer M6 and use a SA XLT 8/9 and a Rio-Mid-spey 9/10. You could check out the Bauer site and find out the specs on the reels mentioned.

As you probably already know, matching the right line to your rod is critical. Aaron would be able to help you match things up nicely. At Flyfishusa.com, you can find a chart that Way Yin put together to match the SA XLT line to many rods. Rio has information on their site as well. Hopefully you can find a reel that matches both weight and capacity so that it balances out.
I have a Rio 7/8 Mid Spey on a Tioga Grand Teton 10 reel. I lost this and replaced it with a duplicate, then found the original. and I don't need two. I can sell you the just line or the whole combo, if you are interested. You'll have to get your own tips for it.

The ideal all-around winter steelhead spey rod would be something like a 15 footer for 10/11 lines. If you have no experience with rods at the upper end of the spey selection, that may seem too heavy and powerful to contemplate. No; such tackle fits perfectly on the average steelhead river. (I prefer a 16-footer, but I'm usually on the Skagit and Sauk.)

If you mostly stick to smaller rivers, or if you're more of a cornerback than an interior lineman, you can do well with an all-around 14' 9-weight. But with some experience, the big rod and line will let you cast those wet 2/0 maribous with all- day comfort.

For spey reels, look for one designated from two to three line sizes larger than its description. A shorter-belly spey line, like the popular Rio Windcutter, is fairly easy to accommodate, but a large size, extended belly spey line devours reel space like you wouldn't believe.

Rich McCauley

Meiser & Mohlin
If at all possible, as Mr. Buckner suggested, make the trip to Arrons gig on Saturdays. You can put your hands on an amazing number of rods. Most of his try rack lines are floaters, but you can usually find someone who can help you with tips. If you are lucky Mike Kinney will be around to show you the the logic of Short head systems. Remember, there are almost as many opinions out there as there are Spey casters. Long rods and long bellied lines work grate on large bars, but are not much fun on a high bank jammed into the trees. Listen to everyone, try everything, and the decide based on where and how you will fish. My favorite Sauk rod is an old Sage 9126 3 piece euro rod with a short belly setup. It throws 4" Marabou/Bunney tubes with big brass eyes just fine.