Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by Jim, Jan 18, 2002.
Anyone with any advice on buying a spey rod? Other than bring lots of money.
check out st.croix's line of spey rods, they are a pretty nice rod for a really good price.
Cabalas has one for under 200.00 bucks.Just checked the catalog. It has 4 of them. With reels or the combo they vary from 280.00 to 380.00. Just a thought. Jim S. :COOK
Ted's in Lynnwood Has St Croix spey rods. Jim S.
Will you be fishing for summer or winter run fish?
I just went through this process a few months ago and ended up getting a Sage 7136 on closeout. It is really designed for floating lines during the summer but I've been throwing big flies on an overweighted custom sink-tip line with ease. I bought the blank for ~$200 and built it up with quality components for another ~$150. You might be able to find this rod already built up in a fly shop on closeout (Sage changed colors of the blank so they can generally be had for 40% off). If you'll be spending most of your time winter fishing, I would recommend a 9-weight...if you'll be fishing more with floating lines, go with a 6-7 wt. If you'll be doing both go with an 8 wt.
As far as low cost alternatives...you can't go wrong with St. Croix for ~$250. I recently saw that Cabella's puts out a spey rod in various sizes for under $200.
Diamondback is to the East Coast as G. Loomis is to the West Coast.
Here's a 13ft 8/9 for $289 on closeout: http://www.ezflyfish.com/diam1389spey.html
Rods are hand crafted in a small facility in Vermont. Very well built and carry an unconditional lifetime warranty. I don't own a spey rod, but I do have a 9ft 8wt Diamondback Backwater and love it. Broke it once (my fault) and experienced excellent customer service and very good turn-around time. Diamondback homepage is http://diamondbackflyrods.com
"Superior Equipment cannot compensate for Inferior Skills". - Ed Zaun
Some advice from me for what it's worth; look for a rod that loads progressively. Too many spey rods force you to adapt your cast to the rod in one specific way, no matter what line you are using. Better rods will let you adjust your stroke for different situations (trees behind you, heavy fly, wind direction, etc.). This is usually in a softer, more flexible rod.
I fish Scott spey rods (the 15 foot 9 weight is the best rod I have ever used); they load so perfectly for all lines / all conditions. When I was looking at my first spey rod I found that most of the flyshop guys fished Scotts even if they sold Sages; that was a good clue for me.
I find the Sages to be too fast, especially the older ones, but you can learn to use them and there are some screaming deals on them right now as the above posts said. You often have to overline a Sage also.
I recently cast a St. Croix Imperial 14 foot 9 weight (I think); it was quite nice, especially for the $$. It was a boomer with sinktips.
I have a question about these rods. I've seen people use these in /on the Sauk and Skagit which are big rivers,but would you also use them on a small river say the Pilchuck, Sultan,N/Fork Stilly. I've always been able to get across these smaller rivers with a single handed rod. Just another stupid question. Jim S. :HMMM
It definitely sounds like some of these other guys are more expert at spey rodding than I, but I want to point out that the purpose of these big rods goes way beyond added casting distance. The added leverage of the very long rod is a huge advantage in controlling the speed and depth of your swing. I'm not a bad double-hauler, and on my best days I can almost keep up with my friends who have spey rods (if I really work at it I can manage a little better than 80 ft, for a few casts anyway). But I can never match their line control, ESPECIALLY at 80 ft. That line control, the ability to get the fly down and keep it down, and more importantly to slow the swing of the line, is probably the most important function of a spey rod, not just it's ability to throw a fly 90 ft. Of course that line control can translate to shorter casts as well (in fact gets even better).
Spey rods also open up productive water that is impractical to fish with a one-handed rod (because there's no back-cast room, for instance). And once you get the hang of it, each cast takes a lot less time than the whole strip-line-in - 3-or-4 double-hauls - shoot-the-line rigormoroll, keeping your fly in the water more, covering the water more thoroughly, increasing your chances.
Now of course there are situations where the big rods won't be that practical, especially on very small streams. If nothing else these rods are heavy, and a 9 foot rod will give you all the control you need on a stream like the Pilchuk.
I use shorter two handers, one a Cabela's 11'3'' 6wt (fishes more like a 7 or 8) and a 11' 8 wt. made out of a Rainshadow blank. I fish small to medium streams in SW WA mainly using a large indicator and heavy nymphs or streamer and marabou patterns. I find it an enjoyable and effective way to fish steelhead. Neither of the rods are what I'd term fast action, but after trying out much faster rods in the same length the slower action seems to work better and load the rod up faster in tight, brushy situations where a backcast is not an option. Neither rod cost me over $165.
I overline the rods fairly heavy using a 9 wt. versitip for the Cabela's 6wt. and an 11wt Floater saltwater taper with the 8wt. Have not tried any long distance casting with them as I don't fish big waters with any regularity. However, have some friends who regularly use the Cabela's 6wt for summer fishing on the DEschutes for steelhead and say it is a perfect rod for that application. Just my 2-cents. Good luck!
YOU COULD ALSO LOOK AT BUILDING YOUR OWN,OR HAVE A CUSTOM ROD BUILDER BUILD IT FOR YOU. ANGLERS WORKSHOP OUT OF WOODLAND HAS SOME GOOD DEALS, OR CHECK GREGS CUSTOM ROD IN LAKE STEVENS
I have been kicking around the idea of getting a spey rod but know nothing about them. The feedback on this string has been helpful. Here's a dumb question: is there a special flyline for a spey rod (I assume you don't just slap your single-hander flylines on this type of rod). I have an 8 wt. 9 1/2 foot single-hander with 3 spools for my reel (floating and two different sink tips). Even if there is a special fly line for the two-handers, I assume I'll be able to use the same reel I use for my one-hander (and just get a new spool)?
Generally, spey lines are much larger (longer thicker tapers) for the wieght of the rod than conventional lines. Rio makes a "spey" line in various weights. A lot of anglers build lines from oversized double-tapers. A fairly standard line for an 8-9 spey rod gets built around an 11-weight double taper.
The upshot is that spey reels are generally a lot bigger than the reel you're probably using now. And like everyting else, they're not cheap. Most manufacturers have a "spey" reel these days, but they are pretty specialised and not much good for anything else. I would recommend getting a big large-arbor salwater reel that could pull double duty.
There are multi-tip lines out there. I've been reading up on them in my Cabela's catalog. If you hook your self up with a Multi-tip system you would only need one reel. I was going to try that way but I think for now that I will stick with just an 8wt. I guess I'm just to cheap. Jim S. :THUMBSUP
My two cents:
1) Reels. Yes, you need a big reel to hold a huge double taper or WF spey line, but any large disc drag reel works fine for this. I use a Teton Tioga 12 for my 9 wt spey rod; pretty cheap, can hold the big line plus 150 or so yards of backing. That's fine for all the water around here. SA System 2 reels are also big and fairly inexpensive. Of course, if you have a big Abel or Tibor that's even better.
2) Lines. At least as important as the rod. You can have the best rod in the world (see my recommendation above) but without the right line / taper you will flail all day. Most modern spey rods need a bit of overlining. For example, I fish the Rio 10/11 midspey line on my 9 weight rod. There's no good formula for this; you almost have to try different lines. Don't skimp on the line! This will make or break you, especially at the learning stage. My belief is that the Rio Windcutter is the absolute best "learning" line there is; I still use mine all the time.