Looking for a spey rod


I'm sure this topic has been covered several times but I find advice much easier to take when it is actually directed at me.

I'm looking to purchase my first spey rod. I was thinking of an 8 or 9 weight somewhere in the 14' range (winter steelhead). I was wondering if there are any opinions as to good rods for a beginer. Other random factoids: I'm partial to Sage, I would much rather get a rod that I'm happy with than get a cheap one now and upgrade in a year, I'll probably end up building the rod myself if I decide on an expensive rod.

Any advice?



P.S. if anyone has a rod in newish condition that fits the above bill that they're looking to get rid of I'd like to hear about it.


Workin in a sweet mullet
My first spey ros was the St. Croix Imperial that I am trying to sell. It is a fabulous rod, no matter what people say. It throws tips well, and has been on the recieving end of a few winter steelhead.

Its 13'4" 7/8 wt. I'll throw in the Windcutter Spey Line too for $175 or a decent offer

As a neophyte spey rodder myself I can only let you know what I have tried. The CND rods are very nice casting rods and fairly inexpensive. After testing acouple other rods though, with a budget in mind, I decided on a 13 foot 8/9 Redington. Other , more experienced casters have tried the rod and liked it. For the money (about $250) it's a pretty good rod.

I also bought, sight unseen, a TFO 12'6" 6 wgt that I dearly love. I can't wait to tangle with some Coastal Cutts with that one, maybe a summer steelhead or two. About the same price as the Redington.

The Redington has taken steelhead (one 30 inch fish) and had plenty of backbone.

However, all that being said, I have Bob Meisers site bookmarked and whenever the wife is asleep, I gaze at Bob's spey rods with lust in my eye.

Just in case your also lustful, try www.meiserflyrods.com

Ron Eagle Elk said:
However, all that being said, I have Bob Meisers site bookmarked and whenever the wife is asleep, I gaze at Bob's spey rods with lust in my eye.
Ron, I too gaze at the rods on Bob Meiser's site. :) I've also taken a liking to the CNDs and the Loops. Merely looking at them, mind you. I've never cast any of them.

I am just getting my feet wet in the two-handed rod world. Recently, I received a Redington 14' 9/10 for Xmas. It's the only rod I have cast. It seems (to a beginner) like a good rod for a beginner. You can pick one up for $150 at a certain catalog dealer on the internet (am I allowed to say Cabelas?).
Ron Eagle Elk said:
That Redington is a great buy at $250, it's a steal at $150. Now where did I put that credit card?
I was just poking around on the Cabelas site. I can't find them. I might have missed the link. :hmmm:

Bert Kinghorn

Formerly "nextcast"
Try before you buy, please

If you check out the Internet auction sites most any time of the year you will see a dozen or so spey rods listed that have a condition description that reads something like, "Cast only once on the grass," or "Fished this rod only twice and I discovered spey casting is not for me." I mention this not to suggest that you look for a rod on the web, but rather to point out that there are far too many people who have their expectations dashed when they buy a spey rod based on someone else's recommendation.

I applaud and fully agree with Nooksack Mac's recommendation concerning the Kaufman Spey Days. He is dead on, but you don't have to wait until February to try some rods.

If you live near Seattle, do yourself a HUGE favor and go to at least one of Speybum's Saturday morning spey casting clinics, in Carnation. He is a site sponsor. The the clinics are free and he has lot's of rods for people to try. They start every Saturday at 9 AM and end about 11 AM. The best part of the deal is that some of the area's best spey casting instructors are there and they will teach you the basics of casting for free. Once you learn how to handle a two-hander and get a sense of what rods best fit your casting style you will be much better equipped to select a rod.

Finally, Spey casting can be emotionally consuming for some. Don't start unless you are willing to have it take over your life. There are those who enjoy it so much they don't fish any more, they just cast. Welcome to a grand new adventure in fly angling!
hey Phil,

It was about this time last year that i decided fishing in MT during the winter for trout was alot of driving and 40 degree weather here sounded quite balmy. I have cast a single hand all day for steelhead and it is no joy with a sink tip.

I bought the CND and tested several with Ryan at Kaufmann's. I thought the steelhead rod was really going to be it after much web research but tried it and the skagit rod and really can cast better with the skagit. It seemed more forgiving for the neophyte I am .... when you timed that single spey right with the steelhead it could really boom a cast but I liked the feel of the skagit rod. Based on price i think they are quite nice. All the rest of my rods are Sage's but I couldn't pay the house payment for the spey :)

My real point is I thought I could cast the rod pretty well based on my 30 minute trial lesson with Ryan and a couple days on the river on my own. Last fall I booked a trip with John Farrar to guide the Grande Ronde and thought he could tune up my casting. That said he really thought me how to cast the rod ... no more thrashing the water to a froth and putting all that muscle into the cast. There is a certain riding a bike feel that he really helped me gain. I would recommend spending at least 8 hours with someone instructing you to fish the rod.

I'm not one to worry about distance casting or making the perfect loop; lets just get the line in the right spot with the proper drag or lack of and catch some fish. John really helped me on that point as well.

I recommend the CND rods and a day spent with someone that has an interest in improving your form. Your right shoulder will appreciate it.

cheers, Travis
Hey guys,

Thanks for all the input. I live in Seattle and will definitely make my way to these clinics. I have cast a spey rod once, but definitely not enough to really know what it's all about.



Bob Triggs

Stop Killing Wild Steelhead!
I have to say that Aaron Reimer, of River Run Anglers in Carnation, has a great saturdays program where he shares rods and lines etc with people who are interested. He sets up a big rack for the day and people go there from all over the place for Aaron's patient spey casting coaching and to try out rods and lines. See his offerings on our Calendar for special saturday events, as well as others. And I will support Travis's post, especially regarding guide John Farrar. You wont find a more generous teacher. iagree
CND rods are good suggestions; the other direction I would point you would be Loop. Attractively priced with very good beginner actions for using a shorter line like a windcutter. The green and yellow lines are very good; a particular favorite is the 14 foot 9 weight Yellow.

The line you will cast is almost more important than the rod itself. You can barely go wrong with rods these days, but you can certainly go wrong with lines. I am a believer that longer belly lines are much harder to learn initially and don't add that much to your abilities when you have learned them. Stick with the Rio windcutter. Having used every spey line there is, I find myself coming back to it for almost all of my fishing.

Steve Buckner

Mother Nature's Son
One item that I think is worth mentioning is to consider the overall length of the rod and match that to the rivers that you're considering fishing or that you'll be fishing the most. If you're planning of fishing large rivers, longer rods will probably do that job better. Rods that are 15 feet or longer will generate more line speed and this equates to distance. Longer rods also mend line more easily. If the rivers you intend to fish are smaller, a double-handed rod between 12-14 feet may fit those rivers well.

Rod weight is also something to consider. Rods in the 9 weight class are often a little over kill for most of the hatchery fish in our rivers. A 7 or 8 weight rod is a much better match for most steelhead up to 14 lbs. or so.

Another thing to consider is that some rod manufactures make rods that are better suited to just throwing dry lines, others for throwing tips, some for over-head casting, and some that do a pretty good job of all. If you have access to steelhead year-round that may play a role in your decision versus someone who is looking strictly for a summer steelhead rod that is meant to throws dry lines.

Once you've started to consider some of these variables, head to River Run Anglers and have Aaron help you. He's a great guy and has many options for you to try.

For sage, the 7136 is a nice summer steelhead rod. It's a slow actioned rod, it would probably handle sink tips but does better throwing a dry line.

The Sage 7141 is a nice rod, it's slightly faster than the 7136 and throws both sink tips and dry lines very well.

The Sage 9150 is a great all-round rod, it's slow action is very well suited to the person just starting out yet still has plenty of power for the advanced caster. George Cook calls this rod "the teacher's pet".

The Sage 9140 is a slow action rod, another nice choice but I prefer the 9150 because it is one foot longer. In addition, the cork on the 9150 is longer, allowing you to put more distance between your top and bottom hand and deliver more torque.

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