Single handed spey rods

What the heck is a single handed spey rod? I assumed that a spey rod would automatically mean it was two handed. But Cabela's sells a single hand 11'3" 6 weight. Is that just a marketing gimic for a super long 6 wt? Or does a spey rod have more to do with the type of line it throws than then hardware configuration. I am not really interested in purchasing it, I was just perplexed when I saw it. My whole spey rod paradigm is being challenged by it's mere existance. :rolleyes:

That Cabela rod is one of a newly developing class called switch rods. They're mostly 10-12 feet long, with shortened spey-type handles, and are intended to be used either single- or two-handed. Time will tell whether they're a useful transition category, or neither fish nor fowl.
Spey casts can be done with conventional rods, and are useful in places like a dense shoreline with no room for a regular backcast. But a lot of the effectiveness of a spey rod comes from its length. Below about 12 1/2', they're not efficient.
"Below about 12 1/2', they're not efficient."

HUH??? That statement really is not true. Switch type rods can be spey cast 80-90 feet no probelm and are very effective fishing tools in big or small water.

What is not efficient about them? Most of the hardcore short spey rods guys I know swear by how efficient they are...

Sean, I should have been clearer. I was referring to spey rods. My experience with them is that shorter than 12 - 12 1/2 feet, spey rods aren't so hot at the kind of spey casting that I prefer, which is working long-belly lines on wide-open water. As you say, there's another party in the spey community, who are comfortable and efficient with shorter, lighter rods and shorter belly lines. (The popular Rio Windcutter has approximately a 54-foot belly plus a lot of running line, and the rapidly ascendent Scandanavian shooting heads and Skagit heads are considerably shorter.) Orvis says that their shortest spey rod, at 12 1/2 feet, is their most popular model. And spey rods are gaining ground in the smaller rivers of the NW and the Great Lakes tributary streams, which rarely require more.
I built a switch rod out of a 11 1/2' Loomis blank, long before that term was invented. Used mainly as a single hander, it's a line flingin', line-mending fool.
I can't argue with anyone who gets good use out of a switch rod. It's just that for me, when I'm fishing smaller water such as the North Stilly above Deer Creek, I'd rather go back to a conventional single-hander.

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