2 handed overhead vs spey

Hi all,

I've been flyfishing for about 35 years now and I've never ventured into the 2 handed rod world, but now I'm thinking I might like to give it a try. But, I'm confused (fairly normal state for me lately). Can someone please give me guidance as to what exactly is the difference between a 2 handed rod that is meant for casting overhead and a traditional spey rod? Can you tell one from the other by looking at them? Is there really a difference in the rod, or is the difference just in the casting technique? I am interested in using a 2 handed overhead rod for salt (surf and calmer waters). Right now, I'm not that interested in a spey rod for river fishing. What should I look for in an overhead rod? Any make/model of 2 handed overhead rods that you have found to be particularly good (or not so good)? I would be targeting mostly salmon in the salt, but I would like to acquire a rod that gives me room for other salt species as well.

It seems that most manufacturers use the terms 2-handed and spey to mean the same thing.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks - SJK
In general, you will want a faster rod for overheading. Sometimes this is called "european" or "scandinavian" action as opposed to "traditional" action, which is slower and better suited for long line, or skagit type river casting.

I don't have much experience with overheading spey rods, but I know that most folks use a shooting head type system, with a medium short head (35-45') attached to or intergrated with thinner, slicker running line. Check out the speypages.com forum- lots of good info on there.

There are a number of rods out there that are specifically designed for overhead beach casting and there also seem to be a fiar number that can do double duty pretty well, so you will have plenty to chose from, at all kinds of prices- let us know how it goes.

Basically the term Speyrod is a North American term for a rod for a Salmon rod of Europe and Scotland.
The American Traditional Speyrod can be overhead very easily you just slow down like you would with Full flex slower action rod.

For surf casting and overhead I would recommend a Faster Action type rod such as a European or Scandinavian in a length from 11 to 13 ft. depending on how far you are casting and size of fish.

Most people will use a shooting head system any where from two to three rod lengths depending on their casting stroke and technique in over head casting.

There is some debate whether a Speyrod can be used of overhead work and visa versa. As far as I am concerned once you master the overhead and the Spey cast there little difference except the Traditional full flexing rod is more for the experienced caster and will require more effort to obtain the same distance.

Rajeff Sports offer a very reasonable Scandinavia rod with two tips and it has been my experience that you can over cast like pro with second tip lends it self very well to Speycasting. Tim has put a lot of work into this combination rod.

My $.02 worth


Active Member
Generally, a rod being overhead cast does not require as many grains in the line to load it as in Spey casting. This is because the whole line, being airborne, is contributing to the load.

On the other hand, Spey casting will require one or more line sizes heavier to load the rod. The different styles, Scandinavian, long belly, Skagit will all have their own preferences. Most rods are capable of casting quite a large variation of grain weights. You just have to adjust the casting stroke to match the rod and line.

shawn k

Active Member
If you are looking for a rod for salt or calmer waters. I would suggest that you get a switch rod.
sage, beulah and meiser make great rods. I would also look at the cnd oceana series. The oceana series are made for fishing in thew surf.

agent montana

This Must be a sickness!! MARINATE!!!
Don't even waste your time. Go and learn to cast at the AATF Sundays before you buy anything. Then you can play with everything and find the rod that is right for you. All this conversation is great but you need to learn to cast and get a cast before you buy the rod for the cast...


Active Member
Aaron (speybum) nailed it, and in my opinion, he provided much wisdom in his post to those thinking about getting a 2-hander for overhead casting.

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