Best type of Spey rod for beginner


New Member
I would have to agree with coach Duff and Richard. Just be prepaired to start all over again because your casts will not be coming anytime soon.
And Richard, I still own my 10' 5wt. IMX. Great rod!
I would have to agree with coach Duff and Richard. Just be prepaired to start all over again because your casts will not be coming anytime soon.

But as the Brit's would say: 'there are horses for courses,' and I've found this to be very true with 'newbies' taking on the spey habit. There are types of rod actions, even properly lined, I'd never consider handing to a 'trainee.' Very fast action rods like the T & T's, some of the Winston's as an example. Your timing has to be 'dead on' to properly cast these rods.

In new hands, all you'll get is frustration.

Dear God, just went out for a quick smoke and the sky's turned BLACK. Next storm is headed right at Ashland/Medford and this one (snow wise) should be a corker!:eek:
When is comes to trying before you buy I just took a note from the used car dealers. In 1995 when I started the Day On The River Program there was on one letting any on use any of their equipment unless it was a fly school and then only when they were in class.
I like tweaking things and letting people try rods and learn to cast before they bought just made sense to me.
So I started sending lines and rods out to customers all over the place and letting my students take the rods to practice on in-between times. You know what< I have not looked back!
If you do not like what some one is saying about a rod go out and give it a go.
You have two ways to do this one is to buy and the other is to try it.
I will be the first to state that I do not have every rod built and this not for lack of trying. If I could I would love to have every rod that is build and every line but I do not.
Allowing for the great diversity of casters and Speyrods today no one could make a general statement all the rods of a brand are great.
Some of the rods are better than others to some casters and other are not.
It comes from personal preface and how skill you see your self as a caster.
If you were obsessed with the Speycast like I am you would be collecting rods one after another just to compare the differences (If you are I hold Speycasters Anonymous Meetings every Saturday On the River.)Rest assured if you look long enough and hard enough you will find the rod, line and casting style that fits you and your life style.
My $.02 worth
I would suggest finding someone you trust such as Aaron or Poppy who can point you in the right direction in regards to a spey rod that can cast a multitude of different lines that does not break the bank to start with. This way you can learn how to cast and then move on and try other styles of casting. As stated by others, casting a mutitude of different rods is a waste of time unless you can have access to them everytime you want to get out. You never know, you might not even get into spey casting as much as you might think and you do not want to shell out a couple grand on something that just sits in the closet.
But how would that help a beginner caster? A beginner hasn't developed their style yet.
"And there in hangs the rub." What 'they' do is develop very bad casting habits (for a lack of a better term). When they do get a lesson (or two) from a competent instructor he/she will spend a great deal of time unwinding them. bawling:

Been there, personally, and I've had to spend a lot of time on the river 're-teaching' folks how to 'do it right'.:beathead: I'd far rather take someone whose never cast a 2-hander and start from scratch. Remember, like casting a single hander, muscle memory/timing/technique is key.

If 'the key' doesn't fit the lock ..........:hmmm:

Jeremy Floyd

fly fishing my way through life
This is to the OP;

My advice from a practical standpoint, seeing the number of times people list their rods in the for sale section of WFF shortly after picking up a different style of casting, I would suggest a switch rod as a possibility. That way if you are out you can spey, but if you already are an efficient caster you will still be able to fish effectively as you learn the basics of the spey movements.

I am not telling you to not buy a spey rod, but instead maybe to consider a slightly different alternative.

Red Shed

"junkyard spey"
I think Aaron has nailed it. A newbie may not know how to spey cast but it has been my experience that if you take them to the river and let them try several different matched outfits they will usually find one or two that are more pleasing to them. It may well be how the rod/reel/line looks but often as not one or two of those outfits will feel better in their hands. A person will be a better student if they have tackle they feel comfortable with, tackle "they like" if you will.

You guys seemed to be hooked on the marriage thing in this thread so using that idea, neither the sleep with her before you tie the knot or the get married first crowd would most likely do the deal with a girl they didn't feel good to be around.

A good fly shop will be a dating service, a marriage counceler, and in some instances a divorce court judge.
"a good fly shop will be a dating service...." Classic. Good one Mike. You may be on to something there. You can host a new gameshow "the speymatch game'.
" A beginning speycaster is setup on a series of dates with five totally different spey rods. Will he choose the fast action, european beauty with all the hip new components or the sexy new scandi rod for the tight loops she throws. Or maybe he will go for the old traditional slower action rod cause being a gentleman he prefers to take it slow. Tune in next time and find out!"
I think everyone has there points. Yeah a beginner wont necesarily know what style of casting and what lines he will prefer. But in classes I have taken I have seen people struggling with a rod/line and when the instructor gave them a different setup you could see a big improvement, even in just there confidence and attitude towards learning. And I personally have had this happen to me also :thumb: BUT notice I said INSTRUCTOR@!!! Just like marriage and dating youve got to play the field before you find that perfect match. Fortunatly with speyrods/lines once a good match is found WE CAN STILL KEEP PLAYING , and it wont lead to a divorce!!:beer2: Kevin
“Rest assured if you look long enough and hard enough you will find the rod, line and casting style that fits you and your life style.”
My $.02 worth

You are right!
“But how would that help a beginner caster?
How would spending time with those who are good in their field and learning the difference in rods speed, composition and taper help an new caster. Getting try different rods and lines is part of the fun,
A beginner hasn't developed their style yet”
You are right again!
No one was born with a Speyrod in his hands (Seeing some of these younger casters I do believe they could cast before they could walk though) so we all had to learn. Many of use made mistakes buying Speyrods before we could truly understand the significant differences between types and styles of Speyrods.
I see more people fail at Fly Fishing in General because they do not understand the value of what they are trying to undertake and if I can give a little insight to help them I will.
Understanding is the key to Mastery and to understand you must first view the problem for the perspective of the person presenting the question.
The resolution of problem must also in the perspective of the person who has presented the question.

My $.02 worth

o mykiss

Active Member
To each his own. With all due respect to all the masters who have weighed in, one is left with the impression that one can only be happy with a spey rod purchase if one selects it after testing out several alternatives. Some of us suggested that testing a bunch of rods is not very meaningful for a person who is a complete neophyte when it comes to two-handed casting. The "test all you can" crowd countered that it makes a difference even for a newb. Okay, maybe it might (though I would submit that walking away happy just because you like the look of the rod/line/reel is not a very meaningful end result from testing a bunch of alternatives). But going back to the original poster - who ended up buying a rod without trying a bunch of different ones - there is a different way. Go get a decent set up and learn on it. That's how I did it. I've never test casted anything (life is too short), and I have rods in a wide variety of actions (single and double handers) that I've just figured out how to cast. I figure that to the extent that I am not getting getting maximum performance out of a rod, it isn't because I bought the wrong rod it's because I haven't had the time or the motivation to figure out how to maximize its potential.

Red Shed

"junkyard spey"
I figure that to the extent that I am not getting getting maximum performance out of a rod, it isn't because I bought the wrong rod it's because I haven't had the time or the motivation to figure out how to maximize its potential.
Like everything else in life there are many different ways for a newbie to pick out a workable spey rod setup.

The method used in the above quote is one I pretty much used for myself but I find that in the day in day out world of selling two hand tackle the average customer doesn't seem to have the same mind set.

All I know is that the "test drive plan" has proven to be a very successful way to sell spey tackle.
I started off with a Sage 9141-4 Euro rod. Big mistake, thankfuly I bought it used. The rod was too fast and not a good starter rod IMHO. I started to read some of the forms and read how the Thomas and Thomas 1307-3 was a great rod for most all types of spey fishing. Bought one and took a weekend class with Simon. The key is lessons and try as many rods as you can. See if you can find someone with a T&T 1307-3 with a Rio WC 6/7 w/ tips. Try the floating tip and sink tips. Now for the downside, T&T are not cheap ($800+) and there are allot of cheaper rods to try. There has been allot of great advice on the thread. I do not think you could go wrong with any of it.

PS: After lessons and many months of practice I can rip my Sage 9141 now. It is my favorite Skagit big rod too.
Good luck and welcome.

Rod Pabst