Well... assuming the line is weighted equally with the rod, you would be able to load the rod and cast BUT, each line is designed to do a different thing. Some people fish their spey rods with short heads and running lines similar to what you have, some fish them with double tapers, designed to shoot well, but mend better. Some fish with clasic long head spey lines designed for classic spey casting. It depends what you want to do with it. I would go to river run anglers in carnation and try out their various set ups to see what you like before you go out and buy. Most likely you will find that you will want at least a different type of line. Good luck.
No. I will try to explain it to you. Your Rio line is a weight foward and most if not all spey casting is done with DT line. Your weight foward line will not load your rod right. So you need to get all new gear. Isn't this exciting.
But you don't have too put out big bucks for this type of fly fishing. I tried out a Cortland spey rod this morning. A 13' 8/9 5 piece rod. under $200.00. I feel that is is a nice rod. (but what the hell do I know. Lately my spey casting sucks). Your reel should work but I would get a new spool for the new line you are going to need. But as your spey line is bigger and longer you should maybe get a new and bigger reel. Okuma Integrity 10/11 for $75.00. Last but not least line. It runs from $60 to $135.00. So the choices are out there it's all up to you how much you want to spend.
But of course you will now need longer leaders so it is wise to tie up your own as it is cheaper. As for flies you can usually use what you use for steelhead or salmon but if you like tying you can do the Spey fly thing.
Sorry to go on like this but you wanted to know about this thing called spey fishing so I thought I would put it all out there instead of beating around the bush.
Also a few lessons would help as this is a different type of fishing altogether. What you know about single handers won't help you now as this is a whole new way to fish.
But don't get me wrong,as soon as I get my problem straight I will be back out there.
Jim; The one who tried but can't seem to get the hang of it.:bawling
"No. I will try to explain it to you. Your Rio line is a weight foward and most if not all spey casting is done with DT line. "
This statement was true up until about 1980 but it is certainly not now. Let me guess that you don't spey fish much Jim? Rather than most or all, I would say less than 10% is closer top the truth and it could well be closer to 5%. The spey casting world has moved way past DT lines.
By far the most popular line (in my opinion though far from the most useful) is the Rio Windcutter or Airflo Delta style which has a 54' belly followed by a ton of running line. Some guys are now fishing Scandanavian shooting head styles around 30' or the Skagit lines which come in in the 42' range. Then there is the Midspey or Airflo Long Delta length lines (65') the 80' lines like the Carron Jetstream, the Triangle Taper and the discontinued Accelerators. Then you have the long bellied lines like the Airflo Traditional, the Rio Granspey and the SA XLT. There are still a few people out here fishing DT lines but they are few and far between.
As for the original question, it is unlikely that your current setup would work as an 8 weight WF single hand fly line is not even close to an 8 weight spey. The spey might way up to 3 times as much. That is one of the tough things about getting into spey rods as the lines are not standardized like the AFTMA system for single handers. That and casting styles differ so much that a rod you like a 9/10 line on, I might prefer a 7/8.
Having said all this, I do know some folks that do make their single handed lines work on speys by overlining light weight spey rods. For instance, the 9 weight SA (65' belly) Steelhead Taper is a nice setup on the old 7 weight 7136 brownie Sage. It is not a combo I would suggest a person learn on as it requires some good technique as the line is still a bit light to feel the rod load but if you don't need to feel that load, it is a good little floating summer run setup.
Many of the newer line configurations have dramatically increased the belly and/or head length. Check out lines like the Scientific Anglers XLT and/or the Rio Grandspey. Both of these lines have a relatively short forward taper, long belly, followed by a relatively short back taper. The advantage to a long belly line is that one can keep out as much line as needed and be able to cast that line without having to strip back in the running line prior to casting and shooting.
Other lines, which more closely resemble the WF configuration are the Rio Wind Cutter and/or Mid-Spey. The Wind Cutter is good for small rivers (some like it for shorter rods), Mid-Spey is great for medium rivers(for longer casts you'll have to shoot some running line), and the Grand Spey for longer casting. The Wind Cutter and Mid-Spey have a relatively short forward taper, a belly section, followed by a long running line.
I had a chance to pick up the new Scientific Anglers XLT (line length is 130') this past fall and it is by far the best line that I've cast. You'll have to make your own tips if you go with the XLT though. This line has a long, gradual front taper (much longer than the Grand-spey), a very long belly, and a gradual back taper.
So to answer the question about the reel posed, you'll need to find a reel that will be large enough to hold the backing and line that will best suit your fishing needs.
One last thing, all spey casts can be performed with a single handed rod and one should learn them because they are very handy in so many situations. One can use them to throw 70+ line without any room for a backcast...SWEET!!!
I was trying to break it to him gently. I have been in the process of taking lessons but they aren't taking. I know that the process of spey casting is advanced. As in the thing of shooting heads and all the other things you need for this. I was just trying to break him in gentle like.
I have a friend that is into this pretty heavy and he is trying to get me into it but I don't think that it is working.
Hey bud, you were doing just fine today. Don't sell yourself short, keep at it and it will come. It did for me. We'll see you next week. Maybe sometime this week we can hook up at the Snoqualmie or the Sky. Either way, I believe New River Mike will join on at least one occassion.
"Everyone gets everything he wants. I wanted a mission, and for my sins, they gave me one." Cpt. Willard, Apocalypse Now