New to Spey rods, potentially relocating to Seattle area.
I have been an avid fly fisher for over twenty years, worked in a fly shop in college and have done the guiding thing. I have been successful at steelhead and salmon fishing in the Great Lakes, but I have zero experience in Spey casting and my knowledge is limited only to what I have read in books and the interwebs- zero practical application.
I am interested in making good rod purchases from day one, no costly mistakes. From what I have read, I will want a summer rod and a winter rod. I have been told to look at a 12'6 6wt for the summer and a similar length 8wt for the winter.
The rivers that I will be fishing are the Skagit, Cowlitz and others as well as some rivers on the Olympic peninsula.
I have some reels that I think might make good spey reels such as a Ross Big Game number 4 and a Loop 3W. Perhaps the Loop would work for the 8wt and the BG4 would work on the 6.
So- I would love input on rods. There are many good deals out there on last year's models as well as used rods on eBay. My price range is not to exceed 500USD per rod. I love the vintage Sage RPL single hand rods- are the spey rods from this time frame good? Right now the best differences I can determine between rods are "that one has a cool green colored blank and that one comes in a neat-o rod tube".
Basically I want to be happy with my choices as I transcend from a novice spey caster to the skill level I currently enjoy with single handed rods.
Thank you very much in advance-