The spey is a 12'9 5 weight. And the single hand is an 8'7 5 weight. The single hand had a slight curve to the right in the tip, so I sent it back. However, the rod felt great. I mainly wanted to show off Steve's work. It's called his velocity taper. Since I sent it back, I ordered a winston b3x 5 weight with the full wells grip. I'm like an impatient kid, waiting for the rod...
I acquire at least one new rod every year. When I extol the exceptional virtues of a rod, normally I write of its advanced technology, flawless tip recovery and exceptional performance. The rod I selected to fish this past weekend was built in 1989 of modest modulus graphite. It is an Orvis, Vermont-built Western Series 8'/#4 2pc. perfectly balanced with a Hardy-built CFO IV and SA Mastery Trout. It was considered by Orvis to be a faster action rod when introduced in the 80's and, compared to co-existing models like Far&Fine, Trout and All Rounder, it was. By contemporary standards, however, it is very much medium in action. It flexes well into its mid section and has fairly slow tip recovery, not quite as slow and deep as Orvis "Superfine" models which it physically resembles, it is far more presentation capable than such languid actions with some reserve in its lower taper...enough to hold a good amount of line in the air and generate well formed loops as long as one keeps power application in check and slows timing down a bit.
I fished it in an obscure Connecticut environment where modest sized fish were plentiful and technical requirements not too critical. What a joy it was to fish with a gentle rhythm rewarded with regular hook-ups; relaxing summer fishing with a sweet old rod that has survived the test of time. I loved it when it was new for streams like the Willowemoc and Farmington and still do.
You just can't beat the old Orvis graphite rods. I fished Saturday & Sunday with my 7'9" Far & Fine for pike. The rod will toss a very large Pike fly and a wire bite tippet with less effort than my 9' 9 weight. I caught a bunch of small pike but the duck eater still evades my efforts. I have every bit of confidence that when I hook the big boy (or girl) the rod will handle the task.