I promised myself that I would not collect Spey rods the way I have traditional single hand fly rods. The truth is that there are so many one handers (I like them all) that some don't see use from one year to the next. My advice on that is, don't do it. The pile of tubes makes for conversation but I feel guilty for not using some.
Back to the Spey rod, I've used the same one for 3 years and last December I bought a second rod. My original was an LL Bean 13' 8/9 rod, my thinking was that if I were to be able to grasp the casting I would do it with whatever I had to use. Another thought was the money, I'm not the kind who throws a fortune into the unknown. Well the rod (LL Bean) caught a lot of fish; some big some small and I became pretty good at casting with it. It did however seem that there was something missing. Action, the rod seemed to be too stiff but I have not given up. Perhaps another, yet a heavier line may deliver the rod loading that I crave.
I have always learned the hard way and although I can't say it is the way everyone should proceed with fly casting it has worked for me very well. My thinking was that if I could become good with an entry level rig; when the day came that I got my hands on a more sophisticated rod things would come into focus quite quickly. This has been the case with many things that I have gotten involved with in life so I stay the course.
I've never lawn cast a Spey rod, never had to and now with the ice melting off our rivers I still don't have to but............... Last night (it stays light until 11:30 PM now
) I couldn't take the suspense any longer. I took the 15' Winston Derek Brown Special out on my lawn which is now clear of the 6' of snow that kept it hidden since early last winter. The rod was an eye opener, with no water to provide anchor for my cast sets and while only producing 3 cracks of the whip; you know what I mean by that right? I was able to make 80 - 100 foot casts with great ease!
Now THAT'S what I'm talk'en about! The rod has a tremendous and beautiful mid to full flex loading action. Remember, no water, no leader, no fly, and it worked like a charm.
I'm going to take it to open water tomorrow just to cast. I'm not much concerned with whether or not there will be a fish within a mile of me, I just want to see what this thing feels like and what it'll do. I know that folks who are familiar with these rods may say, "but they are so heavy, how will you cast that all day?" You will have to take my word, last night I never even noticed that I was holding a 15 ounce rod with a reel, line, and backing that weighs 16.8 ounces mounted to the handle. The upside to the weight is that my line weighs 875 grains, that's just a little over 2 ounces of line and by the looks of things most of that 130 feet of line will not be on my reel very much so I'm losing weight already
When I go casting on water I'll take the camera and get a picture of this rig for the Fly Rod Picture thread.