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Old 11-29-2012, 09:52 PM
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Default First spey...Need help

I posted this over on the Spey forum and have got in touch with a few spey gurus but thought I might as well post here here to get even more imput. I'm a total spey "newb" so all imput is welcome!

I have been thinking about getting a two handed rod for a while now and want to dive into the spey game, the problem is that I am a complete novice when it comes to the spey world. I come to the forum hoping that I can be steered in the right direction for my first long rod. I'm thinking that a spey or switch rod would be a lot more practical for fishing the tail water of the North Platte river in Ogallala Nebraska that is not to far down the road from me. Near the gates, it is somewhat wadeable depending on the time of the year and outflow. Down river there is steep drops offs, deep water, high banks, and obstructions in your back cast. I normally use a 9ft 5wt single hander, which gets the job done to a point. Bombing bigger streamers and indicator rigs in to wind all day starts to get tiresome. I feel that a switch or spey rod would give me much more performance and distance with less physical effort. An average fish will run 15-18", but there is a good possibility for a nice size rainbow running 23"+. The state record rainbow came out of here several years ago weighing 14.5 lbs, so there is rare chance that true brute could be hooked. I don't know what size rod I need. I was thinking the 3-5 wt trout speys on the market would fit the situation, but I don't want to be under/over gunned in terms of fly and fish size. How big of flies/fish could these rods handle? What rod(s) would you recommend for this situation? There is no shortage of wind in Nebraska, and more often than not, it is howling. I have never cast a spey or switch rod, or have even seen anyone use one in person. I think that using one would be a game changer on this particular piece of water. During winter flows are normally 10-200cfs. During summer the average flow is around 2500cfs+ on a good year, depending on the year it could be a lot less, like this summer where is was around 1000- 1500cfs.

Here are some pictures of the place I plan on using the rod. Across the waterfalls is around 250ft give or take, just to give you an idea of the size of the place.

Over the dam looking at about half of the first pool.
Click the image to open in full size.

Standing on top of the first set of falls looking at the spillway.
Click the image to open in full size.

Back about 1/2 mile from the dam looking at the dam.
Click the image to open in full size.

Standing on first set of falls looking down river.
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Looking down river.
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Looking across a set of falls.
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Down stream a few miles on private property looking towards the dam.
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If you have any more questions or need more information please feel free to ask.

Thanks for your help!
Chase
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Old 11-29-2012, 10:05 PM
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Default Re: First spey...Need help

Hi Chase,

Welcome home, looking at your pictures you are a candidate for a 13 - 15 foot rod in the 8/9 weight range I believe. Why so heavy? Big heavy lines will cary the load better than a 6/7 or lighter. I also believe that you may benefit in learning to cast with a medium length head / belly line like a 55 - 65 foot for the learning. These lines are not the fast track to Spey casting but short casts are easy and as you learn to reach out, the long belly will be much appreciated when mending line for better control of sink rate etc.

Before I open my mouth again just to change feet I will wait for some others to join in. You will most likely end up on the phone with one of us trying to help you sort things out.

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Old 11-29-2012, 10:41 PM
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Default Re: First spey...Need help

I agree with Ard here. I'd forget that 3-5 wt. thing. I have a 15' 8/9 wt. Meiser I could put at a 45 degree down river cast and hit the far bank with and not get my feet wet. Looking at the photos you have there I'd say maybe a 13' 7 or 8 wt. would be as light and small as I'd bring there if I was going to do it. I think there is a tendancy now days to want to under gun things. I keep looking at posts where they are using rods so small they seem like to much effort for no real advantage. You can make shorter casts than a rod is capable of, but going farther than a rod can do .....

One more thing. Size of fish is not the important factor in choosing a two hander. These are the delivery system for a fly. You need to determine where you, at the maximum, want to put a fly and then get the rod that at a minimum will do that.

I have a head of 56 feet on my 15' 8/9 Meiser. I use a 15' leader. Add the 15' rod + 15' leader + 56 head = 86 feet just rolling the head out. I have ripped farts that take more effort than putting a fly that far away.
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Old 11-29-2012, 11:12 PM
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Default Re: First spey...Need help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diver Dan View Post
I have ripped farts that take more effort than putting a fly that far away.
Just had to have a laugh at that LOL!

I see where you guys are comming from where wanting a big rod to deliver big flies a long ways with very little effort. I just feel as if I will be way over gunned with a rod of that stature. Heck, I think a rod that big could send a little 10" stocker trout sailing through the wind. I could see using a rod of that size for Pike, Walleye, and Wiper in the lake but not for trout....but what do I know? I normally use a single handed 5wt and seem to do alright. Wouldn't I be way overgunned for trout running from 15-25 inches? Maybe my thought process is flawed
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Old 11-30-2012, 12:57 AM
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Default Re: First spey...Need help

You will find that the essence of fishing the long rods is the wet fly. Because of this you will be allowing the current to do most of the fly presentation work and the fish will simply follow and grab the fly. With a 60 foot cast + leader on the water you won't have to worry about launching any fish when you 'strike'. Matter of fact I don't think I do what you could call 'strike' when a fish grabs onto the fly. If it is a heavy one I tug the line a couple times to ensure connection, but no launching of fish.

I think that people have this business of using ultra light rods to somehow make "the fight feel better" all turned around. I catch fish ranging in size from 12" to 40 pounds on my rods and the little guys are just as cool as the big ones. The difference when you have a heavy enough rod is that you can land a 12" fish with little in the way of theater, and bring in a monster while keeping control of the situation. Once you get to the end of the leader and the fly attached to it, the fish has no idea of what length or line weight your rod is. Remember when you use the rod you're expecting a big fish........
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Old 11-30-2012, 01:33 AM
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Default Re: First spey...Need help

Quote:
Originally Posted by chased View Post
I could see using a rod of that size for Pike, Walleye, and Wiper in the lake but not for trout....but what do I know? I normally use a single handed 5wt and seem to do alright. Wouldn't I be way overgunned for trout running from 15-25 inches? Maybe my thought process is flawed
A Trout fights way better than a Walleye does. You are not overgunned with these. look back to where I said this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diver Dan View Post
One more thing. Size of fish is not the important factor in choosing a two hander. These are the delivery system for a fly.
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Old 11-30-2012, 07:10 AM
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Default Re: First spey...Need help

Ok, Ok .... I'll the contraian here. Looking at your photo's of the water and the fish you describe a 5wt is all you need. Rod length of 11' (switch) to 12' 6" (a full on 2hander). A 5wt may sound 'light' but that's the typical rod I use for summer run steelhead fishing here on the Rogue River when flows are at 1500 cfs and below. Above 1,500 I'll use a 6wt as I'll be tossing sinking poly leaders (and heavier flies) and you need a bit more 'line grain weight.'

Bye the bye, you can handle a heck of a large fish even with a 5wt, smaller fish also give you a fun tussle with the lighter stick. For 'pure' trout fishing (Montana) I actually use a 12' 6" 3wt-5wt Meiser. Grain range on this rod is 250 for a 3 up to 400 as a 5. Fun to have folks collect on the beach behind you and watch you cast.

Fred

Edit: Forgot about your question about fly size. With a 5wt you'll be chucking a max #6 (unweighted) hook down to a size (weighted) 10 and smaller. And looking at the pictures a sinking Furled leader from Joni would be a total hoot to fish.
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Old 11-30-2012, 07:42 AM
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Default Re: First spey...Need help

I'll throw another input in here... I'm totally agreeing with the guys above about the long belly line and I'm anxious to get one myself. However, what works for me with my steep banks, not even ten feet behind me, and 20-30 foot drop-offs, 5 feet in the water in front of me is a skagit setup. I run and 8/9 deer creek rod and a 600grain skagit flight with a t-14 sink tip and around a 5-6ft leader. My fishing is definitely a bit different than yours and I'm still working at it, but I can cast almost straight across the river with this line with just the tip of my right foot in this water. And as I get better and more comfortable with it, I seem to be able to cast farther and farther.

Now, I think that you will like the long-belly approach better, but I'm just letting you know what "works" for me when I don't have room for much of a D-loop behind me. The long-belly lines seem a bit more graceful to cast. But, there's my two cents.
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Old 11-30-2012, 05:31 PM
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Default Re: First spey...Need help

I'm with Fred on this and think a slightly shorter and lighter rod will be fine, perhaps something in the 12' to 13' range in a 6wt.
As far as lines, I'd consider an Airflow Scandi Compact or even the Airflow RAGE line to ease into learning to cast these two handed rod.
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Old 11-30-2012, 08:59 PM
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Default Re: First spey...Need help

OK,

So maybe I reccomend the huge rods because that's all I have
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