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Old 09-08-2013, 08:47 AM
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Default 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-

Russell
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Old 09-08-2013, 09:36 AM
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Default Re: New to Spey rods, potentially relocating to Seattle area.

Most all rods are good. It mostly depends on your preferences. You should get to a fly shop to demo rods. Maybe you'll like a deep flex rod, maybe you'll like a stiff butt, light tip rod. It's a dice roll whether you'll love your first rod unless you can already pinpoint your preferences, which is doubtful.
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Old 09-08-2013, 09:47 AM
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Default Re: New to Spey rods, potentially relocating to Seattle area.

I think this article will help. It's based on my research and on my own struggles with spey casting.

Getting Started With Spey Casting

Quickly though, I guess you first have to decide what kind of line you want to cast. With a rod of about 12'6" I'd go with either a Skagit, Rage or Scandi line.

Rods used to cast Scandi lines tend to be tip flex. Rods used to cast Skagit rods tend to me more full flex.

If you're planning on casting a lot of sinking lines and/or heavy flies, I'd go with a Skagit. If you're planning on casting smaller flies mostly on the surface, I'd go with a Scandi. If you want a hybrid of both lines I'd go with a Rage.

Finally, with a 12"6' spey rod I personally would not go with a longer-belly line.

Randy
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Old 09-08-2013, 01:34 PM
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Default Re: New to Spey rods, potentially relocating to Seattle area.

Quote:
Originally Posted by randyflycaster View Post
I think this article will help. It's based on my research and on my own struggles with spey casting.

Getting Started With Spey Casting

Quickly though, I guess you first have to decide what kind of line you want to cast. With a rod of about 12'6" I'd go with either a Skagit, Rage or Scandi line.

Rods used to cast Scandi lines tend to be tip flex. Rods used to cast Skagit rods tend to me more full flex.

If you're planning on casting a lot of sinking lines and/or heavy flies, I'd go with a Skagit. If you're planning on casting smaller flies mostly on the surface, I'd go with a Scandi. If you want a hybrid of both lines I'd go with a Rage.

Finally, with a 12"6' spey rod I personally would not go with a longer-belly line.

Randy

Thanks for the input Randy-

My guess is that for winter steelheading I will be using an eight weight Skagit setup to carry the heavier sink tip and bigger winter flies and the six weight would be more on the Scandi side with full floating line/head smaller streamers and hopefully some dry flies.

I have read that many move toward a shorter rod as they gain experience is this true for both Skagit and Scandi rigs? And from a complete outsider, I would think that a 13'6 would be ideal.

Companies tend to have actions that are on one side or the other. For instance Scott, Winston and Thomas/Thomas seam to be more "full flex" on their single handed rods. Are their spey rods similar and therefore better suited to a Skagit rig? If that is the case, then are Sage and Loomis spey rods lean more toward a Scandi setup?

again, thanks for all the replies!

Russell
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Old 09-08-2013, 03:39 PM
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Default Re: New to Spey rods, potentially relocating to Seattle area.

I have been playing around with a few switch and spey rods for trout here recently. They are a lot of fun once you get them figured out. Check out the Speypages forum if you haven't already for all your two-handed related needs.

-Chase
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Old 09-08-2013, 04:12 PM
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Default Re: New to Spey rods, potentially relocating to Seattle area.

Rod weights are pretty much dead on for Washington Rivers. As for 'whose' watch the 'classifieds' here for Anderson's (ACR's), Meiz and, if your darned luckie a Burkie.



fae
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Old 09-09-2013, 08:58 AM
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Default Re: New to Spey rods, potentially relocating to Seattle area.

Quote:
Originally Posted by russellb View Post
I have read that many move toward a shorter rod as they gain experience is this true for both Skagit and Scandi rigs? And from a complete outsider, I would think that a 13'6 would be ideal.
A 13'6 is a fantastic rod length. I had a deer creek spey which was a fuller flexing rod and it was fantastic. I've had a 12'6 7 weight loomis stinger, which was more mid-to-tip flex and was fantastic as well. I've also has a 14' 9 weight meiser "S" series which was also mid-to-tip, but it was a different feel than the stinger. Also, I've had a Grey GRXI 14' 9 weight and it was more of a fuller flex. I didn't care for it. I now have a 5 weight 12'9 rod, built by steve godshall and I love it. So, it's really all about what you find out you like. I did this the expensive way. I bought a ton of rods until I figured out what I liked...

Quote:
Originally Posted by russellb View Post
Companies tend to have actions that are on one side or the other. For instance Scott, Winston and Thomas/Thomas seam to be more "full flex" on their single handed rods. Are their spey rods similar and therefore better suited to a Skagit rig? If that is the case, then are Sage and Loomis spey rods lean more toward a Scandi setup?
The rod type does not determine what line-system you put on it. I would call the Scott, Winston rods more of a progressive mid-flex. A Sage one felt more like a progressive as well. The loomis stinger is more like a mid-to-tip flex, but you still have a lot of feel with that rod (at least the 7126 that I had). Every one of those rods will cast any of those lines. I've put scandinavians on my Deer Creek 13'6 and it was wonderful to cast and would shoot the line a mile. However, the Deer Creek was equally as wonderful with a skagit line and a mid-belly as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by russellb View Post
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.
I don't fish steelhead (going to real soon). But if it were me, and I were trying to save money, I would think that you could go in between both of those weights and get one rod to do it all. Maybe think about a 7 weight? 13-14' range? I'm headed that way myself. When you're in the 13' range you can also toss some mid and long bellies, if you want to have some fun.

Basically, it comes down to what you want to do. I spey fish for catfish on the Missouri (not lately due to financial reasons) and I've thrown Skagit, Scandi, and Mid bellies. I've had to sell my spey rod, but plan on getting it back. The most enjoyable for me was a delta spey multi-tip. I had 12' tips that I could change out to get depth that needed and it had no problem turning over bigger flies. I could change to a floating tip and toss flies under the film. If I were tight to obstructions I could pull some of the head in and cast, or switch spools to the shooting head/running line setup and throw a scandi or skagit. Sorry for rambling. I hope this helps.
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Old 09-14-2013, 08:30 PM
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Default Re: New to Spey rods, potentially relocating to Seattle area.

I use a 13'-2" 7wt. casting for steelhead summer and winter. It has treated me well under an awful lot of conditions. The Skagit head with a number of different weight/length sink tips for high or fast water and a few different Scandi heads with a 12' or 14' tapered leader for low water, summer style fishing.

Pretty simple setups that make the 7wt. pretty versatile. I'm sure if I were targeting salmon I would need to step up to a 8wt. or 9wt., but no need yet.
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Old 09-15-2013, 10:25 AM
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Default Re: New to Spey rods, potentially relocating to Seattle area.

Thanks for the great input everyone, there's a 13'6 Scott 7wt that has my eye. Now I just have to get the green light on the relocation and if salmon become of interest (they will) then I could pick up a 9 weight.
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Old 09-15-2013, 10:53 AM
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Default Re: New to Spey rods, potentially relocating to Seattle area.

Quote:
Originally Posted by russellb View Post
Thanks for the great input everyone, there's a 13'6 Scott 7wt that has my eye. Now I just have to get the green light on the relocation and if salmon become of interest (they will) then I could pick up a 9 weight.
Lived/fished for years where you may be headed. If I had to go back and start all over again (don't ask how many rods I have as I've long since given up counting) but get a '6' for summer fishing and a '8' for winter. Rod length? 12' for the first and maybe 13.5 to 14 for the winter rod. Both will serve you well and chuck all the line you need.

Where to 'buy the rods?' Easy!!! sign up/Log into the SpeyPages web board as these are up for sale all the time. There is nothing wrong with a 'pre-loved' 2hander. Rod doesn't know, doesn't care ... but your wallet will.

Just my .02 cents

fae
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