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Old 12-21-2013, 01:00 PM
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Default First Spey

Hey folks,
I am looking at getting my first spey rod and have a few questions. Before I ask them I will fill in some blanks:
I will be fishing the Miramichi River system for Atlantics with this rod. Price is a factor as I am currently fostering my niece (wife's sisters kid). I currently have 3 rods in mind: LL Bean Streamlight Ultra Two Hand Rod, Cabela's Lsi Spey Rod and the Cabela's TLr Spey Rod.

What I would like to know is:
What length/Weight should I consider as a first timer?
Would I be better off with a switch or a spey rod?
I have an Olympic 490 wide spool reel will it work well for a spey reel?

Thanks in advance and if you need any more info from me let me know.
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Old 12-21-2013, 03:48 PM
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Default Re: First Spey

I fish the Miramichi for around 6 weeks every year...all with two hander unless I'm fishing Bombers. Most everyone I know that fishes that system uses 12-14 foot rods. 8 weight-ish (480-540 grain weights for the most part). There's really no need for much more than 13 feet, but that's all about personal preference. Check out Echo's rods, as well as the others you mention, for economy models. Would be great if you could cast first, buy later, so to speak. Don't discount getting a used rod, either. You can get a lot of rod for the money on the used market. There are a couple forums pretty much dedicated to fishing two-handers that have classified sections.

Oh, and you don't need Skagit heads...compact scandi's work just fine. You'll be swinging a floating line and wet flies, just like a single hander.

Feel free to pm me if you have more questions.
Gary

edit: I forgot to make a suggestion regarding switch vs. spey: I started out with switch rods, converted completely to spey; never used the switch as a single hander, so figured I'd just go total spey. was a good decision for me.
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Old 12-21-2013, 04:55 PM
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Default Re: First Spey

I have an LL Bean Streamlight 13' #8 rod. For the price (I paid 180.00) I think they are a good rod. Finding the correct line was harder than learning to cast it well. I ended up using a Scientific Anglers #9 short head, 55' foot belly with it and it works just fine. I do believe the rod may work better for some with one of the Skagit lines perhaps around a 550 - 565 grain but I've never had one of those.

The problem with the Skagit system is that you are limited to a 28' head where all of your rod loading vinyl coated floating head is located. This will make learning a breeze and will offer better loading which will lead to better casts, but.............. You would need to have a braided type running line spooled behind the short head to allow for the 60 - 90 foot casts you will need for the Miramichi. So what's the problem then?

The running line won't mend as well as a vinyl fly line will and there's more....... Because you will be using a short 28' floating head you will need to hand strip line back until the shooting head is back to or through the tip top. 'That's the part I don't like'. If you chose to learn with lines having a longer belly, say a 55' at least' you only need to retrieve line until you are at the 55' mark on the fly line. When you add the fact that you have a leader of about 12 - 13 feet attached to the line you have a 67' cast each time even if you have none of the vinyl coated running / shooting line out the guides.

I find that a great deal of my salmon fishing is of a very targeted nature with not so much 'searching the water' for the fish. You and I are more likely to identify a 'lie' and then position ourselves to be able to swing a fly just above that targeted lie or current seam. For this reason I like the longer head / belly lines from 55 to 65 feet. I am able to make repeated casts and presentations to an area of a river without doing any excessive line stripping or shooting.

So, unless you find a more attractive deal than the LL rod, I believe they are good rods. I have caught many salmon on mine including some 35 - 43 pound fish. The rod will handle the fish and you can learn to work one well enough to be effective with them. Be sure to talk to someone with the sales department who has actually used one of these rods. There was no one when I bought mine, and hopefully there will be someone who does something other than Skagit casting. If there is not, I would look for a line in the 55' head range around 600 grains for the rod.

For a reel I used an Orvis Odyssey IV - my Cascapedia 8/9 and a Hardy Uniqua 11 /12 to provide enough spool room for line and backing as well as weight to balance out the rod while casting and fishing.

Keep up posted to your choices as you make them, I'm far from an expert but I manage to fish these rods and I have a good time doing it.

Ard

---------- Post added at 01:55 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:59 PM ----------

Hi Baseman,

Since Gary actually fishes the river there I would advise talking with him about what he's using. He and I were both replying at the same time and I believe his advice will be more accurate for you.

Ard
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Old 12-21-2013, 06:39 PM
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Default Re: First Spey

Thanks gents,
The local store talked my friend into buying a 12'6'' hardy zenith and angel reel for his first spey. I will certainly be hitting you guys up for advise as time goes on.
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Old 12-23-2013, 12:57 PM
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Default Re: First Spey

If I was you I would consider the Redington prospector I think it's a 13'6" 8 weight for around $350. The TFO deer creek 8136 is a good rod for the money, about $350 as well. The Beulah Classic 12'7" 7/8weight is $430 and IMO would be your best option for price/performance ratio. I would not suggest getting a switch as your first double hander b/c it can mess up your timing when you get a real Spey rod. Beulah makes a 6/7weight 11'7" that has the fish leveraging power of an 8weight if you want something shorter. Also, I agree, for atlantics you should get a rod between 450-540 grains. Good luck
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Old 12-23-2013, 04:32 PM
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Default Re: First Spey

Thanks everyone for the great info. GT do you fish pool 66 any. May have run into this summer as that is where I was primarily taken by my friends.
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Old 12-28-2013, 07:26 AM
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Default Re: First Spey

After talking to the local shop I am going to save up a little extra and get the greys GS2 13 8wt.
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Old 12-28-2013, 09:32 AM
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Default Re: First Spey

baseman1, no, I've never fished it. I fish primarily in the Boiestown area, and in July, a few of the tributaries.
I suspect you must be dealing with Fred. Outfitters...will they let you cast the rods before you buy?
Gary
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Old 12-28-2013, 10:19 AM
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Default Re: First Spey

I'm not sure if they will or not but they do have a good sized field behind their shop and their new shop will have a casting pond. I'm in there often as I work four buildings away from them so I think they may let me. I fished the old folks home pool some this past summer. Fish would be breaching and rolling but wouldn't take any fly from a number of peoples attempts.
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Old 01-13-2014, 07:49 AM
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Default Re: First Spey

My wife just told me she ordered me the Cabela's tlr 14' 9wt. Now to find the right line for the job.
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