Good morning Todd. First, DON'T over think this thing; there isn't a 'spey cast' you can't easily do with a one hander rod. First a few basics:
1. The smiling fellow behind the counter is going to try to convince you to buy a 9-11 weight 'spey rod' as "you can handle any fish you're likely to hook." TOTAL BS!
Do not go there
He's trying to dump a rod that's been on the shelf for three years .....
2. 'You need a rod at least 14 to 15 foot long. More BS
13' feet is more than enough 99% of the time.
3. Consider the fish you're most likely to encounter and go for a line weight that's appropriate. A 7wt 2hander will easily control a fish upwards of 20 pounds; with experience there with big fish. If the 'average fish' is only going to be 5-8 pounds a six weight will be more than adequate.
4. Line choices ... here is where it gets a bit more fiddlie. But there are two driving factors ..... the 'Anchor' and how you need to use same. Two types: 'kiss and go' or a 'sustained anchor.' The latter is really only appropriate for skagit heads and full sunk sink tips. The rest are 'touch and go.'
5. ALL spey casts have three parts, and I do mean THREE separate casting actions. The first is the 'lift' with the rod tip inches from the water on the 'dangle.' (line straight down stream ... you can actually do this with out this bit if you blow a cast ... and every one of us does).
6. Part one and back to the lift. Only thing this is doing is getting as much line off the water (water 'stick') as possible. This is a straight up into the air, NOT A UP/DRAG!!
WHOLE POINT OF THIS is properly setting up the 'anchor.' There/that takes practice!
7. Part two is the formation of what ever cast you're doing.
8. Part three is coming out of the 'D Loop' with your rod tip as high as you can get same. I tell folks to stick their arms in the air to get that as high as possible as underneath is where the 'D's' forming. Think of a tipped over letter "U" and your loading the rod/line on the back swing (poor choice of words there) and re-directing the 'force/line' in another direction.
9. The same nit-wit that wants to sell you that 10/11 weight rod will try to convince you on line choices ... probably a 'Skagit' head set up so you can 'toss really get down and dirty sink tips and heavy flies.' AVOID AT ALL COSTS! As a 'Newbie;' RUN FROM THIS VILLAGE IDIOT.
10. For someone new to this simple, and it really is that simple, a full floater head no longer than 55' is more than adequate. Tip that off with a 9 to 12 foot leader and you're good to go. I hesitate at suggesting a 'Scandi' line for someone new as the cast timing is quite a bit different, so don't confuse yourself 'in the begging?'
11. If there's a 'Spey 'Clave' in your area, go to same, talk to people, try out rods/lines/etc. 90% of the 'experienced' folks there will spend as much time as you need to 'teach you how to cast.'
12. You can easily spend $1,000 to $1,500 for your first rod/reel/line(s) .. spend your money wisely young 'Grasshopper.'
90% of us can't tell a whispers breath between a $450.00 rod and one that costs $1,000 when it come down to "Just Fishing." How far you can cast? You betcha!!
13. Review of #12. Most of the fish you are going to hook will be within 60'ish feet off the toes of your boots. Do you really care if you can punch out 120 foot of line?
14. I'll leave it at that, save for my first 2hander was made of wood.