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Spey Rods and Switch Rods - Fly Fishing Tackle Talk! Discuss all the latest Spey and Switch fly rods and double handed fly fishing rods here.

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Old 05-27-2014, 03:48 PM
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Default Setting up a spey rod and reel

Hello all,

I'm an average fly fisherman and I was told I have a natural good tight easy casing style with better than average control and distance. (Not my words, the only time I had a lesson person's.) I have and use a 2, 5, 6, and 8wt one hand set ups (Actually, the 5 wt is the wife's).

At a family gathering I expressed an interest in trying out a spey rod setup.
From the questions asked I should have known, because on Christmas I was presented with a rod and reel. Both are off brands (I believe) but seem acceptable to try Spey casting with. A search on e-bay and I found both of them.

New Northern Guide Spey Fly Rod 13 Foot 6 inch 8 9 WT 4 Piece Sage | eBay

AB Large Arbor CNC Aluminium 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 11 Trout Salmon Fly Fishing Reel | eBay

The reel is out of the UK as you can see, but there are no markings as to it's origin (maybe China? India? Brytec it seems?), fully machined from billet aluminum. A size 9/11. Next week I'll take it completely apart and check it out. I may need to improve on it a little... we will see. I have a machine shop to do those little improvements if any.
There were some post here on the UK site about them, but I think they were all the cast/machined versions.

The rod, as you can also see it's 13' 6" Spey 8/9. I contacted the people on e-bay and they did sell it to my relatives. They were nice people and as I expressed the thought that the rod may be too big for me, they were happy to take it back and in exchange for the 12' 7", 7/8 version.

I live within twenty minutes of the California delta and a hour from the Lower, lower Sacramento and American Rivers as information to type of easy access fishing.

Here is what I'm asking your opinions on:

Thoughts on dropping the rod weigh down to the 7/8 with that reel...seems like a better starter set up.

Anyone know who makes this rod and anything about it? I, so far, have found nothing on it. I'll be calling back the E-Bay seller next Monday with what I'm going to do and will also ask them who makes it.

Finally, line set ups. A whole world in itself. I like RIO stuff so I've been getting my education on a beginner set ups. I like the conventional setup in a short belly. The others, maybe a UniSpeys (replaced the Windcutter, right?). Thoughts on the Scandi heads.

I've read all the info just wondering you who use the Spey's think.

Thanks.
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Old 05-27-2014, 03:55 PM
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Default Re: Setting up a spey rod and reel

There's a good shop in Sac that sells a lot of 2 handed rods. Kiene's. Might wanna call them up or check out their website for local fishing / line questions. I believe most folks in N. Ca opt for a 6 or 7 weight as an all around rod.

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Old 05-27-2014, 05:42 PM
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Default Re: Setting up a spey rod and reel

sclark, I moved your thread to the 'spey' section of our forum, your more likely to get the info your looking for here. BTW...welcome to our forum.

I think the rod and reel combo will work fine with one another.

I agree with Tyler's advice about going to Kiene's and talking things over with them, have dealt with them on a couple occasions and they're good knowledgeable folks.

As far as which lines to start with....the belief is that a skagit line is the easiest line to start working with, pitfall being that you can only do sustained anchor cast, and mending in next to impossible. The next easiest line to learn with is a Scandi, works best with touch & go cast and will mend much easier but will not work with heavy tips. A line that I've grown fond of is the Airflo 'Rage', it's kind of a Skagit/Scandi hybrid that I can put the whole gammit of poly leaders on from floaters to sinkers.

Figure out what type of water you'll be fishing and go from there.
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Old 05-27-2014, 06:34 PM
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Default Re: Setting up a spey rod and reel

I can't speak to whether or not you should drop down in the rod or not because I'm not familiar with those watersheds. Kiene's is a great suggestion, I've yet to hear anything but good things about that shop. Another fellow worth consideration is Poppy @ The Red Shed. He's incredibly knowledgable and absolutely fantastic to deal with.

When you talk with the seller of the rod, see if he can provide you with any info on the grain window and possibly the manufacturer. Knowing the grain window will be a huge help to get your line choice dialed in once you determine how you want to fish/cast the rod.

I'm with fysh, Airflo's Rage is a really wonderful line, I've enjoyed my time on the water with it. I've found it to be incredibly versatile as described.

One last option would be to talk with Steve Godshall, he can custom make a line for you. Hopefully Fred will chime in and offer up some advise, he knows a thing or twelve about setting up spey rods and can probably provide you with Mr. Godshall's contact info should you chose to go that route.
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Old 05-27-2014, 07:37 PM
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Default Re: Setting up a spey rod and reel

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Originally Posted by fyshstykr View Post
sclark, I moved your thread to the 'spey' section of our forum, your more likely to get the info your looking for here. BTW...welcome to our forum.

I think the rod and reel combo will work fine with one another.

I agree ....sinkers.

Figure out what type of water you'll be fishing and go from there.
Thanks for moving it for me John...somehow I failed to think of putting it there....

Thanks for the comments...I've spent alot of time studying the spey concept...and...had the ups and downs... about the lines like I'm sure most new to it do. I've spent some time playing with the casting setups, for and prior, to the actual forward presentation of the line. It's amazing how much of this you can use in your 'bag of tricks' single hand casting of the smaller rods.
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Old 05-27-2014, 07:53 PM
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Default Re: Setting up a spey rod and reel

Hey there. I live in Sacramento and fish the American with spey gear, have for a decade now. If you want to meet up there some time I'd be glad to offer any help I might be able to give. Feel free to shoot me a PM any time.

I wouldn't reccomend a Skagit set up, and you'll get more use out of the lighter rod choice. In fact you rarely need more than a 7 weight around here. That reel will be fine for either rod, IMHO.

Your biggest issue will be line choice. I'll argue against skagit lines for this region, not necessary. You'd be better served by putting a good running line on (Airflo Ridge 30#) and getting a couple different heads, like a scandi compact for floating work and a rage for throwing sinking poly leaders. When you learn to cast well you can get longer heads like the delta head. These are all caster friendly and efficient, and you never need to change spools on your reel. Of course another good choice would be either an Airflo or Rio multi tip spey line.

Fishing the rivers like the American is going to be a lot different than the delta for stripers or the upper sac for trout. For the delta you kind of need to be in a boat, and a shorter rod rigged with a shooting head would be the way to go. For the upper sac you'd want a light (3 or 4 weight) trout spey.
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Old 05-29-2014, 12:11 PM
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Default Re: Setting up a spey rod and reel

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Originally Posted by 9iron View Post
Hey there. I live in Sacramento and fish the American with spey gear, have for a decade now. If you want to meet up there some time I'd be glad to offer any help I might be able to give. Feel free to shoot me a PM any time.

I wouldn't reccomend a Skagit set up, and you'll get more use out of the lighter rod choice. In fact you rarely need more than a 7 weight around here. That reel will be fine for either rod, IMHO. My thoughts also on sending the 8/9 rod down to 7/8 since those are my choices.

Your biggest issue will be line choice. I'll argue against skagit lines for this region, not necessary. You'd be better served by putting a good running line on (Airflo Ridge 30#) and getting a couple different heads, like a scandi compact for floating work and a rage for throwing sinking poly leaders. When you learn to cast well you can get longer heads like the delta head. These are all caster friendly and efficient, and you never need to change spools on your reel. Of course another good choice would be either an Airflo or Rio multi tip spey line. I'm coming to just about the same conclusion on lines... Airflo or Rio mulit tip

Fishing the rivers like the American is going to be a lot different than the delta for stripers or the upper sac for trout. For the delta you kind of need to be in a boat, and a shorter rod rigged with a shooting head would be the way to go. For the upper sac you'd want a light (3 or 4 weight) trout spey.
True on accessing these rivers, I do have access to some private areas that a boat is not needed. Are there catch-able fish in these places? is still a question.

Once I've done a little more research and have my questions and notes down I'll make a visit to Kiene's.

I've as yet to find anything out about these Northern Guide Rods and who makes them??


Thanks for the offer, I'll PM you when I get this all worked out.
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Old 06-08-2014, 05:44 PM
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Default Re: Setting up a spey rod and reel

I did drop down to a 12' 6" 7/8 on the rod. No one knows anything about the Northern Guide spey rod. Handling it without line and doing simulated cast, I can just barely feel a little flex in the base behind the reel, so I'm guessing a mid flex with a slight lean toward the stiff side.

I'm still undecided as to the final line setup… however, I am leaning toward a Scandi. Though, I'm still interested in trying a traditional short head some day.

I spent some time at Kiene's Fly Shop in Sacramento, California yesterday getting the feel of different Spey rods there. Ironically, when doing a direct cast flex comparison the Northern Guide felt closest to a CF Burkheimer 7127-4 7 Wt. Well…so much for thinking that would help, I’m not sure you can make that sort of comparison.

I was also able to get in contact with Jeff Putnam for lesson this coming Monday afternoon. He is bringing a number of lines for me to try. So we'll see what line seems to fit me and this rod.
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Old 06-08-2014, 06:49 PM
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Default Re: Setting up a spey rod and reel

No one better than Steve Godshall for Spey lines .
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Old 06-08-2014, 08:21 PM
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No one better than Steve Godshall for Spey lines .
Billy gets my vote for 'understatement of the day.' Steve's got 'magic fingers' when it comes to building custom lines. Won't cost you a penny more than something off the shelf.

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