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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 11-07-2016, 05:07 PM
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Default Re: Single-hand spey questions

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Originally Posted by eastfly66 View Post
Agreed , and when you actually take a look at the distances you are really fishing , I found many of these lines and rods will do the task at hand. There is a cut off point (distance and load) where you go from the SH to the 2 hander. That point determined by skill set rather than gear. I'm defining my own limitations , some I can change and others I will fish with ....and be happy.
Yeah, a guy needs at least a switch rod for real water or larger flies where a bit heavier line is needed. There is only so much you can do pretending your 9ft rod is 13ft
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Old 11-11-2016, 09:44 AM
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Default Re: Single-hand spey questions

There are some really great replies in here already, I have just a little to add (it's mainly in point 3 below). I'll approach this based on the fact that you said you're a "noob" to a lot of this.

Some of my answer comes from how I got into this game. I tend to NOT buy expensive stuff (that way I can have more..!) and take some satisfaction in coming up with ways to do things, like tying your own flies.

When I started trying to figure out spey casting (not claiming to be an expert btw) there weren't you tube videos and specialized lines other than some very basic spey tapers for longer two handed rods, and matching them up was difficult. I was able to fish at least once/week for a long afternoon with my SH rod. I tried to spend some time when I went out trying to figure out the motions of how this worked by using notes I'd made on 3x5 cards and moving the rod like a two hander.



>>1. What do you look for when single-hand spey rod? a slow rod? a fast rod? ultra fast rod? how about the length? is a longer rod better?<<

I would start using whatever rod you have now. Rods and lines can be like golf clubs, you find yourself wanting a different one for each combination of fish, fishing distance and fly technique (not that there's anything wrong with that...)

There are different rod+line combinations that will work better for different types of casts and casters. I would say that the stiffer the rod, the more you will need to increase the line weight (more on that in next paragraph).

>>2. Spey lines, can someone describe the line set up and how its different from a conventional WF or DT line? Do i need a special type of line to do the various spey casts?<<

In conventional fly casting, the rod is loaded (bent) with a combination of the weight of the fly line and the velocity of the line. As mentioned before and by others in the thread, you generally use a heavier line for these (spey) types of casts and it will help you to learn by doing so.

So-- there's at least three ways to get a heavier line, let's look at them:

1. Use a different line. This has been covered here pretty well. There are a lot of amazing products available now. You can use a heavier single handed line if you have one around, or go out and spend 70 or 80 bucks on one and see if it works for you. Before you spend the bucks, I'd ask around here and elsewhere about the combination of your specific rod and line and the type of fishing/casting you intend to do with it.

2. Add weight by having more line out the guides. Fly line has a finite weight per length. It follows that you can increase the weight of the line/loading of the rod by having MORE line out.

This works OK as long as the length of the line outside the guides is appropriate for the casting you're doing and falls apart once you have the entire head out of the top guide, so the length of the "fat part" of your fly line matters. Depending on the weight rating of line you start with and how much line you can handle out the guide you might do better with a double taper/steelhead taper type line. Example..DT5 line is around 4.6 grains/ft, so an extra 5 ft of line will increase the weight you're casting by 23 grains or so.

I did a lot of my early SH casting with a Cabelas line that had about a 40 ft long head (as I recall). IIRC, Fly lines are rated for the weight of their first 30 feet, so having the longer taper and having more out of the guides increased the weight of the line available to load the rod. Hope that makes sense.

3. Add weight to the front of the line. This is the part I haven't seen covered in the thread yet and works well for me. I can have a pretty versatile fishing system this way and don't have to run back to the "troutmobile" for a new rod (or hire a "rod-caddy", like I'm on the PGA circuit).

I make a loop in the front of the fly line and then can "loop-to-loop" either a floating leader or a sink-tip of different types. You'll have better results if you put this loop right at the end of the front taper, so it can transfer the energy of your cast both to the floating leader and the sink tip. Often lines right out of the box have this loop at the end of a short level front section. You can make this work if you NEVER apply power until everything is in a straight line, but you'll prefer cutting it back a foot or two.

You may want to tie a slightly longer butt section for your floating leader (I use a 3 section basic leader like the Borger "uni-leader" and then add tippet from there-- cheap and versatile). I have found that "twisted" leaders are too sticky for this and greatly prefer using regular mono.

For the sinking part, I generally use 4-5 feet for SH rods. It's not so much about getting the fly down as it is to add some weight to the setup and also to "stick" a little to the water as you cast to help load your cast. You'll figure out that waiting a little to start the forward cast will sink the tip a little more and increase the load if you need to (you now have the resistance of the slightly sunken tip to pull against). The ideal weight will also allow you to perform the dynamic "touch and go" casts, like the snake roll and single spey as well.

I use two different materials for the sinking portion. The smoothest casting are 5 ft long looped tapered sinking leaders. I bought an assortment of these from Cabelas probably 10 years ago and probably use the one that weighs around 30 grains the most. I'm always looking out for closeouts of these since they're not cheap by themselves (but much cheaper and more versatile than a new fly line).

I also use straight sinking line, T-8 (8 grains/foot) or some other stuff I bought that's 7 grains/ft. You can melt the loop by yourself using techniques on youtube, or just loop it over and secure with a couple of nail knots. Ditto for looping the front your fly line. 4 feet of T-8 weighs around 32 grains, so it's comparable to the load from the leader above, but not tapered at the end.

Finally, a couple of my most commonly used (trout) setups.

>>For tight quarters streamer fishing..Cabelas traveller 6 wt (9ft)with a 7 wt bass bug line and 4-6 foot T-8 tip. The Bass bug taper puts a lot of the weight of the line in a short distance and then has a thinner running line. Doesn't mend well, but I can chuck a streamer out 40-50 feet with practically no backcast, using what's called the "contrived loop" method. Very handy and I can fish water that you just can't with regular "back-and forth" casting techniques. Not a great dry fly setup, but you can do it with a longer leader.

>>All around setup. Cabelas traveller 5 wt (9 ft) with a 6 wt line (like Cabelas Prestige Plus). I switch between a mono leader for dry fly or soft hackle stuff, then loop on a tapered sink tip if I'm streamer fishing or want to swing a soft hackle a little deeper.

Didn't intend for this to be a novel, but I hope it helped a little. Stick with it through the learning process and you'll have an extremely valuable addition to your arsenal of fishing techniques.
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Old 05-09-2017, 10:58 PM
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Default Re: Single-hand spey questions

Wow! Thanks- I'm new to fly fishing and live in MN- this really helped thanks so much! Great article lol!


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Old 05-14-2017, 10:49 AM
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Default Re: Single-hand spey questions

I am learning also, you can Spey cast with any single-handed rod and line if you cared to use only what you have, some lines make it easier than others from looks of things. The 1st time I saw this was an instructor who was using Winston, I think BIIIX 9ft 5wt- don't recall the line though. More recently out casting with an instructor again he can Spey cast with any rod or line. He used my Snowbee rod with Barrio GT90 line and also someone else's Helios with Loop Opti-Stream line. Principles of Spey casting remains the same despite difference in equipment.

Last edited by fishing hobo; 05-14-2017 at 04:21 PM.
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Old 05-14-2017, 11:32 AM
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Default Re: Single-hand spey questions

All good info above, the only thing I do differently, with floating lines (you can buy basic ones pretty cheap) is cut off the front taper ... if it has one. Loop back as noted above, just make the loop at least two inches long.

You can buy very good sink tip systems or you can make your own just by a run of 'T' this or that and build different tip lengths. Put these in a leader packet and mark the length/tip weight so swapping out is a breaze. Only thing I also do is up-line the rod by one or two as you need the extra 'mass' to cast tips.

There are limitations on what you can do with the above; the lighter the rod line weight the more limited your choices with a DIY.

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