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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 02-04-2017, 10:39 AM
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Default Trout Spey Rods Explained

Every manuf. of rods has their own ideas of rod action and cork length for both lower and upper cork. Some Trout Spey rods are full flex and bend into the cork, other flex mainly in the upper half and are faster action. A nice casting rod should have a relatively stiff tip and bend initially in the middle 1/3 of the blank. The stiff tip is necessary for picking up the line and repositioning for Spey cast set ups. A soft tip or fast action will struggle and be less responsive.

We also have the very confusing number system on rods.

One popular rod in the east is Mystic and labeled 11'3" for 4wt,, most of us who have cast and own the rod much prefer a 2wt Scandi line on the rod.

The discontinued Echo DH 4119 is labeled 4wt,, all of us who own the rod much prefer a 5wt Scandi 300gr.

My Echo 3106 Glass likes a 180gr Scandi while the Echo SR 3106 likes 240gr.

The only standard we have is line weight in grains,,, the rod labels are only a starting point for you to select a line weight for your individual casting style.
There is no right or wrong line for an individual rod,, it is what ever you prefer.

How do we determine the line for a rod,,, cast the rod and observe the line roll out,,, to heavy and the line will drop early or plow with the tail dropping to the water much too early. Too light and the rod will cast off the tip and have more critical timing to obtain good distance, you can still cast the rod however, not as efficiently.
This is why when someone on the spey boards asks "what line do I use with xxx rod" we get a large range of recommendations.
Short underhand power applications generally like lighter weight,,,, full upper hand stroke with larger loops and wide forward arc like heavier weights.

Another manuf. disconnect is the shorter rods in 6wt, 7wt and 8wt like a much lighter weight line than the longer rods.
Example is typical 11-'11'9" 7wt rods like a Scandi of 390gr while a 12.5' - 13.5' rods typically like Scandi 450gr. similar ratios with 6wt and 8wt.

Trout Spey lines and rods, my personal experience is to base the rods on Scandi lines, again personal casting style and preference.

5wt = 300gr-330gr
4wt = 270gr-280gr
3wt = 240gr
2wt = 210gr
Micro Spey - 140gr-180gr

When changing over to Skagit the lines are approx. 30gr-50gr heavier.
Note the MOW tips have a floating line section and I add that to the Skagit line weight, the sinking portion is not included.

One company calls their 3wt and 4wt rods Micro Spey,, another inaccurate marketing label. The term Micro Spey was introduced by Ed Ward several years ago when he used 3wt and 4wt SH rods and added a short lower grip. After reading about his experiments, we played with those ideas for years by cutting up old salt water and Spey lines and made Skagit heads 14ft-16ft long. Last year RIO and OPST introduced the Skagit Trout lines and recently several others are available.

Regards,
FK
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Last edited by Fkrow; 02-05-2017 at 01:49 PM.
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Old 02-05-2017, 10:56 AM
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Default Re: Trout Spey Rods Explained

When I was teaching Spey casting he most often asked question was "what line to I use on this new rod?
In addition, the second was,, a student would show up with a new rod/line they had purchased online and it would not cast very well,, what is the problem?

Line selection for an individual DH rod is a frustrating mystery compared to SH rods with a simple number on the blank.

The most direct answer is to visit the RIO Products web site and go to the "Learn" menu then "Spey Central" then "Spey Line Recommendations". Simon Gawesworth at RIO has done an excellent spreadsheet for both Current Production and Older Model Rods. The charts have column A and B which is lighter weight and heavier weight for each of the RIO lines on that individual rod. As I stated earlier no right or wrong answer,, it is a starting point and will get you out fishing.

I have been friends with Simon since 1998 when I attended a three day class with Jim Vincent and Simon for Spey casting. He does obtain the rods and actually cast them with RIO lines. Some of the recommended lines on individual rod manuf. sites will differ from RIO, many are much heavier and this is fine,,, again just an individual casting style of their consultants or rod designers.

Our technique for students was not to identify a specific line weight,, we would get them casting and especially the more experienced casters would benefit. Gave the student three lines to test cast,, lighter, medium and heavy relative to what they had purchased. Do not ask me what line weight,,, what feels best to you? How does the line roll out, does it give you better distance or bog down with lower leg dropping early?

All students were in the range of the RIO recommendations.

Regards,
FK
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Old 02-05-2017, 11:42 AM
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Thumbs up Re: Trout Spey Rods Explained

For a serious light rod contact R. B. Meiser rods or Burkie!
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Old 02-05-2017, 12:07 PM
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Default Re: Trout Spey Rods Explained

Great advice from both FK and Fred! I have a Burkie 4114 and it is happiest with 300gr compact scandi and a rage. Calling the company is a great resource. I talked to Kerry at a clave and then on a phone and he said they had found 300gr worked best; he was right.
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Old 02-05-2017, 01:12 PM
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Default Re: Trout Spey Rods Explained

Lines for Trout Spey rods.

We have shooting heads and full integrated lines available for our Trout Spey rods.

I used the Airflo 40+ lines for many years with my 4wt and 5wt light Spey rods. These have a 35ft head with 17ft of long front taper. A fully integrated line with black color section at end of head. They are fine for longer leaders and smaller flies like soft hackles. The head is rather long in length for shorter Trout Spey rods.

Airflo 40+ -- 5wt = 243gr, 6wt = 267gr, 7wt = 284gr, 8wt = 323gr

When the first 2wt and 3wt rods were introduced by Mystic we were at a fly fishing show with the Thomas & Thomas booth as consultants for their new DNA Spey rods. The Mystic people requested we test cast their new Switch rods. The only line available was a Snowbee from the UK and that was offered included with the new rod package. We liked these new ultra light TH rods but were not enthused with a hard to obtain UK line as option. Some research and I discovered the Ambush lines by Wulff,,, at the next show the Wulff booth was across from T&T and I discussed with them the Ambush lines for Spey Casting. Test cast the lines and they were great and easily available in US fly shops.

Ambush are really a Skagit line with short front taper section, adding a Polyleader or Spey VersiLeader with longer mono front section will smooth out the presentation for soft hackles. Nice if you prefer a integrated full line rather than shooting head and running line. Head length of 18ft -20ft light to heavy.

Ambush -- 4wt = 195gr, 5wt = 215gr, 6wt = 235gr, 7wt = 265gr, 8wt = 290gr

The next evolution in Trout Spey lines was the Scandi shooting head, offered both by RIO and Airflo initially the lightest weights were 270gr-280gr and over the last few years we now have 180gr as lightest.

RIO Scandi Short heads are 28ft-31ft long and 180gr-330gr in 30gr increments.

These Scandi heads require a shooting or running line, which can be coated PVC or PU over core or braided mono or solid mono construction. They all have advantages and disadvantages in handling, shooting and tangles. One thing to understand is every time you make a cast, you are introducing a half turn twist into the running line. To minimize this, do not have any slack loose line left at the end of your forward cast,, the line should slap the rod blank. This will greatly minimize the twisting,, an old Left Kreh trick from the old salt water days.

A newer variation from RIO is the Scandi Short Versitip with interchangeable 10ft fly line tips, I especially like the 270gr and 320gr for 4wt and 5wt rods. These are 23ft bodies with 10ft tips in float, inter and sinking fly line tips.

When the “Switch” rod craze developed RIO introduced the Skagit Short lines,, very nice performing for the Trout Spey rods. Today several other manuf. have short length Skagit heads. Excellent with MOW tips or only short sections of T-8, T-11. In addition I will use a 7ft-10ft Polyleader Intermediate with heavy wind resistant flies.

RIO Skagit Max Short 200gr- 225gr = 17ft, 250gr-375gr = 20ft length

RIO also has an integrated full line for Skagit type presentations for those who prefer not having the loops drag into the rod tip when retrieving a larger fly close to the caster. The RIO Switch Chucker have 25ft head at color change. Also works fine with short Polyleaders or short sections of T-8, T-11 tips.

RIO Switch Chucker is now available in 2wt = 225gr, 3wt = 275gr, 4wt = 325gr and 5wt = 370gr.

In 2009 Simon Gawesworth published Single Handed-Spey Casting, an excellent instruction book. We discussed lines for SH rods and he recommended RIO Trout LT lines. These have a long fine front taper with weight concentrated to the rear or rod end of the D loop. These lines have a 47ft head with color change at 37ft, if you pull the color change into the rod tip the line will cast very nicely both with SH and the Micro Spey DH rods. Note they are AFFTA WF and DT line weights at the 30ft standard,, you will require a grain weight scale to measure the actual grains at your preferred head length.

Recently Simon has introduced the RIO Single Hand Spey line which is marketed to the SH rod caster. These line work very well on our DH rods and have the advantage of fully integrated lines for those who like to retrieve close distance and not have running line loops clanging into the rod tip and guides. With 34ft heads at color change, if you pull that into the tip about 4ft-5ft, it balances very nicely on the Micro Spey and Trout Spey shorter DH rods.

RIO SHS – WF3F = 130gr, WF4F = 175gr. WF5F = 200gr, WF6F = 230gr, WF7F = 260gr, WF8F =300gr

Last year we finally had the very versatile Skagit ultra short heads introduced. Some really line the lines others struggle with casting. They were initially introduced to the Spey community by Ed Ward when he was experimenting with Micro Spey Skagit ideas. Taking a 3wt or 4wt SH rod and adding a short lower handle,, he cut up custom heads of 14-16ft and under 200gr. We experimented for several years and these lines were very interesting with short pieces of T-8 or Inter. Polyleaders and heavy flies.
Sage and RIO had worked on prototype rods and lines for several years and Ed Ward teamed up with OPST who had RIO manuf. their lines. I have full sets of both lines and they work exceptionally well with MOW Light and Med, short sections of T-8 & T-11 as well as Polyleaders in floating and inter.

RIO Skagit Trout Max are 200gr-275gr in 25gr increments and all 11ft long.

OPST Commando lines are 150gr-175gr = 12ft, 200gr-275gr = 13.5ft, 300gr-325gr = 15ft

Any questions please feel free to PM directly.
Regards,
FK
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Old 02-05-2017, 01:26 PM
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Default Re: Trout Spey Rods Explained

Any suggestions where I might be able to purchase a 2- or 3-weight spey blank? I cannot justify paying $300+ on a rod that I will be experimenting with. I've looked at the usual suspects' web sites, but must have missed their offerings in these sizes.
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Old 02-05-2017, 02:41 PM
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Default Re: Trout Spey Rods Explained

RB mieser web site, give him a call
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Old 02-05-2017, 03:47 PM
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Default Re: Trout Spey Rods Explained

Quote:
Originally Posted by weiliwen View Post
Any suggestions where I might be able to purchase a 2- or 3-weight spey blank? I cannot justify paying $300+ on a rod that I will be experimenting with. I've looked at the usual suspects' web sites, but must have missed their offerings in these sizes.
I would bet if you posted over on speypages or contact Red's Shed (Poppy) you would be able to find a used Echo or Redington in your range.
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Old 02-05-2017, 04:10 PM
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Default Re: Trout Spey Rods Explained

Yeah, shop the classifieds for a used set-up.

Let's try to keep this excellent informational thread on topic, please. Specific "what rod / what line" questions should start a new thread.
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Old 02-05-2017, 05:05 PM
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Default Re: Trout Spey Rods Explained

Here's a little Trout Spey porn to add to the post:





---------- Post added at 06:05 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:56 PM ----------

FK

I have a question, let's say with my 3110 and the Skagit at 250 and I find I have limited out on the size fly it will handle , is there something I can tweak in the configuration to maybe be able to toss a slightly larger or heavier fly ?
Maybe something from OPST ?
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