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Old 04-16-2013, 01:31 PM
boarder1 boarder1 is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Michigan rivers
Posts: 6
Hillbilly Spey - Ballin on a budget

Here in the Great Lakes region, switch rods are slowly becoming more popular and I have been wanting to get in the game, but can't bring myself to lay out the cash just yet. I get a couple of days of steelhead fishing in each spring and a couple more in the fall for salmon, so its hard to justify the expense.
Enter what I refer to as "Hillbilly Spey" No offense to actual Hillbillies.
To be a true Hillbilly spey one needs the following.
1. Large arbor Flyreel, backed, and loaded with ebay or clearance flyline. Weight will vary based on the rod so maybe buy a couple to try different weights.
2. 11' crappie jigging rod with lower handle cut down to a reasonable length. Try the Bass Pro Crappie Maxx. The Lower handle is usually about a foot long, so bust out the hack saw and shorten it up to about 4-5". We are only talking about a $40 rod here, so it's not really too painful.
3. Appropriate leader/ tippet for water and species.

Now grab them Hodgemans and lets get after it!

I'm sure the accomplished spey caster will get a chuckle out of this lack of reverence for the art, but here in the Great Lakes area we fish alot of smaller rivers where throwing a 100' snap-t will put your fly on someones back porch. Yah. it's not perfect,but its a heck of a lot cheaper than the divorce you will have to pay for after springing for that Sage One you've been drooling over. It'll nymph like a champ, throw a decent single spey or roll cast, and cost you next to nothing if you already have a good enough reel.
However, you do look like a Hillbilly.
Which is fine with me cuz the fish don't care.
tight lines
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Old 04-16-2013, 01:49 PM
bankwalker bankwalker is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: snoq
Posts: 21
Haha that's perfect.
I have been thinking about turning one of my three 11'6" 6-10 Rainshadow casting rods Into a spey/switch rod. The guides are already perfect for the job and spaced decently for a fly rod, and the EVA foam I used for the handle is cheap and easy to replace.
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Old 04-16-2013, 08:58 PM
djberg djberg is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: western ny tribs
Posts: 43
I have no idea how I missed this, and all I can sa is HELLS YEAH! GET IT RAGGG!!!!

Are you having fun? Thats all that matters is have fun, n catching fish. Especially if your fishing by "that guy", and your low budget rig is haulin in fish and hes catching he skunk!!!
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Old 04-16-2013, 09:47 PM
boarder1 boarder1 is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Michigan rivers
Posts: 6
FUN?! Its a hoot, & trust me, it is highly unlikely that "that guy" will be fishing next to the likes of me. The Carhartt and Skoal keeps em at a fair distance.
If they get to close, one of my favorite things to do after slipping a nice silver buck back into the river is yell downstream to him "GRAB YOUR NET, HE'S COMING RIGHT AT YOU!"
Then I just shake my head and go back to fishing.
Not sure why, but they seem to move along after that.
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Old 04-17-2013, 07:10 AM
bender bender is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Finland
Posts: 613
This is my "hillbilly". A 12ft UglyStick which did cost about $30. Reel is duct taped. Distance casting performance is almost as good as a rod which costs 15 times more but comfort is not because of very heavy weight.

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Old 04-17-2013, 08:11 AM
djberg djberg is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: western ny tribs
Posts: 43
heck yeah! i dont rock carharts, but i go have a pair of neopreen orvis waders, and boy do i get some looks for those(que the song low budget). and i have a few frankinstien switch rods. still perfecting them but my first is a 4pc 8wt scientific anglers i broke the tip section on hybrided with the tip section of a 2pc st croix 8wt avid she's about 10'9" and works awesome but i need to rework the lower grip, the stuff in butt extension has too much play in it and the cork is cracked...
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Old 04-17-2013, 05:19 PM
Nooksack Mac Nooksack Mac is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: north. Washington/south British Columbia
Posts: 1,145
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Thumbs down It's alive! It's moving!

Back when I first got interested in spey fishing, I hacksawed one of my little-used homemade graphite rods to mate with the butt section of another bad homebuild, which I stripped and rebuilt as a spey. The gimpy frankenrod was uncastable, with the upper sections overwhelming the butt section.

I've built two switch rods from 11 foot IM6 blanks, from eBay or A.R.E. One, a nominal 5-weight, spey casts nicely with 5- or 6-weight WF lines, and was slapped together for under $50 - and looks it. There's a lot of room for shade tree experimenters to play around there.
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