Expanding the trout spey quiver - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 12:35 AM Thread Starter
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Expanding the trout spey quiver

I've got a 4wt echo SR and am looking to expand my trout spey lineup. My SR bends primarily at the tip but a friend let me cast his old Sage 5wt 12ft rod and it flexed down into the butt which I really liked. I'm looking for something that may have that feel. I've been looking at the Redington Hydrogen trout spey series for a while now but I am not sure how they cast and fly shops around me don't carry trout spey. What're your thoughts between the Redington Hydrogen, Echo Trout Spey, and G. Loomis Short Spey? I like the price point on the redington, but the other two, especially the g. loomis have piqued my interest. I am planning to primarily swing soft hackles and small buggers/intruders.

On a side note, besides "enjoying the feel", do you really gain anything more from the deeper flexing "spey style" rather than the tip oriented "switch style" of the rod?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 12:24 PM
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I haven't really kept up on the latest rods. I have a Decho 4wt and Cabelas LSI switch 10'6" 5wt (both no longer made). I like the longer deeper flexing Decho (11'9") when I am just swinging flies with no retrieve. Really fun to get a take, feel the deep flex and have them on the click pawl reel for the initial burst.

I like the shorter switch when using retrieves and want to animate the streamer a little with the rod tip.

"It is not the fish that is hard to figure out, but we the fishers, why we do what we do. For a fish survival is enough."
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 04:08 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply. Makes sense to me . I do need to try animating the fly better.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 05:58 PM
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Exactly what I was going through in many Trout Spey rods, looking for a deeper action.
I like fast and stiff rods for most of my salmon fishing, but not for the trout fishing. Most of the Trout Spey rods I tried had a tippy action, also the most expensive ones like the newer Sage One Models in #4 and #5 (Sorry for that Sage boys!).
The combination of very short rod and tippy action additional is not the best for Spey casting. And trout fishing can be challenging in so many ways, different approaches, different lines, flies from tiny to heavy, different casting styles...
I tried the Echo you are talking about and can’t agree more. But the Reddington Hydrogen wasn’t that much different for me. Tip even more extreme bending and lifeless butt.
To be honest, I ended where I couldn’t imagine to end:
Airflo Switch Nantec 11’3 in #6 and #7, single hand classification. The #6 (Rage 300 and Scout 330) is an #4, the #7 (Rage 330 and Scout 360) is an #5 in doublehander classification in my book.
They are really cheap and they are made in China, that’s why I didn’t try them for many years. It was a mistake !
They offer nice and easy casting, very forgiving. Medium fast action, lively but reliable tips for controllable lift and anchor placement, deep action with feel, although high linespeed when needed with good control. Short stroke and long stroke doable. I am talking about casting as a Minispey, Skagit and Scandi.
Of course compromises in components are a must in this price class.
The Loomis IMX Pro: surely a nice rod. It would have been the next one to try, but I didn’t, because I ended where I didn’t think to end... just some months ago after a lot of trial and error.

Good luck !
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 06:43 PM
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Buy a blank from Meiser and wrap it yourself. They have down to 2 weight rods and are very nice! Do a search here for "Meiser blank sale" or call them to see if there are remaining blanks for sale. I would bet there are. Could get one for around $150. Cheaper than a Redington for way better rod.

Nate
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Last edited by Steelchromedome; 04-23-2019 at 06:49 PM. Reason: Blank sale
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 10:46 PM
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Echo glass switch rod should still be considered if you like full flexing rod、in my opinion.

Echo have stopped making them but they may still be available on auction sites. I have the 4wt switch and love casting and playing fish with the rod.

Once I got used to it、I could feel the rod better with a fuller flexing rod and this helps with achieving more consistent timing when casting.

Atu
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 11:09 PM
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The SR is an “old school” switch rod so it has some features like the faster action for use casting overhead. This type of action used to be more the rule with “switch” rods. I have an SR I use like that with a SH line - an outbound short.

In the last half decade or so a lot more trout SPEY rods have been marketed, as it seems like the main companies no longer feel the need to justify the purchase of the rod to potential first time experimenters with spey casting as “also great at overhead casting”. Probably there are more people out there now that have experience with spey rods for trout sized fish, or have seen someone using one that way. So it is kind of seems like we are on the cusp edge of a trout spey generation. At any rate most of the trout spey rods that have come out recently have a fuller (more soulful) action that most people find more appropriate if they plan on doing mostly to do spey casts.

To my mind the sage ones are soulful, but kind of on the faster end of the soulful range, and the echo glass rods are on the far opposite end verging on “noodley”. Full disclosure I have one of each, and love them both, just differently. But unless you are the kind of person that thinks MORE of a good thing always equates a better thing I’d suggest you give them both a try first. They have little in common. The glass one is the closest you are likely to get to a bamboo rod in weight and action without it actually being bamboo. That was the whole idea with that rod.

Between the bookends of the sage one and the echo glass there are now a large number of trout speys that fit the bill the OP says he wants, and a large number of new lines to take advantage. If you start considering buying a rod as expensive as a sage one or other premium class rod you should then seriously also consider just getting a custom ACR or Meiser trout spey - the originals before it was a fad, and still IMHO the best.
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Last edited by Botsari; 04-23-2019 at 11:59 PM.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 11:41 PM
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Oh, on the issue of “what you gain” I will give you my own boiled down, idiosyncratic summary. Faster (tip flexy) rods are both easier and harder to cast that more soulful (mid to full flexy) rods. Faster rods are “easier” to cast tight loops as the rod tip more naturally tends to move in a straight line, but “harder” in that they require you to have more precise (shorter time scale) timing. They may sometimes feel like they are forcing you to work harder. More soulful-actioned rods tend to feel like they have of a large margin of error, and so may be more relaxing to use on a long day, but making a tight loop with one has to be learned. Also there is little doubt that playing a fish with a rod that has a fuller action is easier - again a margin of error thing.

The above said it is largely a matter of taste as you can cast both types with equally tight loops and equal reliability...once you adapt. Spey casting is a bit slower activity than overhead casting so a bit slower action makes a better match, but which precise action fits your personality is a personal choice. I’m firmly in the “soulful” camp myself. The joke goes that “type A” personalities like fast rods, and when you watch them cast is sometimes show. Type A people always think THEY do everything, where as the rest of us think to whatever degree the ROD does the work. Like Chuck Yeager said - closest thing to a non-type A personality you are likely to find in a test pilot - “You don’t fly the plane, the plane flys itself. You just make to do what you want”.
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Last edited by Botsari; 04-24-2019 at 12:06 AM.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 01:01 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Steelchromedome View Post
Buy a blank from Meiser and wrap it yourself. They have down to 2 weight rods and are very nice! Do a search here for "Meiser blank sale" or call them to see if there are remaining blanks for sale. I would bet there are. Could get one for around $150. Cheaper than a Redington for way better rod.

Nate
I've never wrapped a rod before. Scale of 0-10 how difficult is it? I wouldn't wanna screw it up ya know?
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 01:34 AM
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I've never wrapped a rod before. Scale of 0-10 how difficult is it? I wouldn't wanna screw it up ya know?
Do you tie flies? Have decent attention to detail?

It's not for everyone, but patience and persistence can give you a quality job. Also, with Meiser, you can buy a blank with the grip turned and reel seat already mounted.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Spencer Lake View Post
I've never wrapped a rod before. Scale of 0-10 how difficult is it? I wouldn't wanna screw it up ya know?
I am probably the least handy guy in the world. I need to consult an owner's manual before operating a screw driver. I have, however, managed to build a couple of rods. The first one I did alongside a more experienced builder, but she didn't show or tell me anything that I didn't also see in any one of a zillion rod building videos available on the interweb. I still made a bunch of mistakes on that first one, but the only negative effects were aesthetic. Short of breaking the blank - which is hard to do - you really can't do much that's going to cause a major failure. I have fished that rod for two years and been very happy with what I got for a grand total of about $225 spent on the blank, reel seat, guides, grips, all building supplies, and the necessary tools, which were minimal. Full disclosure: I got the blank for $35 from Angler's Roost, but they are no longer in business :-( ... I also saved a few bucks by building a rod wrapping jig myself out of scrap wood. If I can do that, just about anyone who can eat with a fork and knife could as well. Hand wrappers/jigs are not very expensive to buy, but I'm super cheap. I'd give the rod about a 4 out of 10 for aesthetics and a 7 on functionality, mostly because I skimped a bit on some of the components. It casts and fishes just fine.

I'm just finishing build #2. Still made plenty of mistakes (none catastrophic), but corrected many more from the first build and learned a ton from both. This one is about a 7 on aesthetics. We'll see on the functionality, but I expect significant improvement over the first. I invested in better cork and components, and for not much more money, got much better stuff. I should have done that the first time around.

To make a long story longer, you can certainly do a build yourself and save a bunch of money. The first one may (or may not) be pretty, but it will cast and fish satisfactorily. Also, like catching fish on flies you tied yourself, there is a great boost in happiness and satisfaction that comes with fishing a rod you built yourself. Even if she isn't a perfect 10.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Spencer Lake View Post
I've got a 4wt echo SR and am looking to expand my trout spey lineup. My SR bends primarily at the tip but a friend let me cast his old Sage 5wt 12ft rod and it flexed down into the butt which I really liked. I'm looking for something that may have that feel.

On a side note, besides "enjoying the feel", do you really gain anything more from the deeper flexing "spey style" rather than the tip oriented "switch style" of the rod?
What comes to rod action I have been able to improve my casting making rods "less tip action" cutting rods shorter from the tip. If rod originally has very tip action it might become too stiff when soft tip is cut but I know two USA brand rod familys which can benefit shortening.

TFO Deer Creek Speys and Red Truck Diesel Speys, at least RT Diesel Spey 1307-4 which blank I have. I think the RTDS 1206-4 Summer Steelhead as well if it is the same as without "Summer Steelhead" definition and it I recommend you to consider? I have seen them on "classified" or auction site occacionally.

TFO DC Switch have similar action the DC Speys have but at only 11ft perhaps they become too short?

Cutting only 6 inches has positive effect improving line loop when rod tip dips less when casting stroke is began. Also if caster use forward stop rod tip sudden rise is not as severe. I am building DC 15ft 8/9 blank to be 14ft long and DC 14ft 9/10 to 13'1" length.

Esa
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Spencer Lake View Post
I've never wrapped a rod before. Scale of 0-10 how difficult is it? I wouldn't wanna screw it up ya know?
You WILL screw up, at least mildly, on your first rod. To paraphrase movie Butch Cassidy, “it’s not the wrapping, it the epoxying that’s gonna kill ya!” It’s easy, and the wraps you can redo to your heart’s content, but the first wraps you epoxy are almost for sure going to be subpar - totally functional, but not too smooth or attractive.

And as has has been discussed on here before, it is not even really economical for just one rod as the start up expenses will negate things. It is more the kind of thing you do because you enjoy it. For just one rod if the money is an issue maybe find someone to build the blank out for you more cheaply. I %100 agree that, if you have any opinions about how you like the handle, you should take advantage of the chance to get it done to your specs.

But again, for about the price of a top of the line sage you can get one built by the rod designer himself.

“Gravity is a harsh mistress!”, The Tick
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Spencer Lake View Post
I've got a 4wt echo SR and am looking to expand my trout spey lineup. My SR bends primarily at the tip but .....
I have used a 4 wt Echo SR for a few years now. The rod easily loads right into the handle depending on how I am casting. It also works well cast off the tip for short distance work.

Perhaps a heavier line or head is called for?

°

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