First spey rod help - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-13-2020, 11:57 PM Thread Starter
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First spey rod help

Hello all, I am going to buy my first spey rod soon. I have never cast any spey rod, and don't have a shop close by so all I have to go off of is research and educated guesses until I buy one and start casting. I am getting it for Jurassic Lake in Argentina (very windy) where I will hopefully land a 20lb rainbow on it. Im told they recommend scandi lines. I was looking at the Sage x and Loomis Asquith. Im open to other options but would like to hear about these. I talked to one guy that claimed to have broken 3 sage x's. So im worried if anyone else has had issues with this?

Also need help in deciding in 7 or 8 wt. If I had the chance to get an 8 at a discount, would it be that much different than a 7? I am told a 7wt 13ft is considered the most popular size.

I would also hopefully use the rod in the pacific NW and BC one day. As well as Alaska and maybe saltwater.

Thanks for help!
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-14-2020, 12:07 AM Thread Starter
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sorry just noticed there is a search feature as well as a thread about Asquith below mine. Would still like the 7 vs 8 question answered please
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-14-2020, 12:26 AM
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Iíll leave a lot of the answers to some more expert than I am, but youíll find most rods handle a wide enough grain range there there is almost no difference between a 7 and 8 (my winter rod is a 13í 7/8). There will be much more difference between brands in the same weight than the same rod in 2 different weights.

Also, get lots of practice in, especially in the wind. The first couple of years (and still today, to some degree) high winds absolutely killed my casting. The larger diameter Spey lines can be a sail until you get comfortable with them. You might also consider a rod designed for two handed overhead casting, and in this case Iím thinking about Bob Meiserís 909 series. My $0.02. Welcome to the fraternity, and enjoy the journey!

"Only the mediocre are always at their best" - Andy Capp
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-14-2020, 01:51 AM
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Both rods you mentioned are top shelf and I’m sure you would be more than happy with.

In regards to the rod weight, I wouldn’t worry too much since you’ll probably own several rods before too long!!

But, if you were after large steelhead on large rivers and wanted some overlap into salmon, the 8wt for sure. For the size of the fish you mentioned, the 7wt will be more than plenty. 7wt is a great all around steelhead stick that can handle most steelhead on any given river yet is still fun even on smaller fish (to some degree).

The 8wt I think is a specialized stick for targeting large steelhead with the capability of tossing larger flies and tips. As I stated before, it doubles as a great light duty Chinook rod and would be a blast with coho or chum or large Atlantic’s

A 13’ 7wt has been called the F-150 of Spey rods, and I think that is a suitable title.

In regards to the sage X breaking, everyone I know who has fished them loves them. But the same can be said of the Asquith.

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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-14-2020, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jakeb30 View Post
Hello all, I am going to buy my first spey rod soon. I have never cast any spey rod, and don't have a shop close by so all I have to go off of is research and educated guesses until I buy one and start casting. I am getting it for Jurassic Lake in Argentina (very windy) where I will hopefully land a 20lb rainbow on it. Im told they recommend scandi lines. I was looking at the Sage x and Loomis Asquith. Im open to other options but would like to hear about these. I talked to one guy that claimed to have broken 3 sage x's. So im worried if anyone else has had issues with this?

Also need help in deciding in 7 or 8 wt. If I had the chance to get an 8 at a discount, would it be that much different than a 7? I am told a 7wt 13ft is considered the most popular size.

I would also hopefully use the rod in the pacific NW and BC one day. As well as Alaska and maybe saltwater.

Thanks for help!
Hi jakeb30!
For casting Scandi lines, what have been already suggested to you and you intend to do:
I don’t want to say, the two series of rods you mentioned can’t be more different in characteristics. But I would say, they are at least very different, completely different, in casting a Scandi line.
Biggest similarity is, they are the flagships and most expensive rod series of this well known labels.

That doesn’t say anything what fits your first steps of casting best or if they fit you at all as a beginner.
You need a beginners rod, a forgiving rod.
The earlier you go to Argentina, the more. A rod for you in one of the most challenging conditions for flyfishing is not necessarily the most expensive one. It can be counter productive.
Maybe you don’t want to hear it. Then stop here to read.

In windy Argentina, Jurassic Lake:
Challenging.
Never cast any speyrod:
More challenging.
Time of trip, „the earlier the better“:
Even more challenging.
No idea what fits your casting because of no idea about the casting:
..... !?

Please excuse my honest words. You should not end in an expensive fishing trip with most expensive tackle, just to experience ....!?
No problem for those that promised you an unforgettable fishing trip and best performing rod ever.

Do yourself a favor and start casting with an competent instructor, before you do an expensive purchase.
Every serious instructor has enough rods to start with for beginners. He will see you casting, your development and can give you honest and competent advice how to choose and which rod would suit you, also the best line pairing.
Then you can risk to practice alone.

The earlier you start there, the better for you.
Money you spend for a good instructor is well spent money, especially in your situation and could save you money in the end - maybe in the tackle sector but at least for this expensive trip, if you want to be able to do what you pay for in a reasonable way.

Of course enjoy the journey. But there is another journey to be done before!

And good luck !

Time is running... A little bit of work, a little bit married, fishing, hunting... What else?
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-14-2020, 11:26 AM Thread Starter
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WW I dont disagree with anything you're saying but there is no instructor within a reasonable distance to me. So maybe it's a fool's errand but I want to try. I will take several single hand rods as well but I'm intrigued by spey. And trust me you're not the first to give me a similar answer.

So honestly I'm going to do all the research I can and buy a middle to high end rod and give it my best shot. I have a year to learn to cast good enough to make it worth while. But since I cant cast ANY spey rod before purchasing I'm trying to find one that might be most forgiving or handle the biggest array of lines. I see some reviews say "I really liked the rod once I lined it correctly" others say "it shot every line on it like a cannon" so I'm just looking for wiggle room

I've talked to some that say you want a slower rod for beginner because it's forgiving. Others tell me most beginners have too fast of a stroke so a faster rod allows for a quicker stroke. So I guess it comes down to fitting rod to student. A luxury I dont have unfortunately.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-14-2020, 11:33 AM
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A great choice would be the Winston Air TH 13'3" 7 wt . See the you tube review from Ashland fly shop. Spey casting lessons and practice are absolutely necessary to enjoy your planned trip. They are more important than the rod you pick. That being said, this rod is one you would never outgrow. That smooth action is a keeper. Can't comment on the Asquith. I haven't tried a Beulah platinum G2 (the new one) but perhaps you should.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-14-2020, 11:37 AM
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You went right to the top with those two choices. I am positive that both of those rods would be impressive in the hands of a competent caster. They will give that caster more control, longer distances and more accurate cast. In the hands of a new caster could potentially have the opposite effect. An expensive well built rod is not going to improve bad technique.

Since you are not close to a shop that provides instruction I would suggest:
1-Research, on-line or otherwise. Look at reviews and comments. Compare prices. Narrow down choices.
2-Once you figure out a few choices find a shop/instructor that can demo and provide casting instruction.

Once your at this point make a plan to take a trip for a couple days so you can test the rods and take in some instruction. Work the cost of the lessons into the price of the rod. Most shops can do this and will do this. There is no substitute for good technique learned from a good instructor. I would also suggest if this shop has more than one instructor spend some time with more than one. Everyone learns differently and instructors teach differently.

Argentina is a long way to go and expensive just to be unsuccessful due to bad casting and not being able to deal with the environment.

Dan

Which way to the river?
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-14-2020, 11:40 AM
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Perhaps more important than the rod would be the line choice. I have seen videos of Jurassic lake and it just looks like the wind howls. I’d think about a Skagit head or something like a Rage as a Scandi head would not do well in those winds.

A few months back I picked up a Loop Xact 13 foot 7 weight for sale for 150$ on EBay. I like this economical rod line up from Loop it has a nice medium fast action.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-14-2020, 04:21 PM
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Where are you located? I'll bet there is a two-hand caster with enough experience within a reasonable distance of you who give you some pointers and help for the price of lunch and dinner. It doesn't have to be a professional instructor to be of use to a rank beginner.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-14-2020, 06:39 PM
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Hi Jake,

Great advice as always from board. I have had a 3 year journey learning to spey and instruction is critical. Since you seem to have the funds and a instructor is not nearby I would recommend 3 DVDS "Gawsworth/Ed Ward/ and Tom Larimar along with Ashland Fly Shop's Jon Hazlett for a good foundation. Being in Arizona I also like you thought there would not be spey instructor however there is one Master TH instructor I found thru FFF in Phoenix my backyard. Again where are you located as someone on board probably knows an instructor nearby? Good luck and hope you bend a TH rod on a RB.

Fly fishing teaches us early on "one" is a lot bigger number than "zero"......
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-14-2020, 08:00 PM
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My first two hander was a Flextec 15 ft, poppy set me up with an Echo 10/12 reel and a Caron Jetstream 65ft. And away I went, went and got a lesson and bought a DVD. A few weeks later I was fishing the Margaree. Tompkins pool and hooked a fish first pass. I was hooked to the two handers instantly. My suggestion for you is start big and learn how to cast. Your first rod won't matter you'll have seven or eight within 5 years. Fireman has the rod for you.
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-14-2020, 11:00 PM Thread Starter
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I live in SW Oklahoma. Thanks to everyone for the advise, I will try my best to find an instructor nearby.
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-14-2020, 11:14 PM
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Line choice is equally important to rod choice. Even the best designed rod can be severely crippled by a poorly matched line. Follow line recs from a well respected source... The rod's manufacturer should have good line recs, but they can be found elsewhere too. Contrary to common belief, the best source might not be a big name line manufacturer. As to the conditions you expect to face in the southern hemisphere, "fine and far" scandi heads get blown around quite easily in windy conditions. A Rage or other shorter/aggressive scandi would probably deal with wind better, but still be long enough to delay turnover for some distance (I assume this is important for lake fishing).

Definitely check out Beulah. I have a Platinum 6126 Gen1 that I absolutely love. She's my favorite. I dont have a ton of experience with many other rods (I've only casted 3 different "steelhead weight" rods with a few different lines on each), and I consider my Platinum to be forgiving but no slouch... It will still cast decent if I'm having a bad casting day or I need to adapt my technique to tight spaces. But when I have room, and my technique is on, some ridiculously long reel banging casts have happened... Often enough that I'm starting to believe they're not flukes anymore. IMO this rod is forgiving enough to deal with less than ideal technique, but when ideal technique is used it's a beast! This rod tells me when I got it right but still let's me fish when I don't. Not all rods are this tolerant!

If I were going to destination fish for bigger fishies, I would find me one of Beulah's 8 weights and line it with the appropriate Elixir scandi.

If the Beulah's aren't something you would consider...

Look for a rod that isn't:
•too stiff (beginners need to feel the rod load, but even some accomplished casters like it too)
•too wiggly (less control, less backbone, quickly grown out of by a developing caster)
•fussy about lines (versatility is good, you don't know what lines will complement your developing casting style and fishing 2 or 3 years from now. You dont want a one-trick-pony just yet.)
•too light (if this may be your one and only rod, get one heavy enough to handle the biggest fish you ever expect to encounter anywhere you plan to go)
•too fragile (you will hit the rod with a fly travelling at light speed a few times. Make sure it can survive the beating that a beginner is accidentally going to dish out. Adverse conditions will increase the likelihood of this happening.)

Look for a rod that is/has:
•forgiving (Tolerant of bad technique. Expect to have bad technique... You will have to learn without an instructor, but you still want to chuck a fly over there anyway.)
•has quick recovery (will have more line speed, and gets you some reel bangers as your technique gets better... not that distance is the most important thing, but it's a phase some of us go though. Reel bangers do make you feel like a hero though!)
•made by a company with good customer service (learning to cast can involve having to get a replacement rod section or two due to high speed collisions with the fly)

Hope all this helps! Wish you luck on your search for a nice outfit and big fish!
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-15-2020, 02:25 PM
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As with everything fly fishing, start with the fly & work back. Well really, start with the fish & location, which will dictate the fly. And if that boils down to flies of significant size, then Skagit becomes a better choice than Scandi. If the water dictates fishing sunken flies, sink tips enter into the line equation. With the Skagit sustained anchor style casting, the weight of the sink tip is part of the payload & contributes little or nothing to rod load.

When I was in Argentina, the wind was so bad it had destroyed the lodge's wind gage the week previous, & was still going strong! I found refuge of sorts, in spots where I was below a bluff, & by casting side arm style. Anything to keep the cast under the wind. Good luck with that on a lake. Tight loops & line speed will get you there.

I fish because the voices inside my head tell me to.
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