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Discussion Starter #1
Any advice on a rod/and or setup for a river that is about 100 to 200 ft. wide, but pretty deep more than ten or fifteen feet off the bank. The banks are for the most part heavily lined with trees, so they are right at my back. The trout generally range between 12-25 lnches. Not real fast current but steady and strong for the most part because of the depth. Would you recommend a switch or spey length rod? The trees usually do not hang out that far over the river but they are close behind. I am thinking of mostly swinging flies out to past midstream where it is probably 5 to six feet in depth and occasionally deeper. Any advice or suggestions?
 

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Undertaker
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the closer the trees, the shorter the rod

While a river's width suggests a light spey rod - if you truly are right up against the trees, go short. And 25 inch trout are BIG fish, so you might think 6 or 7 wt. rather than 4 or 5.
 

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Dedicated Fisherman
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I have an 11'6" seven weight that casts a 475 Beulah Elixir long. It works for tight spots. With the depth you describe this will be tough especially if you start looking at sink line or tips. However the rod I describe will make a 50 foot cast (add another ten - twelve for leader) pretty well without much room behind you. Are there other areas that offer a chance to wade out a bit? If so then I'd reach for a longer rod that will throw some weight.
 

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Call Gary Anderson and talk it through with him. His 1174 and 1255 rods are really sweet. and he has other models too! I'd lean toward the 4 wt if your average fish is less than 17 or 18 inches and you aren't trying to throw cheeseburgers at them. :hihi:
 

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All Tangled Up
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I am a bit confused on the statements, the river is "pretty deep ten to fifteen feet off the bank", implying it may not be so deep, therefore wadeable, 10' out, and the trees are "right at your back". Do you have trees overhanging into the river?

If you can wade out ten, even five, feet, it makes a considerable difference. Sounds like you want to fish at up to 90' for fish that may go over 20". If you can get that 5-10' of space, to hit the top end of those specs, my choice would be the Meiser 14'2" 456 Highlander. A 40-45' head is manageable with that rod in that space. Beulah Aero 6/7 + long mono leader for a pure floater, NextCast WA 55 5/6 for tips, either backed with 30lb Varivas, you can reach out quite a bit in limited space.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the responses. Looks like a light spey or a 6 or 7 wt switch might be the way to go. I would say that ten feet would be the maximum that I could safely wade with a lot of the wading only about three steps off the bank. The trees grow right at the waters edge so even though they don't hang out real far, even if the hang out three feet it really cuts the backcast room. Troutless, you do bring up a good point in that I will be quartering my casts downstream so the angle alone should give me a lot more backcast room than I was thinking. The post on another thread about the guy using a longer head with no backcast room certainly got me thinking that I might not be as restricted or limited as I first thought. As far as fish size goes, 25" would be huge, with the average more like the 15-18" size. I don't mind fighting a 15" fish on a 6 or 7 weight rod.
 

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A 6-7 Switch depending upon what it is rated for; single hand or double hand. A 6-7 double hand will feel like an 8-9 single hand. Not fun for 15" trout.
 

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Anderson Nova

Call Gary Anderson and talk it through with him. His 1174 and 1255 rods are really sweet. and he has other models too! I'd lean toward the 4 wt if your average fish is less than 17 or 18 inches and you aren't trying to throw cheeseburgers at them. :hihi:
I own an ACR 1215-4 Nova, and really like it as my "heavy" Midwest trout rod. I too fish some water that is fairly big and deep (though my back cast room is normally not as limited as you describe) Seems an underhanded cast would allow you to fish the longer rod well. I personally don't get a big charge out of 15" tailwater fish on a 6 or 7 weight spey, the 5-weight gives them a chance to show off a little and has ample backbone for the occasional big brown.

YMMV
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yeah, I forget that the line ratings even on switch rods is heavier than a SH. Sounds like a 5 wt switch or spey is the way to go. I am going to play around with my 10'6" 4 wt a little more and see if I can get'r done with that.
 

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You might look for an old Acr 13'8" 6 wt. in 5 and 4 pc.. I've cast every thing from a SA XLT 65' head to Skagit heads from 350 to 425 with it. I like mine use it for bass fishing all the time.

Thing is in tight spots you can choke up the grips or use casting technique to get you by, be creative. There was a good thread on this recently.


Anther would be a rod like the Meiser Highlander 12'6 4/5/6.
I think a 6 wt is a bit high but 4 or 5 would be better but a rod that can throw a variety of different lines ideal.
 

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FISHIN' FREELANCER
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"A 6-7 double hand will feel like an 8-9 single hand. Not fun for 15" trout."


This is the general consensus. Looking at it from another angle, what would a 12.5' single hand rod feel like? As length increases within line class by default the blank is much more limber and bendy.. with the true power in the butt. There can be plenty of flex for a 2lb trout to show off a little, yet reserves in the butt section to handle heavier fish.

I agree that a 6/7 spey might be a little heavy.. my pick would be more in the 5/6 arena. These rods are capable of a lot.
 

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JD
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Having been away from the Midwest for a very long time, I have difficulty imagining your scenario. With that in mind, please cut me a little slack if I say it seems you are putting the cart before the horse here. That is to say, you have more or less determined the answer to be a two hand rod, and are attempting to fabricate justification for such.

As others have pointed out, even a light switch rod would be on the heavy side for the quarry you describe. Not to mention, the total monetary outlay. May I suggest investigating Single Hand Turbo Spey casts as a more viable alternative? By utilizing a conventional trout rod & reel, which assuming you already have, the addition of a proper line would be all that is necessary to present the fly under these conditions. A five wt rod, so equipped, would easily beat a fish having to tow around the heavier line, and would also be less tiring to fish and offer greater satisfaction while doing so.
 

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I have fished for trout exclusively for the past 6-7 years with light weight Spey rods. They have many advantages over the conventional single hand 5wt.

I do on occasion fish dry flies where yes, the SH is superior.

Wet flies and soft hackles are a pleasure to fish with the Trout Spey rods,, this is about line control and presentation.

Larger heavy flies cast with ease compared to SH rods.

Quick change heads from Scandi to Skagit when needed to dredge a deeper pool or run.

Longer casts into the wind,,, no comparison.

High stick or Euro nynphing,,, easily done with the longer rod,, the Spey rod longer handle and reel position make the rod more neutral balance and is less tiring WRT the single hand rods of 10ft+.

If you only fish small dry flies,,, get the 5wt, or preferably a 3wt/4wt, for all other methods the Spey rod is far superior.

Regards,
FK
 

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JD as usual you have some solid advice. I often fish with a single hand 10 foot 4 wt lined with snowbee switch line about 200 grains, 26' head and can easily hit 50 - 60 ft no problem with one hand. Also polyleaders work well with this setup.
If your trying to get out 100 ft. the way to go is going to be a light rod like Gary Anderson's 3 wt's. .
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for the info Fat, Krump, Shot and FKrow!
JDJ, you are absolutely correct that I am fabricating a reason to use a two hander!:chuckle: I can and have used single hander spey techniques with the Ambush line in that situation, but I really enjoy two handers and the extra reach and versatility that it offers when needed. When I used that exact same Ambush line on a light two hander I realized how much easier a two hander was than a single hander.

I can use a single hander for probably 75% of the fishing situations, which would probably be the same for a lot of people that currently use a two hander. That is, according to posts of experienced spey casters, most of their fishing is closer to 70 ft than 100ft. Another way that the two hander really makes it easier versus a single hander is when switching hands depending on which bank I am on. Single hand I can't cast so well with my left hand (especially with heavier streamers and tips), while switching hands with the two hander is a breeze. During the warmer months if it is dry flies I would just as soon use my single hand rods although I would be open to any suggestions for a two hander.

JDJ I really appreciate your input, because I would also like to expand the veratility of the single hander especially with the newer line tapers being developed as a result of the popularity of the spey/skagit/scandi lines. So if you have more advice/ideas regarding single handers I would really like to hear it. Definitely using a haul with a single hand spey cast helps and is great advice.
 

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I fish a few places here in pa that sound very similar to what you have. I went with a beulah 5-6 classic switch and a skagit setup. I mostly fish wets and streamers so this was a good setup for me. I think you couldnt go wrong with beulahs platinum switch in either 5 or 6. Id let the size of your flies be the determining factor. A heavier rod will easily cast lighter flies but the opposite doesnt always ring true.


Ben
 

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On the Columbia River,B.C
Single hand rod 63 years, Spey 12 years Fly tying 63 years
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I fish the Columbia and can't go in the water most of the time. One step in, 1 ft water, second step, 4 ft water and gone. So I fish off shore most of the time with brush behind. I use a 12'-6" 5/6 rod and a 360 scandi and can get very good distance. It's a case of learning how to cast with vertually no "D" loop behind or beside you but in front of you. It can be done once you learn the rod and what it will do. You would be surprised just how easy it becomes.
Bjay
 
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