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· chrome-magnon man
5,373 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
what are your thoughts on your own personal perfect Spey rod, if you could build one or have one built for you? Action, components, length, expected fishing distances, expected species, etc etc etc. Feel free to compare with rods you like, adding something like "I'd want one with an action like such-and-such rod, only a little faster" etc.

Mine is situation-specific, and not an all-round rod. It would be a big water rod, a 4 piece 10/11 16ft+ rod, with an action somewhere between traditional and Euro, for fishing 60ft/70ft-120ft+ for dry lines and light tips. I like the traditional guide placement on UK rods (a stripping guide close to the handle) and no hook keeper. I'm not sure whether I'd want an uplocking or downlocking reel seat. Both upper and lower handles would be longish, again like you see in the traditional UK rods.

· Registered
11,025 Posts
Way Cool question!

From all the rods I've tried/own, etc., my best bet would to say I'd need two rods: summer and a winter rod.

For summer fishing the 789 13'9" Burkie is about as close to perfection as I've used; really don't know what I'd change (other than I do like hook keepers .. go figure.)

For a winter rod I'd go for a 15' rod that, action wise, split the difference between the Sage 'traditional action' and a Euro. One's a bit light in the loafers, the other too stiff for personal casting all day long. (Falling off your roof and dropping 2 stories onto concrete puts a kink in your getta-long.).

Again, very cool question; need to take a look at the difference in guide spacing on my Bruce and Walker. Took quite awhile to get used to having that 'close in' stripping guide.

· Pullin' Thread
4,694 Posts
I'd love to have a 17 foot, or better yet an 18 foot, 11 weight made by T&T or that has an action like the T&T 16 foot 11 weight for winter fishing. It would be caplable of making cast from 60 feet ot over 120 feet, and handle sink tips up to 700 gr. Deep Water Express for winter fishing. It matter not if it has an uplocking or downlocking reel seat. But it does matter in guides. I like guides that are larger than what one normally finds on a rod because the larger guides aid in shooting line on a cast.

For summer fishing, I would love to have a 15 foot 8/9 weight with the action of the G. Loomis 13 foot 8/9 GLX. Again with oversized guides for shooting line. It would be capable of fishing from 50 feet to 100+ feet. and handle both foating and sink tip long belly lines.

The handles on both of these rods would have some meat on them in the manner of the T&T and G. Loomis rods. I prefer the stripping guide to be placed out some from the handle about where T&T places theirs because it aids in shooting line.

Oh if I could get someone to make these rods, even if only as blanks.

· Hooked on Salmon
161 Posts
Aaaaaahhhh, Dana - dreamer:

For me as the ultimate allround rod it would:


with the SENSITIVE YET POWERFUL BUTT of the SAGE 15'1" (green)

and having he CLEVER TIP and GREAT HANDLE of the T&T 15'/5

It most take a good beating with guides that not fold flat when stumbling through brush.

I fish all three of the above, with a slight preference for the 15'1", being followed by the T&T that is another winning concept.

The GLX casts miles and is a dream to do long days with - but is by far too hard in the butt to really be "safe" when playing lesser fish.

Just a few toughts from another dreamer, across land and water.


· Coednakedspey
175 Posts
Correct me if I'm wrong guys

But isn't an Uplocking reel seat the most desireable. I say this b/c with an uplocking reel seat, with your non reeling hand, when you are palming the reel and playing a fish, you will have your 3 palming fingers around the reel, and then one finger and thumb around the cork. If it is downlocking, you will have a reel seat to put this finger and thumb around which is a lot less comfy than cork.

· Registered
16 Posts
Can a newbie answer?

I haven't cast too many rods, and would not consider myself to be a good judge of what a "good" rod or otherwise might be. Of the rods I have cast, I really like the Burkheimer mentioned previously as it felt the best in my hands when casting. Perhaps because I am more accustomed to the faster rods, it seemed to "respond" better to my attempts to deliver the fly than did some of the others. My hands like a rod that barks, rather than whispers. My new IM6 rod also feels very good, and I think it's going to work out great. Admittedly, new as I am, anomalies are sure to abound.

One thing for sure, though: for the perfect rod, there must be burl cork in the grip, a figured hardwood reelseat insert, and a feather inlay over translucent wraps. I would be tempted to put single-foot guides on it, but would probably only take ribbing for the break from standard methods, so perhaps the most traditional looking snakes possible are the way to go.

Then again, what do I know? :chuckle:

· Registered
1,746 Posts

Your dream rod sounds remarkably like one I built last year, a 15-footer for 10/11 lines. I made the whole handle, upper and lower, from alternating burl and standard cork rings; it's a striking appearance. I used single-foot guides, as I have on half my spey rods. Nothing wrong with them that I've found. Fast action (better with a dry line than heavy tips), wood-insert seat, silk wraps. No feather inlay, but I put a jungle cock eye on another rod; it's an easy addition.
Thanks to finding the blank on closeout at Angler's Workshop, and fortuitious bargains on the other components, the whole thing cost around $200.:p

· Registered
51 Posts
Time to dream..........

In my neck of the woods (Lake Michigan Tribs) the rivers are pretty small and casts are short. (60-70 footers down and across are long) A 13 ft rod can be too long. A shorter rod can be a plus. I would love an 11 ft 4 piece that would toss a 7/8 floating line. A 4 piece rod would take down and fit on my Kick Boat nicely. I strap rods to the frame while I drift between holes. I prefer a slower action. But not too slow. It would also have full length handles top and bottom. I like the cork on the Dec Hogan rods. An up-locking reel seat with wood insert, single foot guides and no hook keeper (never seem to use it) would round out my dream rod.

Bob B. has a 10' blank that he plans to build for the same water. It should be a slick "baby spey" outfit.


· Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
1,771 Posts
I'll have what Per's having! ;)

This is a tough one, I've been thinking about it but held off answering - so much to consider. Like the length...

A shorter blank?
I've been playing with a 12'6" 9wt sage euro and 8/9 midspey and it's a lot of fun - in fact it might make a nice alternate to my 7136-4 for small river work but it feels a little short on the kick (keeping the d-loop up) and mending. No, too specialized - nothing too short could be "ideal" for the range of rivers I fish...
A longer blank?
For the longer lines like the Rio Grand Spey and XLT, I'd like the 16' (17,18...). On big rivers such rod/line combinations are the ticket but personally I couldn't say it would be perfect all-around because of the smaller rivers I also love to fish.
So I guess the length would be 14 or 15 feet, 14.5 might work.

Number of pieces - since I've had to move away from steelhead country, I now have to travel to get back there each year. Three pc 15 footers are cumbersome - I would like to have a 6-pc Spey rod that would break down to 29 (14.5 ft) inches or 30 inches (15 ft) and fit in my suitcase. Heck I would tape the ferrules anyway, and to break down I could fit into any sedan with the middle ferrule untaped and broken down.

Guides - The Sages, T&T's etc all use the best guides so my only wish would be that the upper guides be a little bigger so I can squeeze a folded extended belly line through them at the river. I like the silicon carbide or other high-grade ceramic tiptop because of the increased friction at that point on the line, especially for over-hang running lines like heads.

Line weight - for me the best all-around is 9wt, I've fished a wide range of summer and winter situations successfully with 9wt gear. Might not get the distance of the 10/11 rigs but it casts well enough and certainly catches fish. I would love to greaseline a 7wt all day long but winter is inevitable and has it's own charm.

A perfect rod would (knowing a lot of this is the line match):

(a) pick up and set most if not all of an extended belly (Grand Spey, XLT, etc) easily, also work a mid-length head like poetry in motion and cast a compact deep-winter head easily too (same rod)
(b) kick a sharp and energized d-loop without drooping, and communicate what's going on back there before firing
(c) have the modulus/recoil to put a wind-biting wedge into the line yet...
(d) sweet in the heart of the blank so you can spring-load finesse casts without working out when you don't need to reach the other bank
(e) I like the full cork lower ball-end handle like the one on my old IMX 15'ftr maybe a little more flange to it
(f) I'd like the natural grip points on the handle to be at the optimal location. Some of my grips are easier to hold where the rod performs less optimally (hand gravitates to these off-positions)
(g) aesthetics top notch of course
(h) warranty unconditional with exceptional service (ship to lodge, etc)
(i) durable, not prone to explosion even when snake rolling a long heavy belly with a sinktip

... and never come loose at the ferrules unless I loosen them! :rolleyes:

Someone recently mentioned exchangeable sections to change the line rating of the rod, that was pretty interesting. I think the rod was a Daiwa Amorphus Whisker (?).

Dana, you made me realize something with this question - how glad I am to be able to have a summer rod, winter rod, and something in-between (big summer, light winter). I would be able to narrow down each of these much easier than to combine the niches into one.



· Registered
886 Posts
Someone recently mentioned exchangeable sections to change the line rating of the rod, that was pretty interesting. I think the rod was a Daiwa Amorphus Whisker (?).

The rod in question is a Bruce & Walker Whisper, it is an interesting rod being 5 piece 2 tips 2 buts and 1 middle piece. i have fished with one I liked it but the price was too much. I have a Double Spey or three, these have two tips one for floaters and one for sinkers.

Ian Gordon (last years Musto Spey casting champion and this years runner up) sells a multi-piece rod called the Carron. My personal opinion is you are better to have a number of rods rather than 1 with lots of pieces. I have a collection second only to Fred's and usually have three set up, Full floater, intermediate, and full sinker or tips. On a long Spey pool I might fish the top with a sinker then change to the intermediate as I progress down the pool. Fishing the floater in the middle of the day. If I had a multi tip/piece rod or interchangable tips it would waste to much time.


· Registered
31 Posts
Oval ferrules

Per mentioned oval ferrules to prevent twisting. I remember an article on oval blanks. The concept was two actions in one rod by overemphasizing the spline. Flat side would give you a medium action, narrow side would be fast, change by turning your wrist. Does anyone know of any references to the article?
Make lining up the guides a lot easier,
Good drifts,
Gene :hehe:

· Speyshop's Speybum
462 Posts

Dana must have stayed awake nights to dream this one up.
16foot 8 weight six piece (short enough to fit in my traveling bag) which when
you remove the center section turn to 14 footer.
I would prefer the action of Paul Brown's (16' 6" 7 wt.) with the tip action of Jim
Green solid.
Giving a through action feeling in the butt and a tip with enough power to
turnover a chainmail sink tip.
I would like the blank sanded not painted.
The rod would have be trimmed in black and orange jasper with copper tipping
sporting pre world war two agate strippers with the finest grade Snake black
chrome guide.
The reel seat furniture would be make of German silver blacken and the insert
would be Circassian walnut burl with a mortised reel channel.
The guide spacing would be English with the first stripper close the fore grip.
The fore grip would be just long enough for good leverage and turn to fit my
hand and the aft grip would be a little short my most standard but not to short.
I would like to have two identical rods for when I travel I pack two bags, which are mirror
images of each an other.
That way if the airlines losses one I still get down to the business at hand.
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