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Discussion Starter #1
Can someone explain to me (or point me to the answer area) about the difference in "traditional" vs. "european" as far as rods go? Are there other styles as well? I'm new to the idea of spey casting, and was told by someone with some experience, to go with a 14' 9/10 weight as a good entry level rod...but they didn't mention European or traditional...well, that isn't exactly right. They did say that most Americans find the European style to be too (and this is where I don't recall exactly how they put it, but it planted the idea in my mind that they felt they required more brute strength, but also were better for longer casts). I'm not sure whether this is a reflection of a fast action, medium action, or slow action...nor do I exactly understand how these type of actions differ. Sooooooo.....can someone either give me a spey basics 101, or point me to the right location for this type of post. SOrry in advance if I'm posting in the wrong area.
 

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Jack Cook
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Clearwater

Come to the Clearwater clave in a month and we will show you the difference.

Traditional often means slower rods with through action, that is they bend all the way to the grip. Although they are slow they still throw a mile of line if you want them to with the proper line.

European often means very fast recovery. This also used to mean very stiff which is sort of the 'brute force' you refer to. Modern 'super fast' rods are not all stiff. Many have delightful actions and super fast recovery to boot.

In both categories there are lots of poorly designed rods.

The best way to understand the diff is to spend some time with someone who can help you cast them.
 

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RobJ

First, welcome to the Board. Your question implies you are getting started with spey casting. I second the suggestion for attending the Clearwater Clave, but would add that you should buy some instruction there. I spent several years struggling to learn on my own. I really made progress when I attended Aaron's Saturday Clave in Carnation and got some help, then followed-up with instruction from Dana. I could have saved myself a lot of frustration by getting solid instruction first. There are a couple of rods that I would not have purchased.

The instruction and the claves will give you a chance to try out equipment and find out what style rod and line length you like best. Also, I wouldn't buy a rod or line without the chance to cast them. That will save me a lot of money in the future. There are a number of lines that I should sell.

Mike Kinney and Jack Cook should be available for instruction. Good luck with the casting. It will probably become a bit of an addiction.
 

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a/k/a loophitech
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It will probably become a bit of an addiction.
Is it only an addiction if you admit it?

Good question and welcome to the board. I agree with Speyman that there are well made and not-so-well made rods out there as well as his and Richerzhagens replies.

Definitely getting to claves if possible and trying rods and getting personal instruction will guide you along the path of this thing we call an addiction, spey casting.

Along with TR, I made some foolish purchases before I found Aaron's Day on the River on Saturday's.

Good luck and welcome aboard.

Vinnie
 

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Junkyard Spey
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Yo Vinnie...

Along with TR, I made some foolish purchases before I found Aaron's Day on the River on Saturday's.

The trouble with your statement is that one man's foolish purchase can be another man's "rocket launcher" :lildevl:

I agree if RobJ can make it to the Clearwater clave I think he will learn a lot and have a good time.
 

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One 'simple answer,' agree or disagree, was the "Euro rods" were first designed for overhead casting, the 'Trad's' were designed for 'spey casting.' Of course that was a very long time ago.

Another 'too simple an answer' (touched on above) is Euro's usually work 'bend' just within the top 1/3'ish of the rod when casting. The Trad's will typically bend down to the cork when loading.
 

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a/k/a loophitech
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Certainly true there MJC. However, the potential to save one lots of money from switching from rod to rod is greatly diminshed with guys like Aaron and you providing test equipment and claves for people to attend, learn and test drive different equipment. Good on you guys for doing that!! :)

Vinnie
 

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#&%*@^# Caster
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The euro/trad thing was started by sage basically to market thier medium/slow action rods and faster rods. Nowadays even thier euro rods are considered slower by most.

Not sure is regressive/progressive cuts it either as you can have slow and fast varieties of either taper.

I think the old slow, medium, medium-fast and fast rod descriptions cover everything.

-sean
 

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mjyp said:
Isn’t Great Britain considered a part of Europe?
Hmm, I sometimes wonder about this myself.
Occasionally I think that some people over here would rather Britain be the 51st state! :razz:
 

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Rod Types

Hi Guys,
Just reading with interest the different views on types of rod action, rod companies will market there rods in different ways, traditional, european, spey or switch.
I have never been to a speyclave , but for anybody wanting to try out all types of rods and all sizes, i can think of no better place.
Rods differ within the same company, so not sure about the trad/ euro thing, i have fished with loads of rods, perk of the job, working on the Spey, it does have a few.
If not i would go to a speycave, and try out some rods and make my choice, like buying a car we all have a choice.
Gordon. :Eyecrazy:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
All great thoughts, but I guess I'm getting hung up on a couple of points.

First, I've always built my own rods, and was thinking about building my own spey. Trouble is, if I build my own, and being new to this type of casting, how will I know if poor casting is due to an inherent problem with the rod (maybe not being balanced with line, or wrong guide placement, etc.), or rather due to my poor technique?

Second, there is a HUGE price range in rods...as a beginner, I'd like to find a reasonably priced entry level rod...if I decide to continue with spey casting, then I can consider plunking down a more substantial amount for a better quality rod down the road.

A couple of ones I've had my eye on...if anyone cares to comment (favorable or not would be just fine)...are a Cortland CL 13' 5-piece 9/10 wt. priced at around $199, and the other is a 13' 4-piece Virgin River spey rod made from the RX 7 blend made by Batson for around the same price. Or I could search for blanks and build it myself, but in this case, until I've gotten some experience, I may decide not to go the "build your own" route at this time. I've not yet found a 14' 9/10 in a 4- or 5-piece that is as reasonably priced. I realize you get what you pay for, but until I can find a closer clave, or a good deal on a rod...well, not sure where that leaves me, but just spey-dreamin'

The Clearwater clave sounds great...my only problem is the location (distance). I'd have to make a 5-1/2 hour trip to get there (I live southwest of Boise in Melba), and that would make for a VERY long day. So, although that sounds like an ideal option, not sure if it will work out. I've met Mike at his fly shop (sorta by accident on my only trip so far to the Clearwater, and he was just as everyone has said...very helpful and friendly). I just recently retired from the Navy and am still exploring Idaho at every chance. I've been a flyfisher for many years, and have been looking forward to finally having a chance to stay in one location for more than 3 years...and especially in a place that offers so much great fishing!!

I appreciate the comments, and any and all advice is very much appreciated.
 

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Below are Sage's definitions of their various Spey/Two Handed Rods:

TWO-HANDED SERIES
As a company with deep roots here in the Pacific Northwest, it’s no surprise that we’ve been at the forefront of the two-handed revolution since the beginning. And now, with interest in two-handed rods growing around the world, we’re proud to offer a wide selection of innovative two-handed fly rods.

TCR
Ultra-Fast Action Rods Available in line weights 8 through 10.

Much like the TCR single-handed rods, these are extremely fast and powerful rods for skilled casters facing challenging conditions. Perfect for heavy lines, shooting heads, big flies and windy, big-water conditions.

EUROPEAN STYLE
Fast Action Rods Available in line weights 6 through 10.

Our fast, European-Style rods are designed to generate high line speeds with shooting heads, sink-tips and bulky flies. Excellent for Scandinavian underhand casting, as well as overhead casting and all the modern Spey casts.

TRADITIONAL STYLE
Medium Action Rods Available in line weights 8 and 9.

Sage Traditional Style rods are light and responsive, yet built with a true, progressive Spey action taper. Designed for mid- to long-belly lines, these rods load easily and perform all the traditional and modern Spey casts.

ULTRA-LIGHT SPEY
Medium-Fast Action Rod Available in line weight 5.

The ultimate dry-line, light summer steelhead rod, the Ultra-Light Spey is an absolute joy to fish. It’s also an extremely effective big-water trout rod for indicator fishing and streamers, or wherever you need serious line control.

VPS
Medium-Fast Action Rod Available in line weight 9.

A forgiving and versatile rod, the VPS two-hander is perfect for the beginning Spey enthusiast, yet provides plenty of performance for the seasoned pro as well. This rod opens up new worlds of mending and line control.


FLi
Fast Action Rod Available in line weight 8.

Designed with an easy loading taper and forgiving action, the FLi makes learning the various Spey casts easier for everyone. Light enough for relaxing, all-day fishing with the power to throw heavy tips and big flies.
 

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Pullin' Thread
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RobJ,

I seem to recall there is a fly shop in Boise who carries 2-hand rods that you could go to and try some out; but I don't remember its name.

TFO, Redington, St. Croix, Echo, and CND (the Expert series) all have nice casting 2-hand 14' rods in their lineup with prices in the $250.00-$375.00 range.
 

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rod types

Hi Grampa Spey,
Boy, Sage have every angle covered, they make a rod for everything.
I notice in a previous thread that one of the guys was changing from a traditional to a european style rod , this was based on achieving greater distance with much greater easy for the same rod length and line weight.
Scott, Gordon and most of the big distance casters, all use traditional rods, and they have tried out more rods than anybody for distance including euro rods.
I still say that you get good rods and bad ones, even from the same rod company.
Some companies have there rods make in different countries, determined by cost usually.
So i say go to a speyclave if you can, try out the rods and pick what suits you, forget the marketing and enjoy your fishing, whatever rod, and whatever style you like. :saevilw:
 

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Junkyard Spey
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Hey RobJ...

Thank you for the compliment. It is appreciated. As to the Clearwater Clave you are surely invited and you would get to see a lot of spey tackle in one spot.

I do know how long that trip is as I've made it from the house to Marsing many times in the dead of the night. After a day on the river it is loooooong.

The best casting rod I know of close to your price range is the TFO @ $250.00 included with a bag and tube and a "NO BS" warranty. As to trying rods, if you do get in my area you can try everything I have with no obligation. Also I'm always having sales, close-outs, and specials with some real bargins available from time to time. Check out my website for a good deal.
www.redshedflyshop.com
 

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To Spey Gillie: "Boy, Sage have every angle covered, they make a rod for everything."

Which is probably why they are successful. They have a rod for every type of caster and level of caster. Short rods to long rods. Slow action Rods to ultra Fast Rods.

The challenge is to find the line which works best for us with a specific rod.

That is why your comment about a spey clave is so important.

I go to the SpeyaRama in San Francisco to try the rods I own with the various lines available and to look a new rods or rods I don't own. At the last one this May, I borrowed the Sage 6126 from Chris Andersen of Sage and then borrowed a Rio Skagit 450 from Simon's booth. I own the 6126 and it does great with the MS 6/7 and 7/8. The original Skagit recommendation for the 6126 was to use the basic WC from a heavier line. I didn't like I wanted to go there. So I matched the 6126 with the Skagit 450 and it is a great combination.

Then, Ray Phelps spent time with me showing me the basic Skagit cast with the 6126 and the Skagit 450 in the ponds at the Speyarama. It worked great with him, and I did okay with it. When I got home I ordered the Skagit 450, and it is a great match up with the Sage 6126.

Your advise re the Spey Claves is worth its weight in Gold. If someone has a Spey Rod that isn't working for them, they should take it to a Spey Clave, discuss it with the experts and try lines the experts recommend for it.
 

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I am with Sean and Fred on this one - I think the terms "traditional" and "European" actions are Sage marketing terms that are effectively outdated by the rapid evolution of double-handed rods.

Sage was the only game in town for North American enthusiasts for a long time and their company nomenclature has taken on a certain enduring status. However, I think that today's rod and line innovation has made their designations antique. For example, there are rods out there that bend smoothly through to the cork and therefore fit Sage's "traditional " designation - yet they have state of the art graphite that recovers very quickly and therefore cannot be called slow.

Like any popular and rapidly evolving product the double-handed rod industry has got somewhat ahead of itself as new ideas rapidly entered the market. This has just begun to be addressed. For example, the industry's recent adoption of the "Spey Standards" that are intended to bring consistency to the matching of line and rod weight designations. Doing the same for describing the actions or "styles" of rods may be even more difficult as it is subjective rather than measurable by line weights.

I must concur with the suggestions of many - that the only way to figure out what works for you is to get to a clave and cast as many rods as you can. Furthermore, Ted's suggestion of getting some instruction at the very start is some of the best advice I can think of. How can you make a judgement as to what you may or may not like as a rod action until you can at least functionally cast?
 

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Traditional or European

Grampa Spey,
Sage is a huge successful company , of that there is no doubt, and make some lovely rods, but like any rod manufacturer they make some duffers, due to the compition to make rods lighter, stronger and cheaper, so many companies are now are having there rods made in other countries, where its cheaper.
Alot of companies that sell rods don't even make them, its just there name on it.
We don't have Speyclaves here, but for anybody into Speycasting with a single or DOUBLE HANDED ROD, it has to be the place to go.
I will have to wait to go to one to try out the Sage range of rods, and im sure they are good, its just a never see one on the Spey. :saevilw:
Beware of Marketing guys, go to a Speyclave you will learn more 10mins
Gordon. :devil:
 
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