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Discussion Starter #1
I am currently looking to get my first Spey Rod and I am considering a 9-10wt GL3 or even the St.Croix. If anyone has any experience with either of these, I would love to get some feedback on them. Also I have heard that with Spey Rods having a higher end reel is not as critical as the rod absorbs alot of pressure. Does this hold true?

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credmonstone,

I have a 14' St. Croix, Cortland Magnum 200D reel, Rio WindCutter 8/9/10 multi tip line. Great set up to learn with.

My son has a Cabela's 14' Spey Combo. He really likes how it casts.

Rich
 

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Cedmonstone

I'm a big fan of G.Loomis product's. I have a number of their rods.
That being said, the best advise I can give you, would be to get out and try a number of rods from different manufacturers, before you spend any money. And while we're on the subject ,money should not be the reason for picking one rod over another. If you're like most of us, you'll spend a lot of time learning the casts, and hopefuly even more time fishing with the rod you choose. Buy what suits you're needs.
Check a spey clave, or check out one of the spey courses, there should be plenty of different rods at them.
Good Luck
Rick
 

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if you are just beginning, i really don't think that trying out a number of rods will be the best thing for you. as a matter of fact, if you are really just starting, trying rods would be the worst thing for you; you will invariably get a rod which you will quickly outgrow as your technique improves. like windsurfing, i think that in spey casting, it is much better to get a good rod recommendation from an experienced instructor who has cast many rods, and know which work best for beginners, etc.

for the money, i don't think anyone can beat the cabela's rods. the next best rod for the money would be the 14' or 15' st. croix rods. either of these rod lines will be serviceable for you well past your development into an intermediate caster, and they won't cost you an arm and a leg starting off. if you do catch the bug and get into higher end rods that fit your style, they will still be very servicable as backups.

if you are poaching e-bay, look for softer action quality rods (but not too noodly like the GL3's); good examples are the sage 9140, 10150s, scott 1409, 1308, non-derek winstons. as a beginner, you want to avoid faster action rods like the T&T's, and i think the scott 1509 would be way too much stick for a beginner to handle.
 

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Cedmonstone,

Rick's recommendations of trying a number of rods is very good advice. I started by taking a 4 hour class where we had three rods to use, a Sage, Thomas & Thomas and Winston ( 13', 14' and 15' - I don't remember which was which except the Sage was a 14') I got along with the Sage the best so I bought a St. Croix package the shop had as a promotion. I could not afford the $700 Sage and they said the St. Croix had a simular action.

I learned to cast what I bought. I guess this is one approach when you are starting out. Buy a rod you like and can afford then learn to cast it. I have cast WinCutter 7/8/9, 8/9/10 and 10/11/12 lines on my St. Croix and there is a significant difference in the feel of the rod with each set up. It is much less expensive to try different lines than to buy different rods. I traded lines with other spey casters which also keeps down the cost.

I spent a day with Steve Choate and he introduced me to the pleasure of long line casting. I extended the total head on my WindCutter to 84' and have increased the amount of water I can cover.

I am very interested in others experience and advice on adapting your casting to the rod or rods and line you own. I am considering the purchase of my second rod. I am retired and have a limited budget.

Rich
 

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Cedmonston,

There are lots of great rods out there, and what ever you decide on will likely work well. I've got a GL3, (14', 8/9 wt.), and just finished the Spey Pages casting course. It definately casts much better this evening than it did last Friday :chuckle: I will be using it mostly on the Vedder River, ( I see you are from the lower mainland), and this rod will work great. The instuctors had some really good comments about the rod as I hammered away casts on the course. I have also heard really good things about the St. Croix, especially considering their price! I too have heard they behave much like the Sage.

The best advice I have heard about Spey equipment is that the line is the most important piece of the Spey outfit, so what ever rod you chose must be matched with a line that brings out the best performance. Go to a good Tackle Shop that has lots of Fly Fishing gear, ( I personally favour Michael and Young's shop), and ask them to help price out rod, reel, and line matches.

I couldn't afford a high end reel, mine cost about $130 CDN. (See the Leeda Magnum 200D review in the Spey pages reel reviews).

I don't think you can go wrong with either the GL3 or the St. Croix. Not everything in the spey world has to be a Sage.....
 

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chrome-magnon man
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I have to agree with Rick and Ol Rich--trying out rods can never hurt. Every caster no matter how experienced has a default casting stroke that will respond best to various rod actions. Even if you are new to casting, picking up and throwing line with a few different rods will quickly identify which "feels" right for you--the rod that feels right is the one to buy. Starting out with something you're comfortable with will make casting that much easier and pleasurable, which is what it's all about. I don't think fly rods are like diapers or blue jeans--I don't think you really outgrow any piece of quality tackle whether it cost you $300 or $1000. I still have and enjoy my original single hander, an old Orvis Green Mountain 7 weight All Rounder, and I settled on this rod after trying out a bunch in the parking lot at Country Pleasures in Calgary (note: don't try out Spey rods in the parking lot, not even at Country Pleasures--Spey lines don't anchor very well on asphault ;) )

As for reels, high end in terms of price is not critical, but quality certainly is. I agree with EskimoR about the Leeda. Whatever reel you decide on, make sure it has enough capacity for your line of choice and 150 yards or so of 30# dacron, and a drag that will prevent the reel from backspinning when a hot fish heads for the salt.
 

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This is interesting: we've all given you advise. What we should be doing is asking you some questions. What do you want the rod to do? Where do you fish? ( big water, small water) What style of casting is most used in your area? (long line, strip and shoot) How much experience do you have with casting? ( a beginner, or a seasoned single hander). If your an experienced caster, what action do you prefer? ( slow, fast or moderate). Are you willing to take lesson's? Have you veiwed any of the video's on the subject and is there a shop where you ( with some help) might be able to try some different rods? We are quick to give advise, most of us favor one rod manufacture over another ( and defend them to the end). The fact is, if most of us (knowing what we know after a few seasons with a rod) would have given a lot more thought to what rod we bought for our first rod. Do your home work, take lesson's, and keep an open mind.

Rick
 

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Discussion Starter #9
first spey rod

Thanks everyone for posting informative and timely responses to my question. I really appreciate them. Rick, you are absolutely right I am sure more info is required to help focus my search. I will probably end of fishing the Vedder, Chehalis, Squamish, and Thompson with the rod (and hopefully a number of others). I guess you could say that I would be looking forward to not having to strip in line after every cast and being able to fish more water than with a single-handed rod(ie no backcast). I currently have a St.Croix ProGraphite 8wt (single)and have found that I could use a bit more in a rod. I would certainly be up for lessons as well and I have checked out a couple of books/videos. I have a feeling that without any previous spey experience it might be hard to tell what rod feels right after only casting it a couple of times. EskimoR, what line did you get with your GL3? I have heard that the Rio Midspey is much better in the long run than a Windcutter.

thanks again!
 

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Don't forget the Mid-May Sandy River Spey Clave.

If you want to try out just about any/every rod line combination immaginable this will be the place. Last year there were a bit over 100 spey casters, each had probably 2 or three rods (if not more), and all were being handed about.

Wonderful weekend (Sandy River is just east of Portland, Oregon so not a total pain to drive), wonder folks, wonderful experience.
Fred
 

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Cedmonstone,

I have the Rio Mid-spey line on my GL3, and it is a 9/10 wt., (rod is 8/9 wt.). The heavier line loads the rod up better which is easier for a new caster like myself.

If you are heading out towards the Vedder or Chehalis rivers in the next little while, drop me an e-mail, ( go through the "profile " button at the bottom of this post). I'll bring the rod out and you can give it a try. I'll use any excuse to tell my wife I "have" to go fishing.... ( I'm not "whipped", at least my wife tells me I'm not).:eyecrazy:

Ron
 

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I tend to agree with Way (Bubba's) comments if you are a true beginner. If you are a good single handed caster and understand the importance of stopping the rod then maybe it makes sense to try several rods. I have taught beginning fly casting classes for over 15 years and I would say that a true beginner would have no concept if a rod felt good to him or not until he had enough practice to understand the basic cast.

As a minimum, I would at least review some of the better videos to understand how to load the rod before I went out to try them for comparison. Better still if there is someone who knows how to cast to go out with you with several rods. Even a basic overhand cast by someone unfamiliar with a two handed rod is rarely done right.
 

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chrome-magnon man
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I think it all hinges on the definition of "beginner"

Like Rick and Way, I too wouldn't suggest trying out a bunch of two-handed rods if a person has never cast any fly rod before. I know this seems to fly in the face of my previous post, but I was presuming that most people new to Spey casting aren't new to fly casting (there I go with tunnel vision again!). This isn't always the case of course. In fact t I often carry a single hander in my rod case when I teach introductory Spey courses on the off chance that a participant has never fly cast before. Once the basic cast is understood and the caster is comfortable rolling loops back and forth, their default casting style begins to appear and you can predict which sort of rod action they will prefer so it makes sense to have them try out some differnt rods to see which one feels right for them. Ideally I think everyone should first learn to cast and then buy their first rod, which is sort of the reverse of what happens most of the time...
 

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I have a new Loop 9/10 wt 14' I'd like to sell or trade for a single of equal value. I only took the shrink wrap off the reel seat to see how it cast . Pd 210.00 comes with tube and sock. Can't comment on its value as I never used a2hander [email protected] If I sell here I'll kick back 10% for this sites upgrade .
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well I think I am going to take the plunge and put the GL3 9/10 on order. I am really looking forward to learning how to use it.(I can hardly wait!):)
 
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