Drop by Aaron's in Carnation (River Run Angler). You will get to cast a number of all-around rods, as well as, get some great advise. The best way is to try the rod and lines to find out what works best for you. You can also get some great casting pointers from Aaron and Jack.
Follow Ted's advice and go to Aaron's shop, then have him take you over to the river with about six different 14 ft 9/10 rods so you can cast them and get a brief casting lesson from Aaron at the same time. In fact, I think Aaron still has his on-stream spey demos going on each Saturday morning from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. That would be the perfect time to check out the rods.
The 9/10's are a better all around rod choice because they can be used for bigger fish and bigger flies in winter as well as with smaller flies in summer. The 9/10 spey are sort of like the 6 or 7 wt single-handers, a little heavy for smaller fish and flies, and a little light for bigger flies and fish; but capable of doing both in an acceptable manner.
The big reason for you to go and cast several different rods rated for the same line is to get a rod that matches your own preferences in rod action.
Looking at your sig makes me think sky/stilly/skagit all-around, and that would be summer (fall) and spring with those rivers. I know them well.
That elusive "all-around" definition changes dramatically when the stilly is thrown into the mix, particularly in summer run applications.
Based on the positive response of some of the best Skagit fly anglers I know combined with my own experiences and on the premise of fishing one's own side of the river effectively - I would suggest the Skagit Specialist, 13' 8/9 Custom or Expert 13' 8/9 depending on your price range and preferences.
If you took the Stilly out of the equation, I would agree with the 14' 9wt standard - Steelhead Specialist, Custom 14' 9/10, or Expert 14' 9/10 as an all-around spey rod.
You just can't go wrong with a Meiser rod either, and that configuration Fred suggests is spot-on for the trilogy of rivers you list in your sig.
I have not tried the Lamiglass in the 13' 6" 8/9 but based on the above it sounds like a good length and power for all-around use. I am hoping they come on as sponsors.
Yes, I agree a trip to Aaron's will be very educational and very much worth your time. They have A LOT of very cool stuff there for spey casters and spey fishers. I wish I could go there myself. Maybe someday.
I live in Mount Vernon, so the Skagit, Sauk, and Stilly are the rivers I fish most often. Juro is correct about the 14 ft 9 or 9/10 being a little on the big side for the Stilly summer run fishing after the river drops to its summer low (sometime in early July most years). However, I very effectively fished the Stilly all summer and into the fall with a 14 ft 9/10 rod for several years until I bought a rod expressly for summer/fall fishing (it is a 13 ft 8/9). In fact, during April, May, June I like to use a 15 ft rod on the Stilly. I even used my 14 ft 9wt on the upper Sky, and it is a smaller river than the Stilly. Like I said before, a 14 ft 9wt is not the best rod for all situations; however, it is the best compromise rod for use year round here in Puget Sound.
I still recommend a 14 ft 9 or 9/10 rod as the best choice for an all-around one for year round fishing. Sometime is the future you can look into getting a rod specifically for summer runs and a third rod for winter fishing. You will still find uses for the 14 ft 9 or 9/10 wt though even after you get the other two rods. There is a plethora of quality 14 ft 9 or 9/10 wt rods on the market and they cover the complete range of actions from slow to fast. All of the rod models that have been mentioned will do the job as an all-around rod. They all have very different actions and feel though. That is why several of us have recommended you go see Aaron and cast 4 or 5 of them before plunking down your hard-earned cash.
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