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Spey Is The Way
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Discussion Starter #1
You people must get tired of all these questions but I have to ask. Thinking of going to a spey rod and there is no one local to ask for help around here.

First my profile. I am 47 and live in New Brunswick and have fished for atlantic salmon with a 9X9 since I was 6 years old. I have never been a strong person, and never been a great caster and I am short (5-6). The spey rod and casting intrigues me.

First question. I have a spey vedio (Derek Brown) and understand spey casting as a style with one and two handed rods. I want to try a two handed rod, but am confused with the double taper line and the new weight forward lines. I want to spey cast most of the time because of close bankes. Which line do I need? I might want to shoot line some times, can this be done with a DT line. Can I spey cast with a WF line?

Second question. My source for spey rods here is limited. Thinking of the Saint Croix Imperial or the Cebelas rods. Are either one of these good for a beginer and if so which one in what configuration would you recomend?

Sorry for the long post but my part of the world is slow to change to the two handed rod. Thanks for any help. If you need any more info, just ask.
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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1,771 Posts
I am affiliated with a sponsor of this site, CND Spey Rods.

Yet FWIW I will try to provide my opinion in a somewhat impartial manner, but be forewarned I do indeed favor CND rods ;)

Regardless of which rod, they will all share the same general rules when it comes to line. The DT floater will cast well up to a certain point but will not shoot line very well if at all. If you can get one cheap it's not a bad line to begin casting with - I got started with one and it was a good first step for sure. The shorter Spey heads at 48-57 feet (Windcutter, Deltas, etc) carry all their grains in a relatively short length so are (a) easier to cast / shoot (b) MUCH better for sinktips (c) less vulnerable to wind. The mid-length lines at 61-67 feet (Long Delta, Midspey, etc) are a compromise and probably the best all-arounder to start with especially if you are mostly fishing floaters. The extended belly spey lines (Spey Driver, Grand Spey, XLT, etc) with heads exceeding 100 feet are especially suited for broad rivers and floating line applications, longer length rods, etc.

Summary:
If you are starting out and fish floaters mostly, go for a midspey or long delta floater; or if you see a cheap DT grab it for practice. If you fish tips a lot, consider a Windcutter w/ tips or Airflo multi-tip line. If you have need for the extended belly lines, you will upgrade eventually.

Rods (biased opinion):
I haven't cast the Cabelas rods but they list them in the catalog / site as "fast action for power". This tells me they are probably two-handed overhead casting rods. I love two-handed overhead rods but not for spey casting. I could be wrong about this, but just going by what they say.

St.Croix on the other hand makes a decent spey rod, although I have personal preferences for a little more positive loading feel to the blank, more power when driving a cast, and higher modulus materials. Some of the larger weights felt heavy and stiff, some of the lighter models felt sweet but had less reserve power than some comparable brands at that price. Not a bad choice overall though.

CND also makes a great rod to start with, the Expert Series Spey rods. These are true spey action rods that cast themselves once you find the stroke. It's amazing how little effort it requires to fish far and fine, and in the case of CND Expert Series rods, how little cash. I would consider looking at the Expert 13' for 8/9wt with a Midspey 7/8 Rio Spey line (a match made in heaven) and the Expert 14' for 9/10wt with the Airflo Traditional 8/9 (85 feet like slicing butter). The 1308 retails for $295 USD, the 1409 for $345. Lifetime warranty similar to most major manufacturers.

The Custom series is a cut above yet still affordable. Emerald jewel finish, traditional Spey hardware and styling, higher modulus material for smoother more powerful casts, and most importantly the taper designed by a master that feels "spey" in the hands.

Good luck with your choice and welcome to the fraternity of the spey rod!
 

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Indicators Anonymous
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846 Posts
Leo-
Juro is correct...for what you pay, you will not find a better for the money then the CND's...and some will even argue, it is tough to find a better Spey rod on the marker, PERIOD!!

And do not consider yourself stranded from a good selection of Spey rods as certain forum sponsors will be more then happy to provide you with some excellent advice as well as shipping a rod and/or line and/or reel to Canadia!
 

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Pullin' Thread
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I've cast one Cabela's 2-hander, a 14 ft 9 weight. It felt the same as the St.Croix 14 ft 9 weight to me. The cosmetics on the Cabela's are not very good though, some of the most uneven guide wraps I've ever seen on a rod. The St. Croix are not bad 2-handers that along with the Redington RedFly 2-handers are the best buys on the market at this time.

The St.Croix 14 ft 9 weight would be the better choice in the St. Croix 2-handers for you and your quarry. In the Redington, the Redington RedFly 13 ft 8 weight is the one I would choose. Both of these rods sell for about $150.00 US.

And as Juro said, the CND's are very nice rods for a little bit more money. And there is also the G.Loomis GL3 14 ft 8/9 weight for about #350.00 US, and the Loop Yellow Series 2-hander for an 8 weight.
 

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First speyrod

I don't know where you live but if you're not too far from the Nova Scotia border you could contact Dennis Grant who runs the Atlantic Flyfishing School in Brookfield, just south of Truro. Dennis also has a keen interest in Spey casting. You could a) take some casting instruction (he won't charge you an arm and a leg, he is very reasonable) and b) try out different Spey rods and lines. He has several Sage and Talon rods. That way you can get an better idea of what might be right for your own situation.
Maybe some fellow New Brunswicker will see this post and give you a chance to try his set up before you make a decision to buy.
Cheers
Tom.
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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1,771 Posts
Leo -

One thing I forgot to mention... people's taste vary widely. Rod actions vary widely. Although experienced voices may provide insightful advice for you, it can also potentially create unintentional ambiguity. Even one person may evolve into different preferences over time.

The very best thing you can do is to take as much advice as people have given here for face value, and then put a two-hander in your hands for yourself. As Huckleberry suggests, get with someone who has been through the gamut if you can.

Spey casting is very different, but when it becomes clear to you it's nothing short of a revelation for river fishing. They knew what they were doing hundreds of years ago across the puddle. You will make a journey through a wonderful new dimension and find your preferences.

I prefer a rod that is sweet flexing, easy to load, yet has reserve power to punch a great cast. I prefer a rod that has more than one dimension to it, in other words it works well whether you're pushing the loop from the upper third, mid-blank or driving from the butt section. Some of the noodly rods have one sweet spot, some of the stiffer rods you push with the arms instead of letting the rod recoil do the work. Again, preferences have already set in here.

Best of luck and once again, welcome to the spey fraternity.
 

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Leo, The St Croix is a very good spey rod. There are very few high end rods that will out cast it. On the CND rod, make sure the big nob on the end of the handle will fit your hand. For me it is out of place. Jerry
 

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Spey Is The Way
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937 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Another Question

Thanks for the help, but I am unclear on one thing. With these weight forward lines for spey rods, do you spey cast or just overhead cast? If you spey cast do you also shoot line? Thanks.
 

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Leo,

I purchased a St. Croix 10/11 this year and outfitted it with Windcutter line. I bought the Mel Krieger video, watched it about 5x, and took my first cast on the river. I was absolutely amazed how much fun it is to fish with a spey rod. And even if your technique isn't perfect (mine is probably terrible), you'll find that you can make long casts effortlessly and the line control is fantastic. I hooked kings on my first outing and have made it my rod of choice where the water is big enough to allow for it. (The only thing I don't like about the spey rod is the relative difficulty in landing fish. Forget about grabbing the line for an in-water release. You basically need to direct the fish to a gravel bar or a net).

This forum is the best place to gain info. on all things spey. I used it to explore various options for getting a smaller rod and recently just purchased a Fly Logic 13 foot 8 weight. I'll use this to target silvers, steelhead, and similar sized species.

If money is a consideration, I would advocate starting with a reputable relatively low end rod (another option is the Loomis GL3 -- under $400 US), see if you like it (I'm sure you will), and just dive in. If you can get lessons, that would be the way to go, but if you can't, don't let that be a hurdle. You'll find that the rods fish themselves if you're a decent caster with traditional gear. Good luck!
 

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Speyladdie
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429 Posts
Leo.S
Sound advice from every one.I'm sure you have a preference for your single handed rods.Same thing with spey rods.
The best advice I can offer is to try out as many different rods as you can.Then make your decision.
Dennis Grant would definately be a good starting point for you.
He is a good friend of my and I can highly recomend him.
Also, if your interested Leo there is a spey clave here in Ontario in October.You can read more about that in Claves and Gatherings on this site.
Good Luck.
Spey laddie. :smokin:
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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1,771 Posts
Re: Another Question

Leo M said:
Thanks for the help, but I am unclear on one thing. With these weight forward lines for spey rods, do you spey cast or just overhead cast? If you spey cast do you also shoot line? Thanks.
Leo -

Weight forward configs for spey casting are just in effect very long weight forward lines as you know them. For instance, the shortest are (as mentioned above) 49-54 ft; mid-length 65; extended over 100 ft - just the weight forward part!

These lines provide a longer taper than a DTF so that they can be spey cast more effectively and running line can be shot behind them. They are not for overhand casting.

If your intent was to overhead cast then you should consider a standard overhead casting taper, they are usually superior for that task.

Although it's possible to shoot running line with a spey cast with any spey line on the market, the shorter and more compact the head is (e.g. Windcutter, Airflo Delta, etc) the more running line will willingly shoot for you.

In fact you can safely generalize that the average caster shoots running line inversely proportional to the length of the head. So a windcutter gets shot a lot, a midspey gets shot a moderate amount, and the grandspey gets very little shooting behind it's head in practice for the most part.

The beauty of spey fishing is that you can easily work a long pool 90 feet out with about 20 feet of clearance behind you, even less if you employ special casting techniques like Skagit casting. The line control is phenomenal and with practice there is a single cast motion between swings.

I hope that answers your question.
 

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Pullin' Thread
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4,694 Posts
Leo,

Spey casting the short and mid length belly lines utilizes shooting the line with the spey cast. I, and most of the other experienced spey casters, nearly never overhead cast with the 2-hander on a river. Fishing in the surf is an entirely different matter and overhead casting is used a lot with the 2-hander from a beach or jetty.

Juro was right on with his post about the rod preferences beginning to show up and the fact that different people prefer different rod actions, whether single-hand or 2-hand rod. I prefer fast, progressive, and powerful rods to Juro's preference for more traditional, medium, and powerful action rods. This is one of the reasons you should try and cast several different rods from different manufacturers so that you can find what you prefer. It is also one of the reasons that I usually recommend a newcomer to spey casting start with one of the lower priced rods. As a person progresses and gains spey casting skill, he will find what feels best to him, and it is often very different than when he first started.
 

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Hi:

For what its worth, I would go for a higher end spey rod. I am an American living in the UK and have been spey fishing now for about 10 years. With the exception of Sage, in my experience the North American rod makers are not as good at the big rods as the UK makers. CND I do not know. What I do know is that that Bruce and Walker Speycasters 15.16' for 10/11 Weight and Clan Rods 15 and 16' Ghillies Choice for 10/11 weight really work under a variety of conditions. I am so take by the Clan Rods that I am slowly changing all my rods over to them.

These all cost more, we are talking $600-900 at current exchange rates, but in my opinion they are worth it. I would go for the 10-11 weight range rather than a lower range. With that weight you can throw anything, including the big brass tubes. See clanrods.com

Tom
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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Leo -

What part of NB do you live? I will be passing thru soon and would be more than happy to leave CND demo rods with you so you can see for yourself what I mean when I say "they cast themselves".

Juro
 

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Greetings from Oregon! I just found this forum & am joining this thread with a similar question posed earlier to the westfly.com Oregon board.

I went steelheading a few times last year with a friend who is a great spey caster, tried it, loved it, & am now desiring my own gear. Price *is* an object so I am looking at the lower end rods & reels, including some used options. I'm thinking fairly big (9/10?), for both winter & summer fish, & for saltwater fishing also, with a traditional spey action.

The Heritage rods look interesting & I have a line on a used one - -- anyone have experience with those esp. compared to St Croix, Redington, CND, etc.?

Also, what are your thoughts on reels -- I'm considering the Teton Tioga TIO-12 (Capacity 9/10/11 fly line + approx.150 yards of #30 or a Redington ML 9/10 (Capacity WF10+275 yd. 30 lb).

Thanks for any tips,

Andrew
 

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Pullin' Thread
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Andrew,

The Tioga 10-12 will be too small to hold an 8/9 or 9/10 spey line and backing. The Tioga 12 would be fine though. The Redington ML 9/10 is also a bit short on capacity for the 8/9 or 9/10 spey lines. However, the next size up Redington has the capacity. Also, you can find some real bargains on the discontinued Redington AS series reels on Ebay. And the Redington AS 11/12 would be perfect for the 8/9 or 9/10 spey lines.

Going with an 8/9 or 9/10 2-hander is a good choice to use for both summer and winter fish. If you are going to use the rod for chinook, go with the 9/10 though for its greater fish fighting power. Also, I recommend that you look at rods of 14 or 15 feet simply because they have more leverage and make spey casting sink tips a bit easier than those of 13 ft or less.

I'm not familiar with the Heritage 2-handers. However, it is really hard to beat the CND Expert rods for a traditional spey action. Loop also has a very nice traditional spey action in their Yellow or Black series rods.

I must caution you though that as most people progress in their spey casting ability, they prefer to have a rod that recovers quickly and one that is more a medium rod than a slow one. All of the rods manufacturers you mentioned (again keep in mind that I know nothing about the Hertiage 2-handers) are of the medium action type 2-hander.
 

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Sparkey... nothing against CND but as to argueing that there are none better thats easy. I coulr argue that there are better rods all day long. *L*
 

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Relapsed Speyaholic
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Right on Rob!

But in the interest of being fair to all, let's keep this "what is the best rod", an extreamly subjective argument at best, limited to those rod manufacturers that we don't draw a pay check from.

Respectfully,
Sinktip
 

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Indicators Anonymous
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846 Posts
My comment implied 'one of the best'....obviously when it comes to rods, whether they be single-handed or two-handed, it all boils down to personel prefrence.

There is not one manufacturer out there that is the end all of rods.

I've owned anf fished flyrods by (and still do) Sage, Winston, Thomas and Thomas, GLoomis, Loop and CND. They all have their place in my arsenal.
 

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Pullin' Thread
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Peter,

The GLX 8/9 is one of my favorite rods and it is the the rod I use most during the summer and fall. You are correct about the GLX 2-handers requiring better technique to cast well because of the faster action and considerably more power than most 2-handers of the same line size.

The slower rods, like the Daiwa of yours, are more forgiving simply because they form the loop and release their energy over a longer time-period and resultant longer casting stroke than the fast-progressive rods like the GLX. The slower rods also feel somewhat "lighter" in the hand because of the longer time-period release of energy and the longer casting cycle. Fast rods like the GLX (regardless of line size) do every thing in a shorter time-period and thus demand better technique or the caster will feel rushed and probably not form good "D" loops.

One of my fantasies is that Loomis will put a 15 ft 8/9 GLX on the market for use on rivers which are 100+ feet bank to bank. To me, this would be an ideal rod for summer fishing on the bigger steelhead and salmon rivers.

I disagree with you about slower rods being easier to learn spey casting on than the fast rods like the GLX. If a person likes a fast rod, s/he will have no problem learning to spey cast with a fast 2-hander like the GLX simply because s/he is used to the faster time-period and shorter stroke of a fast rod.
 
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