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It's certainly true that spey rods handle lines heavier than the a same-rated single-hander. However, I don't agree (at least not completely) that they make too much noise on flat water. Fishing dries, one can normally avoid the "white mouse" casts to help eliminate noise. Also, there is enough variety of line tapers that you can find a line with a longer front taper that will be plenty quiet. The Wulff speys certainly are a quiet line; an XLT should also be quiet. With a shorter-bellied line, you're shooting more line, and so the surface disturbance of even a double spey is farther from the fish. You can always lengthen the leader since it should still turn over nicely with the power of a short belly.

As for not being able to see a dry in choppy water at 100 feet, try orange hair on the head for fishing with the sun behind you, and a very dark head when you are looking into the twilight.

I think your desire for sport and feeling out of control is a valid reason for wanting a very light spey (notwithstanding the likelihood you're probably fishing the same wt tippet regardless of the power of the rod), but noise and an inability to see the dry don't seem as valid of reasons.

Oh, regarding the elbow--if it is tendonitis, Glucosamine does seem to help in the long run. I'm sure you've already been trying the anti-inflammatories and ice? (Rest will be out of the question in the fall, but maybe give the steelhead bamboo a rest!)

I'm envious of your impending purchase of a lightweight rod; I hope to do the same one of these years.

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