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Discussion Starter #1
Putting together a 11'6 to 12' 5wt spey outfit and am considering reel choices. I'm thinking about a 3 1/2 Perfect or 3 5/8 Perfect. The 3 1/2 might be a little heavy, but I've already got one that I typically use on a 6wt spey, so I'll likely give it a try. I think a 3 5/8 should be good weight wise and believe it should have enough room for 300-360 grain heads. Any thoughts or advice appreciated.

Thanks
 

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The modern wide spool 3 3/8 would probably be excellent. I use that on a 13’ 3/4/5 Meiser trout spey. Also the Marquis 8/9 or SA system 8 (same reels) would be nice. Those are pretty easy to find at decent prices on eBay if you want either a cheaper one, or backup for the perfect.
 

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I use my 3 5/8 perfect on my 4116 Meiser and a 5120 Anderson. Really nice balance. I'm using 100 yds of 20 lb backing, 80 - 100 ft of 30 lb stren catfish, and 300 to 330 grain heads. All good.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the suggestions. I'm partial to click pawl reels and prefer the look of wide drum reels. I think the 3 1/2 Henshaw perfect I have is going to be heavy. I'll keep an eye out for a 3 5/8 perfect or possibly a 3 3/4 Bougle, 3 1/4 Perfect, Thompson 500, or other small wide drum model. I'll likely focus on steelhead through March and then shift to trout in April, so I've got a bit of time to find something. Thanks again.
 

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What is "trout" about a 12' 5wt? I fish a 12'6" 4/5 for fall and spring steelhead. Can't imagine a rod that big is much fun on "trout". Unless of course you're consistently catching 24+" inch fish on the swing???
 

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I believe its normal to have a 4wt for average days and a 5wt to 'beat the wind' for Montana-esqe rivers with larger trout. Or Alaska. I personally went with a 3wt because of smaller water tendencies, but I'm sure there'll be a day on the Deschutes were I wish I had a 4wt or maybe even a 5wt.
 

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What is "trout" about a 12' 5wt? I fish a 12'6" 4/5 for fall and spring steelhead. Can't imagine a rod that big is much fun on "trout". Unless of course you're consistently catching 24+" inch fish on the swing???
It is not just the fish, but the size and weight of the flies. I have a tendency to go big on my second run through a pool and run if there are some good pockets, holes or banks, and will catch some nice fish.

So yes, a 4wt is over gunned for most trout and small flies - which I enjoy fishing - but it under gunned for some of my heavy rabbit tube flies on that second pass.

My default rod is a Meiser 12'6" 4wt S

My travel rod for trout is a Meiser 5wt S. I forget the length, but it is over 12'. If, I am going fine when travel, then I back down to a SH rod.

I prefer a rod that is on the longer side for trout (unless, I am dry fly fishing). If I am casting under the trees (and streamers), then I move to a Scott ARC 10'0" 7Wt SH, but you will see Circle C, Double Speys coming out of my rod.

I do not use a Spey Rod for a dry fly hatch.

In short, the rod is a function of the fly and style I want to fish. Process is something like ...

* Scout and observe
* Fishing a hatch?
.... If Yes, get dry flies
.... Is river small or large?
........ If Small, probably SH Kabuto or Green 3wt - both are 7' fibreglass
.........If Large, probably Scott G 905/4 or Bamboo 7'9" 5wt (Don Anderson)
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.... If No, then Meiser 1264S and get my streamer boxes (muddler, tube flies and Sculpzillas)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I realize a 3wt would handle the size fish I'll likely encounter, but I am looking for a rod that will cast heavy flies (weighted sculpins) and handle wind. The river I'll fish for trout also holds steelhead, and I've caught big trout targeting steelhead that put a pretty good bend in a 7wt two-handed rod. When targeting trout, I'll primarily fish a single-handed rod, but was looking for two-handed rod to play with between hatches. I'll also use the rod for light steelhead duties on coastal rivers with hatchery summer fish and inland rivers that primarily return 1-salt fish 2-6 lbs. I'm more about the fishing/casting and the grab, and have a hunch bigger (18+) trout will put a fine bend in the rod and be brought to hand quickly. Plus, while it's not in the cards now, if I make it to Montana or Alaska in the near future and target 20+ trout, I'll be ready to go.

Thank you all for the suggestions.
 

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Any thoughts or advice appreciated.
Thanks
3 5/8" perfect is narrow. works great for my WF7 full lines on my 9' SH rods. wider the better for fat lines. i cannot understand why guys want a small trout reel on 2H rods? makes no sense and looks stupid. a 3 3/4" bougle' or 3 7/8" taupo would be handsome on 12'-6" rod and much more aesthetically pleasing. Malcolm (willie gunn) had a wonderful reel size for rod length recommendation chart. rant over....carry on....
gary
 
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