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Spey in the South?!
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137 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey guys-

I am totally new to spey fishing. I am figuring on a long uphill journey but I was pleased to see that I already use one of the 'spey casts' with my one handed rods. I like to use a long low backcast with a haul while leaving the leader just on top of the water to create a pretty good shooting roll. I guess I can hit about 70 feet with this, and I can't wait to try it on a long rod. What is this cast called, exactly?

I am trying to nudge my wife towards the CND 7 weight 13' for my birthday in November. I have some questions about the rod and then some about a reel for it.

First off, this is a good place to start, right? I haven't seen many pictures of the rod online but the grip looks like the standard spey (no weird curves like that little Loop Blackline) and the seat, etc., looked pretty nice. Are these well-constructed rods in person? (I understand CND is a sponsor and I am only looking for a comparison line from a company whose rods I have seen.) What color are the blanks and wraps and how does the graphite insert seat on the 7 wt look? Is this going to be the larger diameter spey seat or will my standard reelseats fit it?

To the reel. I am looking at a Rio Windcutter or MidSpey for starters. I am already an experienced caster of one handed rods, solid on my fundamentals and able to hit full-line distances. The reason I am going to the spey is, 1) I just think they are really an amazing way to catch fish and 2) I'd like to be able to break 120'.

I fish the White River drainage in Arkansas, a very large waterway with a big hydroeletric dam making it cold, but it is over a hundred yards across in places. I hope to use the 7 wt. Spey for streamer fishing in high water on this and other tailwaters.

How big to I need to go to accomodate the MidSpey or Windcutter lines reel-wise? Will one of the Redington RS2 or ASes on sale on eBay do in 9/10 or 10/11 size? Backing capacity is pretty much a nonissue. I have a Ross Canyon Big Game 4 I assume is too small, any opinions here?

Despite knowing how to cast I understand spey fishing is a different animal and I am a rank beginner at it. Should I get the Windcutter to start out or will I be able to handle a MidSpey pretty quickly?

Thanks a lot guys, I know its a lot of beginner questions. If you ever want to talk trout (little ones *G*) come see me.

Zach
 

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Spey in the South?!
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137 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Ad protocol

Ah. I found the protocols for the board down below. Removed the non-sponsor link, hope it wasn't up too long. We all have our rules and I like to respect them. Thanks,

Zach
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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1,771 Posts
The BG 4 or 5 are both good choices, I've fished a reel this size on 7wt spey rods for years and they balanced well.

The Windcutter doesn't take much room compared to longer belly spey lines. I would guess that with 200yd 30# you could fit the 6/7/8 Windcutter with tips nicely, which matches that rod nicely as well. If you want to reach 120' you'd be better off with the Windcutter for overhand casting as well.

Another very nice match for that rod is the 6/7 midspey if you like finesse casting or if you cast the whole head and shoot line; or the 7/8 for a deeper load and/or if you don't tend to fish the whole head out of the guides.

The 1307 SP is a rod that works with a broad range of lines. In fact the 7/8 XLT we tried at the Sandy Clave worked well on it, but you'll need a much bigger reel to hold that line. Options include using gelspun for backing or moving up to a reel like the BG 6 or 7 if you are staying w/ Ross.

Guys who own this rod also like the Airflo delta and long delta lines as well, whereby the long delta will give you a deep load. Much of this depends on how you like to cast and what you need to do with it.

I'd start with the BG4 you already own and a Windcutter 6/7/8 with tips if i were you, assuming you do use sinktips on the river and you will overhand cast for distance at times.
 

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Spey in the South?!
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137 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Reels

juro-

Thanks a lot. Is that a Canyon Big Game I see on the rod to the left? I am a little concerned about the BG4. I picked it up in a big sale at Cabelas as my main saltwater reel and I am very happy with it for 8-10 weights (10 for stripers in reservoirs where they can't go too far) but when I loaded it up with standard shooting heads (30' floaters, sinkers, and LC-13 with 120' of Rio int shooter) I maxed it out pretty quick, course this was with a full complement of backing. I may indeed go to gelspun, that's a good idea and saves me the cost of a reel. Thanks!

Zach
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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1,771 Posts
Yes, that's a BG-6 I use for the 13' 8/9 rods. I also use it for the surf two-handers with Wulff tarpon lines, which are pretty fat.

I may have given you a bum steer with the BG-4, assuming it had a similar capacity as the old Lamson LP4 or Velocity 4 both of which I have used for light spey reels w/ WC 6/7/8. Maybe one of the guys who work at shops could give you better advice on recent reel information.
 

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Spey in the South?!
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137 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Its a large arbor, of course, but only a little smaller than the 5. Might give me trouble, though. Fortunately the Redington reels are crawling all over eBay right now. Is that the CND Expert as well? What do you think of the rods for a beginner? (I find it a little short of hilarious that the 'expert' is their base level rod. Maybe I *am* in over my head.) Hahahahahahah.

Zach
 

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Indicators Anonymous
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846 Posts
Zach-
Juro covered you pretty well concerning the rod. The blank is green and I absolutely love the handle as it fits so well into my hands.

Regarding the BG 4, it will undoubtely be too small for the Windcutter. I have always found teh BG 4 to be an odd sized reel as it is too large for a #6 but too small (unless you cram it full of #20 Dacron) for #8's.

I have been running an old Hardy Viscount Click 10/11 on my 1307 they are great use and abuse inexpensive reels but alas they are no longer available in the states. Another reel of choice would be the Hardy Viscount Disc in the 9/10 or 10/11. They are a light reel with a large arbor and a more then adequate disc drag plus they arent too expensive ($250...give or take $30).

Other reels I would look at would be the Litespeed 3.5, Velocity 4, Big Game 5 and if you want to get really fancy, the Loop Evotec 8/12 LW. :devil:
 

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loco alto!
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2,979 Posts
ZachMatthews said:
Hey guys-

I am totally new to spey fishing....

First off, this is a good place to start, right? I haven't seen many pictures of the rod online but the...

2) I'd like to be able to break 120'.


Zach
you probably saw this coming, but the place to start is by getting a spey rod or two to test cast. Some manufacturers will ship a rod to your house if a local dealer isn't available. I've done this before, put up a credit card as insurance, and in the end just paid shipping. Well worth it.

As far as casting 120' with a 13' rod, this is a feat for the elite - not impossible - but it ain't easy to hit 100' consistently. Personally, I find it easier to get distance with a longer rod (and that with all other things being equal, including one's skill level).

Personally I find the midspey, DT, or other 70' (ish) belly lines perfect for learning spey mechanics. The Windcutter requires a specialized stroke. Marketed for beginners, perhaps inappropriately so. It has a very small sweet spot because of extremely high grains per foot

Have fun!
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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1,771 Posts
loco_alto, et. al. -

I definitely agree the midlength lines are best for making the spey journey, best to develop good technique, useful to fish as well.

But since Zach lives in big trout country in Arkansas I wonder if he'll find a tutor to help him with the mid-length stroke. In addition I assume he will overhand cast initially to hit those distances he mentioned?
 

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loco alto!
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2,979 Posts
The mid-length stroke is the most natural of all, IMO, and is perfectly addressed by the fundamentals in the Derrick Brown video.

also, I don't recall reading anything in Zach's post about overhead casting, so I assumed that he was going for the full complement of spey casts. The way spey tackle is marketed leads one to believe that 120' casts are run-o-the-mill events.
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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1,771 Posts
loco_alto said:
The way spey tackle is marketed leads one to believe that 120' casts are run-o-the-mill events.
I did a cast like that once! :p
 

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Spey in the South?!
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137 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
He's right on that, spey casts are pushed as long distance casts a lot. I see that is a mistake.

I can hit about 100' with a one handed 7 weight rod (TFO's new TiCR to be exact) but I can't mend line at that distance. Since I will be streamer fishing in high water with a fast pace and nymphing in big rivers in the meantime, the long rod's mending abilities should really be more of an advantage. As is, that 100' cast is only good for saltwater (and then the conditions shorten it considerably, I certainly can't do that into a wind or while trying to fish in waist high surf.) If I can simply reach a little more to mend a little better and do it with less backcast, the spey will be well worth it. Plus, like I said, it is just so darn cool.

When you say overhead casting, does this continue to include a haul, ie is just a regular cast only with an immense rod? I am sure I will use this some but my intention here is *to learn to spey cast* so I am more willing to take a hit on distance for a period and learn the full complement. If I never get to 120', that's ok, too, like I said the rods offer a lot of other advantages and I don't want you to think I am a distance fiend.

Thanks for all the help, guys.
Zach
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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1,771 Posts
I see. I defer to loco_alto's mid-length advice which is right on the money! (I thought you meant you had to hit over 100')

To answer your original question about the 13' 6/7...

The Expert 13' 6/7 is an ultralight spey most suited for trout rivers and light anadromous fishing. It's a very light action, soft, traditional flex rod so in that sense will teach good technique to the relaxed caster but if you plan to spey fish for steelhead and salmon as well you might consider the 8/9 rods below. It differs from the other CND rods in that it's primarily a trout spey rod and is much softer for fine presentations of trout flies. Even average sized trout will give you a good battle on this rod.

The Custom 13' 7/8 is a medium-light all around spey rod capable of throwing distance casts and is a good learning tool. It's use will apply to medium and large rivers alike, and perhaps the best all-around choice for what you're doing or what you might do down the road when you fall hopelessly into the spey casting abyss as we all here have done. Trout of 14-16" or more will give you a great battle on this rod, and it will tame those monster White River browns as well. It doesn't feel heavy to use, yet it has a lot of power in reserve. It's our best-seller for summer steelhead. It can handle a broad range of lines from finesse (6/7 Midspey) to thoroughly loaded (6/7 XLT) and still feel great to cast.

The Expert 13' 7/8 is similar to the Custom but is less expensive, slightly less modulus material but is a favorite of mine and a great learning rod.

Well, I've over-run my allotment with what I had hoped to be a short reply, so if you have any further questions contact me off-line and I will give you the long version. :devil:

Juro
 

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Spey in the South?!
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137 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
CND Expert

Right now (I'm a student) cost is important to me and I want to get about the best bang for the buck I can. Fortunately, I am a law student so hopefully I will be able to afford some good rods in the future. I'm also strictly a trout fisher so the lighter lines appeal to me, I have no way and no plans to go after steelhead or salmon any time in the next few years. I am very excited to have found a rod that matches my cost and size needs in the Expert and barring any big warnings, "Don't do it! It's for experts! *G*" I'm probably going to go with that. For now...

Zach
 

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Spey in the South?!
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137 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Color of rod

By the way, did you guys say the Expert series was green? It looks grey in the photos and most of my experience with unfinished rods says they would be grey, too. Not important but I am wondering. Thanks,

Zach
 
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Zach,

On choosing reels for spey lines I usually apply the following set of rules:

On matching up for short bellied lines go at least two line sizes larger (e.g., a #7 wt. spey line on a reel suggested for #9 wt.).

If the line is a midspey size, at least two line sizes up, though three would be better (especially for a large arbor).

The really long bellied stuff (XLT and Grand Spey) needs to go up at least 3 line sizes (not large arbor) or better yet 4 line sizes.

And then pray you have room for all the 30# backing :whoa: . Remember, these are *minimums*!

mmm
 

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Spey in the South?!
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137 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
So for a 6/7 weight spey I'd need something like a 9/10 or 10/11 reel. I am reading this as a 4" diameter reel in standard arbor. I'm going to look for a good old Hardy first, then maybe the Redington on eBay or another Ross if I can scrounge up the funds.

Zach
 
M

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Zach,

Because your emphasis is on browns I would believe an #8 wt. designated reel would be sufficient for the 6/7 rod. Take it with a grain of salt.

I am currently awaiting a couple CND Expert 1306 (6/7 wt.) and plan on using a couple reels (Tioga #8 Large Arbors) that are already lined with a fairly long bellied 7 wt. line (@ 105 ft. length) and about 150[yards], 30# backing. Indications are that this setup will work but, in any case, the lines and backing, as I indicated, fit those reels well.

Still it never hurts with spey rods to go an extra size up. Remember, as well, the idea of balance. Often this extra sizing adds up to a better balance.

Confused? Welcome to the world of spey rodding!

mmm

[Edited to change the backing from feet to yards. Sorry.]
 

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Spey in the South?!
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137 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
MMM

3M-

That's great, actually. I would really appreciate knowing how you end up liking that setup. The BG4 is only 3.75" and only rated for 185 feet of 330- that's not much room. I am going to need to pick up a 4" reel with a standard arbor, looks like.

Zach
 
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