origins of the new Grand Spey
I would like to explain how the Grand Spey came about. In 1992, I was experimenting with different tapers of spey lines to market under the RIO brand. Most folks know about the WindCutter. The Accelerator was a line that I developed from input from Mike Maxwell of B.C He really deserves the credit for the "power hinge" It was a little tricky but I was able to cast it, if I delayed the forward stroke and made this really late. It was not for everyone, or every Spey rod but we enjoyed fairly good acceptance in the U.K. I personally loved the Accelerator for my own grease line type of fishing. I do not like it for sink tips.
The one disadvantage to the Accelerator is its fine 18' tip. A few years ago, I developed the Mid Spey which is my all around line for most situations. In January of this year, Simon and I started working on beefing up the tip for the Accelerator to get a more positive turn over. We actually made several prototypes of the accelerator with a tip that would cast into the wind with a large fly. And it worked great, but the Accelerator was still not satisfactory. I remember years ago, reading Jock Scott's Fine and Far Off, and Alexander Grant's amazing 66 yard cast performed in 1896. He talked about using a constantly tapering line, and having two different tips. I actually got to look at one of these square silk spey Lines years ago, but I did not like the thin 20' tip area. So, Simon and I started experimenting with a step taper design, that would allow the Grand Spey to be cast at short 50' distances as well as make the mega cast. I supervised the project and added .02 once in a while on taper philosophy, but Simon did yeoman work on getting the grain weights right for each rod size. I am also trying to teach Simon and a couple of other people here at RIO about tapering a line, so he can take over if and when I retire, or if I ever become a full time fishing bum again. He certainly has the casting talent and he did a fantastic job on his first assignment. We actually used the front tip design that we were going to up grade the Accelerator with the new stepped taper design. Here is my honest impression of the Grand Spey. I took the line to the Dean this summer. I was camping and had a fantastic week. I got lucky with the run, and had sixty one steelhead landed in six days of fishing. During the first two days I used the Grand Spey and loved it. However, after two days on any fishing trip, I start to get tired and my shoulders felt like they are made of rocks. I no longer had a good snap at the end of my strokes, and the Spey casting started to fall apart. The Grand Spey is so heavy it was beating down my 52 year old body. I went back to a WindCutter, because it was easier to handle, more forgiving, if I did not do things right. I believe for very expert Spey Caster's and younger men and women, the Grand Spey is a great line...but for most mortals I will still recommend the Windcutter, and the Mid-Spey.