Couple of things to remember is you can get over kill on the rod/reel balance point issue. Remember, as you pull off line you're lighting up on the reel end. Type of line (WF vs. DT vs. long belly) will also effect the balance.
Only thing I look for is the rod/reel to balance out with about 50-60 foot of fly line (or what ever your typical cast would be), off the reel, for the lighter rods.
Not to unnecessarily complicate the subject, but WHEN does a spey outfit need to be in balance? During the cast, which takes just a few seconds and during which the dynamics of balance are in radical flux? Or during the cast's downstream drift, when current drag against the line reduces the reel's counterweight effect, and which goes on for much longer than the cast?
My greenheart beast is downright hard to hold horizontal during the drift period, even though it's fitted with a honkin' heavy mooching reel.
For most rod/reel combinations, balance doesn't seem to be a critical problem. Let me propose this simple standard: If the balance point of a rod and reel, with all line in the reel, is within two or three inches of the top of the handle, balance is good enough.
A forum community dedicated to Spey casting, fishing, flies, and enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about trails, licenses, fishing, game laws, styles, reviews, optics, accessories, classifieds, and more!