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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm new to 2 handed casting but have been at it for the last 2 years. That said, I still really like casting and fishing with a single hand rod when I can. My question is are there any rods and especially weights and lengths that you can recommend for single hand spey casting, swinging and skating flies? I don't plan on using it as a nymphing rod and I really like the act of casting and prefer the more moderate actions I've found in older rods. Most of the steelhead fishing I get to do is in the summer and on rivers that aren't too large, I typically fish the Rogue, the N. Umpqua, and the Grand Ronde. Budget wise, I'm not going to spend more than $400 for a rod and I usually buy my gear used. I was interested in Buelah Platinum, Loomis' GLX series, Scott Arc and the older Sage RP. Should I be looking for 6 or 7 weights, 9', 9.5' or 10' rods? Any advice is greatly appreciated as I can't usually cast used rods before a purchase.
 

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On recommendations from several anglers on here I've acquired two RPL rod for speycasting. They're 7 & 8 weight 10 footers. Not throwing $signs out, but lets just say that a 9.5 and 10 footer sat in the classifieds, ignored for days before I swooped in and made like a bandit. Later - I found a blank RPL7100-2 on the net. Good lengths, easy on the arm for over head casts. The actions on these are moderate with strong tips, a uniform-flex deflecting load down into the cork - like any well designed spey rod. They have a standard fighting-butt for a lower-hand grip during two handed anchored casts. No modifications, so these are my switch rods now and they are pretty darn nice for being such oldies. Look around.
 

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old glass..

I do a alot of single hand spey casting with vintage glass rods like old Fenwicks in 6, 7, 8, and 9wt. My 7wts are my workhorse single handers for both summer and winter fishing. My glass single handers range 8 to 9'. Some of them can be adapted to accept a short bottom grip and turned into a mini switch.

The Wulff Ambush is the easiest single hand speycasting line that I've found, especially if you will be swinging and skating. (It's short, heavy taper doesn't lend itself to nymphing very well).

I also have and old Sage RPL 896 that works well for single hand speycasting with the Ambush as well.

Todd
 

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I have had a number of "advanced" 8/9 weights over the years, but have sold most off. My favourite by far is my first salmon rod - a 9'6" Sage RP. Heavy by today's standards, but not so much that it's an issue. Man, is it ever a nice and smooth casting and fishing stick. One of these days I'm going to send it to one of the fine custom rod builders in southern Oregon and treat it to some new cork and a new reel seat. For me, the action of this rod is perfect. Done looking for something better; I no longer hear the Sirens' lure...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Todd,
I've been messing with an Ambush line on a 5 wt and am impressed with the spey casting it allows. I was wondering if it's short head makes it hard to control the swing when you shoot it way out there?
 

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Todd,
I've been messing with an Ambush line on a 5 wt and am impressed with the spey casting it allows. I was wondering if it's short head makes it hard to control the swing when you shoot it way out there?
No, I don't have trouble controlling the swing with longer casts. I try to pre plan my casting angle to begin with to set up the swing. With the short head, I am am often able to lift the running line over faster/conflicting currents to slow the swing. When using this line for dry line swinging in winter, I often use a "pull back mend"., ie., pulling up and back on the head right after the line lands to get a steeper angle on the swing and/or to add some slack to allow the fly to sink before coming into the swing.

Some folks don't like this line, feeling that it is "clunky" and it can feel that way, until one slows down the casting motions to get smooth d loops and forward casts.

Since I've discovered this line in 2011, it's been my most used line, especially since I primarily fish with switches and old glass single handers.

Todd
 

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Todd, do you use the Ambush integrated line or the head? I have the integrated Ambush lines but not particularly fond of the running line portion on these and am considering getting the heads only.
 

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Todd, do you use the Ambush integrated line or the head? I have the integrated Ambush lines but not particularly fond of the running line portion on these and am considering getting the heads only.
I use the integrated lines in wts 6,7,8. I tend to make hauls when doing pure single hand spey casting and the smooth transition from running line to head makes this easier. Yes the running line is a bit thick on these lines, but they work fine for me. I'm not one that always had to shot for maximum distance anyway. I have no trouble managing casts where I'm shooting 7-11 strips of line.

I use the head only in the 350gr and 400gr weigths since I'm using these for mostly two handed casting with switches.

Todd
 

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Fibatube

Unless you're from across the pond I doubt you've ever heard of Fibatube - an offshoot of Hardy I believe. I have a 10.5 footer for 6-7 that I single-hand spey and double hand. What I note is that rod has a lively tip and a pretty stout butt - which I believe helps spey cast. I think those old Sage RPs and RPL are similarly strong in the butt. Beulah is another good choice - their old guide series is plenty quick and a long one (9.5-10 feet) for 6 would be a ton of fun.
 

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I have a number of old Fishers - a 10' 7 wt' 10'8 wt and 10.5' 8/9 wt that are awesome single handers though maybe my all time favorites were the SCOTT ARCs.

I have actually converted the fishers to switches and the 10' 7 is about as sweet and can be - this is just an awesome single hander that fishes easily with one hand or two
 
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