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Discussion Starter #1
I got into Spey Rods a year ago in the late spring of 2001.

At age 62, I had/have the usual crummy shoulders that most males have at that age. Then I was riding my mountain bike into our driveway and hit the lip of the driveway at the edge of the street.

I didn't fall, but I lunged forward and stopped my fall with a rather strong grip on the handle bars. The weight of my body slammed into my shoulders, and my right shoulder felt like Mike Tyson hit it and bit it at the same time. I'm right handed and could only cast halfway decent with my right hand, arm/shoulder before this accident.

I limped around for a couple of weeks and started physical therapy. After a couple of weeks, I still could not cast with my right arm/shoulder.

A friend suggested that before I gave up fly fishing to try a Spey Rod. He recommended the Sage 7136 traditional. I bought one and could do some simple casts and really lob an indicator with a nymph and tungsten indicator. Then, I took it to the lower Yuba and could do a fair double spey and a down stream cast to skate a fly. My first day on the Yuba, I caught over 12 nice big rainbows, and I became addicted.

I found out later that winter/spring that the 7136 was fine with a Mid Spey 6/7. However, with fast flows as per Gov. Grayout Davis to to keep the lights on below each dam in Kali, I could not cast the Windcutter 6/7/8 with the shooting heads. Later during the Shad season with the Grayout Davis super high flows, I could not cast the 7136 with sinking tips.

The local Sage Rep suggested that I buy the 7141 Euro. I had one made, and it is a ripper and works in most situations. I have also bought the Sage 10151 Euro for Salmon and heavy waters, and I'm becoming fairly proficient with it.

However, with Shad fishing and some steelhead fishing in N. Kali approaching combat fishing, you just can't use a long Spey Rod without causing problems. Also, my son has new boat to fish for stripers in the Ca. Delta, and you can't use a spey rod to fish for stripers off a boat in the Delta.

On a recommendation, I contacted Bob Meiser in S. Oregon. Bob makes two handed rods, that are shorter than the Spey Rods but old crips like me might be able to use them.

I made arrangements with Bob to try out his S2H106-7/8 and the 9/10 models.

They were tried on the Rogue and Chetco on a recent trip. They are superb rods. The 7/8 does a fair job of casting the WC 678 without the second section. It booms out the Orvis Slick Steelhead/Salmon 8 weight. The Delta 8 weight multi tip was superb. That rod will become my rod for Putal Creek, the Garcia, other small steelhead waters. Also, it will become my Shad fishing rod for the American, Yuba, lower Sac and the Russian River. It, will never with me, boom the Spey line out, however, my Sage 7141 will do that where I can use a Spey rod.

Bob's 9/10 worked great with a Rio Versa Tip 10 weight and a Redington 9/10 large arbor. I used it on the Chetco on the South bank at the Jetty with the sinking tips in a 20 to 30 mile upstream wind and with a roll cast and the two hand overhead cast, I was casting 60 to 70' out. I stood on a rock about 2-3 feet above the water like on the deck of my son's boat, and had no problem of casting that distance. It is more tiring and takes longer time per for each cast as you are stripping line in. However with the wind and down river left, I could not cast my 10151 that day.

So, Bob's two great little two handers will join the two bigger Sage Euro's. On most trips, Bob's 7/8 will go with my Sage 7141, and his 9/10 with my Sage 10151 except on my son's Striper boat, and only Bob's 9/10 will go.

Both of Bob's rods worked well casting into the wind into the ocean last week in the Brookings area. I can't do that with either spey rod. Tomorrow, I will contact Bob and send him a check for these two great little two handed rods.
 

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Amazing Gramps, that it's possible to manage a long rod when a standard single hander screws up your back.
My own experience parrallels yours. I was in and out of hospital for three years, and in a body cast for over a year after I contacted a spinal infection during a routine lamanectomy (sp). I all but gave up fishing. Two things saved me from that horrible fate--I found out that I could comfortably cast from a float tube, and a few years ago I discoverd spey rods. I was able to get back into river fishing. Last week I was out on the river with a single hander, spey casting. I had absolutely no problem as long as I stuck to spey casting, so this single handed spey is a thing I am really going to work on.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
BeBop

I didn't even mention my soon to be 64 year old bad back that took a pounding while fishing with a one handed rod. The pounding was worse in deep and fast moving streams/rivers.

Another advantage of the spey rods and my new two handed rods by Bob Meiser, is that you don't have to wade as deep to cast. In fact deep wading makes casting the Spey Rods more difficult and less effective. Deep wading meant a tired back and legs with a one handed rod.


On our recent trip to the Rogue, for a couple of hours I used my Sage 7141 with a Mid Spey floating line 6/7 and the Boles Indicator with a Fox Caddis Puppa under the Boles.

My wife commented that it looked like I could cast for hours without a problem. I told her that first of all I was only about knee deep versus hip/waist deep with a one handed rod. Not having to fight the river currents means a less tired fly fisher. With the easy casting and sturdier footing by not being in deep water, my back, shoulder and whole body just don't feel like I took a beating while fishing.

Last October on the Yuba, with my 7136 and the Mid Spey 6/7, a furled leader, 4' of tippet and a skating fly, I cast about 4 hours before taking a break. The only time I had any strain was when I caught a nice rainbow or steelhead, that is a nice strain.

Before the Spey Rods, I was limiting my fishing to mild stream flows and where I could use my old Sage LL4 or my LaFountaine 6 weight that roll casts like a dream.

Now, with the Spey Rods and Bob Meiser's rods, I can fish anywhere and better than ever with minimal negative impact on my old body.
 

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Bingo.

I too have noted that I don't need to wade out further into the current to reach the seam or to give me more backcast area now that I've taken up spey casting. Two handed or single handed - wading has become much easier and SAFER!

ws
 

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Roger on the 'bingo.'

That's one of the major bene's of spey rods: you don't have to be up to your neck in water to fish where you want. In fact it's counter productive.

Rod is 14' long, you're 6' tall so rod butt is about chest high. So 'length wise' the rod tip, at top of cast, is 14' + 5'ish feet off the ground/water. Deeper you go the more of that "19 feet" you loose.

Second place I've found it to be 'counter productive' is if you're standing out in the run fish can, and do, move behind you. Jim Jones and I have seen this happen on more than one occation while fishing on the upper Rogue. (One time was just after the CCSpeyClin. He and one of the fellows were up by the hatchery and he went to the beach to adjust his boots. Watched several fish swim up river BETWEEN him and his clinic partner.
fae
 

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Fish swimming behind you

If I am very far from the bank (most of the time just up to my knees) I will take in some line and cast to the bank behind me before taking the steps down streem. One of the guys I met on the Sky put me on to this practice.

Yeaterday I was about in the middle of the river so I fished both banks. Saw fish on both sides. No Steelies:mad:

Rich
 

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Discussion Starter #7
watersprite, Fred

The safety of not having to aggressively wade is another biggie.

4 years ago at the end of this month. I took an unplanned trip down the Upper Rogue for 1.1 miles on the Obstinate J Ranch. I had waded out onto a ledge on a Saturday morning. The white water eco rats had gotten a special big release of water to make a couple of round trips on their craft. My first knowledge of the higher water was when I had trouble staying on that ledge.

I tried to get back and got washed off the ledge. I had new neophrene boot foot waders on. By the time I shot down about 100 yards, I could not get my feet down with the air in the boots. I hollered and one of the young girls who lived on the ranch and her cousin heard me. They ran down and got their uncle who roped me and pulled me out like a water logged steer.

A drift boat that was about 200 yards upsteam tried to catch up with me and was not able to. A friend who is a diver, river floater and a physics teacher said that at that rate of speed if I had been able to get my feet down to the bottom. I would have probably killed myself. I would have flipped over and been in the water face down going down stream. Thanks to him, I knew to keep my feet up and pointed first going down stream to protect my head and upper body. When the rancher roped me, I was 1.1 miles down stream via the road from where I went in.

The EMR wagon was there and my body temp was 94. I knew that if they took me into Medford, I probably would not survive the traffic and time to make it to the hospital. I convinced them to drop me off at the cabin and let my wife a very well trained RN handle me.

They dropped me off with an EMT, and she started a warm bath. She and the EMT stripped me and put me into the warm water. While he watched and monitored she got hot water going for hot tea and honey. Within an hour I was up to 97 degrees and talking fairly clearly. Besides the cold water and hypothermia, I was dehydrated. I must have drank about a gallon of warm to hot tea.

An event like that will modify your wading behavior if you survive. Now with the 14 and 15 foot spey rods, as Fred points out there is no need for deep wading and it reduces the effectiveness of your spey casts.


Never/Never wear bootfoot waders in a fast moving river.
 
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