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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Lot of beginners longing to enter the spey world often hear the "try before you buy" phrase...BUT, have no clue of what right or familiar should feel like since they have no clue how to spey cast!

Several new to the sport have grown so frustrated with the virtually infinate combinations of rods, lines and styles and have no idea where to begin let alone where to spend $500 (or more) just to get set up with a properly balanced outfit. Granted, a properly outfitted and experienced local fly shop will be able to point the newbie in the right direction BUT, if you talk with three shops regarding the needs of a newbie you'll often get three very different answers.

So, my question is how to simplify entry into the sport and encourage new anglers to try spey casting and not be blown away by all of the options that exist?
 

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Get Instruction

The simplest way is to begin with some solid instruction. The instructor will always have some matched rods and lines to try and after the newbie gets a feel for several setups, he/she will have a better ides what might suit them best. Then get to some claves to get more practice and time with different rods.

That process would have saved me a lot of time, frustration, and $$$.
 

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Steelhead are cool!
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This forum is an excellent place for people to get info about proper set ups.
Aaron at River Run and Poppy at Red Shed are two great sources also.
 

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Chris,

Good point and as spey has exploded in the last 5 years, it has become harder and harder. When I first looked to get into a double-hander, it was cut and dried. If you were a newbie, you got a 9140-4 SAGE and a 9/10/11 WC. While it might not have been what the advanced casters were using, there was very few of them around and it was what 80% of all casters in the PNW were using. Now there are so many options to choose from that it can become very confusing.

While I agree that you might get 3 differnt answers from 3 shops, I think if you stick with a shop dedicated to spey (eg.River Run, Redshed) or with a shop where you know the employees know their spey, the variance in answers will be minimized. In most cases, with a few questions before hand about style and intended usage coupled with some decent instruction, most beginners should not end up with something that won't work. Of course there will still be frustration, that is part of the game but it need not be because of tackle.
 

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Pullin' Thread
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Chris,

I also think it is a good question.

As to simplfying a starting point for a beginner, most experienced spey casters recommend a 13'6" or 14' 8/9 wt (or 9 wt if you will) outfit unless the person is only planning on fishing small waters (those under 70' across), when a 13' 7/8 wt wt is recommended. Likewise, most experienced spey casters recommend a beginnner get either a short-belly or mid-belly spey line with interchangeable tips so he doesn't have to worry about cutting lines and adding loops.

And as 'tip mentioned, Aaron, Redshed, The Fly Shop (sponsors all) or other shop with people knowledgeable in matters spey, will provide virtually identical recommendations to newbies. Yes, one may recommend a different brand; but a different brand is not necessarily indicative of a completely different rod action.
 

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Hi Chris

I would have to echo some of the thoughts here too. As you know I am new to the sport and have not spent all that much time casting. With the week at the Clearwater and the previous casting I had done, I had about 12-13 times out with the spey rod. Here are my thoughts about switching on the light, and finding a magical setup that one can cast....as we discussed at the Clave.

I personally like a rod that is of moderate to slow action; it helps a caster who is learning to feel the rod load and that assists in the timing. Timing is everything in spey casting, without it the line is rarely tight and the rod is not under load.

I am no expert, nor will I pretend to talk about something I know nothing about. Most things in this world develop and technology advances, and I think that we all too often think that faster is better.....I disagree with that. Who knows' years from now I may appreciate a faster spey rod, but for now a slower action suits my needs well.

You saw what happened with Joe when he took a slower rod loaded with a med head length line.....he nailed his casts for the first time. He was ready to give up with spey casting with the faster rods, because he couldn't feel the loading of the rod.

See Mike at the Redshed, as he will let you try a different setup until you get one that works.

You saw what worked at the Clave and what didn't.........trust me, try a slower action; you'll like it.

And remember...its not how far you can cast.....although casting is lots of fun....I spey cast to shake hands with those chrome bullets, and lots of Steelhead are in the close lies next to the shore.

Take Care Chris....say hi to Joe for me
 
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