Spey Pages banner

1 - 20 of 66 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
71 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have been reading the good news about CND "spey" rods and find it interesting. Also visiting their home page looks good.

This takes me back to an old wonder - the termonology of the word "spey". I have for many years wondered how all rod makers could call their rods for "spey" rods.
In European terms a spey cast was in the original time of spey casting done using a full DT line, lifting and "speying" this line in its entire length (or as close to as possible). The original style of casting took a full-bodied, full action rod with lots of deep reserves. In many situations a very slow-motion rod and a rather difficult technique to many anglers dislike.

The trends and techniques change and developments have changed the rod making to new dimensions making lots more possible with a Salmon rod. Good for most, but discussable for others.
In Europe, a two-handed Rod is not necessarily a Spey Rod just because it is a two handed rod. Even though the basics in casting
are similar using the line and water as the loading power, we see a significant difference in Spey, Underhand (known as a Loop GA)
or a modern spey cast.
The way I see it most Rods today are desgined for a so-called modern spey cast using a Long Belly line type á la Rio windcutter or a shooting head type, and very few of these new designed rods are actually capable in making a traditional spey cast.

So it is therefore interesting to read that CND are true to the traditional spey style. It would be interesting to test this, because until now I have not found many so called spey rods being able to "spey" cast the traditional way.

In Europe and especially Scandinavia, the trend takes many anglers to the shooting head and running line system. A technique that casts far, but not nearly as beautifully, accurate or stressless as a traditional spey or modern spey cast.

But what to do with the term of "spey casting" or Spey Rod" , a misguide to many and me that think you get a real Salmon Casting Rod - when you actually dont´ .

Michael Koch
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,042 Posts
Welcome Michael,

It is very interesting to read the twist to this fairly common critique of "Spey rods". It is a twist because when this point is made by a Scandinavian, it is usually to champion the cause of short heads, the underhand cast and the superiority of the "modern" double handed technique common in Scandinavia. It is refreshing to learn that not all those in Scandinavia read from the "Good Book of Goran" before they go to sleep at night!

Your point has been made many times on this board. However, the term Spey rod still persists. On one hand, it is hard to break one's self of using the first term you learned (in this case spey rod) and on the other hand Spey Rod just plain sounds cooler than double handed rod! Quite possibly, the popularity of the term spey rod is based on the romantic tradition that North Americans associate with salmon fishing in Britain. I know, one of my dreams is to fish the River Spey - just because it would be cool!

I do believe that most of us here understand the differences you refer to. It is just that the term has become almost generic and will persist. I know that when I consciously think about it I refer to the rods as double handers, but when I am not concentrating they are still spey rods.

The CND rods are among the most traditional feeling and casting rods out there. The Expert line probably the most so, it is a full flexing progressive action rod that flexes well down into the butt of the rod, the sensation is one of "the rod does the work" - a hallmark of what Mike Maxwell would call a "true speyrod". The Custom line is a little faster, due primarily to the higher modulous graphite used, the taper is the same and the action quite traditional. You must remember that Nobuo was a key rod designer for Diawa UK and many of their great traditional action rod designs are his.

The Specialist models of CND rods are a little different kettle of fish. The 16'7" Thompson Specialist was not designed to be "traditional". It was designed to command the large waters of the mighty Thompson River. The exclusive Japanese aerospace graphite produces an extemely light, powerful, yet durable rod. As for "traditional" lines, it was designed for, and tested with a Derek Brown SpeyDriver Line, the inspiration for that line is I believe Alexander Grant - it doesn't get much more traditional long line spey than that! That said, I believe that all the rods that will eventually make up the Specialist Series will be state of the art and embody quite a bit more of the "melding" of styles that I mention below. For example, the 15'6" Salar Specialist has demonstrated an exceptional ability to cast a variety of line styles, from the ultra long SpeyDrivers, the long belly Carron Jetstream and various mid-spey designs.

As for Windcutters being a long belly line - you are not correct on that. It is the epitome of the short belly line - almost a shooting head. This line was in fact inspired by some of Goran Anderson's early visits to North America. What I see happening, especially in North America is a melding of techniques and traditions - I guess that is to be expected - as part of the "culture" of the New World. Never-the-less, while we still get some heated debates going over the relative merits of long and short belly styles (right Scott!), there is clearly a trend of expanding, borrowing and cross-pollinating techniques, at least there is more tolerance of other styles.

This kind of brings me back to my first point, that is how interesting it is that we hear a "cry for the traditional" coming out of Scandinavia! Normally we hear a thinly veiled superior attitude concerning the virtues of the short Scandinavian rods and heads. It is, as I said, refreshing to know that different styles of casting double handed/spey rods are alive well even in Scandinavia!

Cheers!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
228 Posts
Dear Michael,

The misuse of the word "spey" is a particular pet peeve of mine. To attach the word "spey" to flies such as the 'speybugger,' the 'spey caddis,' or the 'alaskabou spey' demonstrates profound disregard for the Spey fly as defined by Francis Francis, A.E. Knox, Kelson, Stoddart, and Pryce-Tannatt.

Some two-handed rods are categorically overhead and not spey rods: the Thomas & Thomas 12 x 12 and certain rods by Talon come to mind. Other rods on the market could perhaps be more accurately described as "underhand rods" and not "spey rods."

It is, ultimately, a losing battle. Nonetheless, it's a little like cutting a deal: if you want 80, you don't ask for 80; ask for 100, and you might get 80. For me, only flies designed in the Spey Valley for use on the Spey River are Spey flies. But then I am a noted hardcase.

With regards to "spey rods," I call 'em two-handers as it includes the entire family of rods, and is less prone to hair-splitting. Kush, however, is perfectly correct: "spey rod" just seems to fit the tool developed for the roily waters of a highland river and plied with devotion on the salmon and steelhead streams of disparate continents.
 

·
chrome-magnon man
Joined
·
5,375 Posts
"Spey" Clave?

When it comes to fly casting, it seems to me that the term "Spey" or "spey" has now become a generic term denoting change-of-direction casts made so that a loop of line forms under the rod tip, and the line tip and leader contact briefly with the water prior to the forward stroke. Spey casts (or Traditional Spey casts), Underhand casts, Skagit casts are all "Spey casts" just as Westjet, Air Canada, and British Airways are all "Airlines."

I think the issue over terms is more important in the UK and Europe than in North America, and perhaps rightly so, for the proponents of the UK and Scandinavian styles take great pains to demonstrate their distinctions, of which there are many. Over here I think when most people think of two-handed fly rods they think "Spey rods." Over the years through common usage it has simply become easier for most of us to say "Spey rod" than "double-handed fly rod" or "two-handed fly rod" which either means we're lazy or very efficient. I chose to call this forum and my info site "Spey Clave" and "Spey Pages" because virtually everyone I knew referred to them as "Spey rods" and so the name was a natural.

I think it is worth understanding that various two-handers are designed for different purposes--trad action speys are designed for long lines and sinking lines; the "euro" rods for shooting heads--but not to get locked into that thinking: you can underhand cast with a traditional spey rod (I do it all the time with my CNDs) and you can make traditional longline spey casts with "euro" rods (I do it all the time with my Loops). Trey Combs made a good point in his book Steelhead Fly Fishing: "How an angler uses his rod becomes a matter of personal interpretation, regardless of the manufacturer's recommendations" (p.23).

Words to live by.
 

·
Indicators Anonymous
Joined
·
846 Posts
If only Goran Andersson visted the Spey Pages... :hehe:

All you need to do is refer to Loop two-handers as 'Spey Rods' and you will get a 20 minute lecture why his rods are not Spey rods... :cool:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,042 Posts
But Ryan,

I have cast an extreme long belly line 130+ feet with a 15' Loop Blue - it was a speycast. :confused:
 

·
Indicators Anonymous
Joined
·
846 Posts
...and Goran would ask "Why are you fishing a long belly line??"

He actually does admit that eventhough his rods are developed for the underhand style with heads in mind, his rods Spey cast very well!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
886 Posts
I have already complained about the use of the spey term to describe double handed rods, I can just about accept it's use. BUT spey reels what on earth is a spey reel?

Malcolm
20 miles from the River Spey
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
215 Posts
Overhead casting

As you might expect from my geographical location, I use the term 'double hander' or 'two-hander' rather than 'spey rod'. But the rise in popularity of spey casting is quite a recent phenomenon over here, and the majority of salmon fishermen in my experience continue to cast overhead with double handers, so the term 'spey rod' is really a misnomer in the UK market.

On a related point, how widely are overhead casts used with double handed rods in USA/Canada? I recall a few US fishermen coming to Norway with two-handers nearly 20 years ago, but they certainly cast overhead rather than spey-style. Is the discovery/revival of the long rod in the US and Canada almost entirely focussed around spey casting (in its widest sense - ie not excluding the underhand technique, as well as all those other funny casts)? And do people who cast overhead with long rods in the US & Canada still talk about 'spey rods'?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
169 Posts
Interesting discussion....

I recently came across an article (on the 'net) which described "Spey" vs. "Skagit" casting, which delved into the differences and nuances of both techniques, and explored the differences in traditional vs. the techniques developed by NW fishermen for their unique needs. Good practical argument.

But what would I call my bastardized technique, using a shorter 2-hander for specialized (and effective) mending/drifting of nymphs? And, on occasion, even (sacrilege!) 1 handed standard casts to deliver a fly?

Anyway, I think that we sometimes get too carried away with technical terminology. . . Right now, most people call ANY 2-hander a "Spey" rod, and just go out and have fun trying to cast, casting, catching fish, and even having fun doing it.

BobK
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,042 Posts
Gardener,

One rarely sees overhead casting with a double handed rod (there, I said it ) in the Northwest. In fact when I do, it is almost always a visiting angler from Japan who is doing it, though this too seems to be changing as the spey-demon appears to be at work there as well.

Dana mentioned this, but it does appear (from the responders that this thread is motivating) that the semantic argument is much more a topic of concern in Europe than it is in North America.

Malcolm, a spey reel is just a part of the same romanticism that makes the term spey rod more attractive. Besides, what the hell is a double handed reel? Is it really big?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,095 Posts
They are two different critters!

I own two of Bob Meisers two handed switch rods, 10' 6 ", and I own 3 Sage Spey Rods. They are as different for me as can be or like night and day.

Bob's rods work on boats, docks, lakes, small stream, combat shad/steelhead fishing, tight quarters, casting into a hard ocean wind from the beach and in very windy situations on rivers. They can perform an adequate Double or Single Spey with me.

My longer Spey rods are for the bigger rivers, longer casts, places where I can wade out a few feet and have room for my D Loop to come back and get my fly consistently out past 50 to 60'. I'm not crowded with other anglers or trees and brush and the current works good with Simon's casting techniques even with my poor skills.

Sometimes I will take a Bob Meiser Two handed rod and a spey rod at the same time.

Hopefully soon, the shad will be running on our N. California rivers. Since I'm retired I can get up in the early afternoon without a lot of other fishers (usually). So my Sage 7141 with the MS 7/8 with the sinking tips should work.

Later when more fishers come, out of courtesy, I will take the 7141 back and bring Bob's 7/8 two handed rod out and use the WC 6/7/8 without tip 2 and the new tip compensator and sinking tips from my M/S 7/8. Then I can either roll cast or overhand cast while standing in line with fishers on the left and right and close sometimes.

These rods are two different critters with some of the same dna, but not a lot.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
228 Posts
Gardener,

Speaking only for the East Coast salmon game, the vast majority of anglers overhead cast with two-handed rods. 'Euro,' or fast-actioned rods account for over 90% of the rods that I see on the rivers. The term "spey rod" is used interchangeably with the term "two-handed rod," i.e. no real distinction made.

Dana,

You are right: spey has cachet. The "Two-Handed Rod Pages" or the "Double-Handed Clave" sounds about as good as lycra on Anna Nicole, and that ain't a pretty sight!
 

·
Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
Joined
·
1,771 Posts
IMHO - All spey rods are two-handed but not all two-handed rods are spey. I believe most folks east of the rockies look at the handle and say "spey" instead of "two-handed" rod regardless of which it is.

There are great spey rods that don't overhand cast worth diddly and vice-versa. They were intended for a certain purpose and therefore are different rods.

Can spin guys surf fish with a jigging rod? Can they pike fish with a bass boat? Does a surf rod make a good big river rod? You bet! But each is classified by it's intended purpose.

Another example: Nobuo is bringing to life a two-handed overhand rod that I have been trying to get built since 1995 (some may remember my trials and blank modifying attempts over the years). This rod is specialized for fishing for striped bass on coastal ocean rip and surf conditions (lines, flies, fish, etc). It's got a two-handed handle - but it is spey? Not even close!

To me, the two rods are clearly different by design. What we do with them, well that's another story!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
212 Posts
Is it really so surprising that Old World ideas be they about philosophy, religion, or in this thread the semantics of the spey/two-handed rod be melded/changed into something new here in the New World? I do not mean to put any idea or individual down, but this is the essence of who we are. The bottom line is tolerance of ideas. The origins began on the River Spey where the back cast was limited and a new cast was needed to allow for distance without the backcast--as we all know in this forum--and it was, the classic spey cast was born. The Scandinavians(my ancestors) had other problems--and they adapted. These ideas have now reached our shores and we(well you pros will, I'm just a Spey Pages lurker/junkie trying to learn as much as I can!) are adapting to our circumstances and EVERYONE is the better for it. In the Sandy River Spey Clave video I thought Simon Gawesworthy's words on the evolution of the classic single spey were interesting; and Ed Ward's description and demonstration of the differences in the classic spey, Skagit, and Scandinavian techniques were the best I have come across to date. My fishing journey began in 1988 when I put the golf clubs away for good and bought a fly rod. The real excitement in my fishing life occurred with my first sight of an old man(my age, Jim Green) throwing those gorgeous loops on Mel Krieger's 2nd video; and later class lessons on the Desuttles with Derek Brown. I never thought at 68 I could be passionate about anything again. Back to my point, " A rose by any. . . . "
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,297 Posts
i think people who see the longrods,even those who fly fish associate the name spey with them,so,until they actually go,be,read,study,they'll never know that in europe they call them two-handers,or salmon rods,doubt you'll ever stop the referral to them as such.............
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,095 Posts
clyde olson, Bob Meiser, Juro: "You ain't seen nothing yet!

Bob Meiser sent me one of his new two-handed overhand rods for casting in the ocean from the shore or off a low rock for my testing and evaluation. Bob's new Ocean Rod is 13' long, and he rates it as a 9/10/11. It has two handles and looks like a 13 Spey rod. However, it is different critter than any Spey rod or any of Bob's two handed Switch Rods.

I own 3 of Bob's Switch Rods and 4 Spey Rods (Sage 7136, 7141, 10151 and Santa's latest gift a new Scott ARC 1494). None of these so called Spey Rods cast like Bob's Switch Rods. Then Bob's new two handed ocean rod casts different than his Switch Rods and these Spey rods.

Due to the local storms and dangerous high waves I have been restricted to casting it on grass with my wretched two handed over hand casts.

Bob's new ocean rod enables this battered old 65 year old to cast on the grass, an indicator attached to 3' of 20# Maxima attached to the business end of several Rio lines 90 to 100+ feet .

I can get 90'+ with Rio's new Scandinavian shooting head and a running line, a little further with less effort with Rio's 9/10 Versa tips and a little further with a little more effort with Rio's Striped Bass 26' 350 grain built in tip with my terrible overhand using my right side cast and about 15-20 feet less with my left side overhand.

I can't wait for the winter storms to die down and use this rod to fish the mouths of the Russian, Gualala and Garcia. It should enable me to get my flies out to the steelhead as they circle and hold in the ocean before they start up stream. It should be great for ocean perch and other coastal fish up and down the California Coast and on the SW Oregon Coast. It should enable me to walk to the edge of the water and cast to where the fish are without dangerous wading.

Also, Bob's rod is shorter than my Sage 10151 and will enable me to fish deep river runs with overhand casts using the Rio Striper line. This wil make my life a lot easier fishing for the large salmon when they make their runs in the fall and early winter. The shorter rod will make it a lot easier to battle a big salmon than with the 10151. It will enable me to fish in the fisher lines for salmon in the Feather and other rivers where other fishers make a Spey cast impossible. I may use it for shad fishing. The past 3 seasons the water flow downstream has been very high and the shad are often out 70 to 90' and this rod should be great when the Shad rivers are high and filled with fast running and dangerous water.


CND has a similiar ocean rod on the market now. Their ocean rods and Bob's will open up coastal fishing for those of us who are not able to cast a one handed into an ocean gale 70 to 100' to where the fish are. Juro can tell you more about CND's new ocean rods if you are interested.

So. soon we will hear the purists complaining about the use of these new two handed Ocean rods. Who cares what is said by the moaning/whining purists. If these new rods work and make our life easier and more enjoyable.

I live an hour from the ocean. When the rivers are too high or too low to fish, I will be able to go coastal with Bob's new rod.

With our shortage of new electrical power plants and the high demand for electricity the past 3 summers, the lower Sac, the American and the Yuba have been basically unfishable for the late spring, summer and early fall from the shores as high flows run from Memorial day into late fall to provide electricity for California.

Now, when the river flows are too high, and I want to go fishing. I will throw Bob's new rod in the back of my Bronco and drive about an hour and be fishing on the coast.

We live in a wonderful time with the great new rods, lines and reels that we can pick an choose from.
 

·
Pullin' Thread
Joined
·
4,694 Posts
As Kush has already mentioned, one harldy ever sees a person casting overhead with a 2-handed rod here in the Pacific Northwest. And there are more of us casting the long (or extended)-belly spey lines with stepped front tapers and bellies of 90 to 110 ft, which is very much casting as much line as most do with a DT salmon line. These long-belly lines have the advantage of being able to efficiently shoot additional line easily since they use a small diameter running line after the belly is fully extended. In effect, they are a modern traditional "spey line" based upon Grant's tapers that make shooting line to produce casts of over 110 feet far easier than with a DT.

However, the slow, tip-heavy, traditional spey-action 2-hander is not a very common rod on our Pacific Northwest rivers. The majority of folks here are using medium-action, progressive flexing 2-handers for their fishing. Does this mean that people are not spey casting because they are not using the traditional slow, tip-heavy style of 2-hander, of course not! As George Kelson mentioned in his tome "The Salmon Fly", that there was some controversy over salmon and cpey rods in his day. He dismissed it a nonesense because in his view, a modern salmon rod should be able to both spey cast and overhead cast in a passable manner, and he was speaking about greenheart.

In "Tips", Kelson speaks of now prefering well-made cane rods over greenheart for the superior quickness of action and lightness of rod in the hand.

This controversy was raging even in Kelson's time. Did it deter him from working with rod makers to improve rods, nope. Did it stop him from using his ffaster cane rods for spey casting, nope. Nor should it do so today.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,027 Posts
Hopefully soon, the shad will be running on our N. California rivers

Ditto that! Lived in Headsburg for about 10 years and far too often the Russian was 'blown out' by a storm ... and God Auf. run off from all the vineyards. (Rant here: If the vineyard owners would just plant 'tween row' grass, etc., the amount of silt in the river would be cut by 60%).

But the shad, ah yes .... can honestly remember 60 fish days on a 5 or 6 wt intermed. sinking line.

Fish may average 2-4 pounds, but times xxx, you came home a 'pooped puppy.'

Life was good in Headsburg.
 
1 - 20 of 66 Posts
Top