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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am looking for a quality spey rod (13 foot-ish, 7 wt.) to learn on. I'd like to keep the price between $250 and $350. New or used. I'll be using it mostly for trout on local rivers (e.g. Madison, Yellowstone, etc.), but occasionally for steelhead near Salmon, ID. Suggestions or offers to sell your equipment will be appreciated.
 

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Couple of options

PM Sent Let me know
 

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Spey Outfit

I have a Temple Fork Outfitters 6 weight 12' 6" spey rod with a Ross Flyrise 4 reel. The reel loaded with an AirFlo WF6/7 Delta spey line. This is a well balanced spey outfit ready to fish. It is the perfect outfit for skating flies and swinging light swimmers. Everything is in great condition, I simply have other spey gear and this is collecting dust. Gladly ship to you for $300.00
 

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spey setup,

Do you really think you need a 7wt to fish for trout???? A 5wt switch or spey might be a better option. I know there are big trout in those waters, but last time I checked they hadn't been to the ocean. Just sayin.......
 

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I agree about the size. A 7/8 wt SPEY rod is WAY to big for trout. Even large trout. The only advantage to a rod that size would be fishing in windy conditions or tossing really big flies. If you plan to do either of those then a 7wt might be good but for me the advantage is not enough to out weigh the joy of fishing a lighter rod for smaller fish.

Many PNW guys are starting to fish smaller rods even for steelhead. Many now fish 6wt rods and I know a couple people tossing 5wts. Everyone will have their opinion on that but it is just something to think about. I fish a Sage Zaxis 12'6" 5wt for trout in south central wyoming and I have encountered browns in the 25" range with no problem. Never felt I was under gunned and I can toss any flies or sink tips I would ever need. I also plan to fish my 5wt if I make it back out to the Deschutes for some steel action. Actually I would fish it for winters too if I make it back. The 5wt zaxis is in my mind a bit bigger then a 5, more like a 5.5 or even a 6.

Anyway, to answer your question I do not think the rod weight makes any difference when learning. You learn with what you got and make it work. For me on a personal level I think that when learning you are better off casting a short heavy head. Reason for this is that you can cast a very slow casting stroke and it still works. I think this helps get the idea across of what you are doing. A longer lighter line takes better timing and more precision. Some may not agree but for people I have helped with casting I have found when they cast the short heavy stuff they pick it up faster. I would get a 20Fft skagit short on the heavy end of the grain window for your rod and use that to start. Interested to hear if anyone agrees or disagrees with that.

Best of luck.
 

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get an echo dec hogan you wont be sorry

get a 13ft 7 wt dec hogan, great rod to learn on, throws anything, Best rod for the price range in my opinion. This rod speeds up learning curve very forgiving
 

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nothing wrong with a 7wt for bigger WILD trout. and basically all trout in montanas rivers are wild. if you care about landing 13"ers lighter would be better, or if you dont like to land big fish quickly, or if it werent for the wind here, or if you didnt want to be able to throw weighted flies on a scandi. remember, he's looking for a good rod to learn on. my first rod was a 7136, and i still do the majority of my trouting with a 7, albeit a different 7wt.
390-430 grains is about perfect for a scandi here.
 

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I think people underestimate the power of these rods. Some of the guys swinging flies for large wild trout on the North Platte are even using 4wt speys. Some are using 7wts too. Very windy river so a 4wt might be tough at times. But a 4wt spey is inline with a 6wt single hander, a 7wt in line with a 9wt single hander. Are there trout large enough for a 9wt maybe but very rare in the lower 48.

Ed Ward posted some awesome discussion on this topic and mentioned he felt even a 5-6 wt switch is too much for most lower 48 trout action. He is using converted 3 and 4 weight single handers. I am going to just assume that Ed Ward has more experience and on the water time then I do so he probably knows how to put the wood to a fish and land it quickly.

A close friend who is a guide in the NW tossed a Ross 5wt switch for winter fish and let me tell you he can land a fish with that rod faster then many people realize. These rods have more power then I think we give them credit. Granted he admits the 5wt switch is not his go to winter rod he does use it when the conditions are right. He does more to protect and help wild steelhead then most so it is safe to say he is not doing anything that will harm them.

Honestly I think if you get a 7wt you will soon find that you will then want a lighter rod. Now if owning multiple rods is not a problem for you then you are set but if you want to get the most out of it drop to at least a 6wt.

I did this years ago fishing for steel. My first rod was a 13'6 8wt because that was what everyone said. Then over a few years everyone started fishing lighter rods and that 8wt collected dust and more money was spent on a lighter rod. Just something to think about.
 

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I'll have to agree. I questioned the 13' 7wt for trout as well. That's my setup for summer and/or winter steelhead. I don't know that there is any advantage to learning on a bigger heavier setup especially as it relates to trout. I would think something in the 4-6 range for trout would be more than sufficient. Just my .02.

To follow....I hadn't noticed the original post had been edited to include the occasional steelhead in ID. Still a tough one to find a rod to do both and still be enjoyable.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for all the great advice and offers of gear. I guess I'm still wondering what to do. Here's my line of thinking/wondering...

I think spey casting looks like fun and may even be applicable to some of the water I like to fish. I will no doubt try to learn spey casting while fishing for trout on local water. I'd like for the experience to be as fun as possibly, hoping that will keep me motivated so I'll keep using the rod and not retreat to a single-handed rod because it's actually more fun and effective in catching trout. It'd be neat if the spey rod became my everyday tool, or at least close to it (perhaps I'm dreaming?). Unless I win the lottery, I won't be able to spend tons of time steelheading , so buying a steelhead-specific rod may not make sense.
On another note, I particularly enjoy fishing streamers, from size 4 articulated critters to smaller bugs. I find that putting a little action on the fly really helps, so being able to strip instead of just swing is something to consider. Which size spey rod is more conducive to this kind of use (or does it make any difference?)?
Thanks again.
 

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SW Montana

If I were going to the Madison or the Yellowstone, I wouldn't hesitate to use a Spey rod. On the big, open rivers and the wind I've encountered on them a 6 or 7 weight Spey may solve the problem of casting. Most of the fish will not put up much of a fight on these rods. Something like a Beulah Platinum 6126 or 5117 may be good rods to use in these situations. The next time I venture West I'll have my Scott 5108 and 6119 with me for these rivers and the North Platte down in Wyoming.

But a a lot of the smaller rivers are never going to lend themselves well to these big rods. Fortunately, the spey casting techniques work well with single hand rods and you can use them effectively on most streams.
 

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In Yellowstone I love fishing my 11'6 456 Mesier. Does most of what I want with a scandi, but occasionally use a skagit and z11 tips.
 

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new2spey

I fish several SW Montana rivers with a trout spey and have been doing so for several years. It is a bunch of fun swinging for trout. My rods of choice are the Anderson 3 & 4 weight trout speys for lighter deliveries and mild wind. These lighter rods have surprising backbone and can deal with large trout in short order with no problem. When bucking bigger wind and throwing larger streamers a 5 weight is my modus operandi. When the wind is howling and it takes a 400+ grn scandi to make a reasonable delivery I usually pass and wait for better conditions. I fish a couple of smaller rivers and creeks where a SH rod is better suited but 90% of the time it's a long rod game for me. When in steelhead country my tool of choice is a 7 weight spey. YRMV
 

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Trout spey

I had been fishing a section of a river for a while with a single hander, having a really hard time because there is literally no backcasting room and deep right off the bank. In the meantime a buddy of mine was catching big browns on a spinning rod swinging Rapalas. I finally said to myself, I am getting a rod I can spey cast and swing and strip leeches for these fish.
Now, I was only making to this part of the river 2 or 3 time a year so I didn't want to spend a lot of money on a two hander that I was only going to use so sparingly, and after some research I ended up getting a 5wt St. Croix Imperial Switch rod. Poppy at the RedShed suggested a Wulff Ambush line/head for it and it has been great. It is also relatively cheap so you can see if you really enjoy spey/switch casting for trout on your rivers.
It would be hard for me to believe it wouldn't be a strong enough rod to land any brown or rainbow. It's over 11 ft long! Just put the wood to them!!!!!
The length of the rod helps you to get your swing set up and you can totally do the Kelly Gallup strip/tipjerk action with it easily.
Good luck.
 

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7 Wt is too much

I have to agree with everyone who has posted. If trout is your primary game, get a trout size rod.

I have a Meiser 1307S that my wife bought me when I decided to take this game up. I was catching trout on while practicing on the McKenzie. The little tug was fun, but after that I just lifted the rod and in came the trout...
After talking to Bob he loaned me a 12'6" 4/5/6 to take to Alaska. It was a fabulous rod and it handily landed trout up to 29", but below 17" it too was a bit much.
As a result I bought a 12'6" 3/4/5 and it is an absolute dream. Plenty of backbone for the largest Alaska trout, but light enough that the smaller fish we have here in Oregon are a great deal of fun as well.

I'd get the trout rod and beg a friend to borrow a steelhead stick when you go to ID...
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks everyone for the great advice. I shoulda known this wouldn't be simple. What I'm hearing is that I oughta consider something lighter than the 7 wt. in my original post. Sounds like a 5 wt. might just do the trick. I'm also pretty clueless about the best lines to use. So if you've got something you wanna sell, how about line recommendations. I picked up a Lamson Velocity 4 a while back when I started thinking about a spey setup. Too big for the 5 wt.?
Thanks again.
TK

BTW- my current go-to stick is a Sage 7 wt. SH rod.
 
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