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first spey rod!

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Hey guys. I want to buy a two handed fly rod for next year for the salt. And practice during the off season.

I have been fly fishing for four years now and Havent looked back.


I noticed LL bean has one for around 200. Is it a decent rod for a new spey caster? Should I hold out and get a more pricey one? At this point I would stick with traditional spey casts.


Just not sure how much I will enjoy it. I did watch RIO's video and I think I would enjoy it lot. But like most folks, hate to spend a ton for something at the begining of a new addiction.

Also could I use my 10 wt. reel I have now and just get another spool for the line. I use a Tioga.


Appreciate the advice! smile.gif

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I believe with any modern Spey rod 13' and longer it is easy for you to outperform all your SH rods when it comes to delivering a fly. Spey casts up to 100' are rather easy to learn and spey line casts OH at least 20' longer without too much effort.

"Game fish are too valuable to be caught only once" 1939 Lee Wulff
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I am afraid 10wt SH reel isn't large enough for a Spey line. Nice thing with most TH rods is there in not much need to have ultra light reels because rod needs some weight to the bottom for balance.

"Game fish are too valuable to be caught only once" 1939 Lee Wulff
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Do you want a rod to spey cast or do you just want a 2 handed rod for overhead casting??? I do not see a lot of use for spey casting when it comes to saltwater fishing, not that it can't be used with some success, just a little impractical...just my opinion.


Here is my experience so far.


I had purchased a TH rod last year for the sole purpose of overhead casting. I had visions of long, beautiful, 120+ casts into 30mph winds, (looking back on my thinking I was a bit ambitious) and after some research I ended up buying the TFO 1212 rod and matched it to the Airflo 40+ beach line. After some time practicing in the yard I was hitting 110-120 fairly consistently and felt confident enough to take it out on the water. What a mess!!! It felt like the first time I ever flyfished in the salt..overpowered tailing loops, wind-knotted leaders, line spewing out of my basket, 40-50 feet of the ugliest casts you have ever seen and curses...many, many curses. Next I tried the Rio Outbound line with almost the same results, maybe a little more distance with alot more tangles. Needless to say I had shelved it for awhile, and almost gave up on the whole idea. During the course of this season I started dabbling in tying some bigger "spey" style streamers and flatwings...not that I couldn't cast them with my stardard 10wt, it was just that, after a while, fatigue would set in, my distance and presentation would suffer and I would end up switching to a smaller pattern to make my life easier. I decided to renew my efforts with the TH rod to fish these bigger patterns. During some of my searches on this site, I came accross a post from Juro about the development of the rod that I was using. He stated that the rod was designed around the SA Tarpon line in standard 12wt. I happened to have the SA Striped Bass line in 12wt(somewhat similar lines) so I tried that line with the rod. What a difference for me!! My casts were more accurate, the rod was not overloading, I could "handle" the weight and "slip" of the line while casting...everything just looked and felt better. Now I love my TH rod. I use the rod, not so much as a distance tool(70-90+ft without a sweat but I can cast my SH rods just as far, if not further) but as a way of delivering bigger fly patterns without the strain to my casting arm...try casting a 12wt line for 8 or so hours a day on a SH rod, your body will hate you. Also, the extra length on the rod also has many advantages when fishing waves and current.


It has been a great learning experience for me. It took me back to basic mechanics of casting(no hauling hand to compensate for poor timing) and has strenghened my abilities as a caster for TH and SH rods. Good luck with the endeavor if you chose to pursue it...don't get disouraged, most people I know, including myself, that have tried it seem to get frustrated at first because of the differences and expectations.


Sorry for the long reply, but my fishing was cut short by horrible weather and conditions...i'm bored.

It has always been my private conviction that any man who pits his intelligence against a fish and loses has it coming. ~John Steinbeck
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Oh too add about the reel, your tioga would probably work OK, you probably want to use braided mono, like sufix, or GSP as backing instead of the traditional dacron to give you more capacity

It has always been my private conviction that any man who pits his intelligence against a fish and loses has it coming. ~John Steinbeck
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Definitely Spey casting makes TH rod efficient and enjoyable.


Watch this:




If link does not operate write: " woman fly casting " to search window on YouTube.


It is edited material and there is no wind but casting itself is beautiful as is caster.


At 1:25 there is SH Switch cast in slow motion


At 1:55 and 3:05 TH Switch casts in slow motion


This Switch cast is most usable Spey cast in surf. On tide fishing is like fishing in river and there are other Spey casts where direction is changed depending flow- and wing direction. Fast casting direction change can be very usable in flats too.


It is because of lines what makes Spey gear efficient. They usually have and need longer and hevier heads. There is not much difference between SH and TH rods when same line is used as long as caster and rods are strong enough.

"Game fish are too valuable to be caught only once" 1939 Lee Wulff
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For inspiration this is video of Knut Syrstad casting on competition.


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His best cast with 15' rod was 50m / 164ft. At this level this is sport but shows there is potential in TH rod.

"Game fish are too valuable to be caught only once" 1939 Lee Wulff
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Is correct. Do not confuse Spey with Th rods. Spey means to most of us a rod that is designed to be Spey cast. Spey rods are very much slower in action mostly than overhead designed TH rods. Don't kid yourself that you will be Spey casting on a surf beach into a wind. Maybe in a fast flowing inlet but not a surf beach. Spey rods are junk at overhead casting.


I use a std 10 wt reel for me TH rod. I use a Rio outbound size 12 before they dropped them.

Don't get hug up on trying to balance a rod by using a big reel.

Be careful that ratings on TH are not the same as SH well mostly they are not. Some exceptions out there. Really they should be rated in grains. For me if a TH can't cast 800grains plus it is not going to cut it on LI in the fall.


In std line wts then a size 12 or 13 WF is my minimum payload. Maybe JIM DE will chime in. I hope so. Do a search for Jims posts.



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Ungle Barry has nice webpages and I do not deny there might be even more efficient rods than rods which are sold as Spey. But as an example Sage TCR line or rods which uses one of the highest modulus graphite (65 million). There are many who have casted them say they are fastest rods available and there are four Spey rods 12.3' #8 to 15' #10.


I claim if you take any 2000's TH Spey rod 13' #9 and up and you achieve at least similar performance as you can achieve with any SH rod. It's because of physics. Line which you can use weights about double and it delivers fly with ease. It's personal experience but I find casting TH rod easier, less tiring and fun too. Now I mean Salt fishing standing and wading.


I feel slower action rod, which bends more, is easier and less tiring to cast as it does not reguire perfect timing. It allows caster to use longer stroke to generate needed power and still achieve tight loop. Less wind knots too. And because they do not have space technology some sell cheap. Usually there is no need to cast far but it is nice to know it is possible if necessary.


Fishing is not distance casting but it seems to come up often. I bought inexpensive ($110 Shakespeare 15' 10wt) to see how it performs next to more expensive rods and with my skill there is not much difference. What line I select has a lot more effect. I believe there is no-one is this board or in the world who can cast as far with SH rod and line combination which he uses for fishing.

"Game fish are too valuable to be caught only once" 1939 Lee Wulff
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Rod makers can call their TH whatever they want and that's the rub for new guys to TH. I have a Sage 14 foot TCR no 9wt. This is by no means a traditional actioned Spey rod. I still find it a bit too slow for overhead casting. Now I purchased a custom TH which was supposed to be ok for overhead. In a modertae wind on a beach with a small surf it was usless. My SH 9wt eats it alive. Ok in a no wind situation this TH cast 100 feet piece of cake but I did not buy it for that reason. Distance was one of my reasons for exploring the TH. Std actioned Spey blanks just do not cut it overhead casting into a bigish wind. The blanks just fold up and keep on bending.

You can build very stiff blanks from medium modulus carbon pre-preg. Taper, diameter, and wall thickness also influence very strongly the final action.

On of my reasons for the TH was the hoped for one back cast and deliver. The different line control over incoming waves and also just the pure fun of using an extra long rod and solving the so called hard times landing fish. Until I find the right TH so far that remains still a dream for me.



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Good morning,

Here we go again, me thinks with the silly idea that a Double Handed fly rod


for Spey casting is suitable for Overhead casting.


For the people that represent (yes you know who you are) the group of manufactures that build wonderful, almost magical Spey rods, please just go and build a special rod for Overhead casting and then come along for the fun.


To some larger companys this cannot be achived because of econimics, which is understandable, of course. However the smaller litle companys do not have your problem in the same depth.


So please lets ALL ENJOY the thrill of using a Double be it what ever, what ever its primary design was.


Lets have a look at both, not forgetting all the other rods designed to try and be a bit of both Worlds, the OH and Spey.


Very basically a good S rod will and can cast S 100% AND OH cast 50% of a OH rod

And a OH rod can OH cast 100% and S 50%.


The above is when the casting tool is used by Mr or Mrs Average, and NOT when its used by a clever, well informed and beautiful caster !


Even the design loads are different, so how on Earth can both be the same ?


10/11w S rod around 650 grains

10/11w OH rod around 600 grains

couple to this different leader arrangments and fly and hook SIZE !


The S rod is designed to be loaded via water to the dee loop, the energy loop.

While the OH is designed to be loaded totally in the air, which then enables a different casting action.


So please lets not attack which can do what rather just get out then and enjoy the magically fun of casting a big beautiful Double.


Kind regards,


ps, I design, build and use both forms of rods and totally love using them for their designed applications and now as a result only use one single handed rod, a 7' 6" 2w.


pps, to those that wish to kick about the above facts, go for it as I will not fight back, I've had enough of the this kind of thing, here in the past..thanks. smile.gif

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