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#11409204 - 02/12/16 02:19 AM Dumb Question: Spey Reels/Combos
sdavis24 Online   content
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 06/05/12
Posts: 7998
Loc: Pacifica, CA
Very beginner question here. What does Spey mean? I feel like I hear about Spey combos, but is it reel or rod specific. From what I've found, which could be wildly wrong, it is a lighter reel with less powerful drag, and you use your hand to slow it. I'm guessing you want to use a more giving rod with these?

Anyone who would like to shine some light on this in very beginner speak, it would be appreciated
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#11409210 - 02/12/16 02:46 AM Re: Dumb Question: Spey Reels/Combos [Re: sdavis24]
Mckinneycrappiecatcher Online   content
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 12/20/10
Posts: 3160
Loc: mckinney, tx
I have no experience using a Spey rod but what I've learned from watching tv shows and talking to fly shop owners and such up north is that a Spey rod is a very long, stout fly rod designed for making really long casts with big flies on big rivers. Usually you see Spey rods used when people are fishing for salmon and steelhead, probably wouldn't have much if any practical use down here in the south. Reel wise I don't know, but I'm assuming it's just a reel meant to go with one of these massive rods.
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#11409256 - 02/12/16 05:42 AM Re: Dumb Question: Spey Reels/Combos [Re: sdavis24]
RexW Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 09/24/02
Posts: 2859
Loc: Sherman, TX
"Spey" has several meanings, but it is usually used in reference to the style of fly fishing that uses rods that are cast using both hands.

Around here, Spey = 2 handed rod.
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#11409337 - 02/12/16 07:04 AM Re: Dumb Question: Spey Reels/Combos [Re: sdavis24]
BoPro Offline
Angler

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 384
Loc: Arlington, TX
As stated above, long two handed rod using Scandi or Skagit casting styles. I might be one of the only few that use two hand rods down here. If you ever see a guy using a 11ft 2wt doing weird casts on the lower mountain fork, that'll probably be me...
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#11409465 - 02/12/16 08:06 AM Re: Dumb Question: Spey Reels/Combos [Re: sdavis24]
Meadowlark Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 11/04/04
Posts: 2869
Loc: East Texas
It is rod and line specific, not reel specific. You need long two handed rods and to be effective need to match your line to the rod's capabilities.

It can be an extremely efficient system for casting...far less work that single handed casting. Also, 100 ft casts are routine with these rods and lines...and you can do it all day with far less effort than single handed.

It is a tool that when used in the right situation can be the most efficient approach available. I know guys who refuse to use anything but spey, but IMO it is just not practical in many situations.

On a trip to ALaska last summer, I ran into a group of guys who were spey zealots. They looked down on anyone who would use single handed rods. I love the spey cast but not to that extent. I found a deep hole in a river bend where stealth was absolutely required. Spey casting is very "unstealthy". I took the best 4 king salmon of the week out of that hole on a singe handed rod (including one that was the largest king salmon ever taken from that river on the fly), while the spey guys did not catch a single fish there. I could literally follow behind them in the pool and catch huge kings where they could not even get a bite.

The reason is the spey cast is very dynamic, lots of motion and noise on the water.

In the right situation, it is a great tool, but it does have its limitations.

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#11410278 - 02/12/16 02:12 PM Re: Dumb Question: Spey Reels/Combos [Re: sdavis24]
mickfly Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 02/23/08
Posts: 1688
Loc: Fairview, TX
Spey casting refers to a unique style of casting that originated on the River Spey in Scotland in the mid 1800s. It has been used for decades by those who fish big rivers for salmon or steelhead, but it has recently become more popular for lighter rod weights and for a variety of species, though it still works best on rivers or streams with a moderate to strong current, since it is basically a series of roll casting techniques designed to load the rod thru the friction caused by the line on the water. It can be done with a one or two handed rod and provides a whole new range of possibilities for casting in tight quarters (since there is essentially no back cast). It is also ideally suited for casting heavy, wind resistant flies long distances. Rods are typically longer than normal fly rods (I have a 15 foot 10 weight, a real telephone pole to cast) and the specialized lines that match these bigger, heavier rods usually have either a heavy head and running line (Skagit style) or lines with extra long bellies and unique tapers (Scandi style). As noted above, it is a beautiful style, when done right by an experienced Spey caster. It is also, in my estimation, a harder style of casting to learn than traditional fly casting, requiring expert timing and lots of practice on moving water. That said, you owe yourself the chance to at least watch a few YouTube videos or buy a DVD and practice some of the easier casts and techniques that could help you in other types of fly fishing situations.

To answer your other question, since much Spey casting is done with longer, heavier rods and longer, deep bellied lines, it typically requires a large reel with lots of line and backing capacity. For salmon and steelhead, it also needs to have a smooth, flawless disc drag system, preferably with a sealed drag so you don't pick up sand in the gears.


Edited by mickfly (02/13/16 12:39 PM)
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#11413051 - 02/14/16 07:03 AM Re: Dumb Question: Spey Reels/Combos [Re: BoPro]
Bass_Bustin_Texan Offline
TFF Guru

Registered: 02/10/04
Posts: 23396
Loc: Longview
Originally Posted By: BoPro
As stated above, long two handed rod using Scandi or Skagit casting styles. I might be one of the only few that use two hand rods down here. If you ever see a guy using a 11ft 2wt doing weird casts on the lower mountain fork, that'll probably be me...


Or me, but mine is a 7 weight! wink

Personally I have fished it more than any other rod since I got it. Salt, lake, small rivers.

It's Switch Rod by TFO (11'), it's in between the 14' Spey rods and your normal fly rods....use single hand or two handed.
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You can avoid having ulcers by adapting to the situation: If you fall in the mud puddle, check your pockets for fish. ~Unknown

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No matter how good or bad you have it, wake up each day thankful for your life. Someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs.

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#11413052 - 02/14/16 07:06 AM Re: Dumb Question: Spey Reels/Combos [Re: sdavis24]
Bass_Bustin_Texan Offline
TFF Guru

Registered: 02/10/04
Posts: 23396
Loc: Longview
I got interested in this when my bass flies were getting too big and heavy to cast!! banana

I love casting along way, with little effort and no back cast.
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You can avoid having ulcers by adapting to the situation: If you fall in the mud puddle, check your pockets for fish. ~Unknown

Open your eyes & look within, are you satisfied with the life you´re living.

No matter how good or bad you have it, wake up each day thankful for your life. Someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs.

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#11416003 - 02/15/16 04:49 PM Re: Dumb Question: Spey Reels/Combos [Re: sdavis24]
sdavis24 Online   content
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 06/05/12
Posts: 7998
Loc: Pacifica, CA
Lots of really great info. Thank you all for sharing.
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