Trout spey - 2 handed rods?

ohanzee

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Never heard of the term, whats the difference between a 'trout spey rod' and a trout rod?
 

JohnH

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I take it you are referring to light double-handed rods, Luke ? These are known as "switch rods" here and in the US, because it's possible to switch between single handed and double handed casting. There is an emerging trend to use them on UK rivers for sea trout and for small river salmon fishing. There are also suitable applications in trout fishing for their use, like loch-style boat fishing, but single handed rods are used for UK trout fishing most of the time.
 

bobmiddlepoint

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There are also suitable applications in trout fishing for their use, like loch-style boat fishing,
If there is one place they don't belong it is in a boat loch fishing. I've never seen anyone use any sort of double hander or switch rod from a boat without it looking clumsy. For proper control of the flies, striking and keeping everything fluid you need one hand on the line all the time. Taking your left hand off the line to take hold of the rod for the cast looses accurate and subtle control of the flies right at one of the moments you are most likely to rise a fish.

I can't think of any UK trout fishing situation (lochs, ressys, chalkstreams, spate rivers, brooks) where I ever thought "What I really need here is both hands on the rod". I'm not saying it doesn't happen for some but, I'm not convinced!
 

JohnH

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B, perhaps I should have said "may be suitable applications". As very much an occasional loch-style fisherman I didn't want to sound off about a subject where my knowledge is very limited, but I must admit your last paragraph about switch rods does strike a chord with me. The expression "a solution looking for a problem" comes to mind in respect of UK trout fishing.........
 

iainmortimer

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I don’t see the point of a double handed trout rods other than to line the pockets of tackle manufacturers. At the line weights needed for trout you can easily Spey cast single handed.

...but to answer the OP, I’ve never seen anyone using a spey rod for trout.
 
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ohanzee

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Ohanzee - You are kidding, right?
No just trying to figure out what it is, if a switch rod then generally only for salmon, they are great fun but the average size of trout in the UK is easily handled with a single hander.
 

LukeNZ

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Well, certainly from the comments so far, it seems you all really need to try it!

Having fished both single and double hand for salmon and sea trout from almost as early as I can remember at home in north of England, Scottish Borders and also around Inverness, where we had a holiday home for 30 years; then more than 20 years now in New Zealand, I can tell you that trout spey is a boon.

A Trout Spey, is not a “switch rod” (a term framed by Bob Meiser when he was starting to dabble, make and market essentially a long single hand rod with a permanent rear extension/handle). “Switch”not neccasarily meaning reverting to single hand casting, though you can,with many salmon spey rods in the shorter lengths, but to overhead casting also.

Spey rods actions are entirely different to single handed rods actions, and true trout spey rods are the same, except the line weight is suitable for trout. All the manufacturers know this.

Back in the day, as the saying goes.. I could cast my Hardy 15’ 4” spey rod overhead no problem at all, and a lot of salmon folks still do throw the odd (or even a lot) overhead cast - but you would hardly say it was a switch rod. (I have thrown a line many a time with a double hand salmon spey rod using only a single hand - it’s not really impossible) when working through a run.

There are a great many advantages to trout spey rod and trout spey line systems, in many more situations than you could imagine, and until you try it and become competent you won’t discover that. So you are definitely missing out.

Sure, it’s not for chalk stream types, but even there the original fly fishers were using 12 -14ft. rods... However, even in this day and age with modern long double trout rods you would use the extra rod length even there to your advantage, when fishing a nymph, wet flies, and dry - even on a small stream.

Putting a very long line out with zero effort when required, without a single false cast is the biggest draw card, and really long drifts and swings, the same as it is in salmon fishing - and being able to move your fly and line more easily to where you want it across the flow, more effective mends in difficult water. All in all greater levels of water command. You can do more with your line, more easily.

Obviously, like everyone else with a lifetime of fishing - we end up with tons of tackle. I am rather embarrassed now, by how many fly rods I have owned over the years, and even the number I currently have....! both single and double hand. Hardy Zenith’s, Zephyrus’s, Wraiths and Sirrus in various single hand lengths and line weights, normally I have always favoured the longest rod in any given model and line weight when buying, even in single hand.

In double hand trout speys, I have a couple of Burkheimer’s in Spey 4 and 5wt. (6 and 7wt. in trout line terminology), also I have a couple of Sage One double hand trout spey’s, again in 4 and 5wt. Spey line rating.

This is not really as bold a statement as it at first might seem, but if I could only ever own one of the rods to fish for trout anywhere on the planet and do it effectively, I would pick either one of my Sage One 4116-4 or, my Burkheimer custom vintage 4114-4 double hand trout speys.

They overlap everything in terms of line weights used for trout (especially the Burkie - very wide grain weight window), and they do not overwhelm a 1/2lb. trout, but can easily handle a 10lb’er. You can do anything with them you can do with a single hand rod, plus so much more, and more easily with less effort and drama.

There is something sublime about the craft of spey casting double handed rods, trout sized spey rods possibly more so, as they are so light.

Remember this about rod length, even if you only take one thing away from this rather long response; and that is, for each step deeper you walk into the water you effectively shorten your rod and change your angle, by that amount. Your water command, and backcast height with your 9ft. rod, becomes that of an 8ft. rod, before you are even up to your knees... ....you know how to make control easier now, right?

Cheers and beers,
Luke.
 
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ohanzee

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I copied 'Sage One 4116-4' from your post and pasted it into google, first thing that came up was.... 'Sage ONE 4116-4 Switch Rod'.

Tried a 6wt Loomis switch rod, great piece of kit and a delight to use, but not much use for trout up to a pound and a half.
 
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LukeNZ

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I copied 'Sage One 4116-4' from your post and pasted it into google, first thing that came up was.... 'Sage ONE 4116-4 Switch Rod'.

Tried a 6wt Loomis switch rod, great piece of kit and a delight to use, but not much use for trout up to a pound and a half.
Hi ohanzee,

Like I said, the term “switch rod” is a marketing Americanism.

Spey casting as a term is only just gaining wider appeal in the US - because Spey casting was not an American invention...

But the correct term for long double handed trout rods is - trout spey, to the initiated - even in the US now.

Look at Winston rods, Thomas and Thomas, Burkheimer, even Meiser who originally coined the switch rod phrase, even he is starting to use the correct terminology now applied to his trout spey line up; as that British word Spey, becomes more understood there.

Obviously, Spey is a British term - and the historically correct one for a long double handed fly rod, irrespective of line weight.

There was resistance to double handed rods for US anglers even for salmon and steelhead fishing - they were British and un-American. The American manufacturers wanted Americans to buy American rods and gear, so a marketing point of difference was that their rods were much shorter, and Americans tradition became all about single handed short rods for everything.

Now the British also copied that trend and adopted that mind set, over the years too, off the back of wanting what was being heavily marketed in the US shorter and shorter rods, and the UK manufacturers wanting to sell in all markets, shorter rods became the norm in the UK too.

Now the Americans are going back the traditional British way, having slowly been introduced by American steelhead devotees to the benefits of longer double handed rods.

So, rather than initially go with Spey as a rod term, Bob Meiser called his early experimentations “switch rod”, but as the history of the Spey style and it’s origins gets back to the US devotees of double hand trout and salmon style, rather than appear ignorant, the term Spey is starting to be applied more to American double handed fly rods.

As I understand it.

Cheers and beers,
Luke.
 
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LukeNZ

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Ohanzee,

6wt. Spey is an 8wt. in trout line size, so there is your answer for your skull dragging of a 1.5 lb. trout...

Try a 3wt. Sage One trout spey - Spey 3wt. is the same as a trout line rated 5wt. Or, Winston 3wt. trout spey if you prefer a softer action, than the more racy Sage.

You may not go back to single hand once you have mastered it. I can guarantee that,you will enjoy it!

Cheers and beers,
Luke.
 
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3lbgrayling

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Not being a devotee of Americanisms.And understanding what hugh Falcus and simon Gawsworth and many others taught.I have no problem doing a single/double spey cast with a single handed rod.and I have to confess to being irritated by the term ''Spey Rods'' what a load of Pee.
It was even stated on here(a long time ago) that Americans invented Spey casting.WTF.and now were being taught that Trout ''Spey'' rods are the must have.Give me a break.I'll happily continue with my single handed trout rods that can do any type of cast I want to do
So in answer to your''you must be joking''.No I don't think I am.
PS I have several double handed rods.which I use regularly.

Jim
 

LukeNZ

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Good on ya Jim.

Just suggesting you might change your view, if you try a good properly set up one.

I was more dyed in the wool against than anyone. Now I love em!

Never say never?

Cheers and beers,
Luke
 

lipslicker

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I have been trying to think of wide trout rivers in the UK, like they have in the US, and could not immediately think of one?

I guess that is probably a big reason why they have taken to these double handed light rods, needing to cast across 50m wide rivers in some spots. Maybe?

- - - Updated - - -

Ohanzee,

6wt. Spey is an 8wt. in trout line size, so there is your answer for your skull dragging of a 1.5 lb. trout...

Try a 3wt. Sage One trout spey - Spey 3wt. is the same as a trout line rated 5wt. Or, Winston 3wt. trout spey if you prefer a softer action, than the more racy Sage.

You won’t go back to single hand once you have mastered it. I can guarantee that!

Cheers and beers,
Luke.
Simon Gawsworth (sp.?) of Rio, told me in a video that there was a difference of 3 between single and Spey, so 3 more like a single #6, and that you could cast that line on it.

Never tried one myself, mind.
 

ohanzee

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Hi ohanzee,

Like I said, the term is a marketing Americanism.

Spey casting as a term is only just gaining wider appeal in the US - because it was an un-American invention...

But the correct term for long double handed trout rods is - trout spey, to the initiated - even in the US now.

Look at Winston rods, Thomas and Thomas, Burkheimer, even Meiser who coined the phrase, he is starting to use the correct terminology now applied to his trout spey line up; as that British word Spey, becomes more understood there..
The correct terminology is what US marketing calls it?

I don't think it really matters what you want to call it, I have tried a number of double handers and don't need converting, I don't need any more leverage for the fishing I do, I can see the advantage for big wide rivers with a wet fly though.

- - - Updated - - -

I have been trying to think of wide trout rivers in the UK, like they have in the US, and could not immediately think of one?
Er...Spey?:)
 

LukeNZ

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I have been trying to think of wide trout rivers in the UK, like they have in the US, and could not immediately think of one?

I guess that is probably a big reason why they have taken to these double handed light rods, needing to cast across 50m wide rivers in some spots. Maybe?

- - - Updated - - -



Simon Gawsworth (sp.?) of Rio, told me in a video that there was a difference of 3 between single and Spey, so 3 more like a single #6, and that you could cast that line on it.

Never tried one myself, mind.
Yes, Simon does say that the difference is 3, for Rio products, in general for a beginning spey caster that is a good reference.
Because it is easier to cast for a beginner. Essentially heavier than I would use on any given rod, for the most part.

But, as you may be aware there is,even in spey line types of the exact same weight - shorter or longer tapers (different profiles and weight gradient). And, in the spey rods themselves there are different lengths for the same rod line rating, and these subtleties can be confusing for new spey casters to get their heads around. So a little bit heavier is going to compensate for all those variations, without Simon having to be rod make and model specific.

So if I was to recommend to a new spey caster a line for their rod to get them casting proficiently and I did not know which rod or Spey head or Spey line type, my recommendation for a given rod wt. would also be slightly heavier than proficient casters would might use.

The thing about spey rods, is they do have quite wide grain weight windows. You can cast light off the tip, medium weight getting into the middle section and heavier lines going into the butt. Regulating casting tempo and stroke to suit each - obviously slower, for heavier.

Simon, is putting the Rio product line weight on average in the middle for mainstream rod manufacturers offerings but most definitely they will not suit all, and experienced casters may go up and down, having fuller knowledge of what they are looking to do.

Hope that is not too complicated of an explanation, if you are not familiar with Spey.

Cheers and beers,

Luke
 
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