What is spey casting? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: What is spey casting?

05-16-2004, 09:53 PM
How is it different from what we in the US simply refer to as fly fishing?

Dble Haul
05-17-2004, 10:33 AM
Since I have zero experience with spey techniques, I'll defer to some of the other regulars who can help you with this. We also have a Speypages section where you can post the same question.

Good luck.

05-17-2004, 11:59 AM
Well, first of all you can find reams of great information on the Spey Pages (http://www.speypages.com).

But since you ask...

(The following comparison focuses on spey casting verses common overhand casting, no discussion about fishing per se.)

People spey cast because it requires about half the backcasting room, covers the water more efficiently, and is thus ideally suited to fishing currents on the swing. It's also deeply rooted in tradition having been practiced for centuries in the British Isles and Scandinavia, and is experiencing a rennaissance period of sorts in North America and as far abroad as Japan. It provides a new and satisfying fly fishing avenue for anglers seeking to get to the next level. If you love to cast, spey casting can be the ultimate new adventure.

What is it?
Spey casting is a method where the backcast is not fully extended behind the caster, but instead held folded to about half length until the forward cast is made. The backcast loop is tucked underneath the rod tip to one side of the angler instead of flung over the rod as in an overhand cast.

The rod should lead the line backward just above the water until the previously described half-loop is formed - at which time just the end of the fly line is lightly allowed to light upon the water's surface for tension (the 'anchor'). If you freeze that picture, the rod, the loop and the anchor form an upper case "D", hence the name "D-loop".

At that very instant, when the anchor kisses the water the force of the forward cast should be going forward so that the opposing forces help load the rod fully before the grip surrenders and the line flies forward. This is a very light grip, almost silent if done right.

The forward cast is essentially the same as a common overhand cast's forward cast, except that the stroke tends to feel more abrupt with a higher stop due to additional rod length.

Spey casting is most often done with two-handed flyrods, while the common overhand flycast is most often done with single-handed flyrods. Yet either cast can be done with either tool.

So what about handling the line? There's no double hauling, since the hand is busy. The line is held in the hands until the forward cast is made when you can shoot line if desired. The strongly opposing pulling of the bottom hand more than makes up for the lack of a double haul when the line and rod are matched properly. The rod/line match is more important in this type of casting than with short rods compensated with a double haul.

Once this basic motion is learned, there are many ways to "set up" the basic spey cast based on current direction, wind direction, line density and other variables. That's why you may have heard about casts like "double spey" or "snake roll", even "snap-t" and "perry poke". Essentially all these are just ways of getting the D-loop ready to make the next cast.

Well I think I've already exceeded my lunch break typing quota, but you should check out Dana's speypages.com for great info and videos. A picture tells a thousand words, a video even more!


05-17-2004, 12:40 PM
about `speycasting',is the ability to fish sections of river that Nobody fishes,once you combine the `two-handed' rod with waders,you can wander anywhere,plus the `longrods' allow much more weighted lines-tips-patterns to be used,simply because the tackle is beefier,worst part is once you start `speycasting' a single hander will feel,uh,short!?,then you'll want little `speyhandles' for the bottoms of your singles:D