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Whorwood 01-12-2005 06:41 AM

Single Hand Spey Casting

It's 20 question time: Thought it might be fun to see how many fish single hand spey on the great lake trib's and the different methods we use.

How many of you fish single hand rods and use spey type casts ?
What length rod do you use, and if given the choice what length would you like ?
What action would you or do you like and why ?

Reels: ?

Do you use a short belly line and why ?
Do you use a long belly line and why ?
Do you use a multi tip line ?
Do you use a custom (home made type) line ?

Terminal End:
Leader length and why ?
Do you use lead or sink tips and why ?
If you use lead, do you use a dropper system or put the lead on the leader and why?
Do you use a float/indicator ?
If you use another method (as an indicator) what and why ?

I use mostly yarn ?
I use mostly nymphs ?
I use mostly spey type flies ?

Type of fishing
Swinging flies ?
Nymphing techniques ?

Thanks for your time in advance.
Rick Whorwood

BLACK FRANCIS 01-12-2005 07:52 AM

Funny you should ask, i have been doing this all season on the smaller tribs. one in particular for the last 2 of 3 days. charlie d and i have even joked about a new casting style complete with rods and line by the top manufacturers in the country. :) my preferences are for a standard long belly steelhead line and my old winston 10' 7wt LT. swinging tubes and weighted flies seems to be the best for the small water where you need to get down quickly and the tips are too dark and spook fish. i also have used a sage 9' 7 wt xi2 and a 9' 6" 7wt sage xp. both worked well and have a fast action and of course felt just like a fast two hander. the old winston feel like a traditional spey, slow but with a very comfortable stroke.for leaders i like the rio sinking leader in the intermidiate 1.5 ips clear leaders in 7 ft length with about 3' of 1x fluorocarbon. the same leader i use on the two hander but shorter. all the casts are very do able, with the double spey being particulary easy. i have also found it helps to get the motions down for new casts (i have been working on the snake roll). the big problem i have found especialy on the snap t is that the rod is 4' shorter and that tube comes over pretty hard and pretty close in front of you! by all means swinging speys and streamers.

peter-s-c 01-12-2005 08:04 AM


I used to single hand spey with two rods, a T&T Steelhead 9'6" 7 wt. and a Scott ARC 10' 7 wt. I used a Teeny 200 and an SA Nymph 7 wt. on the T&T and a Rio S/AS 7 wt. line on the Scott. The T&T was mostly used for swinging flies and stripping streamers. I'd pull the colour change of the Teeny up to the tiptop and let her rip. Worked pretty well actually.

The Scott with the Rio S/AS was a more tractable combination that I used both drifting nymphs under a bobber and for swinging flies. I didn't like the combination that much when I stuck Polyleaders on it so usually I stayed with mono and shot, even when swinging flies.

Both rods were used for chinook as well as steelhead (IIRC, my Avatar shows me with a Saugeen chinook caught with the T&T when swinging wets.)

The T&t was a bit faster, less tippy rod than the Scott but both worked pretty well with spey casts so I can't say that I prefered one over the other. I used only singles and doubles. I found that the 7 wt. WF lines worked OK provided I had a decent amount of the head beyond the guides. Up close, they weren't that good. The Teeny was a pleasant surprise and it loaded the T&T up quite well.

Both these rods have now been sold and I use my Loop Blue 7116 in their place. It's a superior spey and overhead rod, but only marginally heavier and the length is an advantage.

I also do a lot of spey work with my full suit of trout rods, but that's another story.

Marty Tannahill 01-12-2005 06:48 PM

Hi Rick:

I've used both 9' and 10' 7wt.and 8wt. GlX's, XP's and an assortment of others. In terms of length, I prefer the 10 footers but an additional 6" might be nice. The additional length helps with the mending and gets more line off the water when wading deep.
I like the overall stiffness (especially in the tip) of the XP because it seems to manage the terminal end (long leader 14.5', indicator, shot and tandem flies) with less effort. I have just purchased the Crosscurrent GLX 9' 7wt. and am very impressed. It would be fantastic to see this action in a 10 or 10.5 footer.
For me long belly lines are the only way to go. I've used SA's
steelhead, nymph and xxd lines and like them all.
When I get to swing flies, which is infrequent, I still prefer the stiffer rods.
In terms of reels, I love the Harris Solitudes. Cheers.


Doug Swift 01-12-2005 07:38 PM

Hi Rick
I presently use a 9'6" 8 wt rod in the old sage RPL+ series. I fish with a S/A steelhead taper line, 12-15 foot tapered leader,indicator and split shot using mostly nymphing techniques with yarn flys and nymphs. I,ve used a couple of different reels for this setup but have found the Harris solitude iv to be about the most reliable. The most effective presentation for me with this setup is the single hand double spey cast. It seems to be fairly effective in getting all that stuff on the business end out there. If I were to change this set up I think a 10' or longer rod with a fast action would get the indicator and shot out there with a little less effort. The only other rods I,ve had experience with in this category were from loomis (GLX) and sage (XP). I preferred the faster action and extra lengths of these rods over the one I presently use.

voodoofly 01-12-2005 09:08 PM

Hello Rick
I mostly fish big water, so I use the 2-hander 95% of the time. A few times out of the year I fish the "smaller" tribs, then I use a 9' 8wt and a 7 1/2' 5 wt. (trout) I fish both with a matching DT floater. I also use a 300 grain integrated head with the 8wt. I fish both rods on the swing and nymphing with the indy. I cast single and double spey, snake roll and switch.

I find that a fuller flexing rod, in general, works best with the nymphing/shot/indy rigs. The outbound loops are purposefully larger for less fouling.

I have tried the 10 1/2' switch rods. These are pretty cool. If I fished the smaller rivers more often, I would get one of these. But I don't, so my funds will go to bigger things.


Dornblaser 01-13-2005 03:29 PM

I have a 11' switch rod that I almost always use spey casts with.

I have found spey casts to be very liberating. The few times that I used my 9'6" single-hand 8 wt this fall I always used a spey cast when I was up against the bank. That rod is a Winston BIIx and usually has a SA steelhead taper on it. Even being a relative newbie to spey, it has changed the way I approach pools, banks, etc. and has opened up more water to me. At least for me, spey casting is not about longer casts but covering water more effectively.

Whorwood 01-13-2005 03:40 PM

Single Hand Spey Casting
Thanks Guy's
This is a good start, Do any of you guy's that fish the Catt and the Salmon use single spey? What about the guys on the PM, or other Mich. streams ?

voodoofly 01-13-2005 04:00 PM

The PM is the smaller trib water I fish.


Charlie 01-13-2005 04:02 PM


For the Catt and the Salmon I use a regular Spey rod. I have the Sage 12 5wt. I use in the early fall when the small jacks just start coming into the Erie tribs. I also have a 12 6/7wt. a 12 7/8wt. and a 13 8/9wt. that I use depending on the conditions.

I do use a single handed rod to spey cast on the smaller tribs. (see BLACK FRANCIS's post)


h2o 01-13-2005 04:42 PM

Wooo ! goes.

I don't spey cast. Overhead & roll . I use and prefer rods in the 9' - 9 1/2' range for swinging longer for/if nymphing. I like med. fast to fast. Currently using all Scotts for Steelhead S3 9 1/2' 7 wt, SAS same, SAS 9 1/2' 6 wt.

Reel's.........they just hold the line. Disc drag for Steelhead. Second, I look at the cost of spools. Curently S.A. Mastery's (Hardy) & S.A. L.A. 2's..........and lots of spools.

Lines - All S.A. Mastery Foaters GPX's, Steelhead Tapers, XXD's ? (i thinks that's what it's called), sink tip type 3 & 5, streamer express 200 & 350 grains. My "shortest belly" would be the GPX which is standard for a WF-F. I prefer them GPX for smaller streams & if looping on tips. The long belly's (steelhead & xxd) are excell at both distance overhead & roll casts...........but I don't like them if using loop on tips.

Multu tips............hate them........gave them away. I prefer to make my own but, I don't like loops in general and have went back to the factory one pc. denc. comp. lines which cast & fish great. I use home made loop on's for small streams, on the limeted swing pools

Leaders - I build 4 1/2 footers for sink tips. 7 1/2' footers for small streams , 9' - 10' for large. If I was nymphing they would be 12' with a indicator.

Other Method - With soft hackles.........slow & deep on a floater, I just watch the flyline for light takes. Why ? works.

Type Fishing - Swing, or plunk streamers around boulders on small streams. I rarely nymph any more even for Trout. The "indy nymphing wave" came.............I did it (back before most) pounds fish.............I got bored, and went back to the old way.............more fun, feel the take, better casting,etc.

Have a good day :)

Whorwood 01-15-2005 09:53 AM

Single Hand Spey Casting
Thanks Guy's

This is quite interesting, Most tend to use long belly lines (Steelhead tapers), anyone using a multi tip type line? So far most prefer rods in the 9' 6"- 10' 6" range. What would you consider to be too long (or unmanageable) in a Single Hand Spey rods? It seems most like 7wt. and 8wts.
Rick Whorwood

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