RE:Spey and two-handed discussion board!
First of all thanks again for all advice you provide.
I see you're pretty much interested in gear, especially rods. Frankly, I'm a rod and casting freak always looking for the ultimate casting and fishing tool.
Using short two handed rods the way you describe it is kind of new to me, even though I have used shorter twohanders, but only of classic manufacture, i.e. slow blanks in moderate line sizes (up to 9 weight). All those rods had one thing in common: At the beginning I had great trouble heaving out (controlling a long line) decent amounts of line due to their "slow" action (Sage 11'3" 8-9 wt.). Before I forget it, we cast those rods one handed! Using shooting heads (DT lines cut in half or using 2/3 of a DT line and spliced onto flat beam running line)I somewhat managed to get along with it, but I don't like using shooting heads too much, neither do I like the soft actions. We use(d) this setup on some artificial lakes here in Europe on special occasions to make long (up to 130 ft) casts with all kinds of flies but mostly small dry flies to cruising fish (no boats allowed). In windy conditions I had great trouble laying out my (long) leader over those long distances, so I'd rather used a fast-action SP+ 8-wt. for better line control but shorter casts, though. Achieving important distances with that setup cast twohanded seems to be kind of impossible.
My questions now: Is there a short twohander that actually can throw a long line under windy conditions and that is a great fighting tool as well? The Sage rod we have is fine for all fishing up to bigger salmon but I doubt the blank has the backbone to beat strong winds and handle any strong saltwater fish especially from a boat. I might be wrong, having never fished for striped bass, though. I'm looking forward to use that magic wand!