Summer Steel/Coho Spey Rod Suggestions - Fly Fishing Forum
Pacific Northwest Sea Run Forum No such thing as rainbow trout, only landlocked steelhead

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Old 03-30-2007, 07:10 PM
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Summer Steel/Coho Spey Rod Suggestions

I was looking around at buying a Spey rod for summer steelhead and coho. Last year I primarily used my single handed 9wt for summer steelhead and silvers and I felt it was a bit to heavy for most of the silvers, and fairly heavy for the steelhead as well.

I really want to go out and fish for them with ultralight gear. I had my eye on two rods, brands aside, just talking about the weight/length. I was looking at a 11' 5wt and a 12'6" 6wt. I know a lot of guys fish 5wts for summer steelhead and I would love to fight a 5-10lb steelhead on a 5wt rod but when I tried to do it with my 9' 5wt single handed rod I couldn't cast far enough which is why I wanted to try with the two handed rod.

I guess it is all up to your personal preference, but I would like to hear what other people personally use as well as why they like that rod for that species etc...

I will be casting med-small traditional summer steelhead flies. #8-#4 purple perils, brad's brats, sharp steelie's are my favorite as well as deer hair surface patterns.

And for coho I will be casting similar stiff wet flies and will be casting some smaller maribou/bunny leech patterns as well.

Before I shell out the money I just wanted to know what you guys think. It's a lot of $$ and I want to get the right one the first time.
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Old 03-30-2007, 08:14 PM
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Personally I don't go for steelhead with anything less than a 7wt. Sure some of them will be suitable for less, but then a thick shouldered wild summer buck tears off with the fly and one of two things happens... you lose the fish or worse yet the fish loses it's life because of the length of fight in the lowered oxygen levels typical to summer flows.

Better to get them in with some degree of authority especially in the summer.

.02
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Old 03-30-2007, 10:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juro
Personally I don't go for steelhead with anything less than a 7wt. Sure some of them will be suitable for less, but then a thick shouldered wild summer buck tears off with the fly and one of two things happens... you lose the fish or worse yet the fish loses it's life because of the length of fight in the lowered oxygen levels typical to summer flows.

Better to get them in with some degree of authority especially in the summer.

.02
The summer runs I would be fishing for would be Stilly fish above deer creek which are all hatcheries. Maybe skykomish fish on a blue moon. Summer hatchery fish are really the only steelhead I ever keep, and since they come so rarely the past few years, and since I rarely get to go, I end up keeping a good number of the ones I catch which is usually one a year, so an exhausted fish wouldn't be a big deal.

I was also thinking that a rod like this would make a great low clear winter hatchery rod as well.

Anyways, thanks for bringing up that point, I didn't think about that. Assuming that there aren't any natives around, or not enough to make it a factor, what would you recommend? I want a nice light presentation and something to fish real light lines and flies.
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Old 03-31-2007, 11:00 AM
dc_chu dc_chu is offline
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One other consideration a lighter line weight is often less forgiving in simply getting the line out an acceptable distance. I had found that to be the case in my own experience in how I learned to spey cast. It might be worth casting a variety of 6 and 7 wts for comparison. There are light 7 weights out there as well to think about.
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Old 03-31-2007, 11:56 AM
Ol Rich Ol Rich is offline
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Marlow's Spey Day is coming up April 28. There will be many rods and lines to try and a wealth of information from those in attendance.

Rich
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Old 03-31-2007, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Ol Rich
Marlow's Spey Day is coming up April 28. There will be many rods and lines to try and a wealth of information from those in attendance.

Rich
What is that?
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Old 04-01-2007, 12:26 PM
Ol Rich Ol Rich is offline
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Posted on speypages.com.

"Once again Marlo Bumpus is hosting the Jimmy Green Memorial Games at Rockport's Howard Miller Park. This year's fun event will occur Saturday April 28. "

Great time with great people.

Rich
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Old 04-12-2007, 04:40 PM
Nooksack Mac Nooksack Mac is offline
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What you need in a rod and a line

Kid,

If you check into the Forum at The Spey Pages (an invaluable resource for anyone interested in learning about spey fishing), you'll notice that the majority of recent commentary has been about spey rods at the shorter, lighter-line end of the spectrum. (This includes switch rods, which are sort of transitional rods between ten and twelve feet, with a handle that can be used with one or both hands.) There are many exciting new models to learn about.

I can't authoritatively advise you to get one particular model, but I'll make this general observation: Spey rods are much more efficient and enjoyable to use when they're paired with a line that matches their length and normal casting range. Shorter rods work best with shorter belly lines, like the Rio Windcutter, the Airflo Delta, the new Cortland and Scientific Angler short belly lines, Scandinavian shooting head systems from different makers, and Skagit lines, which are thick floating belly lines around 27 feet, usually paired with sink tips. All of these can be all-floating, or lines fitted (by you or the maker) with front loops for interchangeable tips of various densities.

I prefer long spey rods and long-belly lines, where seasonally and situationally appropriate. But you can't, unless you're a master, lift and cast a 70'+ belly with a twelve-foot rod.

Fishing dry or damp flies from a floating line is delightful, when appropriate; but as a North Stilly veteran knows, much of the fishing even in the summer is better done near the bottom, with sinking tips. Rods and lines in the 7/8 range are much better with sinktips than are trout-size speys, as well as for fighting stronger fish.

FWIW, my current choice is a CND Solstice 13' 4" 6/7/8 rod paired with a Rio MidSpey 7/8 multi-tip line.

Last edited by Nooksack Mac; 04-12-2007 at 05:00 PM. Reason: clarity
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Old 04-12-2007, 05:21 PM
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I am very familiar with the Stilly. In summer flows it's not a big river, anything more than a 7wt would be overkill I agree. But on the Cowlitz, Skykomish, Hoh, even the lower Duc or Elwha I wouldn't be without anything less than a 7wt based on the fish I've met on these rivers over the years. Again - I wouldn't go lighter personally, for the sake of the fish among other things. If Deer Creek is low the natives will move miles off the mouth to wait. Just fine tune the line for a more subtle presentation if needed.

In addition to the great advice above, one could choose a line that has a more gradual front taper yet loads the rod, like a double taper or any line (short or long) that loads the rod but has a gentle presentation in the forward taper. I'd fish a floating line and a long leader and work the times of day when they are going to be most prone to hit a fly - dawn and dusk. Positioning on the pool is absolutely key in making the right presentation to avoid lining the fish. Summer means stealth.

Lots of guys fish steelhead with lighter gear. Fine in May, June but not so fine in July August IMHO. The straight-ahead stare of a spent fish I wanted to release taught me my lesson.

Besides what steelhead worth it's salt wouldn't buckle a 7wt Spey anyway

BTW - the Solstice Mac named above is also my go-to summer rod. When I came up with that name 'Solstice' (I was once involved with marketing of CND rods) it was because that design is so ideally suited for the summer run fishing. Incredibly light, surprisingly powerful, plenty of finesse and force all in one package.

If you go for a lighter rod, consider going shorter and faster than true Spey action rods to increase your leverage against a hard fighting fish. Tim Rajeff (Echo), Loomis, Sage, Bob Meiser, and other companies offer them now.
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Last edited by juro; 04-12-2007 at 05:32 PM.
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  #10  
Old 04-22-2007, 08:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juro
Besides what steelhead worth it's salt wouldn't buckle a 7wt Spey anyway
Half Pounders?

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Old 04-23-2007, 10:51 AM
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Hey Kid,

There are plenty of listed 5-6wt 11-12' rods that IMHO are suitable for summer hatchery steelhead. Hell, I've landed 'em on a 4wt single hander (but wouldn't recommend it).

It's a lot more in the reel and how you fight your fish than the rod.

If you're at Marlow's event, ask around for Doublespey. I'll have an 11' 5wt you can check out.

Tight Lines!

Brian
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Old 04-23-2007, 11:21 AM
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I have that little Soltice and it's my go to rod for our summer Steelhead. What a battle. The CND lines are great also.

When CND first came out it was Juro's dedication to hard work that got the word out and got the Spey Underground rolling.
Thank you Juro!

link
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Old 04-23-2007, 08:20 PM
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Well coming from a steely-eyed hard-rowing river rat like yourself I consider that a real compliment!

Hope spring is coming to your beautiful valley. I look forward to the next time I visit.
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